By Brooke Holt
“For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go.” Exodus 9:14-17 (“The Great ‘I AM’ Study Reading: Exodus 9:8-35)
The sixth plague targeted the people of Egypt, as well as the animals. When Moses threw soot into the air, the dust coated the realm, and their bodies erupted in boils. The pain must have felt excruciating; the text tells us the magicians could not even stand before Moses. They quickly surrendered, but Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. God had demonstrated his power over all the earth – nature, beast, and man. Still, Pharaoh continued to exalt a false god: himself.
The Lord sent Moses to remind Pharaoh of a few facts. First, he could have erased the entire nation of Egypt from the earth at any point. Pharaoh might think of himself as God’s equal but, in reality, his very existence depended on the Lord’s will. Second, God designed all of the plagues for one purpose: to show Pharaoh and Egypt that no one on all the earth is like God. He has no equal. That Moses’ words again fell on deaf ears should not surprise us.
During the seventh plague, God extended his grace beyond the Hebrew people to the Egyptians. He told them about the devastating hailstorm he would send and provided a path of deliverance. He would spare anyone who believed him and acted on that faith. As always, he was true to his word. Rocks of ice pummeled the earth, killing everything left out in the open – animals, people, crops and trees. As before, the hail did not affect the land of Goshen or God's people. This time, the Egyptians who sought shelter, those who obeyed God and prepared for the storm, also remained unharmed.
Once again, Pharaoh surrendered briefly and even acknowledged his sin. Moses was not fooled for a second; he knew Pharaoh would renege as soon as the storm passed - which, of course, is exactly what Pharoah did. Moses was also skeptical of the Egyptians’ newfound faith, and the text implies that at least some of them reverted to their old gods as well.
God offered the Egyptians grace and deliverance from his righteous wrath, if they believed. He does the same for us through the blood of his son. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). He provided the Egyptians with a plan and a safe haven from the storm if they obeyed. Today, we can take shelter from the tempestuous world around us in his word, his love, and through his Holy Spirit. Like the Egyptians, however, we must make a choice between the one true God and the many imposters that draw us away from him.
How have you experienced God's grace in your life? Does your life reflect this grace to the world? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments?
Want to learn more about the rest of Exodus? Enjoy learning about it through "The Great 'I AM'. Written by Charlie and Brooke Holt, it helps us under the parallels between the Israelites' exodus from Egypt and our exodus from sin through Christ. Check it out in the links below.
Come explore the grand story of God as the one who knows and loves his people. In one of the greatest love stories ever told, The Book of Exodus reveals God as Yahweh, the Great “I AM.” He is the transcendent, all-powerful creator of all things who defeated the greatest powers of the earth. This same God would have his people know and love him in an intimate and personal way. The Great “I AM” – A Study of the Book of Exodus is a 9-week study consisting of a small group study guide combined with weekly video teachings. Come and meet The Great “I AM”.
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