What does it say?
The plagues begin (Exo 7). There will be ten, and the river waters turning to blood is the first. Watch for this: Moses grows bolder, stronger and more confident with each passing day. Pharaoh grows more defiant and helpless with each passing day.
Egyptian life fills up with frogs, lice and flies (Exo 8). Never a good way to live! While Pharaoh’s magicians were able to mirror the river pollution and frogs (perhaps from natural causes), they are unable to bring lice to life from the dust and know that something truly supernatural is happening. Pharaoh offers two compromises that stop short of true freedom to return to Canaan. Moses stands firm.
The plagues progress to disease upon the Egyptians, first on their livestock and then horrible boils upon people and animals alike. The seventh plague is an historic, supernatural hailstorm. Pharaoh knows that the situation was now beyond control and he appears to repent. God gives Moses discernment to know that the repentance is not genuine.
What does it mean?
The plagues demand our attention. This is such great drama it’s easy to forget that we are reading history, and history that has a vital part in God’s mission. Look carefully at Exodus 9:16. The Exodus story is missional! God has not forgotten his promise to bless Abraham to be a blessing to the families of the entire earth. Egypt once provided refuge for Israel in time of need. A change of heart and now a change of politics put Egypt on the cursed side of the Abraham equation.
Exodus 9:20-21 shows that the difference between blessing and curse is not ethnic or racial, but faith. There are those who fear God’s words and those that do not regard God’s words.
How will I respond?
Amid the many devotional and practical lessons that one can find in this passage, we cannot ignore the power of Exodus 9:16. This is the same story we began in Genesis 1, and has not changed course for a second.
From what you have read today, what is the most immediate missional lesson for you to apply to your life? Remember, missional is not a geographical term, but simply means an outward focus that aligns with God’s mission. What is that most important lesson for you and will you obey or simply not regard God’s word? What does that obedience look like in your life?