The 10 days from Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) to Yom Ha’Kippurim (Day of Atonement) is known as the 10 Days of Awe. Traditionally, this is a time of self-reflection and repentance in preparation for the coming Judgement Day – Ha’Kippurim. I find it no coincidence that Scripture records 10 people who utter the phrase, “I have sinned.” In this series, we will examine these statements to see what we can learn about repentance.
Pharoah is the first person in Scripture to say, “I have sinned.” He utters this statement after the 7th plague – hail accompanied by fire and thunder. (Red flags anyone?) If that’s not enough connection to Sinai, Pharaoh follows up his confession with, “You go pray to YHWH, I have had enough of this thunder!” The people make this same complaint to Moshe at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
This is not the first time Pharaoh claims to release the people, but it is the first time he suggests they all leave and, “remain no longer.” It is also the first time he acknowledges his part in the continuing plagues.
However, every time YHWH relents His punishment upon Egypt (remember, the 10 plagues were punishment for the death of the innocent and the oppression of Yah’s people), Pharoah’s heart is hardened. Sometimes Pharoah hardens his own heart and sometimes YHWH hardens Pharoah’s heart.
What lessons can we learn from Pharoah’s hard-hearted confession?
YHWH will use you in the way you prepare yourself. You can be a vessel of honor or dishonor.
2Ti 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
True repentance is a return to the way of righteousness and includes a change in heart and behavior.
Act 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out
YHWH can and will remove a heart of stone of those whose to repent (t’shuva).
Eze 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh
Therefore, cleanse yourselves from all that is reproachful, disgraceful, and vile. Turn back to the path of righteousness and pray to YHWH to remove your stony heart.