The plagues were sent by God to reveal the Truth of Him to Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the Jews. There could have been redemption if Pharaoh had humbled himself and believed. But the plagues only made Pharaoh dig in his heels in rebellion.
I believe two things about this:
- God did not harden Pharaoh’s heart against Pharaoh’s will. God didn’t make Pharaoh sin in order for God’s plan to come to fruition. God doesn’t tempt anyone with evil. Yet God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, according to Scripture. God would have us understand that the consequences of rejecting God result in a hardening of the heart against God’s revelation of Himself. The more you reject Him, the easier it is to reject Him. That’s how God created us. That is God’s doing.
- Pharaoh wasn’t the only one ignoring God’s signs. His wasn’t the only heart hardening. And the same thing is happening today. God reveals Himself to the world every morning when the sun comes up, when a paper cut heals, when there is joy and laughter in a child. He reveals Himself in storms and sickness and earthquakes. God is drawing all people to Himself every minute, every breath, every heartbeat. We see His love, His protection, His grace and mercy, as well as His righteous judgment, if we just pay attention.
The lesson here in Exodus is clear. Your response to God not only effects you, it effects your children, your co-workers, friends, neighbors. It effects a nation if the people reject God’s revelation of Himself.
The lesson in these chapters isn’t about the plagues. Don’t waste time trying to figure out the logistics. The lesson here is that there are devastating consequences for rejecting God. Those consequences start in our hearts, and extend out to touch the lives of others.
So don’t blame God when we are faced with our own modern-day plagues. We have no one to blame but ourselves, as long as we refuse to acknowledge the God who wants us to know Him.