Sermon 32 Oct 20 – Ex 7:2-4, 13, 22; 8:15, 32: 9:7, 12, 34, 35; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10 “Who really is Almighty?” Transitions Series
These passages are all from the plague narrative. I chose these to highlight the theme of Pharaoh’s hard heart and God’s Purpose/Vision statements. In the plague accounts, a portion of the ordered Creation runs amuk – gets out of order, much like Pharaoh’s not listening to God’s spokespersson Moses is a disruption of order.
The hardening of Pharaohs heart is mentioned numerous times. Hardening of heart is when you do not believe Creator God is the greatest power in the universe. In some ways it is the opposite of Heart change – which entails a softening of heart, a fresh compassion that getst acted on (key characteristics of individuals who represent God’s way in Jesus’ parables: Good Samaritan, Father of the Lost Son). Pharaoh and those who follow the same ways as him might feel some compassion but end up not acting on it and hardening their hearts in order to retain power.
When God’s people are in bondage and not able to worship God (by external pressures or by internal misguidedness) and have full and free relationship, all of creation begins to suffer.
God makes very clear what he’s doing in this:
“the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
“so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.”
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.”
He is chosing to demonstrate his Might in the face of Pharaoh’s hardness. He is doing so in order that Egypt understands who he is, and that the children of Israel will have something to remember and tell the next generations.
The God of Creation is Almighty.