The Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart - Exodus 7

The Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart

Exodus 7:1-25

Pharaoh suffered greatly from the hardening of the heart, a malady experienced by many people today.  The Lord said to Moses, "I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.  But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments."  Exodus 7:3.  Yes, the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart.  See Exodus 9:12; 10:27; 14:4, 8; Romans 9:16-18. 

It's also true that Pharaoh hardened his own heart.  See Exodus 8:15, 32; 9:34.  Some verses simply say that his heart became hard without assigning the cause to the Lord or him.  See Exodus 7:13, 22; 8:19; 9:7, 35.

God hardened his heart, and he hardened his heart.

Pharaoh's heart became hard whenever he heard the word of the Lord from Moses and Aaron.  This was the result of his stubborn response and willful reaction.  He was determined not to let the children of Israel go.

The Lord brought great judgments upon Egypt in the form of 10 plagues.  The waters of the Nile became blood.  The land was invaded by frogs, gnats, flies, and locusts.  All of the livestock of Egypt died from a severe pestilence.  Boils broke out in sores on man and beast.  A blanket of darkness covered the land, a darkness that could be felt.  The last plague encountered was the death of all the firstborn throughout Egypt.

Pharaoh's heart was hardened throughout all of these plagues.  Even after the children of Israel were finally  permitted to leave the land, his heart was still hard.  He pursued the children of Israel with all of his chariots, horsemen, and army. 

God is sovereign, and always in control.  He said to Moses, "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."  Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15.  However, the Lord is not arbitrary in His dealings with us.  It's also true that Pharaoh was responsible for his own actions.

Today many people don't want to hear about God.  If you mention the name of Jesus, even more people experience a hardening of the heart.  So be it!

One final word: "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily while it is called 'Today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."  Hebrews 3:12, 13.


Lord, we realize that we are all responsible for whatever we do.  Thank you for Your grace and compassion.  Give us courage as we share the good news of Your Son.  In His name.  Amen!


Christ, Our Passover - Exodus 12


All About God

Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982
by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by Permission.
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