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Exodus 9:22-35 (The Plague of Hail, Part II)

May 24, 2015   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Exodus, Exodus Sermons (written), Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Exodus 9:22-35
The Plague of Hail, Part II

Today we will finish the seventh plague which fell upon the land of Egypt. It is the first plague which explicitly mentions that men will die because of it, but it is also a plague which came with advanced warning so that the word of the Lord could be heeded.

At the time of the Babylonian invasion, Habakkuk asked the Lord to remember mercy in the midst of His wrath, and maybe he was thinking of how the Lord dealt with Egypt so many years earlier. As we think on these plagues, we have to remember that the Lord had purposed to multiply His wonders in Egypt before Pharaoh would relent and let Israel go.

Everything He has done has been orchestrated to meet this goal. But for what purpose is He doing this? Is it a perverse sense of vindictive joy that He is getting from this continual pummeling of land and people? The answer is, “No!” There is a specific goal which we have been seeing and will continue to see.

And not only is it a lesson from ancient times for us to remember, but it is a lesson for the future for those who don’t remember. The reason for the plagues is explicitly noted in Numbers 33 and it is our text verse for today…

Text Verse: “For the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had killed among them. Also on their gods the Lord had executed judgments.” Numbers 33:4

It was only about 860 years since the Flood of Noah and yet Egypt had completely forgotten the true God and had devolved into idol worship. They had gods for this and gods for that. They worshipped the created rather than the Creator. And so the Lord brought judgment upon those false gods.

The same has occurred time and again throughout history, including upon wayward Israel. When we turn from the Lord, He will execute judgment to correct the problem. It’s an especially important lesson for the world now. A time of tribulation will come upon it because we have rejected the greatest evidence of all, the life and work of Jesus Christ.

Soon enough, He will come for those who are His faithful and the world will be plunged into judgment. It will be on all of the false gods we worship – sex, perversion, money, technology, allah, krishna, buddha, fame, fortune, personal glory, global warming… the list goes on and on.

We’re given these stories of the past to show us what lies ahead. Let us pay heed to them and humble our hearts before the Lord who is revealed in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. Destruction in Egypt; Safety in Goshen (verses 22-26)

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven,

In the previous verses, the Lord gave Pharaoh the exact time that he would accomplish the miracle of the plague of hail. In both the warning and the delay, He granted mercy on those who would choose to heed His word. Now that time had arrived and there would be no more delay.

This is very similar then to the terminology coming in the end times. In Revelation 10, we read this concerning the judgment which would ensue at the sounding of the seventh trumpet –

“The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer…” Revelation 10:5, 6

Like this angel of the future, Moses of the past is told to stretch out his hand toward heaven. However, in the next verse, we will see that Moses stretches out his rod, meaning the rod of God, toward heaven. The hand here is being used as the principle cause, whereas the rod is used as the instrumental cause.

Thus there is no contradiction. Rather, it is an acknowledgment of the power of the Lord in the hand of Moses. And the action of stretching out toward heaven is fitting because this is where the plague will issue from.

In the first two plagues, Aaron stretched out the rod over the waters from where the blood and frogs came. In the third plague it was on the dust of the ground from whence the lice came. The action is suited to the plague which is precipitated by the action.

22 (cont’) that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt—on man, on beast, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.”

In verse 19 last week it said, “Therefore send now and gather your livestock and all that you have in the field, for the hail shall come down on every man and every animal which is found in the field and is not brought home; and they shall die.”

What was obvious, but which was unstated at that time was that the “herb of the field” would be struck as well. This is now added into what is said. The word translated as “herb” is esev. It means properly “grass.” From this, the idea of any fresh springy herbs or pasturage is implied.

Other plants are mentioned in the coming verses which will further describe the devastation which lies ahead. However, this word is being used to describe everything in a general sense. This word, esev, was first mentioned in Genesis 1:11.

After this, it was mentioned 5 more times in the early Genesis account, but it hasn’t been used again until now. The last time it was used was in Genesis 3:18 where it said

“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17-19

For about 2500 years of history, nothing is mentioned concerning general plant life in this way, and yet now, the very plant life given to man after the fall will be involved in the plague upon Egypt. Therefore, we can see the Lord’s attack on three more of the false gods of Egypt in this one verse –

Nut, the sky goddess, will be shown as false; Osiris, the god of crops and fertility, will be shown as false; and Set, the god of storms, will be shown as false. It is the Lord who created, and it is the Lord who controls how these things are used, wielded, and destroyed.

