EXODUS 9-14: THE 10 PLAGUES OF (EGYPT) THE HEART PART 2
THE TEN PLAGUES OF (EGYPT) THe HEART
PART 2: WHEN GOD HARDENED PHARAOH'S HEART
The first 5 plagues were nothing to Pharaoh’s hardened heart in letting the Israelites go. Maybe for him, they’re natural disasters that could happen anytime to anyone. So he chose not to obey in spite of God’s miracles through Moses and Aaron.
However, for the last 5 plagues, God got involved in the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart to show His majesty and power.
God’s Main Purpose in Hardening Pharaoh’s Heart
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of this officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD. Exodus 10:1-2
When God decides to harden someone’s heart, we can be assured that God wishes it didn’t have to be that way (ReKnew). What Does it Mean that God Hardens Hearts?
the last five plagues
#6 IN EGYPT: Boils
IN OUR HEARTS: Outer Beauty (the Physical)
Festering boils broke out on people and animals, and even the magicians had boils.
…but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen. Exodus 9:12
AN OUTER BEAUTY HEART
Which industry is one of the richest?
Beauty industry. The demand is high that it keeps producing more and more products with too good to be true promises.
One of my students said, “If in your 30s, you’re ugly, it’s your fault.”
She meant it this way, when you’re younger, your face and skin look a lot better because you’re young. But when you’re in your 30s and you start to look old and ugly, it’s your fault. With all the available skin solutions we have in the market, you have no excuse to look that way. I laughed at her statement, but she had a point based on society standards.
Maybe if Pharaoh’s heart wasn’t hardened, he would immediately let go of the Israelites. He couldn’t stand seeing himself covered with boils. He’d do everything to get his blemish-free skin back.
Taking care of our outer beauty is good because it does make a difference when we put a little makeup, have facial spa once in a while, buy fashion piece one at time to spice up wardrobe, have manicure, hot oil treatment, and other girly stuff we do. There’s nothing wrong in improving our outer beauty. But the moment we consider it as the most important, it becomes a plague.
#7 IN EGYPT: Hail
IN OUR HEARTS: Stubbornness
The seventh plague was the worst storm in the land of Egypt. It struck everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree.
But before it happened, God warned them.
Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every person and animal that has not been brought in and is still out of the field, and they will die. Exodus 9:19
The Egyptians responded two ways:
#1 Egyptians with fear of the LORD – They hurried to bring their slaves and livestocks inside.
#2 Egyptians who ignored the order – left their slaves and livestock in the field to die. God already gave an order of what to do and what might happen, the same God from plagues 1 to 6. Still their hearts were stubborn to follow?!
Then Pharaoh acknowledged his sin and the sin of his people, but when he saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again.
A STUBBORN HEART
It’s different from having a reluctant or an unbelieving heart because being stubborn is – you know exactly what to do but you choose not to do it. Or you know exactly what not to do, but you keep doing it again and again, ignoring the warning signs until you’re consumed, whatever sin that is.
The Bible says sin leads to death – both physically and spiritually.
The more we obey God’s word, the more we have freedom and happiness in life. It’s contrary to the thought of having faith as killjoy.
Jesus can free us from all bondages of sin, but we have to do our part – Stop being stubborn!
#8 IN EGYPT: Locusts
IN OUR HEARTS: Pride
The eight plague was something neither the parents nor ancestors of the Egyptians had ever seen. Locusts covered the face of the ground, devoured whatever was left from the hail, and filled their houses.
Pharaoh’s officials had a changed of perspective.
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 realize that Egypt is ruined? Exodus 10:7
Pharaoh asked Moses who would be going. Moses told him that everyone would go, but he didn’t agree and would only allow men to go with Moses. So with his pride, the eight plague swallowed Egypt, nothing green remained on tree or plant in the land of Egypt. Exodus 10:15
Then Pharaoh repented again, and the locusts left.
A PRIDEFUL HEART
What is the number 1 reason why people get into trouble? Pride!
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Perhaps the most dangerous element of pride is that it tells God, “I got this.” Even though we have divine direction laid out for us, we choose to go down our own path wandering aimlessly in the dark determined that we are going the right way. (Matthew) The Dangers of Pride
#9 IN EGYPT: Darkness
IN OUR HEARTS: Darkness
Moses went to Pharaoh again and told him that Egypt would be in total darkness for three days. Pharaoh responded that all the Israelites could go, including women and children, but they should leave the flocks and herds behind. But Moses said that flocks and herds should also go. Pharaoh didn’t agree.
So total darkness covered Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all Israelites had light in the places where they lived… Exodus 10:23
A DARK HEART
When sin rules our hearts, we’re in total darkness. Yet when we open our hearts to repentance, we receive forgiveness.
When grief rules our hearts, we’re in total darkness. Yet take courage for our Father in Heaven can turn our darkness into light.
#10 IN EGYPT: Death of the First Born
IN OUR HEARTS: Death
Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. Exodus 11:4-5
And so it happened. Loud wailing was heard throughout Egypt.
Pharaoh’s Full Obedience (For Now!)
During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.” Exodus 12:31-32
A DEAD HEART
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
So we have a choice to accept the gift of salvation by faith and pray to God expressing to Him the desires of our hearts.
A SALVATION PRAYER
“Dear God, I realize I am a sinner and could never reach heaven by my own good deeds. Salvation is a gift that only you can give. So right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son who died for my sins and rose from the dead to give me eternal life. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to live for you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life.” (Compelling Truth) How is Salvation a Gift from God?
Before going to the Grand Finale of Exodus, let’s have a review of the 10 Plagues of the Heart and what to have instead.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
A Deaf Heart ⇒ A Listening Heart
A Complacent Heart ⇒ A Growing Heart
A Blind Heart ⇒ A Perceptive Heart
A Reluctant Heart ⇒ An Obedient Heart
An Unbelieving Heart ⇒ A Believing Heart
An Outer Beauty Heart ⇒ An Inner Beauty Heart
A Stubborn Heart ⇒ A Strong-Willed Heart
A Dark Heart ⇒ A Heart of Light
A Dead Heart ⇒ A Heart Alive in Christ
the grand finale
Pharaoh’s full obedience was short-lived. But this led to the Grand Finale of Exodus when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. That was an amazing display of God’s power.
WHEN LETTING GO IS TUG-OF-WAR
When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!”
So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them.
The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites who were marching boldly. Exodus 14:5-8
They suffered from the 10 plagues already and saw the greatness of God. Yet they’re thinking more about their lost services than their lost souls. This is a good example of giving more importance to our earthly possessions than seeking God.
israelites' hearts REVEALED
When the people saw the Egyptians marching after them, they were terrified. They said to Moses,
THE BLIND HEART
Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? Asking a question not related to their Exodus, not seeing the bigger picture of God’s deliverance. Why would Moses bother leading a great number of people just for them to die in the desert?
THE STUBBORN HEART
What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Hmm… they knew exactly why God brought them out of Egypt. But when they saw the Egyptian army, they seemed to forget God’s protection from the plagues, and God’s promises for their future.
THE RELUCTANT HEART
Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than die in the desert!” The “I told you so blah, blah…” when things don’t go well, and when the name of the game is blaming. Poor Moses, he got all the blame.
moses, the right man for the job
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14
What happened next is one of the famous stories in the Bible, the Crossing of the Red Sea. Both Egyptians and Israelites learned two things that day.
CROSSING THE RED SEA LESSONS
THE GOD OF ISRAEL IS THE LORD
The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen. Exodus 14:18
THE LORD FIGHTS FOR HIS PEOPLE
… And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt. Exodus 14:25
THE LORD HAS A MIGHTY HAND
And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians…
PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM AND IN MOSES HIS SERVANT
… the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. Exodus 14:31
god & YOU
When your “Egyptians” are marching after you, you should always remember:
1. Do not be afraid.
2. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance of God.
3. The problems you see today you will never see again. Every problem we have in life shall come to pass.
4. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
5. The Lord has a mighty hand. He’s mightier than any of your pains, struggles, challenges, etc. Allow him to display his power in your life.
6. Always put your trust in God and in “Moses” his servant. “Moses” can be the Bible we have as our reference in knowing God more. “Moses” can also be God’s servants now – the preachers, pastors, teachers, deacons, and elders of churches.