Scripture Read: Exodus 8 - 9
Title: God's Continued Warnings To Pharaoh
(H) Highlight verse: "The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said."" Ex. 8:18,19
(E) Explain: The warnings, and the plagues of God continue in these chapters. God speaks to Moses and tells him the words and actions he is supposed to say and do. Time and again God warns, through Moses, and Pharaoh responds with a hardened heart. God displays his power over and over again, yet Pharaoh refuses to relent. These plagues, namely the first two have a pointed theological intent, Yahweh is bigger than the gods of Egypt. The second plague is also the last plague the magicians can reproduce.
(A) Application: One difficulty I find in reading about these plagues is how all of this can apply to me and you today? I think sometimes we get caught up in the actual plagues and determining what it all meant at this time in history. I like what one theologian says, "In the final analysis, the story of the plagues is not about what God does to save you, or perhaps even so much a story of how he save Israel. It is about God, period; for when all is said and done, we all need to be reminded of him now and then."
He continues, "The plague narrative - indeed, the book of Exodus and the entire Bible - is a call to worship the true God, and it calls us to that goal by telling us who He is."
Personally, I find these answers comforting and helpful; for whenever we read a passage that may not sit well, or confuses us we can always come back to the truth that it is intentionally written to bring glory to God and cause us to respond in worship. Yes, many of the plagues may paint a picture of God being a mean heartless god, but in reality we see his attributes of mercy, sovereignty, patience and grace amidst the harshness of the plague narratives.
(R) Respond: God, I see that you had a big picture plan for the nation of Israel in Exodus, but more importantly you wanted to show us just how great, mighty and awesome you are. I praise you for your patience, kindness, grace and sovereignty and I worship you because you are worthy of all honor, glory and praise.
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I currently live on the Gulf Coast of Florida with my beautiful family. The Lord has blessed me with over 25 years of full time ministry. He is and has been faithful.