Whereas the Egyptians worshipped the created, Yehovah now shows them that He is the Creator. We should note that He will do this in a marvelous way. Hail storms normally cover smaller areas, such as a mile in distance or so. This storm, however, would cover everything throughout the land of Egypt.

23 And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven;

In compliance with the word of the Lord it is Moses again, like the previous plague of boils, who acts. He apparently has lost the timidity he once had and, instead of working through Aaron, has now assumed the responsibility for the actions himself.

23 (con’t) and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground.

The word for “thunder” here is qolot – it literally means “voices.” When a person speaks, they use their voice, when a trumpet blows, that is its voice, and when a lion roars, the roar is his voice. In this verse, the voices are thunder, but the symbolism is clear. The voices are being used as a demonstration of the work of the Lord. This is beautifully represented in the 18th Psalm –

“The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice,
Hailstones and coals of fire.” Psalm 18:13

Along with the majestic display of voices came more terror. It says, va’tihalekh esh aretsah – literally, “and the fire walked upon the earth.” Scholars look as these words with several possible meanings. One is that it means ball lightening, a phenomena where lightening literally rolls upon the ground.

Although possible because a storm of this magnitude would be heavily charged with electricity, this is probably not the intent. The meaning is explained in Psalm 78 which I will quote in a couple verses. Another view is that it is lightening descending from heaven to the earth, thus “fire darted to the ground.” Adam Clarke seems to analyze it best when he says –

“It was not a sudden flash of lightning, but a devouring fire, walking through every part, destroying both animals and vegetables; and its progress was irresistible.” Adam Clarke

In other words, the “walking upon the ground” is the movement of the lightening along with the movement of the storm. It isn’t ball lightening rolling around on the ground, but rather lightening descending as if it were literally legs walking in the storm. The effect would have been extreme and extremely terrifying.

23 (con’t) And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt.

There is an emphasis in these words by repeating the thought of the hail once again. It is noted that thunderstorms aren’t frequent in the lower and central parts of Egypt, but they do happen from time to time. If there is hail associated with them, it is normally not in any considerable amount.

The emphasis is given to show that this storm was unique, it was everywhere, and it was hugely destructive as we continue to see…

24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail,

The words here, if translated directly, wouldn’t make sense to us. It literally reads, “There was hail, and in the midst of the hail a fire infolding itself.” (Pulpit) To understand this verse better, the same terminology is used in Ezekiel 1:4 when speaking of the whirlwind which accompanied the presence of the Lord. There is says –

“Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.” Ezekiel 1:4

What is probably being described in this storm over Egypt is an absolute chaos of lightening flashing everywhere and in all directions. It would have been an unqualified marvel to behold, especially considering its uniqueness….

24 (con’t) so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.

This implies a natural plague, even though its timing was predicted in advance, and despite it being greater than any other such occurrence which had ever come before. The Lord was working through the elements in a majestic way in order to demonstrate His surpassing greatness in comparison to the false gods of Egypt.

In regard to the plague, there “was none like it” ever. This then is being tied to the claim made in Exodus 9:14, which said –

“…at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.” Exodus 9:14

The Lord has sent a plague of hail like none other to show that there is none other like Him.

25 And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field.

It must be noted again that not every “every” in the Bible means every, and that not all “alls” mean all. There is a hyperbole being used here to show the immense magnitude of what occurred. We can know this with absolute assurance because of what it says in the next chapter –

“Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land—all that the hail has left.” Exodus 10:12

The land was crushed in an extraordinary way by the plague of hail and therefore the superlative words “all” and “every” are used to highlight this. The devastation is described in Psalm 78 –

“He destroyed their vines with hail,
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48 He also gave up their cattle to the hail,
And their flocks to fiery lightning.” Psalm 78:47, 48

26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.

Even if the storm was natural, the supernatural elements of advanced notice, time, and locality are all highlighted. The storm was everywhere in Egypt with one exception, Goshen. This is the last time that this location will be used by name in the Bible. It means “drawing near” or “approaching.” Based on Pharaoh’s response to the horrendous plague, it is apparent that the name Goshen is being used specifically to show that the end of Israel’s time of bondage is truly approaching.

