The fifth of the ten plagues of the Exodus was the death of the Egyptian livestock. The Egyptian animals died, and the Israeli animals did not. Moses and Aaron were not required to do anything. They didn’t strike out with their staves. This was an act of God alone. Moses was only required to announce it. It came directly from the Lord. Likewise, Pharaoh didn’t repent or ask Moses to intervene on his behalf. All Pharaoh did was investigate:
“And Pharaoh sent, and behold, not one of the livestock of Israel was dead” (Exodus 9:7).
It has been my experience that once people have made up their minds, nothing will sway their hard hearts. They may call for “proof” – “If God exists, let Him strike me down!” – but even evidence won’t change their minds. “Don’t confuse me with the facts!”
In November 1945, Advertising and Selling magazine published an article by Roy S. Durstine entitled, “Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts.” He reported on a meeting between the advertising executives and a client:
A group from the agency had just finished its presentation of a market survey. The findings were conclusive—clearly showing that the policies being followed by the client could lead only to disappointment and perhaps disaster.
Despite the facts given in the presentation, the client had no desire to change the strategy that had been previously selected.
“I still think we’ll go along as we have been doing.”
“But how can you say that in the face of this evidence?” protested the agency man.
The client stared at the presentation, deep in thought. At last, he reached for a cigarette and said softly:
“Don’t confuse me with facts!”
But the client wasn’t the first to make that claim. Thousands of years before, Plato said, “I’m trying to think, don’t confuse me with the facts!” But most famously:
During the Watergate Hearings in August 1974, the pro-Nixon Representative from Indiana, Earl Landgrebe (in)famously retorted, “Don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind’s made up.” He went on to say, “I’m going to stick with my President even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot.” The next day Nixon resigned…and a few months later, Landgrebe was voted out of office.
Pharaoh knew the Egyptian livestock were dead. Pharaoh knew the Lord was behind it, “But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go” (Exodus 9:7).
That’s the curse of a hard heart.