Welcome back to Time in the Word. Today we start the fourth plague, the plague of flies. Thus far, Pharaoh had shown only one time a tiny sliver of repentance when he asked Moses to pray that the plague of frogs would leave. But once the frogs had died, he went back on his word.
Have you ever relented and then hardened your heart to a person or situation? How did that decision turn out for you? What effect did it have on this situation or the person? Sometimes I wish there was a way to go back and change what was said or done. Good thing God’s mercies are new every morning and we receive another chance to apologize and do our best to right what we’ve done wrong. AMEN!
Plague Number Four: Flies
Exodus 8:20-32– NIV, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+8%3A20-32&version=NIV
Moses and Aaron pay Pharaoh another early morning Nile River call. Once again, Moses is to ask Pharaoh to allow the Israelites time off to go worship God in the desert. Should Pharaoh not agree, God will send swarms of flies that will come upon Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s officials, and the Egyptian people. The flies will fill all Egyptian houses and the ground.
God also instructs Moses to tell Pharaoh that this plague is only for the Egyptians. He is no longer punishing the Israelites, making it very distinct that God is in Pharaoh’s land controlling where the flies go.
Pharaoh does not relent. The flies swarm in and “ruin” the land. Only after the flies come and ruin the land does Pharaoh tell Moses that the Israelites are free to go worship, but only IN Egypt. They could not leave and go into the desert and worship. Do you find that interesting? Pharaoh always wants the Israelites to leave on his terms. These terms are his way of testing God. Pharaoh is used to being a god in Egypt and is unaware of the One True God’s might and power.
Moses knows how to play Pharaoh’s game. He points out to Pharaoh that staying in the land and sacrificing would be a detestable practice to the Egyptian people and most likely get them all stoned. The thought of losing all his working slaves to stoning would put the kibosh on his monument building.
Having thought better of losing his workforce, Pharaoh relents and tells Moses that they can go into the wilderness, but NOT FAR, and that Moses should pray for Pharaoh.
Moses agrees to pray for Pharaoh as soon as he leaves the river, and the flies would leave the next day. The flies leave, and Pharaoh hardens his heart.
Egyptian god or goddesses the plague confronted– Barnes Bible Chart pdf
- Uatchit- the fly goddess of Egypt
Interesting notes and insights
- Moses and Aaron continued to be obedient to God. They did and said as instructed.
- There was NO attempt by Pharaoh’s magicians to duplicate the fly plague.
- God very distinctly kept the plague to the Egyptian people. The Israelites would not be affected by the plague from this point on.
- Do you think Pharaoh questioned why the Israelites were punished by the Egyptians in the first three plagues? Could this be why he hardened his heart?
- Moses warns Pharaoh not to be deceitful by asking for prayer and subsequent removal of flies and then go back on his word. Why do you think Pharaoh hardened his heart once again? Note- it wasn’t God hardening Pharaoh’s heart.
Thank you for joining me here today in Time in the Word. See you back here next week when we tackle the plague of disease on the cattle.
Michele Bruxvoort is sure to draw you in with her delightful sense of humor and love for living life. She enjoys reading, repurposing, as well as remodeling the family home with her husband. Drawing from her life experience as wife, mom, and follower of Jesus, Michele brings you a very honest and real perspective on life. When you don’t find her writing, you can find her mowing lawns, stocking shelves, taking care of her grandbaby and tackling her latest life adventure.
Wisconsin native and empty-nester, she now makes her home with her husband of 27 years in the South West Prairie plains of Minnesota.