"God's Love in the Old Testament" - Chapter 15



Chapter 15: "God versus a Tyrant"




Chapter 15 – God versus a Tyrant


But I have spared you for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name

might be proclaimed in all the earth. (Ex 9:16 )



Contents of Chapter 15

15.1 Setting the Scene: Putting Egypt in context

15.2 The Call of Moses

15.3 Approaching Pharaoh: The opening gambits

15.4 The Start of the Plagues

15.5 Half-way Reflections

15.6 Some Temporary Conclusions




15.1 Setting the Scene: Putting Egypt in Context


a) General Introduction


No book about God's activities through Israel would be complete without reference to the Pharaoh of Exodus, chapters 1 to 14.


For many of us, to talk about love or even justice in the context of Pharaoh might seem strange, yet I suggest that all that we see of God's dealings with Pharaoh conform to all else we learn about God throughout the rest of the Bible.
The God is Exodus 1-12 is the same God as in the rest of the O.T.


To see this we will need to examine the accounts quite carefully to take in things we might not have known previously, or certainly not noticed before, if we had negative feelings about the way God dealt with this man.


The end conclusion of God's activity with Egypt was a large number of dead bodies. The end conclusion of God's dealing with Pharaoh was the death of Pharaoh and of his army. Were such acts just? Were they acts of a God who described as ‘love' (1 Jn 4:8,16)? You can make your own judgment by the end of the two chapters.


For those who do not want to work through the detail of the story, you may prefer to jump to the end of the chapter – but you won't have the understanding that produces the conclusions. We will leave out some detail for clarity sake but will include the main facts that reveal what was happening.


For those who do want to work through these events, but who might not know the story, we need to lay out the history as it happened:


b) The Historical Context

Let's see what went before the story really gets under way:


Ex 1:1-7 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt. Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.

  • So Jacob and his twelve boys had gone to Egypt as a result of the famine and settled there.
  • Time passed and the original families grew – some suggest after four hundred years they exceeded a million and a half people, and the text seems to confirm that.
  • The large number may explain, partly at least, what followed.


Ex 1:8-11 Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt . "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country." So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.

  • The king of Egypt, or Pharaoh as he was called, who had originally welcomed Jacob and his family into the land, has passed on and a new king or Pharaoh reigns.
  • Feeling threatened by these foreigners in his land, he makes slaves of them.
  • Thus the years pass and life gets harder and harder for the Israelites.


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15.2 The Call of Moses


a) Preliminary overview of Moses' life so far


Now I am not going to say much about the call of Moses because this is not really his story. However, we should lay down some basic facts of this ‘Prince of Egypt': Facts about the Prince of Egypt


  • He was an Israelite who was taken as a baby into the court of the king of Egypt, and adopted by the king's daughter. (See Ex 2:1-10)
  • When he was forty, Moses killed an Egyptian who had been beating one of the Hebrew people – he was standing up for his people, but in the wrong way! (see Ex 2:11-14)
  • The news of this leaked out and Moses had to flee from Egypt. (see Ex 2:15)
  • For the next forty years Moses worked as a shepherd in the land of Midian (see Ex 2:22)
  • Meanwhile the previous king of Egypt died and a new king or Pharaoh is in place (see Ex 2:23) who clearly thinks in the same manner as his predecessor.
  • In the fullness of time, God decided it was time to act (Ex 2:23 -25)
  • We need to realise that Moses is a failure with very low self esteem:
    • he had been brought up as a Prince of Egypt,
    • he threw that away when he tried to help his biological people,
    • he has lived as a shepherd for 40 years with no hope of anything else happening to him,
    • he is now eighty years old!
  • Thus we start with an encounter between the Lord and Moses at the burning bush (Ex 3 & 4)


b) God's revelation of Himself to Moses

So much for the preliminaries about Moses. We need to then go on and examine Moses' early encounters with the Lord to see what is on God's heart. See what he says to Moses and what He reveals about His intentions towards Pharaoh. 
Check out Moses' earliest encounter with God


Ex 3:6 Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob."

  • God first of all reveals Himself as the One who has had dealings with the Patriarchs, so this would give content to Moses' knowledge of who it was speaking to him.


Ex 3:13,15 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.' " God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, `The LORD, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob -- has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

  • Although God has described Himself as the God of Abraham etc., Moses still wants a name to refer to when he goes to his people.
  • The name, “I AM” suggests 'the ever-present One', or 'the eternal One', a God who is utterly different from us. (LORD in capital letter in the Bible from now on means, “The I AM”.)
  • This designation is very important because through it, God reveals Himself as the eternal God and this makes Him very different from the ‘gods' of human imagination and manufacture found in Egypt.
  • But God also reiterates that He is the One who has had dealings in history with the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This gives Moses a great deal of context in order to identify and understand God.


c) God's Intention made clear


Ex 3:7-10 The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey--the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.

  • God's motivation for acting is His concern for the family (now a nation) with whom He had a relationship.
  • He declares His twofold intention:
    • to rescue them out of Egypt,
    • to give them a new land to live in, the land of Canaan.
  • His means of rescuing them is to send Moses.
  • Moses is not very excited about this and in the next two chapters are all the excuses he makes about why he shouldn't be the one to go.


Ex 3:16,17  "Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, `The LORD, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt . And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites--a land flowing with milk and honey.'

  • Moses is to go to the elders of the Israelites first and tell them who he has met, using both the eternal name and also refer to the God who has dealt with the Patriarchs.
  • He is thus both the eternal God who is outside of history, and the God who intervenes in history.


Ex 3:18-20   Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, `The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.' But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

  • Now comes the first instruction to go to the king and ask him to let the Israelites go into the desert to offer sacrifices to their God.
  • It is a simple request with no suggestion of completely leaving.
  • Yet God knows Pharaoh and knows he will not comply with this request until God has done something powerful in their midst to compel them.
  • This is the first sign that Moses is dealing with an intransigent ruler.
  • Pharaoh thinks he is all-powerful, and has yet to learn otherwise.


Ex 4:9   But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."

  • Moses is given two miraculous signs to perform with his shepherd's rod, but this will not be enough.
  • Moses will need to perform another miracle and he is to use water from the Nile – this would surely leave Pharaoh thinking seriously.


Ex 4:21-23 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. Then say to Pharaoh, `This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.'

  • Here we come to the mystery of the question of ‘hardening if heart'.
  • The subsequent text in the following chapters shows that sometimes it is God hardening Pharaoh's heart and sometimes Pharaoh hardening his own heart.
  • Hardening can simply be taken to mean ‘becoming more obstinate'.
  • The truth is that Pharaoh's heart – before God intervened – was clearly set. He was the king and what he wanted, happened!
  • God hardened his heart by challenging him and thus his obstinate heart becomes more obstinate – I will not give way! Just like a little child having a tantrum!


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15.3 Approaching Pharaoh: The Opening Gambits

These were all part of Moses' encounter with God at the burning bush in the desert. We now need to move on and see what happened when Moses first approached Pharaoh. How did it conform to what God had said?
Watch carefully to see how Pharaoh responded.


a) Initial Contact which Fails


Ex 5:1-3 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel , says: `Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.' "Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go." Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword."

  • This is the first time they come to Pharaoh.
  • There is no threat, just the demand for the people to go.
  • Note that it is a demand that comes from the “I Am,” Israel's God.
  • Now what we haven't noted before is that Egypt worshipped many ‘gods'
  • History tells us that they had multitudes of gods linked to the land, the sky, the seasons, almost anything. They were very superstitious.
  • Pharaoh's response was to reject this call and load the slaves with even harder work.
  • Pharaoh obviously considered Israel's God to just be another of the multitude of gods like his own nation had, who appeared powerless and were able to be appeased or manipulated by sacrifices. So far he sees no need to co-operate with this God.


Ex 5:22,23  Moses returned to the LORD and said, "O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.

  • Despite being told previously by the Lord what would happen, Moses acts in surprise. He clearly hasn't taken in what the Lord had said previously, or perhaps it had dulled with time.
  • He is upset at the response of Pharaoh.


b) The Divine Purpose Reiterated, will Prevail


Ex 6:1-5 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country." God also said to Moses, "I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan , where they lived as aliens. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

  • The Lord reiterates that He will have to deal severely with Pharaoh which will eventually mean Pharaoh driving them out of the country, not merely letting them go.
  • The Lord also reiterates who He is and reminds Moses (what he probably already knew) that He is acting because of an agreement He made with Abraham etc.


Ex 7:1-5 Then the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it."

  • The Lord is quite clear about His strategy.
  • He will speak to Moses, Moses to Aaron and Aaron to Pharaoh.
  • This approach will settle Pharaoh even more in his resolve not to let them go.
  • God will thus have to increase the pressure on Pharaoh more and more – and Egypt will know very clearly what is happening!


c) Initial Competition of Miracles


Ex 7:8-13 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "When Pharaoh says to you, `Perform a miracle,' then say to Aaron, `Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,' and it will become a snake." So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. Yet Pharaoh's heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

  • The contest has started to see who is the greatest.
  • Note that the Lord expects Pharaoh to demand a miracle and the Lord has already prepared Moses for this (see back in Ex 4:2-7).
  • What is interesting is the Pharaoh's sorcerers using the occult could do the same thing. This occultic power gives a strong indication of the spiritual darkness of this land.
  • The fact that Moses' snake ate up their snakes ought to have alerted Pharaoh that this was no second rate magician he was dealing with!
  • Pharaoh doesn't like his men being made to look foolish and hardens his heart even more against Moses and against the Lord.


