Pharaoh had his chance, then he struck out and God promised to send all the plagues. Why did God jump ahead this much without warning?
God unleashes the next plague
Without warning, God lets loose the next plague upon the Egyptians. Their livestock died from a pestilence. Now they were all going to start suffering themselves.
Body sores from illness and infection are painful to endure, especially in a world where comforts are limited. Sores that keep you in constant pain prevent you from running, fighting, and working at your best. Now, consider being part of a minority culture trying to keep a larger population down through forced labor. Generations of fear of one another brought them to this standoff, and then the God of the Hebrews stepped in to fight for them.
Why struck with all the plagues?
Many of us are used to reading memos, bullet points, grocery lists, and short news articles. We don’t take time to read through long novels, nor do we have the desire. This makes us look for lists where there are none. We read the repetition in these Old Testament passages and assume that there is a list of all ten plagues that struck the Egyptians and wonder why they drew them out so long. We miss the distinctions and the dialogue between each step.
In this instance, the fifth plague that struck the Egyptians, there are a few differences:
- God strikes without giving them the chance to let the people go first.
- God not only strikes with this plague of boils, He says He will give them all the plagues.
- God hardens Pharaoh’s heart, instead of Pharaoh hardening his own heart.
This is vastly different from the way God and Moses originally approached Pharaoh, saying “Please”. If we read too quickly and fail to look for the differences mixed in with the similarities, we miss some of how God chooses to work.
So what does it mean that God started off with pleasant manners and got ready to dump all the rest on seemingly at once?
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.