Monday, December 19, 2011

Exodus 10:7-11 Darkened Understanding

"Pharaoh's officials said to him,
'How long will this man be a snare to us?
Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God.
Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?'

Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh.
'Go, worship the LORD your God,' he said.
'But just who will be going?'

Moses answered, 'We will go with our young and old,
with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds,
because we are to celebrate a festival to the LORD.'

Pharaoh said, 'The LORD be with you -- if I let you go,
along with your women and children!
Clearly you are bent on evil.
No!  Have only the men go; and worship the LORD,
since that's what you have been asking for.'

Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh's presence.

Exodus 10:7-11 (NIV)
Some observations:
  1. Pharaoh's officials also ask Pharaoh "How long..." he would continue his stubborn resistance, as God did in Exodus 10:3.  They realize that Egypt was being ruined by Pharaoh's continued rebellion.
  2. However, these same officials regard Moses as a 'snare' to themselves.  It is interesting that, to the people of God, this same Moses will be considered a deliverer, while to those who rebelled against God, Moses is seen as someone bringing trouble.
  3. When Pharaoh brings Moses and Aaron into his presence, he inquires about the details of the proposed festival.  All along, God has been directing Pharaoh to let 'my people' go.  This would seem to include all the Israelites.  Pharaoh, however, seems to be under the impression that it was only the men who would be leaving for the festival, for he explodes when he realizes that all the Israelites want to leave.  
  4. Pharaoh assumes that if all the Israelites leave, they won't be coming back.  He insists that only the men can go to worship the LORD.  That way the rest of the Hebrews can remain as hostages.
  5. Apparently Pharaoh still is convinced that he is the one in charge.  He drives the servants of the LORD out of his presence.  Clearly he does not understand that the LORD is the One who will be calling the shots in this situation.
  6. Nor does Pharaoh recognize that he is continuing to cut off his own opportunity to repent.  While obeying the LORD brings wisdom and clarity of thought, sinning against Him results in darkened understanding and foolish, distorted thinking.  Pharaoh sees Moses, rather than himself, as the one who is 'bent on evil'.  In the big picture, Pharaoh is bringing about his own destruction by continuing to rebel.
  7. Of course, God can not let this challenge to his authority go unanswered.  He has given Pharaoh explicit warning about what would happen if he continued to disobey.  Now God will begin to do exactly what he told Pharaoh He would do. 

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