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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

May 10, 2017

Exodus  8:1-32

  1. Verses 1-4. It has been seven days since the Lord had turned the Nile into blood. Instead of. Pharaoh’s heart being moved, his heart was allowed to harden even more. The Lord allowed Pharaoh to be the mean Pharaoh he wanted to be. As I pointed out last week, we need God to keep us from ourselves. You don’t want God to let you be you. In those cases, your flesh will destroy you. Pharaoh’s resistance has grown, but Moses is getting stronger as a spokesperson for God. God spoke to Moses and told him to return to Pharaoh and request that he let the people go. God told Moses that a plague of frogs would come if Pharaoh refuses. God told Moses that frogs would be everywhere in the country. The question we should ask is “What is the significance of the frogs?” Heqet (Heqat, Heket) was a goddess of childbirth and fertility in Ancient Egypt. She was depicted as a frog, or a woman with the head of a frog. The meaning of her name is not certain, but possibly derived from the word “heqa” meaning “ruler.” Frogs symbolized to many fruitfulness and new life, and it is thought that her priestesses were trained midwives. Heqet was attributed with the deliverance of the three initial kings of Dynasty V in a folktale (preserved in Papyrus Westcar) which comes down to us by the popular name of “Khufu and the Magicians.” God is about to mock the Frog God. Since the Egyptians attribute birth to her, God will allow the frogs to be supernaturally productive. LOL.

  2. Verses 5-7. Apparently Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh and made the same request as before, and Pharaoh gave the same denial. At this point, God instructed Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out the staff over the land and frogs appeared everywhere. The frogs came out from all the ponds and canals and covered the land. It was not uncommon for frogs to be in abundance, just not on land.

  3. Verse 8. Not to be outdone, the magicians of Pharaoh did the same thing with their secret arts, but making the frogs come on land is one thing, getting rid of the frogs is another. Pharaoh couldn’t get his magicians to rid the country of frogs, so he had to beg Moses and Aaron for that. Pharaoh stated that he would let the people go and worship if the frogs were removed. Of course he was lying. This is the lesson that people have to learn when it comes to folks that have power. Power is not easily relinquished. Powerful people have no trouble appearing to surrender and submit, with the intention of never changing their mind. Powerful people normally take a lot of persuading to really change and help oppressed people.

  4. Verses 9-11. Moses tells Pharaoh that he will pray for the plague to stop, but he will leave the time for this prayer up to Pharaoh. Pharaoh tells Moses that he would like the frogs gone the next day. So Moses agrees, but tells Pharaoh that this will be done on the next day to prove that the God of the Hebrews is the true God. Moses tells Pharaoh that the frogs will leave the houses but remain in the Nile.

  5. Verses 12-14. As promised, Moses asked God to remove the frogs and God removed the frogs by allowing the frogs to die right where they were. Dead frogs were everywhere in the country, and the land reeked of dead frog carcasses. Most people would assume that Pharaoh would relent and allow the people to go free, but this would not be the case. As soon as Pharaoh saw relief from the frogs, he reneges like a bad spades player and would not listen to Moses. This happened just as the Lord said. I bet Moses was getting pretty hot about now.

  6. Verses 15-19. At this point, we don’t even hear about Moses and Aaron going back to Pharaoh, all we hear is the next plague. The Lord tells Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out the staff over the land and strike the dust. The picture is of Aaron hitting the ground and dust rising. This would happen in the natural, but normally only the dust near the staff would rise and then fall. This time not only did the dust around the staff rise, but all the dust in the land rose and none of it settled. The dust rose and took wings. It is as if the entire population of Egypt is covered with gnats. They are small in size, but so numerous that they are like a giant army. God literally takes the dust and humiliates Pharaoh. Pharaoh saw the people as nothing but dust under his feet. This plague may or may not be connected to any god, this plague could be a picture of the people rising up under the supernatural power of God or it could be a sign of God being in control of the soil. I like the idea that the gnats represent the people since I know Pharaoh thought of the people as nothing more than dirt. What is interesting about this plague is that God chooses not to give Pharaoh a warning and the magicians cannot duplicate this plague. The magicians declare that this is like nothing they have ever seen. They can only conclude that this was the Finger of GOD. Pharaoh didn’t want to budge, but his people are convinced. Sometimes powerful people are so stubborn that they aren’t interested in even listening to their trusted advisors. God has allowed Pharaoh to become so egotistical that he can’t fathom being wrong. This is the judgment of God. The truth is staring him right in the face, but he can’t accept it. He refuses to accept defeat simply because he is too arrogant. There is a price to pay for being too arrogant. God will always humble the proud and exalt the humble.

  7. Verses 20-32. God tells Moses to go early in the morning and speak to Pharaoh and warn him that if he doesn’t allow the people to go that a plague of flies will come. With this plague, the second sequence of three plagues is commenced. Here, discrimination is made between the Egyptians and the Israelites. God is only going to allow the Egyptians to suffer. Quickly the text goes to the plague happening. We can surmise that the meeting with Pharaoh didn’t go well. While we cannot be certain of the exact species of flies that plagued Egypt, we would probably be safe in assuming that they were bigger, and bit harder than the gnats previously set loose on the Egyptians. The flies were so bothersome and worse than the gnats, Pharaoh was willing to negotiate with Moses. Powerful people always want to negotiate, but negotiate on their terms. He offered to let the Israelites have time off to worship their God, but only if they were to stay in the land of Egypt (8:25). When Moses refused this offer, Pharaoh countered with an offer that they could “go into the desert, but not very far” (8:28). Neither was offer was really acceptable. God never intended for the people to return, he was just testing Pharaoh knowing that the Pharaoh would never agree until he had no choice. God wanted to show Moses that Pharaoh was a liar. God often has to do this with regards to the Devil and us. The Devil is a liar and will always negotiate on his terms not God’s. Pharaoh’s request that Moses “Pray for me” (v. 28), indicates his self-centered interests. At first Pharaoh said he didn’t know God, now he is asking Moses to pray to God. Even though he now believes God exist, Pharaoh is not yet willing to submit to God. Moses left, but with the warning that there must be no more deceit on Pharaoh’s part regarding his promise to let Israel go. But when the flies were gone, so was Pharaoh’s motivation to let Israel go. Most powerful people are only motivated to get the pressure of doing something off of their backs. Once the pressure is off, they go right back to business as usual.

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