Where are we as a society? Have we gone beyond the point of no return? Are we experiencing the judgement of Adonai now? How do we know if there is still time? In (1 Sam. 6:6) the Philistines ask themselves an interesting question, “Why harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He afflicted them, didn’t they send them away so they left?” [1]

[Read Ex. 7:10-18, 22-29; 8:8-15, 18-28; 9:1-7, 11-20, 27-28, 34-35]

Was Adonai arbitrary in his judgements against Egypt? Let’s look at how the plagues came against the gods of Egypt. Ask yourselves. “Did any of the Egyptian gods show up?” Chuck Missler has an excellent comparison of all these plagues: [2]

  • Water turned to blood – The Nile was seen as the source of Egypt’s fertility. Where was Osiris, one of the chief gods of Egypt, the first of the gods of the Nile? He along with the mother god, Isis, and their child Horus were nowhere to be found. There were also Hapimon in the north and Tauret in Thebes, and the hippopotamus goddess of the river, along with Nu the god of life in the Nile.
  • The frogs – Where was one of the principle goddesses of the land Hekt, who was always shown with the head and body of a frog?
  • The sand flies – Where was great god of the earth, Geb, to whom they gave offerings of the fruit of the soil?
  • The scarabs – the Hebrew is actually ha-arob, which suggests a swarm with incessant motion. Where was Amon-Ra, king of the gods who had the head of a beetle?
  • The animal murrain (contagious disease) – Where was Apis the bull god (think of the golden calf) or Hathor the cow-headed goddess, or even Bubastis, the cat goddess of love?
  • Boils – all people were affected including the magicians. Where were the healing gods Thoth, Apis, Serapis and Imhotep?
  • Fiery Hail – this could have been hail mixed with lightning. Where was Shu the wind god, or Nut the sky goddess, or even Horus, the hawk-headed sky god of upper-Egypt?

None of Egypt’s gods decided to come, and Pharaoh cries out to Adonai by name. [Ex. 9:27-28]

But what was Pharaoh’s response? Adonai had told Moses that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart in (Ex. 4:21). Is this fair? Does Adonai create some people for destruction as Calvinists believe? In studying the occurrences of Pharaoh’s hardened heart this is what we see: In the following six passages, Pharaoh hardens his own heart: 7:13, 7:22, 8:11, 8:15, 8:28, 9:34, and in the following six passages, Adonai hardens Pharaoh’s heart: 9:12, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:8. From this we can see that Adonai is not arbitrary, but rather responds to us. When we choose to harden our own hearts, Adonai responds by giving us over to our own desires.

In (7:13) we see the beginning of Pharaoh’s hardening when the sign that Moses showed, although greater, was similar to the feats that the magicians performed. This same reaction reoccurred with both the water to blood in (7:22) and in (8:3) with the frogs. In all of these plagues, Pharaoh “did not even take it to heart” (7:23) When the gnats (sand flies) came, Pharaoh’s magicians could not reproduce this even, and started to realize that this was indeed the “finger of God.” (8:14-15)

In (8:18, 26 & 9:4) we see that Adonai makes a distinction between Egypt and His people. Adonai is more than able to bring judgement upon the wicked while His people are still in the land of oppression. Pharaoh actually sees that Adonai has made a distinction, but still does not humble his heart (9:7). In fact the first time that Adonai hardens Pharaoh’s heart is (9:12). Pharaoh is almost at the point of no return. In all but one of the first seven plagues, Pharaoh was given the opportunity to repent.[3] The key verses that show this are [9:13-20]. All of Adonai’s judgements are redemptive in purpose, and our response to that calamity should be as Adonai spoke to Solomon in [2 Chron. 7:12-16].

In 9:27-28, we see that Pharaoh is showing remorse, he is sorry he got caught, but this is not the same as teshuva. The promise to do teshuva and the feeling sorry because of consequences is not the same as true teshuva. Some have even defined teshuva as, “sorry enough to quit.” Pharaoh, in vs 34-35, shows that the wickedness in his heart increased and after all that had happened, he refused to do teshuva. This was his point of no return. From this point on, Adonai continually hardens Pharaoh’s heart until Adonai has destroyed his position, his power, his possessions, and his posterity.

In the letter to those in Rome, Sha’ul writes about a society that has denied Adonai. [Rom. 1:18-32] This judgement comes in 3 waves listed in (vs. 18-23).

  1. In unrighteousness they suppress the truth about God.
    1. His eternal power
    2. His divine nature
  2. Though knowing God, they did not glorify Him.
  3. They did not give Him thanks.
  4. The created god in their own image

Therefore God brought about His judgement (meant to bring about teshuva). Adonai’s judgement is seen in the following ways (vs. 24-25):

  1. God gave them over to their evil desires, to dishonour their bodies with one another.
  2. They trade the truth of God for a lie, and worship the creation instead of the Creator.

If they refuse to repent, then Adonai increased the severity of the judgement (vs. 26-27)

  1. Homosexuality and lesbianism increase in the society.
  2. These actions carry with them a penalty/consequence.

Then Adonai increased the punishment (vs. 28-32) because they continue to refuse to recognize God:

  1. God gives them over to a depraved mind.
  2. The society becomes filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed and evil.
  3. Envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice is seen throughout the culture.
  4. The society becomes filled with gossipers, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents.
  5. They are foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless.
  6. Not only do they do these things, but they demand that society normalizes these behaviours.

Has anyone read the newspaper lately? Does any of this sound familiar? It is very easy to point the finger at Pharaoh or at society for that matter and say, “If we had been him, we would have done differently.” But did you know that about half of the occurrences of “hard heart” were directed at followers of Yeshua? The Apostle Sha’ul mentions this in both his letter to the Romans (Ch. 2) and his letter to the Ephesians (4:17-5). (For more references see: Mark 3:4-6, 6:51-53, 7:1-3, 8:16-18, 10:4-6)

The writer of Hebrews lays out the history of the Children of Israel as a warning for us to heed. [Heb. 3:7-5:16] After quoting Psalm 95, the author warns us, brothers and sisters in Messiah, that we do not allow “an evil heart of unbelief” to cause us to “fall away from the living God.” We are encouraged again from Psalm 95 that today is the day of teshuva and humility. We are warned that even those who walked with Adonai for a lifetime, were not able to enter into His rest because of their lack of trust. And in case we are willing to point the finger at them, and not acknowledge our own lives, we must read the next verse! We are to live with holy fear of God! The author pulls no punches, and states that the Good News (Gospel) has been proclaimed to us in the same way as it was to them.

Our calling to live a holy or set-apart lifestyle is in [vs. 11-13]. We are called to make every effort to enter into Adonai’s rest, and to not follow the pattern of unbelief and disobedience. We will all most assuredly give an account to the judge who knows both our thoughts and the intentions of our hearts. Our only hope is to throw ourselves into the grace and mercy of Adonai that has been provided for us through Yeshua Ben-Elohim [vs. 14-16]

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the Tree Of Life Version (TLV), 2014.

[2] Chuck Missler, The Invisible War: Against the Gods of Egypt, N.P. Cited 27 Jan 2017. Online:

[3] J. H. Hertz, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs. (Soncino, London, 1960), 399.