God always works with a purpose, and His timing is always perfect! But, do we really believe that statement?
When we read about the 10 plagues that God sent during the times of Moses’ repeated request to Pharaoh for the freedom and release of the Israelite people, we cannot imagine why Pharaoh was being so stubborn. Even as a child, I used to wonder how Pharaoh could not see the obvious hand of God in the various plagues that came their way.
Oh, but now I understand that Pharaoh DID know that God was at work!! It was Pharaoh’s PRIDE that caused him to continue with his stubbornness and hardness of his heart…which ultimately lead to the great destruction and horrific loss among his people.
Just a quick reminder of what those 10 plagues were…
1. Water turned to blood. (Ex. 7:21) (Fish would die, water would stink, Egyptians would detest drinking it.)
2. Frogs (Ex. 8: 3,4) (These pests would be EVERYWHERE, even in their ovens and where they kneaded their bread! After the frogs died, the land stank!) (SIN CAUSES US TO STINK!)
3. Lice (Ex. 8:16,17) (Lice would infest humans and beasts. How miserable!)
4. Swarms of flies (Ex. 8:21) (These pesty flies would be on people, servants, houses, so many that even the ground is filled with them.)
5. Their animals died from an Infectious disease. (Ex. 9:3) (What a great loss for these Egyptians!)
6. Boils on man and beast. (Ex. 9:8,9) (Very painful situation!)
7. Hail (Ex. 9:18,24) (So severe (thunder, fire and hail), as they had never seen before! Can you imagine the destruction?)
8. Locusts (Ex. 10:4-6,15) (So bad you can’t see the face of the earth! They’ll eat the rest of the residue which the hail didn’t destroy and every tree in the fields.)
9. Darkness (Ex. 10:21-23) (Such darkness; they saw not one another, nor rose from their places… This certainly stalled any work that needed to be done.)
10.Death of first born. (Ex. 11:4-6; 12:29) (Can you imagine all the wailing and crying? What a horrific nightmare among the Egyptians!)
Did you ever consider that GOD “could have” started with the last plague first?
Even during this time when Pharaoh refused to humble himself before the Lord (Ex. 10:3), we STILL yet see the MERCIES of God at hand during the first nine plagues.
Our human flesh wants things fixed right NOW, but God works with more patience and purpose. God surely could have started with the last plague…which, in my opinion, was the most painful loss. Yet, we see our wonderful God’s compassion and mercies faithfully at work. He worked in the hearts of the Egyptians to understand that He was GOD.
He was a merciful GOD, but indeed a GOD to be feared!
Exodus 9:20 & 21 says (regarding the hail to come), “He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field.”
We see that God was indeed at work already in the hearts of some of Pharaoh’s servants. Yet, some servants were still proud and willful just like their leader.
The ones that were learning to fear the word of the Lord sent their servants and cattle to their houses for protection from the hail. (They were spared some disaster BECAUSE they learned to fear God; they humbled themselves and took action.)
Of course, we also see God’s mercy for the Israelites who dwelled there in Egypt. God spared them of all of these plagues to show the Egyptians over and over again that He was GOD. What protection and blessings hovered over the Israelite people because they served the True God!
Take notice that things can (seem) to get WORSE before they get BETTER…
I wish every road in life could be smooth, but without the rough spots we would hardly learn the lessons that GOD would have us to know.
Sometimes it’s NOT all about YOU…
Sometimes God is mercifully WORKING in the lives of OTHER people — through your situation and your testimony — even though we may feel like things are looking worse than ever.
Another thoughtful question: Do you think that God was only teaching the Egyptians a lesson?
A few things He was also teaching the Israelite people were…
- God is Almighty — no magicians can compete with His wonders.
- God is dependable — He does what He says He will do.
- God is merciful — He was able to protect them from dangers and disasters surrounding them.
- God taught them patience — They had to wait for God to do His work.
- God would show them salvation and fight for them when the enemy once again pursued them. (Exodus 14:13,14)
Things looked like they were turning for the worse once again when the Egyptians began to pursue the Israelite people after they had departed from Egypt, and that’s when one of the GREATEST miracles took place…
The parting of the Red Sea! And their walk across on dry ground!
Do you realize? >> We still serve this SAME, mighty God today!
Remember, God knows exactly what He’s doing! His mercies and compassion fail not! When things seem to get worse, know that they can get better… right on God’s time!
“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” Lamentations 3:22 KJV
God bless you and your family,
*Originally posted March 14, 2018 / Updated August 27, 2019