The Plagues Begin



Exodus 6:28-30, Exodus 7:1-25, Exodus 8:1-32, Genesis 47:4-6, Psalm 95:1-5

BY Matt Capps

It was clear to everyone around him, except for “Josh,” who was in outright rebellion against the one true God and His Word. Because of this, his life was being unraveled, blow-by-blow, in chaos and destruction. So many people in his life have prayed and wondered, is there any hope? Will he ever take God seriously and bow the knee to King Jesus?

His story is not uncommon. In fact, it resembles one of the most notorious incidents of rebellion against God’s Word in the Old Testament. In Exodus, we are told that when Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, refused to let the Israelites out of slavery, God sent His mediator Moses to speak His on His behalf: “This is what the LORD says: Let my people go…” (Exodus 8:1).

However, at every turn Pharaoh refused God’s Word. In response, Exodus 7-8 narrates a divine war, a blow-for-blow account between the king of Egypt and the God of Israel. As Pharaoh raged his fists at the one true God, God unleashed plagues that systematically unraveled creation order in Egypt—from the sky to the water, to the land, to mankind, to animals, and even to plant life.

Any ancient Israelite would have recognized what was happening in this divine war. The creation order of life established in Genesis 1 was being unraveled in Exodus 7-8, namely, to demonstrate that the Lord is great and mighty, above all gods and kings. With each plague, Pharaoh had the opportunity to heed God’s Word and allow the chaos and destruction to cease. In the end, Pharaoh continued his rebellion unto defeat, while the God of Israel remained standing, as the true sovereign God over all.

As we journey through this Lenten season, it is important to remember that there is hope for “Josh”, and everyone else living in rebellion against God. We must allow our hope to be bolstered in Jesus Christ, a far greater mediator and deliverer than Moses could ever be (Acts 3:22, 7:37; Hebrews 3:3). As the resurrected Christ, He has defeated a rule of slavery far greater than Pharoah’s—He has defeated sin and death.

One of God’s great mercies is that He uses great unravelings in our own lives to bring us to a place of humility and repentance. Some people do not take God seriously until they see how serious their sin is. It is strange to think that God can, and sometimes does, use the destruction brought about by sin as a wake-up call. But each blow could be an invitation to bow to the true King. The choice is simple: continue unraveling into the chaos and destruction of rebellion, or repent and bow our knee to the one true God.

Written by Matt Capps

Post Comments (6)

6 thoughts on "The Plagues Begin"

  1. Matt Baker says:

    It is such a crazy idea to me that someone would not see how God was working in their life, especially when destruction was being used as a wake up call. Pharaoh did everything he could and found every possible alternate explanation for the events going on other than bowing down to the Lord and it ultimately brought about his defeat. The sad thing is that some people today live with that same mindset despite having this example to learn from. I’m having to watch it happen with a family member right now but I know that God uses all things for his glory and I have to trust in him as Moses and Aaron did.

  2. Eric says:

    It’s amazing how much these devotions connect to my life, I have been allowing my heart to harden and try and mold God’s will to my own. Falling to Anger and Jealousy, and things have been unraveling. I need to learn to accept the truths of God’s vision. And just live in his Grace and forgiveness tor end up like Pharaoh.

  3. Mark Pav says:

    For me it took that “great unraveling” mentioned in the devotional to come back wholeheartedly to the Lord. I didn’t seek his deliverance fast enough. Love verse 16 when, asked by Moses when he would like the frogs gone and Pharaoh says “tomorrow.” Don’t spend one more night with the frogs. The time for deliverance is now.

  4. RD Cogswell says:

    As I reflect on this passage and ask myself who am I most like in this story? There are times when I am most like Moses but too often I am most like Pharaoh. Sometimes my heart is open to God’s plan but then I become calloused to it and so my own thing. Many times it takes me 10+ times to finally surrender my will for his. I truly desire to obey and submit to His plan for my life and to not slip back into my own stubbornness!

  5. R. N. says:

    God is not just a God of place, God is clearly establishing himself to Israel as a universal, redemptive God. He does not seek to take over the land of Egypt but to redeem his people from the land of Egypt. He is not bound by a certain place to accept sacrifice, but rather is hoping for obedience from a certain people. The plagued strike against the domain of Egyptian gods, yet God does not seek their overthrow or political power for himself or the Israelites, rather for their obedience and closeness to him. We, too, should seek the presence of the LORD over power or territory.

  6. Kyle says:

    I had never realized the connection between creation and the plagues! What stood out to me in reading these chapters was how each plague was really a miracle of God but pharaohs stubbornness kept him from seeing it that way. I wonder how many times God has worked in my life, and I’ve hardened my own heart from seeing the miracles he’s doing right in front of me.

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