Exodus Chapter 9

Moses and Aaron had been chosen to deliver the people of God, the Israelites, from the Egyptians. Pharaoh had no desire to let his slaves go free and had hardened his heart to the miracles and wonders of God. Moses and Aaron have been commanded by God to use His power to bring plagues upon the people in the land of Egypt. At this point, the Egyptians have been made to suffer through their water turning to blood, and great numbers of frogs, lice and flies. The magicians of Pharaoh, who are much like false priests, were not able to stop these plagues. The only way they stopped was by the prayers of Moses to God, but still Pharaoh has not listened. The story of the plagues of Egypt continues:

1 Then the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
2 For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still,
3 Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.
4 And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel.
5 And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land.
6 And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.
7 And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.

Again, Moses is commanded to go to Pharaoh and ask him to let God’s people go. If he would not, the animals of the fields of the Egyptians would die. This time, the Lord said there was a certain time this would happen. Moses did as he was commanded and the cattle of the Egyptians died the next day, while the cattle of the Israelites were unharmed.

8 And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.
12 And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses.

The Lord commanded Moses to use ashes to bring a plague of boils upon the Egyptians and their animals. They were commanded to spread the ashes in front of Pharaoh, so that he could see what they did. Moses and Aaron did as they were commanded and boils came upon the Egyptians. Still Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not listen.

13 And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.
15 For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
17 As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?
18 Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.
19 Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.
20 He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:
21 And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field.

Moses was commanded to go to Pharaoh again, to ask for the Israelites to be let go. The Lord threatened all His plagues upon the Egyptians to show them his power and majesty was greater than their false Gods. The Lord had allowed Pharaoh to remain, in order to show his power to the people. But Pharaoh had put himself above the people of God and denied God by not letting the Israelites go. The Lord promised a great hail to fall on Egypt and any animal left out in the fields would die. The people who had learned to fear the Lord, hid their cattle and themselves in their houses, while the others left their cattle in the field to die.

22 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.
23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.

The Lord commanded Moses to use the power of God to bring hail upon the land of Egypt, which he did. A storm of hail and fire came upon the land by the power of God. The storm destroyed everything in the fields: animals, men and trees. Again the Lord protected His people. I find it interesting that the things which the Egyptians had been blessed by because of the Israelites, were now being taken away. Crops of the field were plentiful in Egypt, because of Joseph and his gift of the spirit to interpret dreams. The cattle were brought to Egypt and raised by the Israelite farmers, when Jacob and his sons came to live in Goshen. The fact that even any Egyptians remained after the great famine, was due to Joseph so many years before. All these things were blessings to the Egyptians through the power of God, and now that Pharaoh would not allow the Israelites to worship God in freedom, God was taking those things away.

27 And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
28 Intreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.
29 And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord’s.
30 But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the Lord God.
31 And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled.
32 But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up.
33 And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the Lord: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.
34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
35 And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses

Pharaoh asked Moses and Aaron to pray to God again, to remove the plague of hail, and he said he would let the people go. Again Moses prayed for the plague to be stopped, and again Pharaoh went against his word and hardened his heart to the things of God. He would not let the people go free.

This story has been heard by many millions of people, the world over. When the Lord said Pharaoh had been allowed to remain so that His power would be shown to the people, I think that he may have meant to us, not just to those who lived there in Egypt. The story of the plagues and Pharaoh is an example to all of the great and terrible power of God. We cannot afford to become full of pride and harden our hearts to the things of God. This world is His. He created all that we know and have. When the Lord makes promises of destruction and trials due to wickedness, we need to listen. God can be trusted to do as He promises. In fact, promises of this type have been made to us in these latter-days. As the coming of the Lord gets closer, we will again experience plagues of all types, which will destroy the wicked things of the world. In 1 Nephi chapter 22 we read the following:

16 For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.
17 Wherefore, he will preserve the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire.

I believe in the promises of the Lord. I know that His power, the priesthood power, is greater than another power of man. I want to be on the Lord’s side and do the things that He has commanded us to do, so that I (and those I love who choose the right) can experience blessings and be spared from the destruction that will eventually come.

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