This past Sunday we continued through the plagues in Exodus and God’s response to Pharaoh’s question of who is the Lord? We saw in these chapters that the plagues are God’s merciful response to proud souls that desire to evade God’s authority over their lives, and draw them back to Himself.
- 5th Plague – Livestock Die: 9:1-7
The plagues continue with many of the livestock dying. As significant as this would have been on the Egyptian economy, it was equally devastating spiritually. Many of the Egyptian gods were depicted in various ways that were connected to livestock. As they are dropping all over the land, this is a clear indication of God’s power and supremacy. Arguably the most pointed aspect of this plague shows up later in the book of Exodus when the people of Israel make a statue of a cow and worship it as they rebel against God. What’s striking is that they witnessed God’s power over the livestock and the Egyptian gods, and yet foolishly returned to them in hopes of them doing what they wanted.
- 6th Plague – Boils: 9:8-12
The next plague brings boils upon the Egyptians and their livestock. What’s interesting to note is the Egyptians were well-known for their interest and pursuit of medicine. Yet this plague renders their medical pursuits and advancements useless. In one sense, this is a pointed reality for us all, as our temptation is to place a trust in medicine; that it can do more for us than it actually can. In this, we begin to believe that we are sovereign over our body. I loved this quote, ‘Medicine is a wonderful tool, but it’s a poor Savior.’ Let’s not be lulled into thinking that medicine can do what only Christ can.
- 7th Plague – Hail: 9:13-35
The hail comes and brings severe devastation on the land. In this plague, we see what almost appears to be purpose statements for the plagues. Three of them stand out.
To know there is no one like God: in verse 14, God makes it clear that the purpose of these plagues is to reveal that there is no one like God. He stands alone and supreme above all others.
For God’s Name to be praised: in verse 15 -16, it’s clear that the purpose of the plagues is to lead us to a place where we respond in praise. The work of God should lead us to the worship of God.
That God has authority over creation: in verse 29, we see that authority is subjected to the Lord. Even Pharaoh understands this, at this point.
The plagues were far more than just a show. They were a demonstration of God’s power that were meant to lead people to mission and worship!
- 8th Plague – Locust: 10:1-20
On the heels of the devastating hail, the locust come. Even Pharaoh’s advisors know that Egypt is ruined, and yet Pharaoh is calloused and unwilling to relent. This is a clear example of the delusion of sin. Pharaoh fails to see what everyone around him can clearly see. None of us are immune to this. If we don’t have people speaking into our lives, and we are unwilling to listen to what they say, we can become blind to the effects of sin in our lives.
- 9th Plague – Darkness: 10:21-29
This plague may have been the most spiritually depressing of all for Egypt. The Egyptian god Re was arguably the supreme deity in Egypt. Pharaoh was the embodiment of Re. But for 3 days, the sun disappeared. When your god is the sun and it goes away you’re left with emptiness and dread. Once again, and in dramatic fashion, God is making known that He is the one true God, and the Egyptian gods are frauds and fakes.
As we consider God’s work through the plagues, let us be reminded that our God rules over all, including us. In response to that, let’s honestly examine and evaluate our life to see if there are ways that we are looking to idols to bring us something that only Jesus can. Then let us worship the Lord with our lives in all that we are.