God heard the cries of a nation held in slavery and told Pharaoh to let the people go. Pharaoh did not listen, apparently believing that his gods would protect him and his country. Initially Pharaoh hardened his heart to refuse to let the people he held in slavery go, but eventually God hardened his heart to demonstrate His great power over all gods and creation. It did not end well for the Egyptians.
Every country that denies the truth that God created everything by His divine power and that He will hold people accountable for their denials should understand the lessons applied to the Egyptians. Everyone who practices evil and intentionally disobeys the revealed will of God will be held accountable by the great Judge.
So that everyone will understand that God is LORD of creation, the lessons begin.
Magicians: Pharaoh’s wise men and magicians performed magic tricks with their secret arts. When Aaron threw down his staff, it became a serpent. The magicians also threw down their rods and they became serpents. Amazing! However, then Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs. The magicians had been beaten at their own game.
Water to blood: Since Pharaoh was not willing to let the people go, Aaron raised his staff over the waters of the Nile and all the waters in Egypt were turned to blood – water in all the rivers, reservoirs, pools, and containers. The fish in the river died and people could not drink the water. The magicians were able to do the same with their magic arts but apparently, they could not reverse the transformation back to water.
Frogs: Having reneged on his promise to let the people go, Aaron stretched out his staff and there were frogs everywhere – in the houses, in the kitchens, and on the people. Frogs were considered like gods of fertility and at about this time, they were in a serious conundrum. Would you dare destroy the frogs if they would bring you fertility? So, Pharaoh called Moses to have the frogs removed. Moses says, sure, when would you like me to ask God to remove the frogs. Pharaoh’s answer? Tomorrow. So as the song goes, One More Night with the Frogs! Then as Moses asked, the frogs died, and they were piled in heaps and stank. But again, Pharaoh hardened his heart.
Insects: The houses of the Egyptians were full of flies, but none were found in the camps of Israel. Even the magicians admitted defeat and understood that this was the work of God. After asking Moses to remove the flies, Pharaoh once again hardened his heart and did not let the people go.
Disease: The Egyptian livestock died but the livestock owned by the children of Israel were unaffected.
Boils: The sores broke out on man and beast throughout Egypt except in the camp of Israel. God did not allow Pharaoh and Egypt to be utterly destroyed but the point of the plagues demonstrated that there is no one like Him in all the earth.
Natural disasters: Hail, lightning and rain destroyed trees and crops throughout Egypt but not in the camp of Israel. Perhaps they might have attributed the storms to global climate change, but it was severe enough that Pharaoh declared that the LORD is righteous, and he and his people were the wicked ones. So, he agreed to let the people go. Then his heart was hardened, and he did not let them go.
Locusts: When the locusts descended on the land as had never been seen before, even Pharaoh’s servants recognized that the country was being destroyed and appealed to Pharaoh to let Israel go. However, Pharaoh was not willing to let his slaves go.
Darkness: Three days of darkness did not change Pharaoh’s mind.
Death: Pharaoh was warned of the death that would come to all the first-born in Egypt, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart again. As the people of Egypt cared for their dead, they urged Israel to leave.
The people of Israel finally grab their things and head out into the wilderness with Moses leading the way. Pharaoh again changes his mind and calls the army into action to chase the departing slaves. Stubborn and unwilling to face the facts, he again attempts to deny the power of God.
War: It seems that Egypt’s entire army follows Israel into the Red sea. That’s when God causes the chariot wheels to swerve and drive with difficulty. When everyone of the horsemen and army had gone into the sea, God caused the waters to return, drowning everyone.
A leader of a nation who refused to acknowledge and obey God suffered complete defeat.
Think about the world today. Leaders who act as though there is no God, who make decisions that are contrary to good government and peace, can expect their country to experience turmoil and war. Countries that have been ruled by the wisdom of God have known peace.
The legalized murder of innocents and the protection of those who carry out such deeds will bring great judgment the nation. Disease, infestations, natural disasters and war can be anticipated for those who deny the existence and authority of God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the One who lives forever and who will judge each one.
No one should say they weren’t warned.