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Not Happy.

Exodus 7:14-24 (NKJV)

So the LORD said to Moses: “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand. And you shall say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness”; but indeed, until now you would not hear! Thus says the LORD: “By this you shall know that I am the LORD. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe to drink the water of the river.” ’ ”

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.’ ” And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the LORD commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said. And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. Neither was his heart moved by this. So all the Egyptians dug all around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the river.

These plagues aren’t random; they are designed to systematically crush the Egyptian gods. The first god to get taken out is Hapi, the God of the Nile – the one they worship most.

The Nile is so central to Egyptian life that Moses can count on Pharaoh going out to the Nile in the morning. There, Moses will say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “By this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood.”

The LORD wants Pharaoh to know who He is, but Pharaoh’s hard heart makes him a slow learner.

We like to think that we’re not slow learners like Pharaoh, but the truth is that our hearts are hard too.

Today, let’s ask God to soften our hearts and give us hearts of grace. Pray for a more caring and forgiving heart. Only with His help can we go beyond pretending to forgive people. Ask the Holy Spirit to fuse, deep into our hearts, the lesson that we are no better than those who need our forgiveness.

For some, this opens an even greater door – truly understanding God’s forgiveness of our own sins.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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