Ten Plagues | Devotion 3: Go Again
Pastor Gareth Volz
God has something for each of His children to do to glorify Him. In Exodus chapter 3, Moses minded his own business, tending sheep for his father-in-law Jethro on the back side of the wilderness. God got Moses’ attention by speaking to him from a burning bush. He went on to tell Moses that He had heard the prayer of His people who were enslaved in Egypt, and He had chosen him to go to Pharaoh and tell him Jehovah Elohim (the holy, righteous, self-existing God) said, “Let My people go.”
The Lord God went on to tell Moses that Pharaoh would not listen to him because he had a hard heart and God would harden it further. Beginning in chapter 7, Moses went to Pharaoh and delivered God’s message, Pharaoh did not listen, and God sent the plague of blood on the Nile River, Egypt’s water source. In chapter 8, God sent Moses three more times to Pharaoh with the same message, “Let My people go,” and three more times Pharaoh refused. These refusals resulted in three more plagues upon the people and land of Egypt: the plague of frogs everywhere, inside and outside the homes in Egypt; the plague of gnats on the people and animals everywhere throughout the land; and the plague of flies everywhere inside and outside the homes of Egypt.
Finally, Pharaoh relented and said the people can go and offer sacrifices to God in the wilderness, but not to go far. I go crazy if just one fly gets in my house, so I can understand why Pharaoh finally agreed to do what God said. What I cannot understand is why as soon as the flies left, Pharaoh changed his mind and refused to do what God said. He had seen the power of God but refused to acknowledge Him as God.
So now we arrive at chapter 9, where God again sent Moses to Pharaoh and told him to let His people leave. Moses is further told to tell Pharaoh that if he refuses, He will send a plague on all the livestock of the Egyptians, but the livestock of the Israelite slaves will not be killed. The next day the Egyptian livestock died, but nothing happened to the livestock of the Israelites.
Still, Pharaoh refused to listen to God, and Moses was sent once again to Pharaoh with this message God gave to Moses and Aaron: “Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh. It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on people and animals throughout the land” (Exodus 9:8-9 NIV). Moses and Aaron did as God told them, and festering boils broke out on the people and animals of Egypt. However, once again, Pharaoh refused to do what God said. Pharaoh had a hard heart, and with each refusal to heed God, God made it harder.
Has God ever called you to tell someone about Jesus, and that person refused to listen to God’s words? Have you ever been led to share the Good News of the Gospel to hard-hearted people? If so, we can learn a lesson from God’s assignment to Moses: Do not quit! Do not give up and say, “What is the use; they will not listen?” God does not give up on us when we do not do what He says, so do not give up on others. Many will never listen, but some will.
God has extended grace upon grace to you and me, and He does not want any to perish. Moses could have been discouraged by Pharaoh’s hardening heart, but the Bible never records this. Moses continued to go to Pharaoh time and time again until finally in Exodus chapter 12, after ten plagues, Pharaoh does what God said and let God’s people leave.
God told Moses that the reason for all this was so that He would be glorified, and the Egyptians would know that He is God. Keep doing what God tells you to do, do not give up, and God will be glorified.