Parshas Va'era - "You are bringing sorcery to Egypt!"
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In explaining Pharaoh's refusal to hearken to Hashem's message to free B'nei Yisroel after Moshe began performing the signs (of his rod becoming a snake and consuming the rods of Pharaoh's sorcerers, and of turning the Nile to blood), Rashi (on Shemos 7:22) invokes the interpretation of the Gemara (Menachos 85a) that Pharaoh and his chief sorcerers mocked Moshe and accused him of using sorcery: "Are you bringing straw to sell in Efrayim, the city of straw? You are bringing sorcery to Egypt, the capital of sorcery!" (V. Rashi on Menachos ibid.) In other words, Pharaoh claimed that Moshe's signs were no better than home-grown Egyptian sorcery and were unimpressive - thereby dismissing the signs with the wave of a hand.
If the signs, which could be pretty much replicated by Pharaoh's sorcerers, could be so readily dismissed by Pharaoh as unconvincing, why did Hashem command Moshe to perform them at all? What was the point or gain? Why didn't Hashem command Moshe to begin with Makkas Kinim (the Plague of Lice), for that was the first sign which Pharaoh's sorcerers admitted was from God and was not sorcery? (V. Shemos 8:15)
The truth is that Pharaoh indeed should have been moved by the first few signs as well. Even if they could be replicated by his sorcerers, Pharaoh should have at least considered that Moshe's signs were not sorcery. After all, how did Pharaoh know whether the signs were sorcery or whether they were from God? It was Pharaoh's stubborn irrationalism which closed his mind to considering the possibility that the signs were legitimate miracles and that Moshe perhaps spoke the truth. Pharaoh's closed-mindedness and refusal to even entertain the possibility that there was a different explanation to the signs, thereby rebuffing God's command in a stubborn, irrational and myopic condemnation, was his sin. While the initial signs performed by Moshe perhaps would not have totally convinced Pharaoh of their pure truth, they were designed to test him and determine if he would deal with the challenge rationally or not.
This concept explains the cycle of the Makkos as presented in Shemos Rabbah (9:12) and as quoted by Rashi (on Shemos 7:25), that the typical Makkah was preceded by a lengthy period of warning, such that the warning period and the Makkah took a month. Why did the Makkos occur in this fashion? Unlike Pharaoh, who was not a thinker, but was closed-minded, stubborn and irrational (Sefer Mesilas Yesharim invokes the words of Chazal that Pharaoh worked the Jews without stop in order that they (too) would not have time to think and consider rebellion), Hashem seeks for people to think, consider the messages they are given, and make rational decisions. This was largely the test posed to Pharaoh and his nation, as evidenced by the methodical occurrence of the Makkos, with plenty of thinking time and warning between them. Pharaoh and the Egyptians were challenged to think and consider, and to then draw the right conclusions. They clearly failed this challenge.
This concept elucidates the explanation provided by commentators that Pharaoh eventually lost his free will regarding liberating B'nei Yisroel, as evidenced by the pesukim in which Hashem says that He will harden Pharaoh's heart. Why did Pharaoh lose his free will? Because he himself negated it! Rather than reflect on what was being presented to him and use reason and judgment, Pharaoh mindlessly and illogically dismissed it all, utterly refusing to use his capacity to think and act freely. Pharaoh began to box himself in and negate his free will, and after repeatedly doing so did Hashem take away Pharaoh's free will altogether.
Performing God's Will does not always mean that one has clear choices and that the correct choice is necessarily made; rather, it means that one thinks and then acts in a manner that utilizes and shows appreciation of the ability to think and make the most reasonable decision, hopeful that it is in conformity with God's Will.