Prayer of the WeekPsalm 51: Miserere • 10 You will let me hear gladness and joy; the bones you have crushed will rejoice. • 11 Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my iniquities. • 12 A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit. • 13 Do not drive me from before your face, nor take from me your holy spirit. • 14 Restore to me the gladness of your salvation; uphold me with a willing spirit. • 15 I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.
Prayer of the WeekPsalm 51: 16-21 16 Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my tongue may praise your healing power. 17 Lord, open my lips; and my mouth shall declare your praise. 18 For you do not desire sacrifice; a burnt offering you would not accept. 19 My sacrifice, a contrite spirit; a humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn. 20 Show favor to Zion in your goodness; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 21 Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice, holocausts offered on your altar.
List the ten plagues / Pharaoh’s replies. • What can it mean that God “hardens the heart” of Pharaoh?
The Ten Plagues (1-5) List the ten plagues / Pharaoh’s replies. • Plague of Blood (Ex. 7:14–25) • Pharaoh: No concern, his magicians do the same “trick” • Plague of Frogs (Ex. 7:25–8:11) • Pharaoh: Will allow departure but reneges; his magicians can do it • Plague of Lice/Gnats (Ex. 8:12–15) • Pharaoh: Would not listen, though his magicians see “finger of God” in it • Plague of Flies (Ex. 8:20–32) • Pharaoh: Tells them to go sacrifice in the land; then allows it in wilderness; then reneges • Plague of Livestock Death(Pestilence) (Ex. 9:1–7) • Pharaoh: Refuses, even though Israelite livestock are fine
The Ten Plagues (6-10) List the ten plagues / Pharaoh’s replies. • Plague of Boils (Ex. 9:8–12) • Pharaoh: Would not listen; even though magicians take a sick day due to boils! • Plague of Hail (Ex. 9:13–35) • Pharaoh: Some people listen, some don’t; Goshen spared the hail; “I have sinned” says Pharaoh, but then he reneges when hail stops • Plague of Locusts (Ex. 10:1–20) • Pharaoh: Pharaoh’s servants getting fed up; Pharaoh will allow Hebrews to go, but then asks - who will go? Will not allow kids; just men; so then he refuses; Again says “I have sinned,” but again reneges • Plague of Darkness (Ex. 10:21–29) • Pharaoh: Take the kids, not the animals; so refuses; doesn’t want to see Moses’ face again. • Death of the Firstborn (Ex. 11:1–12:36) (wikipedia) • Pharaoh: 12:31-32: Says take it all, and bless me (but then changes his mind and chases them)
“Hardens his heart”: Meaning? What can it mean that God “hardens the heart” of Pharaoh? (list some possible responses): • “It’s not you it’s me” sense: That is the effect God has on Him, regardless of God willing it or not; like when you say “you make me sick”; • Power sense: Nothing is out of God’s control or happens against His will; • Lesson sense: God must do this to fully manifest His power in convincing way: “to show you my power and make my name resound throughout the earth” (9:15); • Justice sense: God will manifest His justice, against Pharaoh’s attacks and injustice to Israel; • Ultimate sense: God’s plan is God’s, not necessarily ours, and we are not in the position to judge. Note: “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts”
Commentary (Clarke) • 1. To the observations at the conclusion of the preceding chapter, we may add that at first view it seems exceedingly strange that, after all the proofs Pharaoh had of the power of God, he should have acted in the manner related in this and the preceding chapters, alternately sinning and repenting; but it is really a common case, and multitudes who condemn the conduct of this miserable Egyptian king, act in a similar manner. They relent when smarting under God's judgments, but harden their hearts when these judgments are removed.