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The DEEP

Hard Hearts

Everywhere.

Exodus 6:28–7:5

On the day when the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, the LORD said to Moses, “I am the LORD; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.” But Moses said to the LORD, “Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?”

And the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.”

Notice that the LORD does not say to Moses, “See, I have made you like a God to Pharaoh.” He says, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh.” He uses the word “Elohim” here—the Hebrew word for the monotheistic creator. But, since Pharaoh has no concept of a monotheistic creator, how can Moses be that to him already?

The answer is in the word “like.” God isn’t saying that Pharaoh perceives Moses as the creator; He’s saying that, to Pharaoh, Moses is like God. In other words, Pharaoh will view Moses as all-powerful. Moses should stop worrying about his inability to impress Pharaoh. Now he will be so powerful, he won’t be like just any old god, he’ll be like God (Almighty).

Moses needs to understand this because Pharaoh isn’t going to listen to him. But this isn’t because of Moses’ weaknesses. It’s because the LORD will harden Pharaoh’s heart. In other words, this isn’t going to go well for a while.

Moses needs to be ready for that and not let it discourage him.


Every Christian needs to expect, and be prepared for, hardened hearts. People aren’t just unreceptive to the gospel; many actively oppose it. I was once that way too.

While we can’t do the tricks Moses did, we are connected to unimaginable power. Our plans may be thwarted, but His never are. Take heart whenever your plans go awry. God is always up to something.

So, how do we prepare for hardened hearts? The same way we prepare for everything—through training.

The purpose of the church is to glorify God by fostering the growth and sanctification of people. There is a marvelous interplay between the individual growth of Christians and the growth of the organizations that foster that growth. Training grows Christians, and that grows the church.

Every Christian leader started out as a beginner. Great ministries have their roots in the hard knocks and the other trainings that these beginners went through early on.


To forward this devotional, see the link in green below.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Scripture taken from the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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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