Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bible Reading Challenge - Week 4 Day 5 Exodus 5:22-11:10

Our reading challenge for the day is Exodus 5:22-11:10. I'll hit a few highlights. You make comments too and fill in the gaps. What strikes you as specially significant?

We often get caught up in the idea of the hardening of hearts. I observe that one of the places where we see hardened hearts in today's reading is in the people of Israel. They are not predisposed to believe Moses or to be delivered from their slavery. Even though they want to have a better life they don't seem ready to follow Moses as a deliverer or to strike out into the wilderness. So God works on the people of Egypt and the people of Israel to leave no option other than departure. By the signs he performs he finally leaves no question that he is the one calling his people to leave the land.

Notice all the hardening of hearts in Pharaoh. At first we have his heart being hardened. Then we see him hardening his heart. Finally we see God hardening his heart. What is the result of our hardness toward sin? Ultimately (Romans 1) God gives us over to our sinful attitudes. Our hearts are left to be the way the are by our fallen nature. This is a terrible judgment indeed. Yet even in this hardened condition, notice Pharaoh's confession of sin and apparent repentance. He repents, but he has no resolve left to live in the forgiveness which God grants him. He returns immediately to wallow in his unrepentance.

By the beginning of chapter 11 everyone in Egypt has had adequate warning that God, the living and true God, is operating and making demands upon their nation. Yet they refuse to listen as individuals also.

May the Lord have mercy upon us.

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