The plagues upon Egypt are in full force in chapters 8-9 of Exodus. And the story is quite cyclical. Moses requests that Pharaoh let the Israelites go worship. Pharaoh refuses. God sends a plague. Pharaoh relents. Moses ends the plague. Pharaoh hardens his heart.
In these chapters there are a few interesting items to note. First, after the third plague, Pharaoh’s magicians are quick to say that what is happening is by the hand of God. They can no longer replicate what has been done through Moses. Then, at the end of chapter nine we are shown a very important picture of what it looks like to persist in sin. This is false repentance in full force. Pharaoh repents of his sin & declares God’s righteousness, but takes no steps to change his actions. His words and actions did not line up. The result is the further hardening of Pharaoh’s heart.
The same thing can happen to us when we persist in sin. We cannot pay lip service to God and continue living how we want, and not think there will be consequences. Our hearts will become hardened toward God and his Holy Spirit, and we will go deeper in our sin. Even believers can have this problem when they persist in sin and refuse to flee from it.
Is your heart hard or soft toward God?