Life of Moses: Pharaoh and God’s Plagues

Peter Barnes: Exodus 8-10

(27 January 2019)


Exodus 8-10 deal with the second to the ninth plagues, from the plague of frogs to the plague of thick darkness. Note Revelation 9 & 16.
1. God’s sovereignty goes with human responsibility.

– Pharaoh’s heart was hardened (8:19; see 7:13, 22; 9:7, 35); second, Pharaoh hardened his heart (8:15; see 8:32); third, and most mysteriously, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (9:12; see 10:20, 27).

– God is sovereign over sin and its consequences – Isa.45:7; Lam.3:38; Amos 3:6. Romans 8:28 says God is sovereign over all things, not just good things. Yet our sin is our fault – Ezek.3:7. See Luke 22:22.
2. Pharaoh’s false repentance.
(a) As soon as the circumstances were alleviated somewhat, he goes back to his old ways – 8:7 (this is the third and last time they can do such a thing; note 7:11-12, 22). Read 8:8-15.
(b) He tries to negotiate with God – 8:25; 10:10-11.
(c) He refuses to face facts – 9:6-7. He sees but he doesn’t see – 8:19. Jesus uses the same language – Luke 11:20.
(d) Pharaoh is only concerned with his circumstances, not his heart – 9:27-28; 10:16-17.
(e) He loses his temper and resorts to threatening Moses – 10:28.
To speak to Pharaoh, a supplicant had to crawl along the ground and refer to him as ‘this perfect god’. Calvin calls him ‘a winding serpent’.

3. God’s care for His people in trying times.

– God is gracious to His covenant people – 8:22 – see Gen.45:10; Ex.9:4, 26.

– 9:20-21; even to Gentile believers in God’s word.