Exodus 10:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:
2 And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.
3 And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.
4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:
5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:
6 And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.
We can see from these studies that the Lord is certainly long-suffering. We are now at the eighth plague. The LORD has listened to the lies of Pharaoh now seven times. He has promised to let the Hebrews go but each time he has backed away from his promise. By contrast, the LORD has promised things as well, and He has been true to His Word in every detail. God promised seven different plagues and each one came just as He declared they would. God also promised to remove each of the seven plagues at a precise time and He did exactly as He said He would. The after effects of the plagues were there for the people to deal with. They were there to remind them of the disastrous effects of rejecting the LORD. The sad thing was that they did not seem to catch on to this reality. They refused to bow before the LORD.
Now we see in verse 1 that the LORD told Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh even though He had hardened his heart. We see that the LORD was going to use Pharaoh as an object lesson of how not to behave. Pharaoh did not want to listen. He did not want to humble himself and serve the LORD. He had the freedom to choose. He did not have the freedom to live outside of the reaches of the LORD. He did not have the freedom to choose his desired outcome.
The LORD makes it very clear that He is the LORD. He makes it very clear why He created all things including man. He shows us the effects of disobedience to Him from the first time man chose to disobey Him. God told Adam exactly what would happen if He did not obey His clear instructions. Adam put God to the test early on, and he found out that was the completely wrong thing to do. He suffered the consequences of that wicked choice. All of creation suffered due to Adam’s sin.
Today, many claim to be Christians but they cannot support their brand of Christianity from the Word of God. They can find support for their brand among other false professors. That seems to be enough for most people. They do not care what the Bible says. God shows us throughout the Bible that this is a very foolish way to live. Not only is it foolish but it is deadly. It leads to destruction. We need to listen to God in order to know His blessings.
In verse 2 we see that these events were important teaching tools for the nation of Israel. Moses would have some important lessons that he could teach his sons and they could teach their sons. The nation of Israel needed to be reminded that the LORD is the only true God. Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt needed to know this as well.
In verse 3 the LORD directed Moses and Aaron to use a little different approach in speaking to Pharaoh. It was not a compromise. It was not a matter of trying to soften the message. It was to give Pharaoh the opportunity to stop and consider more carefully what he was doing. Pharaoh was a very proud man. Leaders need to have confidence. Fathers need to have confidence. However, the kind of self-righteous confidence that Pharaoh had was not good. Leaders need to place their hope and confidence in the true God. Every leader will face situations where they are just not quite sure how to approach the situation. Some will flip a coin and choose that way. The wise person is a saved person who prays to the LORD and seeks wise counsel from other godly men and then steps out in faith in the true and living God. Moses needed to learn this lesson. He was a bit of a slow learner. However, he was a learner. He would face bigger challenges than this yet in his role as leader of the nation of Israel. He would also learn that the God Who was directing him never let him down. That is the reality that every true child of God will face. If we walk humbly with the LORD we can trust Him to guide us safely even when we cannot see a clear way through.
We see in verse 3 that Moses and Aaron were still told to tell Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go. Pharaoh was again reminded the the Hebrews were God’s people. Pharaoh needed to see that he did not own them. God had loaned them to the nation of Egypt for 400 years. Now it was time for them to leave that land and to be taught more directly the importance of knowing and following the true God.
In verse 4 we see that the LORD once again backed up His demand with another warning. The next plague would be an infestation of locusts. These locusts would cover the entire land of Egypt. Pharaoh had already seen this with the frogs and the lice and the flies. etc. Pharaoh should have known that the LORD does not make idle threats. The LORD stated that the crops that were left after the hail storm, would now be destroyed by the locusts.
I understand that this is a year of increased amounts of grasshoppers. Some farmers have sprayed for this pest. Locusts are a more voracious form of the grasshopper. They move in swarms and they devour everything in sight. Studies suggest that locusts usually appear after a drought and eat the green vegetation that comes after the rains.
In our text, the LORD would intervene and He would cause these locusts to appear because He said so. He did not need time to create the right environment for them to thrive in. He decreed they would be there, and they were be there. We need to keep in mind this is the same God Who, in Genesis 1, spoke the word and things appeared. We are talking about the almighty and all-powerful God.
These locusts would fill the houses and the nation of Egypt would not be able to shrug this off and say they had experienced such an event before. This would be something the nation would never have experienced before.
God does not want man to dismiss His work. We need to remember that in the first couple of plagues, the magicians were able to duplicate what the LORD had done. Pharaoh took comfort in this. There was absolutely no benefit in that, but Pharaoh thought there was. We also noted that in each plague, only the LORD could remove the plague. The magicians were powerless to remove them. The magicians were no threat to the LORD. They were a diversion for those who did not want to believe in the true God, but they did not interfere in God’s plans.
The same holds true for false teachers today. They may sound good to those who do not want to know the truth. However, they do not add anything to God’s truth. They cannot back up their words with actions. The “faith healers” might pray for someone who is sick but they cannot change the situation in any beneficial way. The prosperity preachers might boast of how the “Lord” has blessed them, but hundreds of people are left poor because they foolishly give large amounts of money to these greedy liars.
We do not need to re-invent the wheel. The LORD has recorded these events for us to see that those who want to make up their own religion will always fall short. They will never have what their soul needs. Some will die confident in their lies just like Pharaoh did. It is important to note that even though Pharaoh was very confident in his beliefs, he was wrong and he perished.
Most of that generation of the nation of Israel would also perish. They were confident in their rebellion against the LORD, but it did not go well with them. Keep in mind, these things are recorded for our learning. It is sad to see a person waste the opportunities God gives them to learn to trust in Him. Eventually time runs out. The loser is always the person who defies the LORD. The LORD is still the LORD and He is still on His throne and He will still be magnified in all the earth.
We are encouraged over and over again to choose life. Choose God’s way and know His peace and His blessings.