A noted distinction has been made from where the Israelites were and with the rest of Egypt. Even though Pharaoh will again change his mind, there is a marked difference in how he now responds to the events which have unfolded before his eyes and the understood distinction between Egypt and Israel.

Woe to the land whose king won’t heed the Lord
Who walks contrary to what is just and right
Woe to him who rejects His sacred word
And who harasses God’s people day and night

Upon him shall come terror – fire and hail
Upon him will come the wrath of the Almighty God
He and his subjects will morn and wail
For the destruction will be in every place they trod

But mercy is found in the Lord as well
When the leader of a nation will repent and turn
He will save himself from the clutches of hell
Where the terrifying eternal fire does burn

II. I Have Sinned This Time (verses 27-30)

27 And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time.

In these words, there is attrition, but still not contrition. Pharaoh has had pressure steadily applied on him and his kingdom by the Lord and now he has reached a breaking point. Thus he acknowledges that he has been at fault with the words, “I have sinned.” This is the point of attrition.

But the repentance is only skin deep at this point and there is no true contrition, thus the words “this time.” He has been terrified by the majestic display, death has been involved, and extensive harm has come to his kingdom. But he can only go so far as to acknowledge limited guilt. The translators of the Geneva Bible state his condition well –

“The wicked confess their sins to their condemnation, but they cannot believe to obtain remission.” Geneva

27 (con’t) The Lord is righteous,

In these words is finally found a direct answer to Pharaoh’s questions of Exodus 5 –

“Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.” Exodus 5:2

With his own mouth, he answers his own question – Yehovah ha’tsadiq, “Yehovah (is) the Righteous (One). The word contains a definite article, making it emphatic. And in contrast to this…

27 (con’t) and my people and I are wicked.

v’ani v’ammi ha’reshaim – “and I and my people (are) the wicked ones. It is again emphatic. The words though cannot be separated from the previous verse which said, “Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.”
The plague was terrifying, but it is not only the plague that has convinced Pharaoh. It is the separation between Egypt and Goshen which has prompted his pronouncement. Yehovah is contrasted to Pharaoh, and the Israelites are contrasted to Pharaoh’s people.

Where he previously accused them of being idle and looking for excuses to get out of their work, he now acknowledges that their requests were valid and their words were true. This is the force and intent of the words he now utters. Israel is the people of the Lord and the Lord is righteous.

28 Entreat the Lord, that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough.

There is a lot to consider here. First, Pharaoh has now recognized the LORD as God. He now acknowledges that Moses is the Lord’s designated mediator by asking him to entreat the Lord. Secondly, Pharaoh implies that he is exceedingly fearful of the Lord because he places the thunder before the hail in his request.

The term is qolot elohim – literally “voices of God.” In other words, he has tied the Lord, the voices, and Deity into one thought. This is similar to the words found in Revelation 10 where the words “thunder” and “voice” are used to describe the same thing –

“He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.'” Revelation 10:3, 4

Pharaoh was so fearful of the raging thunder that he could only see it as comparable to the very voice of God. Only after recognizing this does he note the hail which was to be the main substance of the plague. But to Pharaoh, the place where the hail came from was also the place from whence the voices issued.

28 (con’t) I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.”

The word is pronounced. The fear of God finally forced Pharaoh to state release without any conditions. The fact that he changes his mind later doesn’t negate the absolute fear that he now displays at the events which he has beheld. However, it does show a common trait among people. When things get better, we quickly forget the promises made when they were bad.

29 So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s.

It has to be noted that Moses was both called to, and left from, Pharaoh’s palace during the plague of hail. Pharaoh is the one who cowered inside and sent out for his relief rather than going out to Moses to beg for it. However, Moses came through the storm unharmed. As Matthew Henry notes –

“Peace with God makes men thunder-proof.” Henry

Moses not only goes out from the palace to end the plague, but all the way out of the city. Only then does he promise to spread out his hands to the Lord. This then shows his complete confidence in his own safety. It is an implied rebuke to Pharaoh. In essence, “You cower in your palace and yet I am safe throughout the land.”

