I’ll never forget the morning back in 2017 when I was reading in Exodus about God wanting Pharaoh to let His people go yet he continued to harden Pharaoh’s heart. Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?
Now I don’t know about you, but to me, that just seemed so cruel and statistical and I honestly couldn’t understand why God would do such a thing.
Had me questioning if we were just puppets on a string that God was playing with. (Just being honest here so don’t go throwing stones lol)
I am no theologian and there are plenty of articles online today on the subject of why did God harden Pharaohs heart but this is not one of them.
I am someone who has been to hell and back as I’m sure most of you have been but was saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, and am an intercessor prayer warrior.
What the Holy Spirit revealed to me throughout the story of Pharaoh letting God’s children go is something I’ve never heard before, yet it is in plain sight for all to see and understand.
It is something that I can look back on my own life and the lives of those I minister to and see this whole thing played out.
It is something that gives me strength, joy, and peace while walking through the trials and tribulations we all have in this life.
What is it?
It’s God’s “SO THAT” Moments – Something in our lives had/has to happen “so that” God’s plans and purposes could come to fruition “so that” He could get the glory!
Ever since this truth was revealed to me throughout scripture, those circumstances that have risen up in my life I now look at as my “so that” moments that will glorify Yahweh!
Check this out…
We’re in the book of Exodus 4:21 after Moses argues with God about his abilities or lack thereof and God tells him what he needs to tell Pharaoh. But God added that He was going to harden Pharaoh’s heart “so that” he would not let His people go.
When I’m reading scripture and something pops off the page like screaming lights in the darkness I pay attention.
These two words “so that” jumped out at me while reading but it wasn’t until Exodus 7:4&5 that God started revealing His “so that” moments to me and answered my question as to why he hardened Pharaoh’s heart.
Let’s read it together and keep in mind that this is God almighty speaking to Moses…
And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”
Moses obeyed God but only after Pharaoh increased the labor of the Israelite’s by making them get their own straw to make the bricks. He left their workload the same however he made them work harder by having to get their own supplies.
Has God ever given you a direction and the path He wants you to take but when you begin to walk in it all hell breaks loose in your life?
Maybe even to the point, you were like the Israelite’s saying, “Let the Lord look on you and judge because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
I can honestly raise my hand and say, “Yep, that was me!” There have been moments in my life where I knew I heard from God, obeyed Him and everything that could go wrong went wrong. Which left me totally questioning what He was doing and if I had really heard from Him.
Back to the story…“But Pharaoh will not heed you “so that” I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”
Pharaoh could not let the Israelite’s go because Yahweh was going to bring His children out of the land of Egypt by great judgments “so that” the Egyptians would have no doubt that He alone was the Lord.
To fully grasp this you have to understand that Pharaoh was not a person but a title! Much like we have a President of the United States, Egypt has a Pharaoh as their king. But Pharaoh was not just a king, the Egyptians saw him as a God figure.
“…the pharaoh was considered a god on earth, the intermediary between the gods & the people. As supreme ruler of the people, the pharaoh was considered a god on earth, the intermediary between the gods and the people.”
To the Egyptians, there was no other god. Pharaoh was it for them.
Then this Moses comes on the scene talking about letting Yahweh’s children, the Israelite’s go so that they may hold a feast to Him in the wilderness. To which Pharaoh responds, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.” Exodus 5:1&2
Remember that it has been 400+ years since Joseph was Pharaoh’s right hand man. It says in scripture that this Pharaoh did not know Joseph nor did he understand who the God of the Israelite’s was.
He soon found out, along with all the Egyptians and every generation since then.
If you have your bible handy…grab it. I want you to see the following “so that” moments for yourself.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me, 14 for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, so that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth. 15 Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, so that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”
Now the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, 2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, so that you may know that I am the Lord.”
“…Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. 7 But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, so that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.’
But the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
Do you see it?
The answer to why God hardened the heart of Pharaoh!
I finally got it! The Lord had to harden Pharaoh’s heart “so that”…
“… the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.”
“…you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.”
“…I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”
“…you may know that I am the Lord.”
“…the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”
“…My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
“…you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt.”
After this revelation, all throughout scripture I started noticing these “so that” moments. Then I started realizing that these moments happen in our lives today “so that” the Lord may be glorified! That all would know that He is the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!
In these next few weeks I am going to be diving into some of the most profound and impactful “so that” moments in scripture so stay tuned!
In the mean time, comment below and let me know what you think of these “so that” moments. Did the Holy Spirit reveal anything to you while reading this?
Until next “so that” moment…
Y’all Be Blessed,