Exodus 11 Devotional
by Pastor David Groendyk
Although Pharaoh has sworn that the next time he sees Moses he’ll kill him at the end of chapter 10, we see Moses making another speech in the king’s court again in chapter 11. It’s possible that the events of chapter 11 are taking place around the time of 10:28, in which case the war between Yahweh and Pharaoh has escalated to the point of mutual death threats. First, Yahweh threatens Pharaoh (11:5); then, Pharaoh threatens Moses (10:29). The battle is nearing a conclusion.
Isn’t it stunning that after everything Pharaoh has witnessed so far, even this threat of Yahweh killing every single firstborn cannot sway him? The whole of creation has been upheaved in front of Pharaoh’s eyes, and he still doesn’t take Yahweh seriously. (No wonder Moses sounds exasperated and infuriated in 10:29 and 11:8.) This is a painful reminder that any and every heart remains obstinately hard to God in sin unless God himself softens it. Even the threat of death does nothing to Pharaoh’s heart. It brings me back to some of the evangelistic conversations I’ve had with random strangers over the years. An important part of a gospel presentation is the explanation that the wages of the sin of we commit is eternal death. Unless you turn to God and ask for his mercy to save you, you will end up in hell. Even with that stark threat, it’s amazing how indifferent and expressionless some people remain. Worse than that is when someone glibly or flippantly replies that they’re ok with going to hell as long as they get to have fun in this life. It’s jaw-dropping how hard some people’s hearts are. But when we encounter those people, it should take us back to the time before we knew Christ ourselves. All of us have hearts of stone before God breaks into our lives and saves us (Ezek. 36:26). But for the grace of God, we would still be living in indifferent and flippant rebellion against him. How does the tragic story of Pharaoh’s hardness stir up humility and compassion in you?
It’s also a good reminder that convincing somebody of the truth of the gospel does not rely on your own power or speaking ability. You can’t argue your way to a conversion. You can’t manipulate your words in just the right way such that someone believes. True faith is a gift of God and must come from him for salvation. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to bother with learning how to present the gospel in a winsome way. We ought to be faithful stewards of our words and time and conversations by practicing an accurate and appealing way of making a defense for what we believe. But it does mean we ought to spend just as much time (if not, more) in prayer to God for the salvation of lost souls as we do studying apologetics and argumentation. How does God’s sovereignty in salvation encourage you to pray more?
Another noteworthy piece in this chapter is how God prepares his people for the exodus in verses 1–3. The Lord is providing for his people in a number of ways. Egyptian neighbors willingly hand over silver and gold to the Israelites, the Israelites were held in favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and Moses was gaining honor in the sight of both Egypt and Israel. All of this sets up the hasty exodus in 12:33–36. The Israelites would not leave Egypt poor, hungry, leaderless, powerless, or without hope of being able to survive on their own. God graciously provided for them everything they needed to get them started on their long trek to the Promised Land. Likewise, God does not leave us empty-handed once we are saved and begin the wilderness journey of this life to our Promised Land. We don’t have to fend for ourselves. Our God is a God we can trust to provide us all of our needs. What a good reason to praise him today!