Sunday, December 18, 2011

Exodus 10:1-6 Plague of Locusts

"Then the LORD said to Moses,
'Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart
and the hearts of his officials
so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them
that you may tell your children and grandchildren
how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians
and how I performed my signs among them,
and that you may know that I am the LORD.'

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him,
'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says:
"How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?
Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow.
They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen.
They will devour what little you have left after the hail,
including every tree that is growing in your fields.
They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians --
something neither your fathers nor your forefathers have ever seen
from the day they settled in this land until now." '

Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.

Exodus 10:1-6 (NIV)

Again Moses is sent back to the unrepentant Pharaoh.  God reveals that He has allowed this hardening of the hearts of Pharaoh and his officials so that He may perform miracles among them and that the Israelites may tell of these wonders to their descendants.  Both the miraculous and corrective aspects of these plagues can be a source of instruction to the Israelites and Egyptians alike.  The end goal is "...that you may know that I am the LORD." (v.2)

When Moses and Aaron confront Pharaoh, it becomes clear that Pharaoh's refusal to let the Israelites go is a matter of prideful self-will (v.3).  God asks Pharaoh how long such stubborn resistance will last.  It is not that God does not know how long Pharaoh will resist -- it is more like God is saying "How long do you think I am going to put up with this?"

God warns that a devastating locust plague will result if Pharaoh continues to refuse to humble himself.  Locusts would cover the ground until it would not be visible, and fill the homes of every Egyptian, including Pharaoh and his officials.  The locusts would devour whatever vegetation remained in the fields, including the trees.  The extent of this plague would be more than their ancestors had ever seen since the time Egypt was settled.

After this announcement, Moses turned and left Pharaoh's presence. (v.6)  I think that this may have been even more of a shock to Pharaoh's court than his message.  I do not think that anyone, even Pharaoh's closest advisors, would just leave Pharaoh's presence without being dismissed.   

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