January 19th, Exodus 7-9

The plagues have begun. As you read these stories, watch for little things that show God’s mercy in the midst of the plagues.

  • 7:3 – The concept of Pharaoh’s heart being hardened is a challenging one. It begs the question, does God also harden our hearts or the hearts of others? This Bible Project video is very helpful in explaining the concept of Pharaoh’s heart being hardened. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH_aojNJM3E&t=235s
  • 7:8-13 – Pharaoh’s magicians could match Moses and Aaron’s miraculous acts to a point. God always prevailed somehow.
  • 7:14-25; The Nile was both figuratively and literally the source of life to the Egyptians. It was worshipped in their religion, but it was also the only thing that allowed their civilization to exist- Ancient Egypt was a long, narrow kingdom that only stretched a few miles on either side of the river, and most of the population was concentrated in the river delta. Everything else was desert. Turning the Nile into blood is a big deal.
  • 7:22-23 – So far, Pharaoh is unimpressed. It’s important to note that the Pharaoh was seen as a god. He felt that he was equal with God so it makes a little more sense why he struggles so much with humbling himself and being obedient to God.
  • 8:23 – what originally cause the Egyptians to be “not God’s people”?
  • 8:29; So often we disobey God’s laws and commands and yet we’re surprised and even think it’s unfair of God when we experience consequences
  • 8:32; Sometimes God hardens Pharaoh’s heart and sometimes Pharaoh hardens his own
  • 9:1-3; it’s astonishing that God is giving Pharaoh so many chances to do the right thing. We often think God is being quite harsh in this story, but really he’s being much more patient and merciful than any human would be. God is going to great lengths to try and avoid causing more harm to the Egyptians, even though he knows it’s futile.
  • 9:31-32; flax and barley were commodity crops. Flax was used to make clothes and barley to make beer. Wheat and spelt were food crops. God has destroyed the commodity crops, but the Egyptians will not starve. One more way in which God is showing mercy.
  • 9:34; it’s easy to judge Pharaoh, but how many times have we all bargained with God only to commit the exact same sins once God gives us what we want?

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