Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.” So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, … “‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? … For if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country.’”
If God Himself has bolted the door of Pharaoh’s heart shut as He implies in verses 1-2, why does He say to Pharaoh in the very next lines: “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?” Further, if we’ve just witnessed God rescue some of Pharaoh’s God-fearing servants in the previous chapter, why does He say here that He’s hardened the hearts of Pharaoh’s servants as well? Finally, why does God want Moses’ posterity to remember His harshnesstoward Egyptians rather than His mercy toward His people? Because the cup is still fermenting. Because we haven’t even reached the Passover celebration yet, which itself is only a precursor to the coming evangelion that Christ will bring through His atoning blood. So Heaven’s wine might seem sour here in Exodus 10, but, in time, it’ll be the sweetest of all!
Remember to interpret Scripture with Scripture, friend. We always need the entire context of God’s Self-revelation, a revelation He gave little by little over thousands of years, in order to solve the puzzles of Providence we find along the way. To that end, here are a few overarching thoughts for reflection that will hopefully encourage you today: First, while God’s justice is severe, it isn’t malicious, and He never gloats in the torment of the wicked. Second, while God’s justice is permanent, it’s always patient, and He gives sinners chance after chance to repent. And third, while God’s justice is wrathful, it’s righteous, and He always does the right thing at the right time in the right way.
And there’s nothing sour in that, is there?