I would love to distance myself from Pharaoh and confidently aver, “I would never be like that.”
Hhhhmmmm. Don’t believe it.
Only when all the fly swatters in the world couldn’t keep the buzzing swarms off him does Pharoah decide to go a little way in God’s direction: “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.”
That’s not what God had demanded through Moses.
After spitting out a couple of flies that had wormed their way into his mouth, Pharoah gives in a little further. “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away.” Read—you may not go a full three days’ journey away.
Again, that falls short of what God had demanded through Moses. But it is getting closer. Maybe there’s hope for a true change of heart.
As soon as the corpses of a million flies are cleaned out of his throne room, Pharoah forgets the whole hardship and reverts to his stubborn disobedience: “But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.”
When life gets out of control, I’m motivated to move in God’s direction, although rarely to the extent he invites me to depend on Him. Then, when the pressure is off, I tend to revert to business as usual. There is more of Pharaoh in me than I would like.
Tiberius said that it was easier to get Israel out of Egypt than to get Egypt out of the Israelites. Too true. God, please soften our hearts!
One last observation. God repeatedly gives the reason for the plagues: “...that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth” (8:22). Don’t forget this. It is the bottom-line reason for all of God’s miraculous activity in all of the stories of the Bible.
Jesus is Lord. Yesterday. Today. Forever. Let’s choose to follow him with all of our hearts.