The Plagues [Part 1]

Are you ready for some good news?

The cross of Jesus Christ means not only salvation for sinners but judgment against evil itself.

Today’s Text: Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood. The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.’” (Exodus 7:17-18)

Today’s broadcast arrives at the puzzling, powerful story of the plagues. Believer it or not, there’s good news in these ugly plagues.

Commentators have noticed that the plagues seem to follow a rhythm or cycle as they unfold.  First, the Nile turns to blood. Because the frogs can’t stay in a bloody river, they start jumping and squishing all over Egypt. The third plague is probably not gnats but mosquitoes. Then, fourthly, come the biting flies. Next, the livestock die and, in sixth place, boils on the skin of the Egyptians.  It’s all in order. When the frogs leave the bloodied Nile, they die by the thousands and the heaps of frog carcasses attract flies, which, in turn, carry deadly diseases to the livestock, which die and pass on skin infections to humans. Locusts take advantage of it by swarming in to consume the remaining crops. They are probably brought in by a big wind that can also produce a sandstorm so thick that it becomes literally dark (the night plague: darkness that can be felt).

Feeling queasy yet?

In understanding the judgment of God against Egypt, start with this: Pharaoh was a tyrant and Egypt was arrogant. They had cruelly enslaved the Hebrews for hundreds of years. Think Saddam Hussein. Think human trafficking. The Egypt of Moses’ day was the kind of tyrannical government that, if seen today, would arouse the ire of every world leader who cared about justice and human life. Egypt needed to be corrected.

But, here’s the more important matter of the plagues: God was utterly committed to bringing His people out of the clutch of evil. God wanted His people free from slavery. In judging Egypt, God was tumbling all their idols, upending their pride and accomplishing the salvation of His people. The Egyptians reaped what they had sown.

It all points to a powerful truth for you today: God is committed not only to liberating you from the bondage of evil; He is also committed to ultimately judging evil itself. And that’s the Gospel!


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