Reading the Exodus narrative is an amazing journey if you take your time and let your mind imagine all the things that were happening along the way. It is also a terrifying reminder of how wicked the heart can be.
It is strange to me that Moses argues with God and yet God still uses him and even gives him a provision for his weakness in being the spokes person. I'm not really sure why God listens to whiny/complaining people but He has a plan and it obviously included Moses in all his weakness and trepidation.
I love that God tells Moses what to say and actually what Pharaoh is going to say and do in response to what Moses says. We have God's Word to go back to and see His faithfulness through previous generations, Moses could look back on his own history of how he was saved from an early death and yet God knew that he needed the extra measure of grace in this time.
God is Serious
Hardness of heart; what a terrible place to be found. As I read through the narrative and God says that Pharaoh hardened his heart and then God hardens his heart I was struck with the realization that I know people like this today. Certainly God is not showing His power after the morning message by swarming our city with gnats, flies, frogs or boils but He does send people into our lives to shake us up and cause us to listen.
God doesn't send a Moses to each of us today but we have His Word and we should have godly people around us that can hold us accountable. If someone comes to us and tells us they are concerned about something in our lives, we should consider it. Since God isn't giving the plagues to us anymore maybe the "plague" is more than one person making the same or similar statements. If we ignore God's use of people and His Spirit our hearts are becoming hard just like Pharaoh's.
God is the Provider
The Jews were the slaves to the Egyptians and it was only 1 generation ago that Joseph had been 2nd in command to Pharaoh and provided for the entire Egyptian and Jewish nation. In one generation the whole thing came tumbling down and yet God allowed the Jews to leave Egypt far richer than they had entered.
They came in on wagons and carts with no food. Many had given everything they had just to get the food they needed to live and while they were leaving Egypt the Egyptians gave them loads of treasures- they held them up without a gun or sword.
That gold would skip a generation in its usefulness because they were in the wilderness for 40 more years and that entire generation was not allowed to go to a place where the money was needed, but rather God would provide for them all they needed in the wilderness. But before they got there God had one more serious miracle to show them His power as well as to show Pharaoh what a hard heart will get you.
God always Wins
Chasing them into the wilderness after he had let them go is a good sign of a very hard heart, I mean he had just seen every first born of everything be killed in one night. Really do you think you're gonna win this one? He's mad and he's gonna prove his point to those wicked Jews. We've seen this in history since.
So if all that is not enough here's the proverbial straw. Pharaoh no doubt had seen the Red Sea in it's normal state; the way you can see it today and every other body of water on the planet. He had just seen God clean his clock in 10 different ways plus the plundering that the Jews had done without lifting a finger and yet when he comes to the edge of the sea that is parted shouldn't there have been a really large warning sign there?
Again, the hardness of ones heart is so evident. God plans things in our lives for a purpose and we can either learn and grow from them or we can harden our hearts and push forward no matter the warnings we are given. May that never be me and may that never be you.