“Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do unto Pharaoh; for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord; And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah (YHWH) was I not known to them.
And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. I have also heard the groanings of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians kept in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.
Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments.
And I will take you to myself for a people, and I will be your God; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
And I will bring you into a land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob: And I will give it to you for an heritage: I am the Lord.
And Moses spake so unto the Children of Israel; but they hearkened (listened) not unto Moses for (because of) anguish of spirit, and for (because of) cruel bondage.” Genesis 6:1-9
God was giving them the confirmation of the fulfilment of the wonderful promise that the Hebrews had waited on for four-hundred years.
God had given Abraham the promise of a great nation, so many that no man could number, as the sands of the sea they would be, but this great nation would also come forth from enslavement and persecution, but they would come victoriously through the miraculous work of God.
Genesis 15:12-15: “And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
And he (God) said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs’s, and shall serve them: and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance (possessions).
And thou shalt go to thy fathers (die and join ancestors) in peace; and thou shalt be buried in a good old age.”
So even though the story had been handed down and they knew that one day deliverance would come, they had become so weary and so discouraged, beaten down by all the years of bondage, and enslavement, the beatings and killings of their brethren over and over, year after, turning into hundreds of years, generation after generation trying so hard through their pain and absolute anguish to hold onto the promise that Abraham had been given.
Their hope so lost and dashed by the cruel lashes of the Egyptians whips, their elderly dying under the weight of the constant building and toil. The planned genocide as Pharaoh called for the execution of their sons.
When Moses was sent with that fateful commission, giving them the wonderful news, from the mouth of God himself, that freedom was soon coming, they couldn’t even hear it, as his first request to Pharaoh had ended with Pharaoh making their work more difficult, in demanding not only that they make their own bricks, but now they would have to gather their own straw, wherever they could find it while continuing to meet the demanded quota.
Now they couldn’t even hear it, they could no longer rejoice in what they had so long hoped for, because they had hoped for so long with their bondage seeming to grow worse as that freedom grew closer.
I used the word seemingly because in the natural it was truly far worse, but in spiritual, a far greater plan was unfolding and with each step of that plan, God would use Pharaoh own evil heart against him. increasingly hardening it.
At the end of it all, Egypt would know who held the true power and the Hebrews would know that their freedom was not granted by some act of benevolence from the Egyptians but that it had been given through the supernatural hand of God and God alone.
It would be great to put the entire story here, but of course that is not possible but please read this for yourself so that you will have the entire story. Exodus chapter seven-chapter fourteen.
I do want to highlight some points concerning the plagues that God poured out on Egypt and the fact that those plagues did not affect his people, the Hebrews. Just as with the culmination of the future judgments.
When Pharaoh’s magicians threw down their rods in answer to Aaron’s rod becoming a serpent, Exodus 7:12 tells us this: “For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents, but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”
And Pharaoh’s heart was yet hardened, then came the first plague, Exodus 7:17-22: “Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
And the fish that are in the river shall die, and the river shall stink: and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon their pools of water, That they may become blood, and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
And Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants, and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
And the fish that was in the river dies: and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river: and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them: as the Lord had said.”
Plague of frogs: Exodus 8:2-7 : ” And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs; And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs.
The frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come upon the land of Egypt.
And the magicians did so with their enchantments and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.”
Now I am sure that you are noticing by this point that Pharaoh’s magicians attempting to replicate the plagues, tris was only allowed in my belief to further give Pharaoh that sense of invincibility that was just increasing the hardness of his heart. He asked Moses to ask the Lord to remove the plague and he promised he would then let the people go.
Moses replied with a warning that Pharaoh still refused to heed. Exodus 8:10:”And he said, To morrow, And he said, Be it according to thy word; that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the Lord our God. So the frogs died, they literally had to gather them up into heaps and we are told that the land stank.
Think Pharaoh kept his word? Sounds like someone on the world stage at the moment doesn’t with the pathological lying.
The Pharaoh just wasn’t getting it but the magicians are getting ready to.
Exodus 8:15: ” But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite (relief), he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them, as the Lord had said.”
Exodus 8-16-19: “And the Lord said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice (gnats) throughout all the land of Egypt.
And they did so, for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became as lice in man, in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not; so there was lice upon man, and upon beast.
Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger (an act) of God; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.
So he’s not listening to going to give into the command of the Lord, he’s not going to listen to prophet, now he’s not even going to listen to his own men, so…
Exodus 8:20-24 : ” And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, upon thy people, and unto thine houses; and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground wherein they are.
And I will sever (set apart) in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there to the end that thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.
And I will put a division between my people and thy people; to morrow shall this sign be. ;
And the Lord did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the houses of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt; the land was corrupted by reason of the flies.”
So now God has let him know that these plagues are only going to hit him and his people, so Pharaoh yet again asks Moses to ask the Lord to remove the plague and gives his promise that he will let them go but think again.
“Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horse, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen. and upon the sheep, there shall be a very grievous murrain (severe pestilence).
And the Lord shall sever (make a difference) between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt, and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel.
And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land. And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all cattle of Egypt died; but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.” Exodus 9:3-6
This was very personal and God made sure Pharaoh understood that but he still would not relent.
Exodus 9:8-12: ” And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes from the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
And it shall become small dust in the land of Egypt, and it shall be a boil breaking forth with blains (sores) upon man, and upon beast;
And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.
And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them, as the Lord had spoken unto Moses.
The Lord has him told again, Exodus 9:14-16 :“For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.
For now will I stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
Even though Pharaoh was still hardened, by this point, some of the Egyptians were taking it very seriously and feared the word of the Lord and sheltered their cattle when they had heard the pronouncement of the plague of hail that follows.
Exodus 9:23-26: “And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
So there was hail and fire with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field and brake every tree in the field.
Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.”
Again, Pharaoh asks for the plague to stopped, even saying that he had sinned, the Lord is righteous and conceding that he had his servants are wicked and that he will let them go, Moses answered him that he knew they would not yet fear the Lord, but he asked and when God stopped the plague, Pharaoh yet again sinned and hardened his heart.
By this point, Pharaoh’s servants were even asking that he let them go because of the utter destruction, but Pharaoh is still wanting to control them by stating his conditions on the release.
So God sends the locust.
Exodus 10:13-15: “And Moses stretched. forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the wind brought the locusts.
And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt; very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them hall be such.
For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which had been left; and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.”
Can you imagine how terrifying, the wind would have been! How ominous as it blew day and night, and then to witness swarms of locust so thick that they darkened the sky?
Can you imagine the horror and dread to those who had already tried to reason with Pharaoh, as they all knew this was the hand of God?
And they knew by this point that no human, not even Pharaoh could stand against him.
Unfortunately for them, Pharaoh himself was still not quite convinced of that.
So again, Pharaoh pretends to repent, and God removes all the locust, and again, Pharaoh still would not let them go.
Exodus 10:21-23: “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.
They saw not one another neither rose any man from his place for three days, but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.”
So here we again with Pharaoh, he now tells Moses they can go but they must leave their flocks, before this he had demanded that only the men would go, he is still thinking that this is going to be on his terms.
He once again refuses to let them go and then tell Moses that if he ever sees him again, he will die. Moses answered him with this. Exodus 10:29:“And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.”
Now the final plague, God instructs Moses to have the Hebrews ask jewels of silver, and gold from the Egyptians and the Egyptians gladly gave them. Then the Lord gave Moses the instruction for the people for the Passover to come that night,
Exodus 12:20-23: “Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
Then Moses called for the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover,
And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door; and will not suffer (allow) the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.”
He also instructed them to keep this always as a remembrance of his divine deliverance and mercy toward them and his destruction of those who bound them.
This story still puts chills over me, I can’t imagine the horror, it mirrors much of the last day events that will take place.
Exodus 12:29-33: “And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on the throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of the cattle.
And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said.
Also take your flocks, and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone, and bless me also.
And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.”
The power of God raining judgment down is a very good deterrent, and there will those that are like those we see today, and they will be held accountable for their cruelty and they will one day, one way or another know that there is a holy and just God that they have no power against.
Of course, Pharaoh, with that heart hard as stone, could not resist chasing after the Hebrews, in hope of dragging them all back into slavery, but God’s plan was to put a stop to it once and for all.
As the Hebrews saw the Egyptians pursing that came against Moses, complaining that they would have been better off serving the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.
That same deathly defeated thinking that caused them to not listen to him at the beginning.
Moses’ reply, Exodus 14:13: ” And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”
The Egyptians no more: Exodus 14: 18-30: “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
And the angel of God which went before the camp of Israel, removed, and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them.
And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these; so that one came not near the other all the night.
And Moses stretched his hand over the sea; and the lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night; and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their righthand, and on their left.
And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
And it came to pass, in the morning watch, The Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians.
And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily, so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters come up again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
And the waters returned and covered chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shores.”
Four hundred-and thirty-years Israel had been in Egypt, and when deliverance came, they were too weary to see, but it still came. They had always been taught that promise, instructed in taking Joseph’s bones with them when their freedom finally came, but I am sure that they also believed it would be a swift deliverance, but as we have read, that was not the case.
That divine deliverance came with such wonder that the entire world would know that the Hebrews God, Jehovah God was the one true God and greatly to be feared and that He would indeed deliver his people from their tormentors.
We know Jesus mirrored this, as He is the great, spotless Passover Lamb, delivering us from our sins, the devil and hell, death, and the grave.
Giving his life in exchange for us and He will also deliver his people in the future days to come, when all things will be made right, but until then, keep the faith and never doubt doubt that deliverance is on it’s way.
Thank you for reading, I do apologize that this is much longer than my normal work, but I felt this was what I was to do, the podcast version would be another option.
Φλογιζω NBJ 2002/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson