Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Exodus 10:12-20 Repercussion

Pharaoh had repeatedly spurned every evidence of God's power and authority.  In his pride, he continued to refuse to submit to the LORD, the God of Israel, despite numerous examples of His superiority over the 'gods' of Egypt.  After a while, there was no other reasonable course of action to take than to punish Pharaoh's willful sin:

"And the LORD said to Moses,
'Stretch out your hand over Egypt
so that locusts will swarm over the land
and devour everything growing in the fields,
everything left by the hail.'

So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt,
and the LORD made an east wind blow across the land
all that day and all that night.
By morning the wind had brought the locusts;
they invaded all Egypt
and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers.
Never before had there been such a plague of locusts,
nor will there ever be again.

They covered all the ground until it was black.
They devoured all that was left after the hail --
everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees.
Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said,
'I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you.
Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the LORD your God
to take this deadly plague away from me.'

Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD.
And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind,
which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea.
Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt.

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go."

Exodus 10:12-20 (NIV)

The locust plague devoured any vegetation which might have been left behind from previous plagues.  The severity of the plague was such that the ground appeared black with the ravenous insects, which settled in every part of Egypt.  The Bible assures us that such an extensive plague had never happened before, nor would it again, (a fact which makes me very happy).

Pharaoh quickly realizes his error and confesses his sin against God and even against Moses.  Moses does pray to the LORD for the plague to be removed, as Pharaoh has requested.  However, there seems to be something lacking in Pharaoh's 'repentance', for he still refuses to let the Israelites go.  The LORD had hardened Pharaoh's heart.  This reminds me of what a parent might say when a child makes an ugly face at a sibling:  "Watch out, or your face will stay that way!"  Pharaoh is no child, but a grown man, and he has been shown mercy numerous times.  However, as Scripture says, God will not be mocked.  God will forgive even the worst sinner who has sinned numerous times and sincerely repents.  However, He will not allow Pharaoh to continually claim to repent and then just do whatever he wants to do.  So now Pharaoh "will stay that way", stuck in his rebellious ways, and it is not the LORD's fault, but his own.  That is a solemn thing to think about, isn't it?

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