Biblical reference: Exodus chapters 1-12
During the famine of Joseph’s time, the Israelite clan moved to Egypt; Genesis 46. They thrived there. That generation died and Joseph with all he did was forgotten. The Israelites were enslaved by the new Egyptian king / Pharaoh. They needed a savior. Moses was sent. But Pharaoh wasn’t going to give up easily especially since he didn’t believe in God. He thought of himself a god. He believed the Israelites were being lazy and didn’t want to work. He employed magicians who can imitate some of the signs and wonders performed by Moses and Aaron (his brother) by the power of the true God. So Pharaoh’s heart became hard. God informed Moses of Pharaoh’s heart hardening ahead of time as an encouragement to stay in the bitter, long battle. After all, why would a king let a people go who are doing his country a great service at a fraction of the cost? It would be a terrible business decision. He was obsessed with their service regardless of the capacity of Egypt’s destruction caused by the plagues. The first two plagues were reproduced by the magicians. They could not replicate the rest and proclaimed to Pharaoh that it was the finger of God. He was unmoved. By the eighth plague, his officials attempted to persuade him to let them go for Egypt was ruined. Pharaoh did not regard their cry. All throughout the plagues, the Israelite communities were not affected. After the tenth and final plague, Pharaoh relented. He ordered them out of the country for his firstborn was dead. In fact, every first born son was killed whose house was not covered by the blood of the lamb. After letting them go, Pharaoh pursued them in the desert and into the Red Sea where he died with all of his fighting men. With this, the Israelites gained their freedom from Pharaoh once and for all.
There are many lessons to be learned in this story. 1) Pride comes before the fall; Proverbs 11:2, 16:18, 29:23. The fall or destruction not only affects the prideful person, but also those associated with him / her. In the story above, all of Egypt was affected. 2) God can and does protect those who take shelter in Him no matter how awful the storm is. He was able to protect the Israelites from all plagues. 3) God wants to set His people free from the bondage of Satan. All of us are born with a sinful nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God. Pharaoh symbolize Satan. He won’t let people in his grip go unless they seek a stronger opponent; Jesus Christ. 4) The lamb sacrificed to protect the firstborn is symbolic to what Jesus Christ did in the New Testament. He died so we do not have to. He suffered to pay for our healing. He resurrected to resurrect us with Him. And in the process, He took the victory over Satan and death. He bestows this victory on whoever cleaves to Him.
Dear Reader, please do not harden your heart and cause your downfall and of those around you. Stop believing Satan’s lies. He does not love you. He wants you to spend all of eternity with him in hell. He is a cruel master. If you give him an inch, he thinks he’s a Ruler. Why follow him when you can choose another who loves you very much? His name is Jesus Christ.