By: Ely Lagajino
And the next day the Lord did this thing. All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one of the livestock of the people of Israel died. Exodus 9:6 (ESV)
Moses to get ashes from the furnace and scatter them towards heaven in Pharaoh’s presence. The fine particles turn into boils. This number six plague affects people and beasts, including the magicians. The king’s magicians aren’t able to create a counterfeit, for these excruciatingly painful boils, instead, the sores multiply (Exodus: 9:8-12). Pharaoh’s heart hardens even more. When a person refuses correction from God, he is also hardening his heart against the Holy Spirit (PP p.278, 279).
The seventh plague is personal. It gives a person a chance, whether or not to accept God’s warning. The hail storm is coming. Everyone is advised to get their animals from the field. Those who won’t follow will die, men or beasts. The warning is an example of God’s mercy before the judgment day.
The hail storm arrives as predicted. The heavy hail stones plummet from the sky killing humans and animals out in the field, breaking trees and destroying all their crops. Pharaoh suddenly shouts out, “I have sinned, the Lord is righteous” (PP p.281). He sends for Moses with the promise to let the Israelites go. But when the king recovers from fear, he changes his mind again.
Then the plague of Locusts comes next. These notorious pests devour all greens in the fields, leaving everything brown, and ugly, might as well turn off the lights. For three days darkness at noon falls on Egypt. God is giving people time for reflection and repentance.
Once more Pharaoh calls for Moses. “Remove the darkness and I promise to let your people go but they must leave behind the women, children, and cattle.” How long will Paraoh harden his heart?
God just has to pronounce the last plague –death of the first born persons and animals. Moses gave this warning to Pharaoh during their first encounter. It should have happened earlier, or shouldn’t happen at all if only Pharaoh recognizes the living God and allows the Israelites to leave (Exodus 4:22, 23). God is long-suffering and abundant in mercy.