Exodus 9

Exodus 9 has the showdown between God and Pharaoh heating up.  The message Moses delivers is exactly the same each time.  “Let my people go, that they may serve me”.  God wants His people free to worship Him.  That is the request, or commandment.  Pharaoh is all about control and power.  So God continues the plagues.  Next comes a “very severe plague upon your livestock….a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt”.  But God is going to do it differently this time and make it obvious that it is His hand – as nothing will happen to the livestock of His people.

He also tells Pharaoh exactly when it will happen.  “And the Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land”.  Of course Pharaoh didn’t really believe it, so he “sent, and behold, not one of the livestock of Israel was dead”.  But his heart was still hard so God tells Moses to “Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw them in the air in the sight of Pharaoh….become boils breaking out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt”.  Remember that in the first plagues Pharaoh’s magicians were mimicking the same things.  Well this time “the boils came upon the magicians” as God ramps up the pain bit by bit in His plan to be sure everyone knows that He alone is God.

Pharaoh still has a hard heart so God makes the next plague very personal and says He will “send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people”.  He also makes it clear why Pharaoh is still alive – and what his life purpose really was – “for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth”.  God is about having His rightful place in the hearts of man.  He points out the real problem with Pharaoh.  “You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go”.  Sin is all about me, myself and I.  Pharaoh has that down pat.  And God is going to break that sinful attitude.

The next plague has God causing “very heavy hail to fall….will die when the hail falls on them…..the Lord rained hail” and it killed everything – plant, tree, livestock or people – that were out in it.  That got Pharaoh’s attention.  “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. 28 Plead with the Lord, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail”.  He admits his sinful attitude but once Moses calls for the hail to stop, Pharaoh goes right back to his sinful place.  “But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart”.  God will be glorified and will continue the pressure until it happens.

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