Today’s Reading: Ex. 9:1 – 11:10
I don’t know about you, but I read yesterday, today and tomorrow portions all at once – I could not wait to see what happened, although I knew the story so well (or, I thought I knew them so well, I should say).
The story goes on, but it became more “exciting” or “harsh” than yesterday.
The events did not happen right away, like snake, blood, etc. “The Lord set a time…. The next day the Lord did it” He did not show Pharaoh right away, but there was a time delay. It is almost as if Pharaoh is to say “hey, this does not happen right now, it may not come”. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and unyielding even after death of livestock & boiling disease. Then, the hail storm was predicted – did you notice that Pharaoh and his officials remove all the slaves and livestock out of the field? It appears that they believed Moses and Aaron before it even happened. In addition, Pharaoh said “This time I have sinned” – in other words, he was right in other occasions, but for “this time” he was wrong, “The Lord is in the right”. I find it interesting he said “the Lord”, not “the Lord your God”. And this time, it is both “Pharaoh and his officials hardened their hearts” – so collectively, they were not budging at all – is it because they did not lose anything from this occurrence? Their slaves and livestock were saved after all. I tend to find that I don’t learn my lessons well unless such lessons affect me personally…. How about you?
When Moses warned them of locusts, the officials were pleading with Pharaoh — “Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?” I am surprised that it took them this long to figure that out! But, now Pharaoh wants to bargain – “But just who will be going?” Frankly, I would be “who cares, get out!”, but Pharaoh did not let go of good hard-working free slaves for all this projects! After locusts move into Egypt, Pharaoh states “I have sinned against the Lord your God AND against you” — hmmm… do I hear begging here? But, Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened. Since his officials were not mentioned, I guess they really don’t care by now and I am shocked that they did not kill him themselves by now…
Then, three days of darkness fell over Egypt. Pharaoh still bargains “Go, worship your God. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind”. He just does not learn his lessons well, does he? Or he is so pig-headed! In truth, God made Pharaoh this way so that the purpose of God is carried out in accordance with His way….
Finally, the Lord is prepared to strike all firstborn Egypt. I find it interesting that God said “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you – so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt” God made Pharaoh’s heart hardened so that he would not listen; because of that, the wonders of God is shown to Egypt and his own people so many times. Harsh to Pharaoh, but amazing for the Lord to plan out all details! Wow!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s reading on Passover! Oops…. I gave it away, didn’t I? Let’s keep up our reading – 7 more days before the end of January!