Monday, August 13, 2012

XXXVII - The Plagues of Egypt: 6th thru 10th - Exodus 9:8-11:10

The Plagues of Egypt: 6th thru 10th  -  Exodus 9:8-11:10

Today's post is a continuation of the study about the plagues God placed on Egypt.  Thus far we've seen the first five plagues:  Blood, Frogs, Lice, Flies, and Livestock.  The pattern was the same:  God places a plague on Egypt. Pharoah would promise to let Israel go.  God removes the plague.  Pharaoh retracts on his promise.

Plague of Boils (9:8-12)

This is another example where God does not give Pharaoh warning, thus giving him ne chance to comply with God's instructions.  God has Moses pick up some ashes in Pharaoh's presence and toss it into the air.  God said it will become a fine dust going over all the land of Egypt, causing festering boils to break out on all people and animals.  It stated in vs 11 that the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the breaking out of boils on them.  But, here again, Pharaoh wuld not let the people go.

Plague of Hail (9:13-35)

Here God gives Pharaoh a chance to do as he has been instructed.  Mosed told Pharaoh that God said "Let my people go, so that they may worship Me".  Moses goes on to say that God will send the full force of His plagues against Egypt so that Pharaoh, his officials, and the Egyptian people will know that there is none equal to God in power.  Vss 15 and 16 are interesting.  God says "I could have wiped you and your people from the face of the earth if I wanted to, but I have spared you so that you could proclaim My Name in all the earth".  {Bear in mind that Egypt was probably the most advanced and the most influencial country on earth at that time.  Egypt will have been instrumental in making "The God of Israel" feared in all the earth.}  In vs 19 God (still through Moses) gives an unusual warning.  He tells Pharaoh to instruct all his people to bring all their people, livestock, and anything valuable under a shelter because the hailstorm will be too severe for anything to survive.  But God in His wisdom was giving the Egyptians a test of faith.  If they brought everthing in under shelter, that meant they believed in God and His power.  It says in vs 21 that "those who ignored the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the field".  Vss 22-->  It goes on to say that Moses
stretched his hand and there fell hail, along with thunder and lightening like never before seen.  The only place that did not have hail was Goshen where the Israelites were located.  The remainder of the chapter tells how Pharaoh begged Moses to stop the hail and he would let the people go.  But, as was his custome, Pharaoh did not keep his promise.
Plague of Locusts (10:1-20)

God again gives Pharaoh warning.  He told him if he doesn't humble himself before the Lord, He will send a swarm of locusts to Egypt.    Notice God (like many of the other times) gives Pharaoh a full day to make up his mind.  Vs 7 indicates that Pharaoh's officials and probably his closest advisors are now urging him to give in to the demands of Moses.  These men have seen their beautiful and powerful country turned to ruins.  Pharaoh sends for Moses and tells him to take his people and go, but then abruptly asks "who will be going?".   Moses tells him, "we will all go, and take with us our
flocks and herds.  Notice in vs 10 that Pharaoh vacillates (sign of weak leader) when he seems to send them on their way and says "may the Lord be with you".  But then warns that evil awaits them in the wilderness.  Then suddenly he says that only the men can go, and throws Moses and Aaron out from his presence.  Then God has Moses stretch out his hand which allowed an east wind to bring the locusts.  {Those of you readers that have been exposed to swarms of locusts, you know how destructive and menacing these locusts can be.  But you must try to imagine the number of locusts to be in the tens of millions.}  The locusts devoured every green thing in Egypt.  Again Pharaoh calls for Moses and again promises to let the people go, but breaks his promise after God removed the locusts.

Plague of Darkness (10:21-29)

God then displays His power over the god Egypt hold so dear:  Ra, the sun god.  God gave Pharaoh no notice this time.  He placed darkness over Egypt for three days.  Vs 23 - Noone could see anyone else or move about.  Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.  Then Pharaoh tells Moses that all the people can leave but they must leave the flocks and herds behind (remember, all of Egypt's livestock is now dead).  But Moses remained absolute and told Pharaoh that all livestock must go with them in order for them to have something to sacrifice to God.  Pharaoh got angry and told Moses the next time he sees him, he will die.  Moses said, "Very well.  I will never appear before you again.  This statement by Moses should have worried Pharaoh.
Plague on Egypt's Firstborn (11:1-10)

This is the tenth and last plague God will afflict on Egypt.  This plague will have significance in the nation Israel for every generation to come, even to this day.

Ex 11:1 - God tells Moses this is the last plague and then Pharaoh will let you go.  Surely this is music to Moses's ears.  I'm sure Moses has found no pleasure in all the devestation he has seen.  God then instructs Moses to tell the people to ask their Egyptians neighbors for silver and gold.  It says the Lord gave the Israelites favor in the sight of the Egyptians (KJV).  {Also, don't you think many of the Egyptians would have given them anything just to get rid of them?  By this time all of Egypt knew exactly what was going on and why.  They knew there would never be any peace or
relief from the palagues until the Israelites left.}  God says He will send the proverbial "angel of death"  through Egypt about midnight and kill every first born son.  This will include Pharaoh's son, firstborn sons of all Egyptians, their slaves, and even the firstborn of their livestock.  God says there will be loud wailing throughout Egypt, but warns that not even a dog's bark will be heard among the Israelites.  God has told Moses of the last plague, but there is a lot of preparation for the Israelites to make before God places this last plague on Egypt, and He doesn't give the Israelites much time.  Tomorrow's post will begin with chapter 12 and we'll learn much more about God and see a precursor to Levitican law. 

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