When the Egyptians finally convinced Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go, they made a stipulation: No women or children were allowed to leave. Only the men could go to worship God in the wilderness.
The plague of locusts seems like overkill on top the previous plagues. Pestilence killed the livestock. Hail crushed the crops. Next the locusts came and ate up anything left. The food supply was gone. All the men and women of Egypt suffered, along with their children.
It was even worse than that. The Egyptians not only relied on their plants for food, they also used them as fabrics for clothes and furnishings as well. Then, after the locusts finished with the fields, they came into the Egyptian homes and ate up anything they could find there.
No Women or Children Allowed?
The Egyptian people were ready to be done with the Hebrew people so they told Pharaoh to let the men go and do what they needed to do. They still thought this was a temporary excursion into the wilderness, like going on a retreat or to camp. In reality, God was pushing them to the point where they would want the Hebrew people gone for good.
The simplest way to get the Hebrews to come back, was to hold their families hostage. This did two things for the Egyptians:
- It allowed the Egyptians to let the men go without Egyptian guards escorting them to and from the wilderness without their women and children.
- It left the Hebrew women and children vulnerable to any retaliation the Egyptians may have decided to make.
By not allowing the women and children to go with the men, the Pharaoh moved into checkmate. He thought it was in his favor. However, God directed the moves, especially from this point onward.
What does it mean that God invited and desired that men, women, and children come to worship Him together?
How did God use the whole family to both protect and eventually free the Hebrew people?
What do you see here?
I’d love to hear what you see in this passage. You can comment below or send a text to 859-636-6965 for a faster response. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this text.