For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. (Exodus 9:15-16 ESV)
The intensity and devastating impacts of the plagues continues to increase in the three plagues recorded in chapter 9.
Cattle and people are now directly affected in the first two plagues. It’s no longer about severe inconvenience and a blight unmatched by Egyptian magicians. Now it’s a case of serious damage not easily recovered from afflicting the land.
There’s an interesting phrase mentioned about the heart of Pharaoh being hardened. It should be made abundantly clear that Pharaoh was not acting against his own will. It was not as though he helplessly reverted to a hard heart after every plague. Circumstances take place in life that reveals our true nature. It so happens that doing so often helps in establishing just how awesome God is.
When, as was the case with Pharaoh, everything is in place to give you the impression you are a god amongst men, it would not do to bow down to any other that claims authority. Pharaoh was resolved despite the devastation to maintain his position. As the severity increased he was only doing what was necessary for a reprieve, but his heart refused to bow.
Hearts refuse to bow now. Hardened hearts of people around the world from various backgrounds will acknowledge a greater power in its acts and works, but can never afford to yield to such authority because of their vaunted self-opinion. Such is the desire to be in charge. Such is the compulsive need to be in control. Such is the state of the hardened heart.
Thank God, though, for a greater purpose in this event. Thank God for the bigger picture. Thank God for the result of these actions which is to display His all-powerful nature above all other pretenders to the claim. Thank God for the will to liberate people from the ungodly chains of oppression from such pretenders. Thank God for acts of His power now, not to give us a superiority complex, but to remain ever humbled by His character that pursues what’s just, right and fair.
Thank God for His set up on purpose.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden