Friday, September 25, 2009

20: Matters of the Heart

Exodus 7-9
Ok, I thought the first time God said that he was going to harden Pharaohs heart so he wouldn't listen to God might have been a typo, but no. At the beginning of Exodus 7 God reiterates that he is going to make it so that Pharaoh will not listen to Moses or God. Then he says something vague about how he is going to lay his judgment on Egypt. Why? Is he laying judgment for what he, himself, has done to Pharaoh?

So Aaron and Moses go to Pharaoh (rather uselessly at this point) and perform the staff turning into a snake trick. What I find interesting is that Pharaoh gets his magicians to do the exact same thing. That makes it seem wholly unmiraculous. The only indication that Aaron and Moses' trick is better is that their snake swallows the Pharaohs magicians' snakes. So what? Pharaoh is unconvinced (as am I).

God tells them to go back the next day and try to convince Pharaoh again. Why? If God has hardened Pharaohs heart what is the point of any of this? Anyway, they take Pharaoh down to the Nile and turn the water into blood. All the fish die and the river stinks and such. Surely the Pharaohs magicians can't pull of a trick like that, it must be God. Wrong, Pharaohs magicians do the exact same thing. Are Pharaohs magicians being blessed with miraculous powers by some competing God, or is it just a trick?

God is getting more and more mad (at himself apparently, considering he's the one preventing Pharaoh from listening) so he sends Egypt a plague of frogs. Oh no! Not frogs! Of course, as soon as Aaron and Moses make frogs Pharaohs magicians are able to do the same thing. Pharaoh apparently hates frogs so he says that if they can make the frogs leave he will let the people go. So God makes all the frogs die (they couldn't have just died naturally) and as soon as the Pharaoh has relief his heart hardens again. God, damnit, stop hardening his heart. The Bible says his heart hardens "just as the Lord had said", right, because he's the one doing it.

Next is the dreaded plague of gnats. Oh no! Lafayette is having a plague of gnats. I will interpret this as God wanting to let us out of class. We can start calling president Cordova Pharaoh. Strangely enough, this is where Pharaohs magicians draw the line, they can't produce gnats. Frogs are ok but not gnats?

Next is the plague of flies. Pharaoh also hates flies so he tells Moses that he can take the people out in the desert to worship. Moses says ok, but make sure not to harden your heart again. So of course, as soon as the flies are gone Pharaoh hardens his heart and wont let the people go. God is just being deceitful now.

Next is the plague on the livestock. All of the Egyptian livestock dies, but all of the Israeli livestock is fine. This doesn't even make Pharaoh consider freeing them, for some reason. Apparently he's more afraid of pests than he is of his livestock dying.

Plague of boils. This one sounds nasty. It says everyone in Egypt broke out in boils (I have to assume that the Israelites did to0 because it says everyone). Pharaohs magicians couldn't even stand to try to reproduce the boils. At the end of the paragraph it makes sure to reiterate that God hardens Pharaohs heart. Lets just get this straight, God is punishing everyone in Egypt for what he is doing. What kind of justice is this?

The plague of hail is next. God warns everyone to bring their animals and slaves inside. The slave masters who don't listen are punished by having their slaves killed. Yes, that's right, the slave masters who ordered their slaves to stay outside are fine, but the slaves die. And this is all because of Pharaoh who is only being a jerk because of God. So God kills innocent slaves, just thought I'd mention that.

Pharaoh again summons Moses and pleads for him to stop. And again says that he will let the people go where ever they please. But the moment the hail stops he hardens his heart again and wont let them go. Why is a perfectly just God going around simultaneously preventing Pharaoh from letting the people go and punishing him for not letting the people go?
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