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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
One good question when you read the account of Pharaoh and the Israelites is the question who hardened his heart? Did he harden his heart towards God or did God harden his heart?
Exodus 7:3-4 says, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my people the Israelites.” It seems unjust for God to harden Pharaoh’s heart and then to punish Pharaoh and Egypt for what Pharaoh decided when his heart was hardened. Why would God harden Pharaoh’s heart just so He could judge Egypt more severely with additional plagues?
First, Pharaoh was not an innocent or godly man. He was a brutal dictator overseeing the terrible abuse and oppression of the Israelites, who likely numbered over 1.5 million people at that time. The Egyptian pharaohs had enslaved the Israelites for 400 years. A previous pharaoh—possibly even the pharaoh in question—ordered that male Israelite babies be killed at birth (Exodus 1:16). The pharaoh God hardened was an evil man, and the nation he ruled agreed with, or at least did not oppose, his evil actions.
Second, before the first few plagues, Pharaoh hardened his own heart against letting the Israelites go.
Well some people believe if you can re-write and re -word the Ten Commandments you can make people feel a little more positive about their spiritual and moral state. You see…
The religious rules, which Christians believe were etched onto tablets by God and given to Moses, have been modified to use up-to-date language and principles. Inspired by last year’s riots, the new vows include “manage your anger”, “know God” and “catch your breath” and are understood to be used in more than 600 churches in Britain.
The original “thou shalt not steal” has become “prosper with a clear conscience”, and the lengthy “thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” becomes “take God seriously”.
The commandments, designed by popular evangelical preacher J John, have been praised by religious leaders for bringing practical advice to modern congregations.
Using short, simple language interspersed with slang, the new rules have now been released on a DVD called “just10 for churches”, aimed at providing guidance.
The tenth commandment, for example, has altered the Biblical “thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s” to just “find contentment.” …Read More!