Pharaoh and the Egyptians

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Pastor Larry, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Some have tried to argue that Exodus 4:21 (practically) should be placed after the fifth plague, when Pharaoh ceases to harden his own heart and God hardens it for him. While I think there are numerous problems with that, in my studying for our evening Pie and Praise service, I came across the following verse that presents problems, it seems, for those of the opposite (of mine) persuasion.

    Consider Psalm 105:25, in the context of Israel in Egypt. The Psalmist informs us that "He (God) turned their hearts (the Egyptians) to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants." It certainly appears, from a plain reading of the text, that God is the one who turned the Egyptians against the Israelites to accomplish deliverance from Egypt. But for many, this would seem to contradict their theology of "free will." Surely God would not lead the Egyptians to do something against their free will would he? Surely the phrase "God turned their hearts" cannot be construed as "they turned their hearts and then later God turned them too"? Surely God would not act in such a way would he? Or would he??

    I believe he would. I believe it is demonstrated in many places in Scripture that the God of Scripture does indeed accomplish his will as he pleases by acting (not reacting) to accomplish his will. This text argues that God was behind the hatred of the Egyptians to accomplish the deliverance of his people so that at the end "Egypt was glad when they departed" (v. 38).

    To paraphrase Helen, the more I read of Scripture, the more solid the base for "calvinism" grows.
     
  2. Daniel David

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    Pastor Larry, how would you describe the Egyptian army that pursued the Israelites to the Red Sea? Were they legitimate "seekers" that wanted to be saved and associated with God's people that God killed before they could cross the river?
     
  3. Daniel David

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    Come to think of it Pastor Larry, it must have been an incredible sight. Here are all these people who wanted to forsake Egypt and be saved. God was waiting until they got about 100 ft. or so before he buried them in water. That is exactly what he does with the seeking non-elect, right?
     
  4. Monergist

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    Pastor Larry,

    This is a great post [​IMG] . Sometimes, in studying scripture, I can begin to see something of God's glorious plan and how He brings it about. And when I do, even with my very limited understanding, it's awesome. What a great God we serve!

    What you've mentioned is one of those places. Consider what God told Abraham: Genesis 15:13-14 (ESV)
    Then the Lord said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. [14] But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

    Abraham lied to Pharoah about his wife Sarah, but made off with many possesions of the Egyptians. Did this symbolize something that was to come? God spoke of a greater plundering of Egypt, which He brought to pass; Did that too symbolize something that was to come?

    I believe that it did, for God said "Out of Egypt I have called my son." There are truths here that I'm unworthy and unqualified to speak of, but I can't help but rejoice at the thought of our Lord plundering "Egypt" and bringing many out of the domain of darkness into the light of life.
     
  5. Helen

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    To paraphrase Helen, the more I read of Scripture, the more solid the base for "calvinism" grows.

    Just for the recond, that is not so much a paraphrase as a total contradiction of my own meaning... [​IMG]
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    I know [​IMG]
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    Interesting how those who swear up and down that God doesn't do things like this have not, so far, offered an explanation for it.
     
  8. ScottEmerson

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    Here's an analogy for you, Larry.

    The sun is very hot. Sun hardens clay. It softens wax.

    God hardens the heart of those who are clay.

    This is the Jewish explanation for what happened in Exodus and is found in several midrashes and Jewish commentaries. God did not come in and force Pharaoh's heart to be hardened. God did the acts of the plagues (knowing what kind of heart Pharaoh had), but Pharaoh himself was responsible for hardening his heart.

    How is that for an explanation?
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    Weak ... it doesn't deal with the text, either of Exo or Psalms.
     
  10. npetreley

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    I tend to agree with Pastor Larry's views most of the time, but I think this might be a very good explanation. It is possible that Phraoah's heart was made of the kind of stuff that hardens when exposed to the same things that soften the hearts of others. He could have been a "bad egg" right from the start. So did God allow this cruel fellow to come to power, or did He direct it?

    "For this very 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."

    So whether by design or by foreknowledge (no one can say except God), God deliberately raised up this "bad egg" to rule over Egypt and persecute His people so that He could increase His glory, lay down the foundation for the coming Messiah, and prepare His people to take the promised land.

    If the Bible read this way, instead...

    Moses came to Pharoah and said, "Let my people go!" Pharoah thought it over and replied, "Sure. Go home. Whatever. We'll get some new slaves somewhere else. See ya." So they took their stuff, went to Israel, built some houses and lived happily ever after.

    Then there would have been no parting of the red sea, no tabernacle, no water from the rock, no lifting up of the snake, fewer people would have heard of Cecil B. DeMille and Charlton Heston, and I probably wouldn't be cooking a leg of lamb for easter.

    [ November 28, 2002, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: npetreley ]
     
  11. ScottEmerson

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    I believe we may be in agreement. God did allow Pharaoh to come to power. His plans for the Hebrews came to pass because of His sovereignty. And we would both agree (let us hope) that Pharoah did what he did out of his own depraved free will...
     
  12. Chrift

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    When people persistently harden themselves against God, He finally says "OK fine have it your way!" and as judgement against their sin, hardens their heart. I can only find 4 statements on Pharaoh's hardened heart:

    1.God's prophetic statements telling the outcome.
    2.That Pharaoh's heart was hard.
    3.Pharaoh hardens his heart.
    4.God finally steps in and hardens it out of judgement.

    Pharaoh did it to himself. He continued it while witnessing 5 demonstrations of God's might and as a result was locked into his sin.
     
  13. KenH

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    I found many more than just 4.

    Exodus 4:21
    21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

    Exodus 7:3
    3 “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.

    Exodus 9:12
    12 And the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.

    Exodus 10:1
    1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them,

    Exodus 10:20
    20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go.

    Exodus 10:27
    27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go.

    Exodus 11:10
    10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land.

    Exodus 14:4
    4 “Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

    Exodus 14:8
    8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he chased after the sons of Israel as the sons of Israel were going out boldly.

    I hope this helps. [​IMG]

    Ken
     
  14. Helen

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    I think the point is that God allowed Pharaoh to harden his own heart first.
     
  15. Chrift

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    Ken, forgive me if I was unclear. I didn't intend to sound as if there were only 4 mentions of heart hardening, but 4 categories so to speak.

    Sorry for the miscommunication

    :(

    Yes Helen, that was my point :D
     
  16. KenH

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    It's not what any of us(including me [​IMG] ) think, but what does the Bible teach.

    Is there a verse I have overlooked that states that "The Lord hardened Pharoah's heart after the Lord first allowed Pharoah to harden his own heart"?

    The first mention I can find of the hardening of Pharoah's heart is -

    Exodus 4:21(NASB)
    21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

    I hope this helps. [​IMG]

    Ken
     
  17. Chrift

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  18. KenH

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    The difficulty you are up against is how to change I will harden Pharoah's heart into I know that Pharoah will harden his heart.

    I hope this helps. [​IMG]

    Ken

    [ November 29, 2002, 12:23 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  19. ScottEmerson

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    Again, I refer you back to the analogy of the sun, Ken. In this manner, God did indeed harden Pharoah's heart, but it was his own heart of clay that was hardened. God didn't do anything against Pharoah's nature, and there are just as many instances of Pharoah hardening his own heart as there are God hardening his heart. You haven't dealt at all with the first instance.
     
  20. KenH

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    Amen. I totally agree, Scott. [​IMG]

    Ken
     

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