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15.4 The Start of the Plagues

Very well, the game has started! Pharaoh has been asked and Pharaoh has refused to let Israel go. So far the consequences of opposing God have not been spelled out. That is about to change. 
Watch carefully how the 'plagues' increase


a) The First Plague – Blood


Ex 7:14-18   Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh's heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the water. Wait on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. Then say to him, `The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened. This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.' "

  • Now the Lord is moving into direct confrontation mode.
  • The Nile was incredibly important for transport and also for watering the lands for crops etc. and, it would seem, for bathing in.
  • The Nile also had its own ‘god' in their thinking. To attack the Nile was to attack the heart of Egypt.
  • This was a devastatingly simple miracle with great effects, which have major physical, social and spiritual consequences.
  • But it does NOT directly harm people or animals and it will be done directly infront of Pharaoh so he will know where it has come from!


Ex 7:22 -24 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh's heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said. Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.

  • Bizarrely the Egyptian magicians copy this miracle – presumably in other streams – reducing the amount of available water in the land even more!!!
  • Pharaoh retreats into his palace – an early example of denial perhaps! He is not going to be moved. Now this was quite a severe ‘plague' yet Pharaoh is not moved.


b) The Second Plague – Frogs


Ex 8:1-3 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, `This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The frogs will go up on you and your people and all your officials.' "

  • A second clear warning and a second outworking.
  • To save space we'll simply recount what happened:
  • The frogs came – and the magicians somehow managed to copy it – occult powers seriously at work! Again rather stupid for it only makes it worse.
  • Pharaoh says he will relent if Moses removes the frogs; he does, and Pharaoh goes back on his word and refuses to let them go.
  • Again note the nature of this plague. The blood was passive, but the frogs came up into people's homes and into the royal palace. It could not be escaped; it was a severe nuisance.
  • Yes again, it did not directly harm people or animals.


c) The Third Plague –Gnats


Ex 8:16 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, `Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,' and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats ."

  • So it happened and they settled on people and animals. This is a stage worse than the frogs which could be shut out. This time the magicians could not copy it.
  • Do we see the gradual increase in ‘nuisance value' of each of these first three plagues?
  • This time Moses did not appear to confront Pharaoh but just did it.
  • Pharaoh hardened himself against it though.


d) The Fourth Plague – Flies


Ex 8:20 -23 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the water and say to him, `This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground where they are. "But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen , where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the LORD, am in this land. I will make a distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will occur tomorrow.' "

  • And it happened! This may seem a continuation of the previous plague but it is a different insect AND it was only upon the Egyptians and NOT the Hebrews!
  • This steps up the intensity and effect of the plagues even more!
  • This time Pharaoh said they could worship God in the land, but once Moses prayed for the flies to go he   hardened his heart again and refused.
e) The Fifth Plague – Livestock


Ex 9:1-6 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, `This is what the LORD , the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, so that they may worship me." If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, the hand of the LORD will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field--on your horses and donkeys and camels and on your cattle and sheep and goats. But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt , so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.' "The LORD set a time and said, "Tomorrow the LORD will do this in the land." And the next day the LORD did it:

  • The pressure is now on! This time it is herds and flocks - definite financial loss!
  • Again there is the distinction between Egyptians and Hebrews
  • Surely Pharaoh can't be under any illusions now – he is in serious trouble!   


Ex 9:7 Pharaoh sent men to investigate and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.

  • Pharaoh's stupidity is now quite clear!


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15.5 Half-Way Reflections


Let's pause up and think about what has happened up to this half-way mark of the plagues. For ease of reading we'll deal with the rest in the next chapter. So what should be note here?

We need to pause and think about what has happened so far


There are Two Perspectives:

  • Pharaoh's – why is he persisting in this downward path?
  • God's – why is He doing this, why didn't He end it at the beginning?


i) Pharaoh

•  is a slave driver, an all-powerful tyrant, king over Egypt.

•  made Israel slaves because he was afraid of the power of their growing numbers.

•  surely he should have been glad to let Israel go – to get rid of them?

•  but he doesn't like anyone telling him what to do.

•  possibly he is in bondage to fear of the ‘gods' in his own land, but they seem powerless against The “I Am” who states His intention and then does it.

•  is described as having a hard heart that gets ever harder.


ii) God

•  is all-powerful and could have wiped Pharaoh out with a single word.

•  yet He allows Pharaoh to exercise his free will, again and again, until now it is costing all his subjects.

