God got the attention of Pharaoh as well as the Hebrew and Egyptian people when Moses and Aaron performed the first three plagues of bloody water, frogs, and lice. But with the fourth plague, He made a distinction.
God sent flies to invade the land and swarm the houses of the Egyptians, but in the land of Goshen where the Hebrews lived, there were no flies. In this way He distinguished between His people and Pharaoh’s people.
Though Pharaoh initially agreed to let the Hebrews go to worship if they didn’t go too far, as soon as the flies were gone, he hardened his heart and changed his mind.
Then God warned him that all the Egyptian livestock would die the next morning, but none of the Hebrew livestock would be affected. Sure enough, that’s what happened.
Next, He sent painful boils to cover the bodies of the Egyptians. But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened.
An interesting thing happened with the seventh plague. God gave the Egyptians warning of the upcoming hailstorm. He told them to gather their livestock and to remain inside if they wanted to be safe. Those who abided by his advice were saved, but anyone caught in the storm were killed. This storm was like nothing Egypt had ever witnessed, yet the land of Goshen was spared from the storm.
Though Pharaoh’s heart wasn’t changing, others were. The Hebrews received assurance that God was watching over them. He was at work to rescue them. In addition, some Egyptians took note. They saw this Hebrew God was nothing like the Egyptian gods. The plagues paved the way for them to turn to the true God.
God is willing do whatever it takes to get our attention and turn our hearts to Him.
Read the Story: Exodus 8:20-9:35
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