Summary of passage: Moses again repeats how he is incapable of the task God has given him to speak to Pharaoh and demand that he let the Israelites go. God tells Moses that He will make him like god to Pharaoh and Aaron will be Moses’ prophet. They are to repeat everything God tells them to Pharaoh but Pharaoh won’t let them go. So God will lay mighty acts of judgment on the Egyptians and He will bring out His people. Moses did just as the Lord commanded them. Moses was 80 and Aaron was 83 years old.
God told Aaron to throw down his staff and it would become a snake when Pharaoh asks for a miracle. Aaron did so but so did the Egyptian magicians. Despite Aaron’s snake swallowing up the magicians’ snakes, Pharaoh still refused to listen.
3a) First thought, because Moses is an idiot. Real answer I’ll say in class: Moses says Pharaoh won’t listen to him because he speaks with faltering lips.
b) First thought: God should have slapped Moses silly and then hit him over the head with a 2 x 4. Real answer I’ll say in class: God told Moses He would make Moses like God to Pharaoh and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Despite our doubt and unbelief, God in His infinite patience, will answer our prayers and provide us the strength to make it through our troubled times. God doesn’t smack us silly when we just don’t get it. He patiently waits and gives us the reassurance and the power to succeed in His will for our lives. Comforting as I try to follow God’s will for my life. I know God will provide everything I need to accomplish it.
4a) If your heart is hardened, you refuse to listen to God. You are being stubborn and even when you know the other person is right, you refuse to change your ways. It’s when you know what the right thing to do is but you don’t do it.
b) God will render mighty acts of judgment upon the Egyptians.
c) It disappears. Every ancient civilization fell. Egypt. Greeks. Romans. Persians. Babylonians. Mongols. Hittites. Nazi Germany. They either disappeared or were conquered. The only nation still standing after millenia is Israel.
Conclusions: I couldn’t believe Moses–again protesting God’s will and his ability. I wonder how much fear played a factor here. After all, Pharaoh was the most powerful man in the known world at this time. Just goes to show us how much we doubt God and His word and how much God props us up in our doubt.
I liked the hardened question because I believe this happens a lot. People don’t do good when they know they should. Instead, they listen to the devil and either don’t do anything (a choice as well) or do evil. These days people claim ignorance or blame it on someone else but God knows their heart like He knew Pharaoh’s and in the end judgment will be forthcoming.
I also love how when Satan shows up God beats him every time. The magicians’ snakes were eaten by God’s. Great reminder to us that God is the one in charge and He will conquer all.
End Notes: Scholars say either Moses had a speech problem or he just believed he was unclean or unworthy to be used by God. Either way God uses us all despite our sins or our impediments. Trust in Him is the key.
Since Pharaoh won’t listen to God himself (Exodus 5:2), God will use Moses as a testament of himself. So we all are God’s people, representing God to those who won’t listen to Him.
Note here God clearly puts Moses in charge and Aaron as the number 2 guy (God versus the prophet analogy). This will be important later on as Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt and they wander around for 40 years. We’ll see how this plays out later in our study!
When Pharaoh refused God the first go-around (Exodus 5:1-4), Pharaoh chose evil over God. Hence, God reserves the right to strength this choice of evil in your heart if you chose to turn from Him. Thus, he hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Note still there is time to turn to Him. God will perform wonders throughout Egypt so Pharaoh could still turn to God.
God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to bring judgment on Egypt. God’s plan was to show who He was and some did believe as in Exodus 12:38 where some Egyptians accompanied the Israelites.
Note how Aaron was older. God broke with tradition and chose the younger brother for His work. Anyone remember Joseph? God’s ways and traditions are definitely NOT man’s!
This is not the same miracle as in Exodus 4:1-9. Scholars say this Hebrew word for “snake” here is different and could connote a crocodile or some other animal that would be more meaningful to the Egyptians. (They worshiped crocodiles by the way).
Satan was here, working his evil magic through the Pharaoh’s magicians and giving Pharaoh room to doubt. God showed Pharaoh He was more powerful than Satan by having his snake swallow up the others. Still Pharaoh refused to believe the truth.
After thought: Some wonder why we can’t narrow down which Pharaoh this is because the Egyptians kept detailed records of every pharaohs and their deeds. However, Egyptians were notorious for changing records. Often, a Pharaoh would try to erase the existence and/or deeds of his predecessor especially if a coup or a fight had been involved. We see this with Hatshepsut, the most famous and prosperous female ruler of Egypt who ruled around 1500 BC. This happened again with Akhenaten (1330’s BC–Tutankhamun’s Dad by the way) who tried to institute monotheism in Egypt which upset many. There are other examples as well.
Hence, in my mind, this could be the case for this Pharaoh. After all, who would want to write down in Egypt’s illustrious histories how a Pharaoh let all his slaves escape? Especially during this time which was the time that the Egyptian empire was at its most powerful. I’m sure the Pharaohs who came after this one were ashamed about what happened and didn’t want the word out, which would lessen their credibility as gods to their people and as powerful leaders to the surrounding nations.
History recording is not perfect by man. Luckily, it is by God.