About Jesus      Steve Sweetman

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ch. 9:1-7   ch. 9:8-12   ch. 9:13-35

The Plague Of Livestock (ch. 9:1 - 7)


Again, as before, God tells Moses to tell Pharaoh to let His people go so they can worship me.  God clearly wants His people to worship Him.  He wants them out of Egypt and back in the land where they belong, but that's not the whole story.  He wants a people who will worship, as He does today, both with Israel and the church.  Just being out of the land is only part of God's will.  He wants a worshipping people.  


The plague this time is seen in verses 2 through 4.  This time God will strike every livestock that is in Egypt, but He will distinguish between Egyptian cattle and Israeli cattle.   He will not strike the Jews livestock 


Notice in verse 5 the "Lord sets a time" for the next plague to take place.  I've said it many times, God has a time table.  He does things on time, and He does them based on a predetermined time.  We see that clearly in this verse as we do in many other passages.   I see this whole event of the plagues as symbolic of the Great Tribulation that takes place at the end of this age.   In the book of Revelation, you will see many numbers and combination of numbers that suggest too that God has a timetable.  Each plague that takes place in the Great Tribulation will occur on time, and on God's predetermine time.


In verses 5 through 8 God does what He said He would do.  All Egyptian livestock were killed. All of the Jews livestock were not killed.  Still, Pharaoh did not let Israel go free.


The Plague Of Boils (ch. 9:9 - 12)


In this section we see the plague of boils.  Moses tossed some soot from a furnace into the air which became fine dust all over the country, producing boils on all people and animals.  Still Pharaoh's heart was hard.


Notice in verse 12 that the text says that "God hardened Pharaoh's heart."  So far after each plague the text says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart.  Here it says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart.  There's no difference here.  It is the same as before.  Pharaoh hardened his own heart in response to what the Lord had done to him and his nation.  God provided the opportunity for Pharaoh to harden his own heart.


The Plague Of Hail (ch. 9:13 - 35)


In verses 13 and 14 God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh again and confront him.  Moses was to tell Pharaoh to let God's people go or else the "full force" of these plagues will come on Pharaoh and all his people.  The words "full force" clearly state that these plagues are getting more and more severe as time goes on, which is clearly seen by a simple reading of these events.


Note the reason for this plague, and really, for all the plagues.  It is so that Pharaoh will know that "there is no one like" the God of the Jews.  For the same reason, at the end of this age, in the Great Tribulation, God will be seen for who He really is.  There is no one just like the God of the Jews.  Yet, as with Pharaoh, many  in the Great Tribulation will not admit to who God really is.  They will be stubborn until it's all over, stubborn to the bitter end.    


Verses 15 and 16 are very important.  God said that He could have wiped Egypt off the face of the earth, and of course He could have, but He didn't.  He didn't so that God could show His power to all those on the earth.  Note that it was God who raised Pharaoh to be the supreme leader as he was.  Pharaoh would not have been who he was, except for God.  And, the only reason why Pharaoh was so great, was so that He could refuse to let Israel go, so that God could show His great power in judgment against Egypt. 


Again, the same will take place at the end of this age.  God Himself will raise up the anti-christ.  The anti-christ will only come to power because God Himself puts him there.  He has no power in himself.  God will raise up the anti-christ for the same reason He raised up Pharaoh.  He will show His mighty power to all the nations of the world through His divine judgments of terror that He brings about on the earth.  The result will be the judgment of the nations and the salvation of Israel, as it was in Moses' day.


In verses 17 to 19 God speaks of the hail stones that He will have fall on Egypt.  This was the most severe hail storm that had ever come to Egypt. 


In verse 18 we see when the storm would come.  It would come "at this time tomorrow".  Once again, you see God has a timetable of events.   He has a predetermined time for all things, especially for His will to be worked out on earth.  If you read the gospel accounts of Jesus, especially in the book of John, you will see that Jesus did things at special predetermined times.  The phrase "His hour had not yet come" is often used in the gospels.  This phrase clearly shows that Jesus did things when it was God's time. God does have a timetable.  He does nothing on a whim. 


In verse 20 the text states that those of Pharaoh's officials who "feared the Lord" got prepared for the storm. It is clear that by this time, some in the land were getting the hint of who the God of the Jews was, and they were now beginning to fear Him.  Fear in this sense of the word is literal fear.  It's more than reverence.  Yet, as we see in verse 21, not all officials feared the God of the Jews.  Many officials didn't do anything.


So in verses 22 to 26 God did as He said He would do after Moses waved his staff into the air.  The hail flattened all the crops.  Along with the hail came thunder and lightning.


In verse 27 we note that Pharaoh admits that he had sinned, and that the Lord was in the right and he and all those in Egypt were in the wrong.  So in verse 28 he asks Moses to pray to the Lord to end the hail storm. 


The question is asked, "was Pharaoh really repentant here, or was this a temporary admission on his part to end the hail storm?"  I can't be sure, because we will see that he once again hardens his heart. 


There is a possibility of one of two things going on here.  One thing is that Pharaoh wasn't really sorry for his hard heart.  He simply wanted the storm to end.  The other thing is that God is progressively wearing Pharaoh down.  Maybe this was a true admission, but with many, it takes more than one time of repentance to really change the heart of a person.  All that being said, verse 30 tells us that Moses didn't totally believe Pharaoh.  So if I had to make a choice, I'd say these so-called words of repentance were simply spoken to get out of the present plague.


In verse 29 Moses agrees to stop the storm once he left the city, and that is what he does.  He tells Pharaoh that he will do this so that Pharaoh would know that the earth belongs to the Lord.  This is a new thought that has been interjected into the situation.  To date we've seen the reasons for these plagues was to show Pharaoh and all of Egypt, that there is only one God, and He is the God of Israel.  Now we see another reason for the plagues, and that is to show Pharaoh and Egypt that all the earth belongs to the God of Israel and not their gods, as it certainly does.


Even though Pharaoh appears to have repented, in verse 30, Moses saw through things.  He told Pharaoh that he knew that the words of repentant word totally real.  He told Pharaoh that he knew that he did not fear God.


In verses 31 and 32 we note that some crops were totally destroyed because they were in bloom, yet others weren't because they were not yet in bloom. 


In verse 33 Moses stops the storm.


In verses 34 and 35 we see that once the storm was over, Pharaoh "sinned again."  He and his officials hardened their hearts and would not let Israel go free. 

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