Exodus 9
Sermon Bible
Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Exodus 9:13-19

The message illustrates:

I. The longsuffering of God towards sinners. Pharaoh had been insolent and blasphemous, cruel and vindictive, pitiless and false. Yet God had spared him. So longsuffering was He, that He even now addressed to him fresh warnings and gave Him fresh signs of His power, thus by His goodness leading men to repentance.

II. The power of God to break the will even of the most determined sinner. First He sends slight afflictions, then more serious ones; finally, if the stubborn will still refuses to bend, He visits the offender with "all His plagues."

III. The fact that all resistance of God's will by sinners tends to increase, and is designed to increase, His glory. "The fierceness of man turns to God's praise." Men see God's hand in the overthrow of His enemies, and His glory is thereby increased. The message sent by God to Pharaoh adds that the result was designed (see ver. 16, and cf. Exodus 14:17-18; Exodus 15:14-16; Joshua 2:9-11).

G. Rawlinson, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. v., p. 223.

References: Exodus 9:16.—R. Heber, Sermons Preached in England, p. 146. Exodus 9:27.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iii., No. 113. Exodus 9:34, Exodus 9:35.—W. Denton, The Sunday Magazine, 1875, p. 97.

Exodus 9:35This part of the Book of Exodus is, in figure and shadow, the history of God's dealings with us all. Pharaoh is the type of the prince of this world, the devil, and of the wicked world itself. As he kept the children of Israel in slavery, so does the evil spirit keep all God's people, so long as they are in their natural lost condition.

"The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart" is a very remarkable and startling expression, and it is repeated in this history no fewer than ten times. It is startling, for it seems at first sight as if it ascribed the sin of that wicked man to Almighty God. But a little thought will show that it is very far from meaning this.

I. In other places the hardening is attributed to Pharaoh himself. God gives bad men a mysterious power, to change their hearts and minds continually for the worse, by their own wicked ways; so that in the end they cannot believe or repent.

It is their own doing, because they bring it on themselves by their sin, and it is God's doing because it is the just punishment which His law has made the effect of their sin.

II. God knew beforehand that the heart of Pharaoh was such that not even miracles would overcome his obstinacy, and knowing this, He determined to deal with him in a manner which ought to have softened and amended him, but which, according to his perverse way of taking it, only hardened him more and more.

III. The taking off of God's hand, after each successive plague, had the effect of hardening Pharaoh's heart more completely. He repents of his own repentance, and wishes he had not given way so far to God's messengers.

IV. Pharaoh, like other wicked kings, had no want of evil subjects to encourage him. He had magicians who counterfeited God's miracles, and servants who, on every occasion, were ready to harden their hearts with him.

Such is Pharaoh's case; beginning in heathenish ignorance, but forced by warning after warning to become aware of the truth. Every warning was a chance given him to soften his heart, but he went on hardening it, and so perished.

Plain Sermons by Contributors to the "Tracts for the Times," vol. vi., p. 49.

References: Exodus 10:3.—G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines of Sermons, p. 280; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. viii., p. 143. Exodus 10:8, Exodus 10:24.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxi., No. 1830.

For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still,
Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.
And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel.
And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land.
And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.
And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.
And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.
For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?
Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.
Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.
He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:
And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.
And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.
And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.
And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD'S.
But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.
And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled.
But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up.
And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.
And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.
William Robertson Nicoll's Sermon Bible

Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

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