Good afternoon y’all. Today we looking at Chapter 8 of Exodus.
God is a great God. He is a loving Father whose desire is not for his children to perish in sin but that they will all come to His knowledge and saving grace.
In this chapter, we see Pharaoh still hardened and defiant against God. Even when his magicians gave up trying and admitted that all that was happening was the finger of God, Pharaoh still refused.
“So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the Lord to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord .” Moses said to Pharaoh, “Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.” And he said, “Tomorrow.” Moses said, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God”. (Exodus 8:6-10 ESV)
The frogs came down and Pharaoh asked his magicians to repeat the same and they did. So now more frogs all over the place…very smart indeed of Pharaoh. Anyway, Pharaoh got tired of the frogs and asked Moses to plead to God to stop the frogs. Moses asked him when he would like the frogs to disappear and Pharaoh, in his stupidity and foolishness, replied tomorrow! Like I can’t understand why he was willing to wait till tomorrow to be free. Why didn’t he want deliverance today? Was he hoping the frogs will disappear magically between today and tomorrow and then he wouldn’t have to acknowledge God’s power?
Some of us are like that. We are wallowing in sin and cos we know there are bound to be consequences, we cry out to God to help us and when He comes and asks, ‘Are you ready to be free?’, we say to Him, ‘Just let me enjoy this sin or gratify my flesh just one more time and I’ll be ready to be free’. May God help us all. The pleasure of sin mimics gratification but never truly satisfies…
Pharaoh was content to endure the nuisance of the frogs for another day even though he could have been free from them earlier: that’s what pride does to you.
Let’s check ourselves today are we content to remain in our problems/sin. Have we come to love our pride so much that we are willing to spend another day with the issue when God is rightly offering us freedom right now.
Moses did as Pharaoh asked. The following day he went to God on behalf of Pharaoh and God answered him. The frogs died but Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened.
Then came the gnats. Interestingly, the magicians couldn’t reproduce the gnats. God had allowed the magicians mimic the miracles earlier, which supported the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. However, in order for us to see proof that Pharaoh was not being misled by his trust in his magicians’ abilities, God brought them to their limit, while also humbling them. They had tried all and probably called on all the gods and demons they know of but to no avail. God had prevailed over them. The magicians made the declaration – this is the ‘finger of God’. Afterwards, the source of Pharaoh’s stubbornness became clearer: it was inherent, just as the Lord had said.
“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”.(Exodus 8:19 ESV)
This reminds me of Exodus 7: 5 where God said the reason He was punishing the Egyptians is so that they will know He is the Lord – Yahweh. In the verse above, we see that verse being fulfilled. The magicians have admitted their defeat to God. Pharaoh on the other hand was still not moved by this; his heart had been hardened.
Here comes plague number 4 and this time God puts a separation: This plague will not affect the Isrealites. He gives us the reason in verse 22: that Pharoah will know that He is the Lord in the midst of the earth.
“But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth”.(Exodus 8:22 ESV)
Again God has a purpose for everything he does. He is not a wicked God. He wants us all to come to know Him personally. He creates opportunities for us but the choice is ours if we will accept those opportunities. Our refusal usually leads to our destruction as we see in the case of Pharaoh.
I ask myself why were the Isrealites included in the 1st 3 plagues? I believe it’s because God wanted to shake them and make them desire to be free from Egypt. They seemed to have become comfortable in a foreign land and only complained when things took a turn for worse. As we will see in later chapters, when they got to the wilderness, some said to Moses, ‘…life was better in Egypt…let’s go back’. These guys were happy to be slaves in Egypt as long as the punishment wasn’t too harsh; as long as they got their 3-square meals and were given straws to make bricks for Pharaoh: they were happy and content. Yet that wasn’t Gods desire for them. He had to make Egypt unbearable for them so they will desire to be free because He had a better life planned for them. The life He promised their ancestors.
God is never content to leave us in our sin. He wants us to conform to the image of his Son and He will do whatever it takes to make us even if it means making things unbearable for us.
In verse 25, Pharaoh says to Moses and Aaron, ‘… go offer sacrifices to your God within the land…’. Did you notice the difference between what God asked Pharaoh and what he was willing to do? He had no problem letting them offer sacrifice to God but it will be done within the confines of Egypt. That was not what God wanted from him. Again pride makes him believe he can chose and tell God what he will and won’t do. Partial obedience is not the same as obedience. To God you might as well have not obeyed at all. Obedience is better than sacrifice.
Moses explained to him they can’t accept that offer. He needs to give them the offer God requested. Eventually Pharaoh said he would let them go and even asks for the flies to be gone. Moses told him he will do that but he must make sure he keeps his word of letting them go. The following day Moses pleaded with God and the flies left but yet again Pharaoh didn’t let them go.
In so many ways we are like Pharaoh too. We exhibit some of the attitudes he displayed in Exodus. How many times do we bargain with God: ‘Oh, God, if only you will deliver me from this, I promise I won’t go back to it again’. So God delivers and the next thing we are back at it again despite the fact that we know what God requires of us.
Gratifying our flesh seems more important to us than obeying God. The problem with gratifying our flesh is that it never gets satisfied. The flesh will always want more and more and more, which means you will have to continue to live in sin in order to keep gratifying it. The more you do that the more you separate yourself from God and harden your heart more and more.
Today, lets check ourselves and ask God to open our eyes to see ways in which we are like Pharaoh: proud and defiant of His instructions. Let’s ask for grace to make a change and start walking in obedience to Him.
Dear Lord we thank you for today. Thank you for loving us so much. We ask you open our eyes to the truth and help us walk in obedience to you. Thank you Lord. In Jesus Name we prayed. Amen
Thanks for joining today.
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Have a blessed day 🙂
***With God all things are possible***