Monday, November 14, 2011

Exodus 8:20-24 The Plague of Flies

"Then the LORD said to Moses,
'Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh
as he goes to the water and say to him,
"This is what the LORD says:
Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
If you do not let my people go,
I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials,
on your people and into your houses.
The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies,
and even the ground where they are.

But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen,
where my people live;
no swarms of flies will be there,
so that you will know
that I, the LORD, am in this land.
I will make a distinction between my people and your people.
This miraculous sign will occur tomorrow."

And the Lord did this.
Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh's palace
and into the houses of his officials,
and throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.
Some observations:
  • Again Moses is instructed to meet Pharaoh early in the morning as he goes out to the water.  I wonder if Pharaoh was just performing his morning routine, or if this has any religious significance -- like praying to the 'god' of the river.  Of course it is possible that Pharaoh was merely washing up for the day.
  • There is a great emphasis in this passage on the contrast between 'my people' and 'your people'.  God seems to be trying to make it clear to Pharaoh that He (GOD) is the only one with the power to protect His people.  God even takes this a step further by protecting His people from the effects of the latest plague.
  • God's goal is for His people to be able to worship Him.  Several times so far (Exodus 7:16, 8:1, 8:21) God has stated that He wants Pharaoh to let His people go so that they can worship Him.  By his continued refusal to honor the LORD's command, Pharaoh is turning this situation into a power struggle as though he believes that he, too, is a god.
  • God makes a distinction between His people and Pharaoh's people, not because the Egyptians are inferior, but because He wants to let all Egypt "...know that I, the LORD, am in this land." (Exodus 8:22 NIV)
  • God gives Pharaoh a specific time when this latest plague of flies will occur.  Even this is an evidence of His mercy as He seeks to eliminate any doubt in Pharaoh's mind that He is the true God.  A plague which occurs at a specific time is a lot more significant than one which could occur any time, and then be considered a mere coincidence.
  • God kept His word.  The plague of flies arrived on schedule.  God is merciful, but He will respond in judgment eventually if we do not obey Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment