16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you.
17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the Lord your God, that he may take away from me this death only.
18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord.
19 And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.
20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.
K.J.V. Bible Text
In the few verses I used for today’s reading, we see that Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron “in haste.” He asks forgiveness and begs them to ask the Lord to take away the plague of the locusts.
Just as in the case of every plague the Lord has previously brought upon Egypt, as soon as Pharaoh begged Moses to entreat the Lord to end the plague, it was stopped. To rid the land of Egypt of the locusts, the Lord caused a strong west wind to blow the Locusts into the Red sea.
But the Lord once more hardened Pharaoh’s heart and again he would not let the children of Israel go.
Pharaoh, we know, softens out of fear every time a plague comes upon Egypt; but as soon as the plague lets up, the Lord hardens his heart and he refuses once more to let the people go. At this point I am considering whether or not the Lord would have “hardened” the heart of Pharaoh if Pharaoh had not merely made promises out of fear but truly realized the power of the Lord and that that power was far greater than that of a Pharaoh. Perhaps that is what is meant earlier (in a previous reading) about Pharaoh refusing to humble himself. If Pharaoh had been willing to admit that the power of the Lord was greater than his own power, he may have spared his people; and of course, in that case, he would surely have followed the will of the all-powerful Lord and let the Israelites walk freely out of Egypt.
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