And as a curiosity that shouldn’t be missed, he uses a different word here for “spread,” paras, than what was used to initiate the plague, which was natah, translated as “stretch.” This is the first time paras is used in the Bible.

To stretch out then is implying the initiation of the action under divine authority. However, the spreading out is an appeal or petition for it to end. Another point is that Moses says he will spread out his “palm,” not his “hand.”

In Scripture, this word paras is used with the word “palm” 13 times and with the word “hand” 5 times. How the verb is used always indicates whether the word “palm” or “hand” will be used, with one exception in the Bible. That is in Isaiah 1:15 –

“When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.” Isaiah 1:15

In this verse in Isaiah, it says the people spread out their palms, but then it says that their hands are full of blood. What we can learn from this word, paras, when used in conjunction with prayer is that the unfolding of the hand for prayer is to be pure and that when we pray, our palms are to be open and undefiled.

In other words, the open hand before the Lord is metaphorically a symbol of earnestness, purity, honest petition, and submission. This is what Moses will now offer to the Lord, open palms of petition. This action will have two specific purposes.

The first is to petition for the ending of the plague as he has promised. This will reflect on the Lord because he is the Lord’s messenger. It also has the purpose of making Pharaoh realize “that the earth is the Lord’s.”

This pronouncement is in direct contrast to Egyptian belief where each of their gods cared for a particular thing, like the weather, the crops, the waters, the sun, and so on. Instead, Moses is showing that everything belongs to the Lord.

He is not “a” god, but “the” God. His power is one and it is universal. To demonstrate this, the plague came by Yehovah’s hand and it will end at His hand as well. However, there will still be a void in Pharaoh’s theology…

30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the Lord God.”

Pharaoh and his servants have the kind of fear that is noted in James. The demons are said to believe that there is one God and this makes them tremble, but there is no reverence for Him. Only when such fear is united with reverence and love can the true fear of the Lord be understood. This is still lacking in them.

To enhance what he means Moses uses the term Yehovah elohim. It is the same term used at the very beginning in the creation account. It is Yehovah elohim who created the heavens and the earth. As this is so, He alone is God and He alone is to be feared.

The Lord is the First, and the Last also is He
He is the Creator and there is no other god
When we acknowledge Him alone, pleased will He be
Let our hearts be pure and let our feet on the holy path trod

He was there when the pillars of the earth found their place
It was He who into Adam breathed the breath of life
And when Adam fell, He covered Him in an act of grace
Yes, with garments of skin He covered Adam and his wife

And He remains watchful over the sons of men
Those who fear Him, He will reward with tender care
Someday He promises He will come to us again
And take us to Himself; forever we shall be there

III. He Sinned Yet More (verses 31-35)

31 Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud.

Interestingly, it notes the flax and then the barley and yet it then notes the characteristics of the barley and then the flax. There is a reversing of the order in the objects as they are described. This same pattern will be seen again in just a few verses.

This verse has certainly been provided for us to know not just the devastation of the plague, but to know the timing of it. First, in the devastation is that the crops of flax and barley were ruined. This tells us that the time is somewhere from the end of January to the beginning of March. Most likely it was during February.

Flax is grown in order to make linen garments. The people wore them, the priests had the purest of linen garments, and even the mummies were swathed in linen. To lose the annual crop of flax would be comparable to the south losing its entire crop of cotton.

The word for flax is pishtah. It is used only four times in the Bible, twice here and twice in Isaiah where it is also translated as “wick.” Pishtah comes from pishteh which means “linen.” In this you can see how the flax makes the linen which also is used as a wick.

Barley or seorah is the other crop which was destroyed. It was grown for the same purposes that it is still grown for today – as food for animals, as a part of the Egyptian beer making process, and also as a source of making lower quality bread.

There is also another reason why these crops are highlighted. It is to give us a look into a picture of the state of Egypt. Barley is known as the crop of hairy ears because of its hairy appearance. The root of this word is sear or “hair.” Hair in the Bible indicates an awareness of things.

The goat for example is used in Leviticus for the sin offering and it is known as sair. We have an awareness of sin in the hairy goat sin offering. In Numbers there is a type of person known as a Nazirite. This is someone who made a vow or was consecrated to the Lord.

