Summary: This is the 9th sermon in the series "Moving With God".
Sunday Morning February 22, 2009 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: “Moving With God (Exodus)” [#9]
Proverbs 29:1 (MSG)
“For people who hate discipline and only get more stubborn, There’ll come a day when life tumbles in and they break, but by then it’ll be too late to help them.”
You can’t help someone who won’t help themselves. I want us to see the characteristics of a hardened heart and the consequences of that.
You might have a hard heart if when God tries to correct you, you…
1. Blatantly disobey God.
Pharaoh’s response to letting God’s people go was to make it worse on them. He did the opposite of what God said to do. Moses took this response to God and God told Moses that He would deal with Pharaoh. Moses was sent back to Pharaoh and this time he performed the miracle of the staff to a serpent, but Pharaoh ignored that also when the magicians were able to do the same thing.
Exodus 7:14 (NIV)
“Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go.”
Pharaoh had refused to let them go so the plagues began. The water in the Nile turned to blood and the fish died. The people’s water supply was gone, their food supply was hurt, the place stunk; and what did Pharaoh do?
The more God punished, the harder Pharaoh’s heart became. Is it the same with you? The more God tries to correct you, the more stubborn you become?
You might have a hard heart if when God tries to correct you, you become…
The second plague that God brought was the Plague of the Frogs. Aaron stretched forth his hand over the water of Egypt and frogs came up out of the waters and covered the land. This is especially significant because the frog was considered sacred in Egypt and could not be killed. The magicians were again summoned and asked to perform the same miraculous act, and they did; but this wasn’t helpful, because they needed less frogs not more.
Pharaoh was only willing to change when there were no other options; but when the problem was gone he had no need to obey God. Because of the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart the people had to endure yet another plague, the plague of the gnats. The magicians could not reproduce this plague.
Exodus 8:19 (NIV)
“The magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the LORD had said.”
Even the magicians of the land recognized the power of God yet Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened. Are you a “fair weathered” Christian?
The 4th plague, The Plague of the Flies brought great swarms of flies and other insects over the land. This plague brought on the 3rd response of a hardened heart.
You might have a hard heart if when God tries to correct you, you try to…
3. Bargain with God.
Pharaoh offers 4 different bargains to God. The proposals that Pharaoh offered to God are the same that Satan offers to Christians today.
Exodus 8:25 (NIV)
“Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land."
> Bargain #1: Conform. You can go, but do it my way.
Exodus 8:28 (NIV)
“Pharaoh said, "I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the desert, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me."
> Bargain #2: Don’t fully commit yourself. Leave your options open, live with your eyes on Egypt. 3 more plagues are necessary to convince Pharaoh of his error. The Plague upon the livestock wiped out almost all the livestock of the Egyptians which one a primary means of economy. Talk about a huge national economic disaster. The 6th plague, The Plague of the Boils, paralyzed this nation from being able to function; but Pharaoh still refused. Next was The Plague of the Storms. This plague of hail and lightning destroyed the land and property of the Egyptians. The Plague of the Locust, devoured everything that had been left in the fields after the destruction of the hail. These locust came in such great numbers that they fill the houses of both Pharaoh and his servants. The patience of the people seems to be at an end. They question the wisdom of the Pharaoh’s response to Moses and Aaron. The Pharaoh was not willing to appear unmoved by the plight of the people, but in an attempt to maintain his pride, offers to Moses yet another compromise.
Exodus 10:11 (NIV)
“No! Have only the men go; and worship the LORD, since that’s what you have been asking for." Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.”