Snakes, blood, frogs, gnats, and flies.
So far, the plagues have been limited to annoyances. Granted, they are huge annoyances, but the Egyptians will recover from them without much trouble.
Until Exodus 9.
God is about to turn up the heat. He is gonna kick it up a notch. He is going to put a little spicy dijon on the next one. Pick your metaphor. I like the last one myself.
The flies give way to a “deadly pestilence” that will kill all the livestock. This just got real folks! Things that aren’t frogs are dying now. Things of value. Things that help an economy stay on its feet.
Then come the boils. Gross.
Then comes the heaviest hail Egypt has ever seen. I didn’t know Egypt had even seen any hail. But this stuff will literally end your life if you are caught in it.
So get the HAIL indoors! Boom!
Playing Both Sides
These plagues are happening because Pharaoh’s heart is hard and he won’t let the people go. Sometimes the text makes it clear that Pharaoh was hardening his own heart.
But most of the time it seems like God is doing the hardening.
And I don’t know what to do with that.
God is simultaneously dead-set on getting his people out of Egypt and making it more difficult for them to leave. He is hardening Pharaoh’s heart! He is working against himself!
Does anyone else think that’s crazy?! Am I missing something?
Cards On The Table
I wrote before about God being fine with inefficiency. Now we know why.
“. . . so that you (Pharaoh) may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But this is why I have let you live: to show you my power, and to make my name resound through all the earth.”
Look Pharaoh, I’m a lot like Texas. Don’t mess with me.
Oh, you don’t like that comparison? Try this one on. I’m like Frank Thomas. I bring the Big Hurt!
I just want to make sure that you and everyone else around here know who I am. And not only that, but I want y’all to know I will f**k you up if you don’t let my people go!
The Big Reveal
I think back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I think about how they primarily (with a few notable exceptions) knew God as one who stuck with them and helped them prosper. I think about the long periods of time where he didn’t really do anything big save for keep Laban at bay.
But now God reveals what he is capable of.
God just got big. God just got scary.
And that is terrible news if you are Pharaoh.