During the time of the vow, they were not to cut the hair. Samson was a Nazirite from birth as were Samuel and John the Baptist. Paul may have taken a Nazirite vow in Acts. The hair on their head was a reminder of their state, just as the hairy goat reminds of sin.

The destruction of the barley then is being tied to Pharaoh’s awareness and acknowledgement of the sin he has committed and yet his soon-to-commit yet more sin. His awareness of sin is destroyed. The flax, which is used to make garments, represents the people’s nakedness in their sin before the Lord.

This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 3:18 where Jesus says for the people to “…buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

He has both stripped away their awareness and he has stripped away their ability to cover themselves. Finally, the word for “bud” concerning the flax is used only this once in the Bible. It is the word gibol which comes from the word gabia, or “cup.” Thus the term “bud” or “bloom” is understood from its shape like a cup.

32 But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are late crops.

The two unharmed grains are wheat and spelt. The KJV has “rye” instead of spelt. That is wrong. Rye is a grain that has never been grown in Egypt. The word for wheat, khittah, comes from khanat which means to make spicy or to embalm. Wheat is considered the finest and most valuable of the grains in the Bible.

Jesus used wheat to represent Himself in John 12:24. And it is also the wheat harvest which pictures the church age. The word kussemeth for “spelt” comes from kasam to trim. That word is used only twice in the Bible, both in Ezekiel speaking of the trimmed hair of the priests during the millennial reign.

The spelt is a crop very similar to wheat and closely resembles it. Finally, the word for “late” is aphil. This comes from a word indicating “dark” or “hidden” and so it can be conjectured that these crops had been planted, but not yet sprouted. In other words, they were hidden from the plague.

Because these crops are mentioned here and not again in the coming plagues, it is asking us to think on why they were mentioned. If I were to surmise they, like the two other grains, are given as pictures. The wheat and the spelt picture those in Revelation who are saved from the plagues by rapture or protection and enter into the millennium.

There are those who are a part of the first resurrection noted in Revelation 20:5. There are also those who survive through the tribulation. Of the first it is explicitly noted that –

“…they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:5

The four grains are specifically mentioned and there is a purpose for it. The pattern fits and it is in line with the other uses of these grains in the Bible. I do believe these pictures are why they are noted now here in the Exodus account.

33 So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread out his hands to the Lord; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth.

Without fear of being pummeled by the hail, being zapped by the lightening, or catching a sniffle from the rain, which has not been mentioned until this point, Moses went out from Pharaoh and out from the city before spreading his hands to the Lord. But when he did, the land became calm once again.

The rain wasn’t mentioned before because it wasn’t a direct part of the event which was considered the plague. The hail, the noise, and the fire from the sky were the plague. The rain was only an associated part of what occurred.

But noting it now is an added proof of the first-hand nature of the eyewitness of the account. It is also the first time in the Bible that “rain” is mentioned in the noun form. Up to this point, it has only been used in the verb form.

34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants.

In the previous verse, it mentioned the thunder, the hail, and then the rain. Now it turns around and highlights what was said by noting the rain, the hail, and then the thunder. It is an often repeated pattern in the Bible where reverse repetition is used. In this, Pharaoh is mentioned smack dab in the middle of the series.

thunder/hail/rain – Pharaoh – rain/hail/thunder

Immediately following this, it says that he sinned yet more by hardening his heart. This is a theme which will run throughout the Bible. The Lord prevails in the challenge either directly or through His mediator, and yet there is no change in the foe.

Moses acted and heaven was opened and then it was shut. Elijah prayed and the heavens were shut and then they were open. And the Two Witnesses of Revelation will have the power to do the same. But time and again, like Pharaoh, there are those who reject what the Lord does and further harden their hearts to Him.

In fact, Clarke notes that the conjunctions used here “often signify a bare permission, from which it is plain that the words should have been read, God suffered the heart of Pharaoh to be hardened.” He has continued to passively work on this most obstinate fellow in order to meet his purposes.

And yet there is more than just hardening the heart which is mentioned. It says that this, in itself, is sin because the hardening leads to a refusal to fulfill what his mouth had spoken. In this, he not only lies to Moses, but to the Lord whom Moses represents. And the result of this is our final verse of the day…

*35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses.

