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Pharaoh's Plagued HeartWith every blow that God lands, Pharaoh comes apart piece by royal piece.
With the success of every plague that God had unleashed upon him and his kingdom, a piece that added to Pharaoh and his image, a part of who he was, when it came to the eyes of the Egyptians would be forever tarnished, or taken away. For every blow that the Lord had wrought against the Egyptian ruler, the more his legacy would be threaten.(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Exodus 9:13,14)
In the last article we discovered that the Lord had released His latest plague against the Egyptian kingdom. This particular plague dealt with both man and beast being inflicted with boils, which in return, brought about sores upon their bodies.
And because of this physical condition the Egyptian magicians weren't able to serve in their temples, or stand before the people, and much to their shame, they couldn't stand before Moses either.
Understand that with the Egyptian magicians holding the position of "high priests" they had to be seen as being spotless (clean) and without sickness.
And although God's latest plague would affect all of the Egyptians...
the Sacred Record sends a clear message by putting a strong emphasis on how the magicians were affected, and how they'd reacted:
"Then they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses scattered them toward heaven. And they caused boils that break out in sores on man and beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians." - Exodus 9:10,11
Now in my personal opinion, this was a major turning point when it came to the "judgment process" and the Egyptian people in general. The reason why I'm making a statement of such, deals with the fact that up to this point, there was no record of the Egyptians questioning Pharaoh's stance against Moses and the God of Israel.
Bible Study OnlineDivided Amongst Themselves?
But now, it would seem, that we begin to find a division taking place amongst them - for we now find some who were beginning to see just how foolish it was for Pharaoh to keep going against the God of Israel: "He who feared the word of the Lord among the servants [Egyptians] of Pharaoh made his servants and his livestock flee to the houses." - Exodus 9:20
And although this passage is found from within the record of the upcoming plague that we are about to cover, know that it's still a ways off from where we are currently at. But I'm bringing it up now, because I believe that it confirms the turning point that I'm referring to when it comes to the Egyptians and how they felt about the overall "judgment process."
Bible Study OnlineThe Turning Point?
Now in order to somewhat understand this "turning point" that I'm mentioning - one should first take a look at what the Egyptian magicians had represented. For we must not make the mistake of thinking that they were just high priests who'd consulted Pharaoh when it came to spiritual matters.
We must consider the fact that they'd represented much more than that, when it came to the Egyptian kingdom as a whole. For if we were to look to the example (Imhotep) that the magicians had followed, one could easily conclude that they served as: philosophers, educators, authors, architects, physicians, politicians, entertainers, and scientists.
Bible Study OnlineVery Influential?
Notice the highly influential fields of trade that they represented? And like I stated earlier, these men had strived to be just like the famous Imhotep who had served the Egyptian empire long before them. Remember what world renowned historian and archaeologist James H. Breasted had to say when it came to the man:
"In priestly wisdom, in magic, in the formulation of wise proverbs; in medicine and architecture; this remarkable figure of Zoser's reign left so notable a reputation that his name is not forgotten to this day. [Imhotep] was the patron spirit of the later scribes, to whom they regularly poured out a libation from the water-jug of their writing outfit before beginning their work."
Bible Study OnlineOut Of Their League?
It shouldn't be too hard to see how the Egyptians would hold these men in such high regards, judging by how influential the positions they held were. Know that when these men spoke, they were seen as being credible and trustworthy. This is why they would have the ear of Pharaoh himself. I mean after all, look at what these men were accomplishing when it came to their lives, one would think that they had to know what they were talking about - right?
So you could imagine the disappointment and anger when the Egyptians had finally realized that these Egyptian magicians were in, what's the best way to state it? In over their heads when it came to the Most High God. And make no mistake, this was part of God's intention when it came to these "judgment plagues" in the first place:
"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, "Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: 'Let My people go, that they may serve Me, for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.'"'" - Exodus 9:13,14
Bible Study OnlineA Plagued Heart?
Now I want to take this moment to point out something from within this passage. Notice how the Lord tells Moses "...for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart." Often times this statement is completely ignored, and then there are times when this statement is taken to mean that God was referring to some type of "inward spiritual judgment" that would take place against Pharaoh. But personally I don't hold a viewpoint of such. Notice what God had just said "...for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart?"
Therefore when one looks at this statement, one would think that the focus should be on what was in the center of Pharaoh's heart. And for the life of me, I don't think it was his spirituality. Sure, before these "judgment plagues" had hit his kingdom, he could be found to be on the Nile River every morning praying to one of the many deities that he'd decided to pay homage to at that time.
Bible Study OnlinePiece By Royal Piece?
But know that this outward display of worship was just a small part of his overall image, for he led the people to believe that since he was Pharaoh, he was the only one that the Egyptian deities would listen to. Understand, Pharaoh wasn't in love with his spirituality, he was in love with the legacy he was building (on the backs of the Israelites) for himself.
You see, up to this point, everything that God had struck with His "judgment plagues" went against the core of what Pharaoh believed, had made his kingdom great. With the success of every plague that God had unleashed upon him and his kingdom, a piece that added to Pharaoh and his image, a part of who he was, when it came to the eyes of the Egyptians would be forever tarnished, or taken away. For every blow that the Lord had wrought against the Egyptian ruler, the more his legacy would be threaten.
Bible Study OnlinePharaoh's Legacy At Risk?
Personally, this is what I believe Pharaoh had feared the most, and this is why he simply couldn't bring himself to let the Israelites go. For if he did, then who would he have had, to finish building his kingdom that he had envisioned for himself? After all, this was their "New Kingdom" a new era of glory when it came to the Egyptian kingdom - now Pharaoh finds that all of that is in jeopardy. And even worse, the people who adored him - knows it as well.
In the next Bible Study Online Article:
In the next article we will continue forward, by taking a closer look at what God had to say next: "Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go." - Exodus 9:15-17
May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your ongoing support
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