•  is a judge (Jas 4:12, 5:9) and so is perhaps holding Pharaoh to account for not wisely ruling his people and not leading them to be the people God intended them to be. Instead he has allowed them to be foolishly superstitious – but why him? Was it that he was any different to any of the Pharaoh's before him? Or was it more that in Moses, the Lord had an instrument to reveal the pure folly of these powerful kings?

•  almost graciously He has only gradually increased the intensity of the plagues, only gradually has he put pressure on them.

•  He has given Pharaoh every opportunity to comply and avoid worsening discipline.


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15.6 Some Temporary Conclusions


Before we conclude the chapter it might be helpful to consider some of these things in more detail and from a wider perspective. We will hold the rest of the plagues and what followed for the next chapter.
Now let's think more deeply


a) The State of Egypt before the Plagues

There are some specific characteristics that we should note about the state of Egypt - the people, the King and his advisors:
Egypt was in a bad state!


i) The superstitious beliefs

  • The presence of so many ‘gods' indicates a culture full of superstition.
  • Such gods are clearly mere superstition and so while people rely on such things, it is difficult or even impossible for them to rely upon God at the same time.
  • Such superstitious beliefs indicate a blindness to the truth, and a life lived in fear. This was the state of the nation - and it was not helped by having a vicious dictator ruling over them creating even more fear.


ii) The occult activity

  • That there were sorcerers or magicians who were, initially at least, able to imitate the supernatural works of God indicates a strong involvement with those ‘other powers'.
  • The use of occult powers also suggests people who wish to have power but not be answerable to God.
  • There is inherent in this activity a rebellion against the One True God, whether they knew of Him or not.


iii) The characteristics of the king

  • This king, as is often common, was fearful of being undermined and overthrown. This is seen in his responses to this growing alien nation within his borders, as he makes them, like his predecessor, slaves. Indeed he makes life harder and harder for them.
  • His has little respect for human life.
  • If we see such kings as stewards of their country which is ultimately ‘owned' by God, then we must also see them as answerable to the Lord – yet that seems to be the last thing he intends.
  • He also comes over as either a pathological liar or a man lacking any moral integrity because again and again he says he will let Israel go – but then changes his mind the moment the plague is lifted!


b) God's Activities


Now there are also some specific things we should note about the Lord.  There is no 'crisis management' about all this. He is working to a Plan.
God has a master-plan


i) God's foreknowledge & purposeful plan

  • Such foreknowledge is observable in what we might call His prophetic utterances to Abram (Gen 15:13,14) when He spoke of all this happening four hundred years before, declaring that He would ‘punish' the nation who ‘enslaved and mistreated' them.
  • This ability to know the future is seen from the outset of these circumstances when he warns Moses that “I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.” (Ex 3:19,20)
  • This is reiterated in more detail later: “The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt , see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. Then say to Pharaoh, `This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.” (Ex 4:21 -23)
  • This makes it very clear that God knew not only how Pharaoh would respond but also how He, the Lord, would deal with him right through to the end.


ii) God's Ultimate Intention

  • From that we've just seen we know that God intended to take it right up to the point of deaths throughout Egypt, but was death His intention?
  • There is a great deal of difference between wanting to kill people and using the death penalty as the ultimate and only eventual tool to bring about the release of Israel. We have seen in previous chapters that God was later to declare through Ezekiel, “I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD.” (Ezek 18:32)
  • His ultimate intention is something else and we had to wait until chapter 9 for it to be spelled out I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” This is about punishment and it is about power, but primarily it is about revealing God to Israel and the rest of the world.
  • So what, so far, does it show about God? He:
    • has chosen to look after Israel,
    • has chosen Pharaoh and Egypt to make them an example for the rest of the world to see,
    • has determined to release Israel while at the same time punishing Egypt BUT
    • allows Egypt and Pharaoh to determine the extent of the punishment – at any time they could release Israel and send them away – it is only their sin that brings on them all that occurred.

iii) Human responses and consequences

  • We saw in a previous chapter references to the way God sometimes brings His discipline to bear – by lifting off His hand of restraint from us and letting us get on with what the sinful nature in us wants to do – with all of the painful consequences that follow.
  • We bring on ourselves the fruits of our own folly by living contrary to God's design – in fact all human pain and suffering is that.
  • The bigger picture in the early books of the Bible is that God has designed us to work in specific ways and the way we live determines whether we feel self-worth and self-fulfilment OR stress, strain, pain, anguish, upset and unhappiness.
  • It is what the Bible calls our sinful nature that causes us to reject the former course of receiving the blessing and goodness of God, and opting for the later self-orientated path that brings all the other fruits.
  • We choose what we get, but God does not enjoy it when we bring suffering on ourselves, and we'll see more about that later in the book.

This should be sufficient to prepare us to move in to consider the final stages of this drama, that we'll see in the next chapter.



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