H – Highlight
Exodus 11:10 – Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.
E – Explain
As we see thee encounters between Moses and Pharaoh, we repeatedly see that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. We have to conclude from this that Moses, who wrote this text under the inspiration of the Lord, intended that we understand that the entire situation is under the sovereign will of God. The Lord acted to put Pharaoh in the place he ended up.
Because I have also worked on this text before, I believe that we can say both that the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart even as Pharaoh hardened his own heart. As I have taught this text, God acted in his sovereignty to have Pharaoh behave in concert with exactly who Pharaoh was. The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart did not make Pharaoh evil where he otherwise would have been good. Instead, the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart made Pharaoh the most like his natural sinful self that Pharaoh could be.
A – Apply
The point for me to apply today is to remember the sovereign hand of God. Nobody acts to thwart the sovereign will of God. Even evil dictators are within the bounds of the Lord’s ultimate will. And, yes, sometimes those evil men will do evil things in accord with their evil nature. And when they do this evil, the Lord will use his mighty power to bring glory to his name even through the evil men living in accord with their hardened hearts.
R – Respond
Lord, I pray that you will help me to remember that you are sovereignly working your will in all of humanity. We are not able to thwart you. We never threaten your rule. I pray that you will help me remember that you work your will, even when you are setting up evil men for a fall as you allow them to live as they most desire. I pray that you preserve us from evil leaders. I pray that you will show your glory through moving evil men toward faith in Christ. But I also pray that you help me rest in you when your will is other than what would make my steps most peaceful.