SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1 (EGW)

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Chapter 4

10. Fearful of Bringing Self Into Work—When, after Moses’ time of preparation and trial was over, he was once more told to go and deliver Israel, he was self-distrustful, slow of speech, timid. “Who am I,” he said, “that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He pleaded as an excuse a lack of ready speech. He had been the general of the armies of Egypt, and he certainly knew how to speak. But he was afraid that he would bring self into his work (Manuscript 11, 1903). 1BC 1099.8

21. Rejection of Light Hardens Heart—Pharaoh saw the mighty working of the Spirit of God; he saw the miracles which the Lord performed by His servant; but he refused obedience to God's command. The rebellious king had proudly inquired, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? ... [Exodus 5:2].” And as the judgments of God fell more and more heavily upon him, he persisted in stubborn resistance. By rejecting light from heaven, he became hard and unimpressible. The providence of God was revealing His power, and these manifestations, unacknowledged, were the means of hardening Pharaoh's heart against greater light. Those who exalt their own ideas above the plainly specified will of God, are saying as did Pharaoh, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?” Every rejection of light hardens the heart and darkens the understanding; and thus men find it more and more difficult to distinguish between right and wrong, and they become bolder in resisting the will of God (Manuscript 3, 1885). 1BC 1099.9

(Matthew 12:31, 32). God Gave Pharaoh Into Hands of Self—Every additional evidence of the power of God that the Egyptian monarch resisted, carried him on to a stronger and more persistent defiance of God. Thus the work went on, finite man warring against the expressed will of an infinite God. This case is a clear illustration of the sin against the Holy Ghost. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Gradually the Lord withdrew His Spirit. Removing His restraining power, He gave the king into the hands of the worst of all tyrants,—self (The Review and Herald, July 27, 1897). 1BC 1100.1

(Galatians 6:7). Pharaoh Sowed Obstinacy, Reaped Obstinacy—“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Pharaoh sowed obstinacy, and he reaped obstinacy. He himself put this seed into the soil. There was no more need for God by some new power to interfere with its growth, than there is for Him to interfere with the growth of a grain of corn. All that is required is that a seed shall be left to germinate and spring up to bring forth fruit after its kind. The harvest reveals the kind of seed that has been sown (Manuscript 126, 1901). 1BC 1100.2

Rebellion Produces Rebellion—After the plague was stayed, the king refused to let Israel go. Rebellion produces rebellion. The king had become so hardened with his continual opposition to the will of God, that his whole being rose in rebellion to the awful exhibitions of His divine power (Spiritual Gifts 3:215). 1BC 1100.3

Israel Would Be Preserved, Even if Pharaoh Had to Die—Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Lord and he ventured, notwithstanding all the signs and mighty wonders he had witnessed, to threaten that if Moses and Aaron appeared before him again they should die. If the king had not become hardened in his rebellion against God, he would have been humbled under a sense of the power of the living God who could save or destroy. He would have known that He who could do such miracles, and multiply His signs and wonders, would preserve the lives of His chosen servants, even if He should have to slay the king of Egypt (Spiritual Gifts 3:220). 1BC 1100.4