Exodus Chapter 8

By this chapter in the book of Exodus, Moses has been given the priesthood authority to show the wonders of God to the people of Egypt. Pharaoh denied the Israelites the ability to leave and worship God, so God commanded Moses to turn their water into blood. Pharaoh had his priests do something much like it and consequently hardened his heart to the miracles and wonders of God. This account continues as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
2 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs:
3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs:
4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.

Moses was commanded to return again and request that the Israelites be freed so that they might worship God. If he was refused by Pharaoh, the Lord would bring a plague of frogs to all people in the land of Egypt.

5 And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt.
6 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.
7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.

Aaron was told to bring the plague of frogs upon the people. The false priests of Pharaoh also conjured this plague.

8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord.
9 And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?
10 And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the Lord our God.
11 And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only.
12 And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the Lord because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh.
13 And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields.
14 And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank.
15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

Pharaoh asked Moses and Aaron to ask God to remove the plague of frogs and he agreed to let the Israelites go. Moses prayed that the Lord would stop the frogs and they stopped coming and the dead frogs were gathered. When the plague was no longer an issue, Pharaoh went back on his word to them and did not allow them to be free.

16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
17 And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
18 And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.
19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

The Lord told Moses to have Aaron turn the dust into a plague of lice. Aaron did what he was told to do and there was lice throughout Egypt. The magicians of Pharaoh tried to stop this plague, but they could not do it. They recognized the work of Moses and Aaron as the work of God, or at least they recognized that the power of God was with them, but Pharaoh still did not listen and let them go.

20 And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
21 Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
22 And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.
23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.
24 And the Lord did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.

Moses was commanded to go again to Pharaoh when he was going to the water, and again ask him to let the people go so that they could worship the Lord. He was commanded to tell him that if he did not, the Lord would bring a plague of flies upon Egypt. With this plague, the Lord said that the Israelites, who still lived in the part of Egypt called Goshen, would be spared from the plague. This was to show Pharaoh that He was the God of the world. Moses and Aaron did as they were commanded and the Lord put a plague of flies on the people in Egypt.

25 And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.
26 And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?
27 We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us.
28 And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me.
29 And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.
30 And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord.
31 And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one.
32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.

Pharaoh told Moses and Aaron that he would let them worship in the land, but Moses said no to this. He told Pharaoh that the Egyptians would kill them if they worshipped there. Moses told Pharaoh to let them leave the land to worship, just as God had commanded them. Pharaoh said he would let them go to worship, but they couldn’t go far away. Moses said he would pray that the flies be removed, but Pharaoh should not go against his word again. Then, Moses prayed and the flies stopped, but again Pharaoh would not let the people go.

I believe that Satan had a hold of the heart of Pharaoh. This man was a worshipper of false Gods, who put himself above all other people. Each time his false priests were able to duplicate something that Moses and Aaron had done, it gave him little reason to believe that the God of the Israelites was greater than himself or his gods. His heart was so hard and so deceived, that every time life was not plagued by some pest, he would go back on his word to the Israelite people. God knew the heart of Pharaoh, but still He gave him every chance to do the right thing. These plagues would have been extremely unpleasant to the Egyptians and they were just the beginning. I think it must have taken a very wicked man to allow his own people to suffer so much, just to be able to stay in power over another group of people. I wonder if I had the opportunity to experience things such as these, would I recognize the power of God or explain it away as something of lesser value. I would hope that I could recognize God’s work and more importantly, that I would learn from it and draw nearer to Him.

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