The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart was greater this time because he was more moved by this plague than any before. The more movement to submit and allow the release of Israel required a greater swing in the pendulum to once again deny their release.

But because sin is involved in this decision, it cannot be that the Lord caused it. Anyone who ascribes these hardening actions of Pharaoh to the direct work of the Lord would then have to ascribe Pharaoh’s sin to the hand of the Lord as well. Rather, the Lord has prompted, the Lord has allowed, but Pharaoh is responsible.

What the Lord had said would happen at the beginning has come about exactly as He spoke. Pharaoh has seen the judgments and has likewise been granted the mercies which accompanied them. And yet, he has continued to stubbornly fight against what has happened. As Matthew Henry says about this –

“Those that are not bettered by judgments and mercies, commonly become worse.” Henry

And so it is with Pharaoh. The children of Israel will have to wait a little longer for their deliverance from Egypt. However, this to them is probably a vacation. With Egypt being destroyed by the plagues, they surely haven’t had time to worry about forcing greater burdens on the Israelites.

Instead, Israel has been safe and secure in the land of Goshen, waiting as the time draws near when they will see their release from the bondage of Egypt. Time and again so far, the false gods of Egypt have been shown for what they truly are. The Lord has magnified Himself and has brought Egypt to its knees.

But all of this could have been avoided. Rather than being forced to our knees, the Lord would ask us to willingly submit to Him. Either way, it will happen. The Bible tells us –

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

Be wise and discerning, bow the knee willingly to the Lord who created you and who loves you enough to have sent his own Son to die for you that you might be reconciled to Him. Let me tell you what you need to know for this to happen…

Closing Verse: Righteous are You, O Lord,
And upright are Your judgments. Psalm 119:137

Next Week: Exodus 10:1-11 (The Plague of Locusts, Part I)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Lord is Righteous

Then the Lord said to Moses
So we understand
“Stretch out toward heaven your hand
That there may be hail in all of Egypt the land

On man, on beast, and on every herb of the field
Throughout the land of Egypt in order to make Pharaoh yield

And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven
And the Lord sent thunder and hail and fire darted to the ground
And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt
It must have been a terrifying sight and a horrifying sound

So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail
So very heavy that there was none like it
In all the land of Egypt since it became a nation
This time you would think surely Pharaoh would submit

And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt
All that was in the field, both man and beast
And the hail struck every herb of the field
And broke every tree of the field, from the greatest to the least

Only in the land of Goshen, there was no travail
Where the children of Israel were, there was no hail

And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron
And said to them, “I have sinned this time
The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked
I now understand the scope of my crime

Entreat the Lord, that there may be
No more mighty thundering and hail in the land
For it is enough; I will let you go willingly
And you shall stay no longer, please understand

So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city
I will spread out my hands to the Lord
The thunder will cease, and there will no more hail be
Be assured of the truth of this word

That you may know that to the Lord belongs the earth
Everywhere where man may trod
But as for you and your servants
I know that you will not yet fear the Lord God

Now the flax and the barley were struck
For the barley was in the head and in bud was the flax
But the wheat and the spelt were not struck
For they are late crops, they were immune to the attacks

So Moses went out of the city
From Pharaoh and spread out his hands to the Lord
Then the thunder and the hail ceased
And the rain was not poured on the earth, according to his word

And when Pharaoh saw that the rain
The hail, and the thunder had ceased
He sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart again
He and his servants; his sin only increased

So the heart of Pharaoh was hard
Neither would he let the children of Israel go
As the Lord had spoken by Moses
This is what transpired as we now know

The Lord has dealt fairly with Pharaoh
Whose heart was hard and obstinate
He would not let Israel go
And so the Lord brought plagues to make Pharaoh submit

And the Lord will deal in like manner with us
When we put up false gods there in our heart
Instead of acknowledging His Son, the Lord Jesus
Instead of putting away sin and making a new start

So let us call out to the Lord, each one of us
Softening our hearts to Him and bowing the knee
Let us acknowledge Christ, the Lord – who is Jesus!
Let our faith be so strong that the whole world can see

And yes, we praise You, O glorious Jesus
We praise You and to You alone we will give honor and glory
For it is You who have done such wondrous things for us
Thank You for the cross and the resurrection, Your gospel story

Hallelujah and Amen…

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