13 So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; 14 they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. 15 They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
16 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”
18 Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19 And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go. Exodus 10:13-18
Imagine going outside in the morning and the ground is covered with locusts. The inside of their homes were covered too. Pharaoh was not immune to these pests either. Nothing gets done. No one goes anywhere. No one can go anywhere. The locusts eat up all the vegetables growing. You just can’t get rid of them.
Pharaoh seems to be caught in an endless loop: the rules are laid out. Pharaoh refused to let them go. Consequences come. Pharaoh sort of repents. The Lord forgives, and the rules are yet again laid out.
We also see this cycle throughout Israel’s history. Fortunately, the cycle was broken when Christ came to earth. He was mankind’s ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Pharaoh only did what he did because he was a sinner in need of a Savior. He had plenty of opportunity to turn to the Lord God Almighty but it was always on his terms. When it wasn’t expedient for him, he returned to his old ways.