The Berean Expositor
Volume 13 - Page 17 of 159
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Fundamentals of Dispensational Truth.
The Beginning of Months (Exod. 12:).
pp. 37 - 39
Nine plagues had descended upon Egypt afflicting man and beast and exposing the
grossness of Egypt's idolatry and the utter failure of their gods. At the end of the ninth
plague Pharaoh had brazenly told Moses that if he saw His face again he should die.
Moses went out from the royal presence saying, "Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy
face again no more" (10: 29). Nine separate solemn warnings had fallen upon deaf ears
and a hard heart. Before Moses entered into the presence of Pharaoh, the Lord had said:--
"I am sure that the King of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand"
(3: 19).
When Moses was ready to leave Midian and return to Egypt, the Lord said:--
"See that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hands:
but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go" (4: 21).
One verse throws a strong light upon the vexed question of the hardening of Pharaoh's
"But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart" (8: 15).
Again in 9: 34:--
"When Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned
yet more, and hardened his heart."
It is not our intention to presume to defend the righteousness of God; Rom. 9:
silences all replies against God.  Some can only accept the teaching of  Rom. 9:
concerning Pharaoh if it be allowed that God foresaw the salvation of Pharaoh at or
before the reconciliation of all things. Rom. 9: however cuts all argument short, and
leaves us and all men as clay in the hands of the Potter. Nevertheless be it noted that
Pharaoh sinned when he hardened his heart, "as the Lord had said". To return however to
Exod. 4: 21-23. Moses was commanded to say to Pharaoh:--
"Thus saith the Lord, Israel is My Son, even My firstborn: and I say unto thee, let My
Son go that he may serve Me! and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son,
even thy firstborn."
And so, as we have seen, plague after plague fell, revealing the long-suffering and the
goodness of God which should have led to repentance. The destruction of the firstborn,
though threatened first, falls only after nine plagues had revealed the obdurate character
of Pharaoh's heart:--
"Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt, and all the
firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die" (11: 4, 5).