Exodus 7

Exodus 7 has God setting out the game plan with Moses and Aaron:

–       “I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet

–       You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land

–       I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt

–       Pharaoh will not listen to you

–       Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment

It’s quite a plan.  God talks to Moses who has Aaron speak the words to Pharaoh.  He hears the words, asks for signs and wonders which are provided, but Pharaoh will not listen.  And God will turn up the heat and make it even more uncomfortable for him and the people there.  The plan seems clear.  “Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them”.  They go to Pharaoh and make the demands.  Pharaoh summons his magicians and they match the sign that Aaron performed – turning his staff to a serpent.

But then it goes further.  “Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs”.  They might have been able to make things look the same, but when their signs are put up against God’s, it isn’t par at all.  The first of the plagues is assigned.  “With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood”.  That is pretty serious stuff.  Making the water undrinkable would cause everyone to change how they live.  But as Pharaoh says no to the demand made, Aaron hits the water in the Nile and it turns to blood.

Of course Pharaoh wants to match the sign again.  “The magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts”.   They didn’t really do the same, but the appearance was there so Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened.  Pharaoh refuses to listen to Aaron and Moses exactly like God had said.  His heart was hardened.  He is not drinking the koolaid so to speak.  But God doesn’t let it stop.  “Seven full days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile”.  It wasn’t a short show of a sign.  It was a long term picture of God’s resolve to set His people free.

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