I know a thing or two about having a hard heart, both physically and spiritually. I have coronary artery disease and am alive today only because of God’s hand in working through surgeons, medications and a persistent, dedicated and faithful wife. So I understand how plaque forms and hardens on the linings of the heart and the damage, pain and death that it can cause. I also lived for a number of years professing to be a Christian while not facing the reality that for that to be true I didn’t just need to know about Christ but I need to walk with Him every day.
So, here is my perspective on how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.
The Egyptians, under Pharaoh, worshiped over 8700 gods. That is literally one god for every hour of the day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Each of those gods was like a little bit of dirt, a little bit of impurity in the fluid going in and out of Pharaoh’s heart every day. Now the bible tells us that faith in God is like pure living water. In John 7:37-38 Jesus says, ““If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
When I describe it to the kids I ask if they have ever taken a drink through a straw. You know what it feels and tastes like to take a drink of nice cold, pure, clear water. Now, imagine that someone had put a whole lot of dirt into your water – what would happen when you tried to drink it? It would clog up the straw and make it so nothing would flow through it.
In my opinion God didn’t harden Pharaoh’s heart by adding hardness. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart by removing His grace. Because we are all God’s creation, God is a part of each of our lives. Yes, we are born in sin in a sin filled world, but God is with us and working in and through us even before we acknowledge and accept him. While we are still sinners, He has saved us from our sin. That is the clear flowing water of life that flows through our spiritual heart. That is the water of life that keeps us moving forward even when we fill our lives with things other than the one true God.
It is a question for all of us – what impurities are we muddying the waters of our hearts with? Are we calling on God to leave us to our sins or to wash them out of our system through the power of His spirit.
The interaction with the Israelite foremen had negatively impacted his confidence. (iIspeak with faltering lips). He was again feeling inadequate, insecure and afraid
See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh and your bother Aaron will be your prophet
God is patient and in control. It is not our own strength but God’s strength that will pervail.
The heart is a pump, it has ins and outs that are like big straws. Pharaoh decided that instead of the Living Water of God flowing through him, he would add a bunch of other gods. The Egyptians worshiped over 8700 different gods. Each of those was like dirt. When God hardened pharaoh’s heart it wasn’t because he added hardness; he withdrew His grace
horrible suffering through 10 plagues plus the destruction of their army (11th plague)
The people suffer, the nation deteriorates and goes to ruin while other nations rise and eventually conquer it.