Read Exodus 8-10
Do Not Harden Your Heart
Moses confronted Pharaoh numerous times, demanding that the people of God be released. At first, they were simply asking to go worship and make offerings to the Almighty. Time after time, Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused. The request shifted from a brief respite to a full release, but Pharaoh would not listen to Moses, the servant of the Lord.
The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart began before the plagues when his magicians deceived him into thinking they were as powerful as God (Exodus 7:11-13). It continued throughout the plagues, sent as punishments for his arrogant denial of God’s demands (Exodus 7:22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 12, 35; 10:20, 27).
He begged for relief from the plagues, and God repeatedly granted that relief. However, as soon as Pharaoh believed he was safe, he hardened his heart against the truth of God and denies the release of the Hebrews. Moses warned him, “But let Pharaoh not deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord” (Exodus 8:29). The Egyptian ruler would not listen to the warning.
He admitted in the midst of the seventh plague, “I have sinned this time” (Exodus 9:27). This time? But not before the previous six plagues? Pharaoh continued, “The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked” (Exodus 9:27). He seemed to finally understand, but we learn very quickly that he had not truly learned his lesson. Moses records, “And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants” (Exodus 9:34).
The more we sin and refuse to accept the truth of God’s Word, the harder our heart becomes and the more difficult it gets to repent and obey. Pharaoh can admit his sin, but he refuses to let that sin go. That’s exactly what happens to us. We recognize our shortcomings, but in our minds, it is easier to continue in a sinful behavior than to turn ourselves completely over to God’s grace and mercy.
Do not harden your heart like Pharaoh. Turn to God’s Word, discover His will, and obey His commands. Believe in Jesus, repent of your sins, confess His name, and be immersed to have your sins washed away.