READ: Exodus 6-7
THINK: Are some people destined to resist God, while others are destined to follow Him? While it's difficult to explain some people's response to God in any other way, God does not force people to do anything they are not already inclined to do. Though God's plans always prevail, He doesn't impose His will on anyone. One of His greatest gifts to humanity is the individual freedom to choose whether to respond to God in love and faith or to resist Him and go one's own way. God did not force Pharaoh to resist him. Pharaoh's heart was already hard toward God. So when God confronted Pharaoh, the rebellious ruler resisted even more. For everyone who stubbornly refuses to submit to God, there comes a point where God finally turns them over to the full consequences of their sinful desires. People in this dangerous condition choose to remain spiritually blind to God's love and truth. Yet God allows this as an act of mercy, to bring a person to a point of hopelessness so they might finally turn to God for help and salvation.
RESPOND: How would the Israelites time in slavery actually enhance their relationship with God? What are the implications of God's covenant name, Yahweh, by which He now revealed himself to Moses and the Israelites? (See 6:3 note.) In what way is Israel's redemption (i.e., rescue, liberation) from Egypt symbolic of what Jesus Christ provided for us? (See 6:7 note, subpoint 3.) Why did God determine to rescue the Israelites, despite the fact that many did not listen to His message? (See 6:9 note.) What does it mean that God hardened Pharaoh's heart? (See 7:3 note.) How does such a thing happen, and how does Pharaoh's experience serve as a warning to us? What is significant about Aaron's staff swallowing the staffs of the Egyptian magicians? (See 7:12 note.) In what way does this mirror some of the spiritual activity that will be evident in the last days? What were some of God's purposes for the ten miraculous plagues on Egypt? (See 7:20 note.) In what ways does this account inspire your faith?
PRAY: Give gratitude to God for using whatever means and circumstances necessary to bring you closer to Him.
ACT: If you have in any way hardened your heart toward God, disobeyed His commands or resisted His plan, ask Him to forgive you and to soften your heart. Make an immediate change, responding with faith and obedience.
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