In Exodus 7-8, God has sent Moses to tell the Egyptian Pharaoh, “Let my people go!”. When Pharaoh refused, God began sending plagues on Egypt to make His point. First, were the water turning to blood and the plague of frogs. But Pharaoh foolishly thought he could box with God.
Reading from Exodus 8 through 10, we see that God plagued Egypt with gnats and flies, then destroyed their livestock when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let the people go. This was even after seeing the miracles God performed through Moses to show Pharaoh Who was judging him. The text makes clear that Israel did not suffer the plague of flies, and their livestock did not die – further proof that it was God Himself acting against Pharaoh, and against Egypt’s gods.
So the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise your staff and strike the ground. The dust will turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.’”
Exodus 8:16 NLT
If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them.
Exodus 8:21 NLT
If you continue to hold them and refuse to let them go, the hand of the Lord will strike all your livestock—your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep, and goats—with a deadly plague. But the Lord will again make a distinction between the livestock of the Israelites and that of the Egyptians. Not a single one of Israel’s animals will die!
Exodus 9:2-4 NLT
God sent a plague of boils, and then of hail. (Only Goshen, where the Hebrews lived, was spared.) The locust plague that came next destroyed all vegetation. God then covered the land with darkness “so thick you can feel it”. Still, Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go.
By this time, there were Egyptians who had started to catch on. When God sent the warning through Moses He was sending devastating hail, some wisely brought their animals and servants inside, saving them from the storm.
Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a brick kiln, and have Moses toss it into the air while Pharaoh watches. The ashes will spread like fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, causing festering boils to break out on people and animals throughout the land.”
Exodus 9:8-9 NLT
So tomorrow at this time I will send a hailstorm more devastating than any in all the history of Egypt. Quick! Order your livestock and servants to come in from the fields to find shelter. Any person or animal left outside will die when the hail falls.’”
Exodus 9:18-19 NLT
If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will bring a swarm of locusts on your country.
Exodus 10:4 NLT
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.” Exodus 10:21 NLT
All of these plagues had absolutely ruined Egypt, but Pharaoh pridefully had no intention of allowing the Israelites to leave. However, God had other plans, and told Moses to instruct the Hebrews to ask their neighbors for silver and gold, which they gave them. God’s final blow would be so devastating the Egyptians, from Pharaoh to the least of servants, would be anxious for the Israelites to leave them.
Obedience would have been much easier, but would have required humility. Pharaoh had not yet learned Who was really in control.
Categories: Bible study