Moses returned to Egypt so that he might rescue the Hebrews from Egyptian captivity, but God warned him it wouldn’t be easy. God got the attention of the Pharaoh by having Moses and Aaron send plagues.
First, they turned the water to blood, but the Egyptian magicians did the same. Then they sent frogs, and the magicians brought in more frogs. The third plague was turning the dust into lice which the magicians couldn’t do. They told the Pharaoh it was obviously the hand of God.
Though these plagues were directed at Pharaoh, everyone suffered, including the Hebrews. Imagine the women going to the river to gather their water, only, the water is now blood. Not only that, but it’s killed all the fish, so the river banks are piled up with dead, stinky fish.
Then came the frogs. They were everywhere, coming out of the river and showing up in their houses, their beds, their ovens, their bowls, even on their bodies. The Egyptians had a particular problem with the frogs because they worshiped them and thus couldn’t kill them. However, they were also an excessively clean people, so they didn’t want frogs to invade their personal space.
Pharaoh ordered Moses and Aaron to get God to take away the frogs, and then the Hebrews could worship God. So the frogs died, leaving behind a stench, but Pharaoh’s heart was hardened.
The third plague of lice covered man and beast throughout the land of Egypt. Though Pharaoh’s magicians told him that this was definitely God at work, still his heart was hardened.
The Hebrew people, and even many of the Egyptians, did nothing to deserve the plagues. As Christians, we’re not immune to difficulties, but we have the assurance that God is with us through good times and bad.
Hebrews and Plagues in Scripture: Exodus 7:14-8:19
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