Aug. 15, 2021

Ep. 25 - The Plagues

Ep. 25 - The Plagues

Exodus 6:10 – 10:29.  Pharaoh seems to have won…but God wasn’t done yet.  
“Papa’s Bible Stories” brings the Bible to life for your kids.  For each episode, I pick a Bible story to talk to my very own kids about.  The stories are entirely Bible-based, sc...

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Exodus 6:10 – 10:29.  Pharaoh seems to have won…but God wasn’t done yet.  

“Papa’s Bible Stories” brings the Bible to life for your kids.  For each episode, I pick a Bible story to talk to my very own kids about.  The stories are entirely Bible-based, scripture is quoted at every opportunity, and the kids are always pointed to the Bible as the authority.  And we’re not afraid of having a little fun too!  It is my hope and prayer that your kids will be excited to explore God’s Word for themselves after hearing each and every episode.  #bible #stories #kids #children #adventist #sda  





Ok so today we are going to continue with the story of Moses.  Last we left Moses, he was depressed.  He’d left his home in Midian to accept God’s mission…to free the Israelites.  But at the first sign of trouble, the Israelites had turned on him.  And they blamed him for all the bad things that Pharaoh was doing to them.  And Moses asked God…why am I here…why did you send me?  The Israelites were paralyzed with fear, and Pharaoh was getting exactly what he wanted…and it seemed that the Israelites would never be getting out of slavery.  What…a…mess.  So…what was God going to do?  Would He give up on this terrible situation?  Would He give up on His people?  Well…the answer is a big…resounding…no!  Not by a long shot.  In fact…God was just getting started.

And God spoke to Moses, and said, “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go out of his land.” (6:10) So..God wanted Moses to go back to Pharaoh again…and give Pharaoh exactly the same message…again?  Didn’t God know what had happened the last time Moses done that?  And when Moses hesitated, the Bible says that, “The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.” (6:13) So basically, God told Moses…get in there and get it done!

So, reluctantly Moses and Aaron obediently went back to the palace and gave Pharaoh the very same message…”Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go.’” (Ref. 5:1) Now…last time they’d had this conversation, Pharaoh seemed to highly doubt that Moses was actually on some special mission by this supposed “Lord God of Israel”. And this time, Pharaoh directly challenged him on this, and said to Moses, “Show a miracle for yourselves.” (7:9) If Moses was indeed on a special mission from God…well…Pharaoh wanted Moses to prove it. 

And well, as you kidzos already know, Moses and Aaron did indeed have some miracles ready to go for just such an occasion.  And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.” (7:9) And the Bible says that Aaron, “cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.” (7:10) And so, with the snake slithering around on the ground in front of him, Moses had indeed proven that God had sent him.  So, of course, seeing this proof, Pharaoh immediately let the Israelites go…right?  Well, no.  In fact, Pharaoh didn’t even seem impressed.  As far as Pharaoh was concerned, Moses and Aaron had just performed some kind of magic.  And Pharaoh simply called over his magicians, and the Bible says that each of them, “threw down his rod, and they became serpents.” (7:12)

Err...what?  What happened?  Pharaoh’s magicians were able to do a miracle?  And the exact same miracle?  How is that possible?  Well, the Bible doesn’t give us any other details here.  But the Bible does also tell us in other places that God is the only One who can actually create things, and that not even Satan can create something.  And that means that God is the only One who could really truly have created a serpent from a rod.  And so that means that the magicians were somehow faking it.  It was some kind of trick…either a magic trick like you would see at any magic show…or maybe something that the Satan himself helped to fake.  But at the end of the day, the only rod that had actually turned into a snake was Aaron’s.  But…Pharaoh didn’t know that.  And as far as Pharaoh was concerned his magicians were able to do the exact same “miracle” that Moses and Aaron had been able to do. 

Now, right away, the Bible says that Aaron’s serpent ate the other serpents…which might have shown Pharaoh that Moses and Aaron’s serpent was somehow better than the magician’s serpents.  But…that didn’t seem to change Pharaoh’s mind at all.  And the Bible says that, “Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them.” (7:13) No…Pharaoh’s magicians seemed just as capable as Moses and Aaron, and there was no way that he was going to let the Israelites go just because of what seemed to be a magic trick.

So, what was God going to do?  Well, as God often does when His Will is being ignored, it was time to increase the pressure.  And God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand. And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘By this you shall know that I am the Lord. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe to drink the water of the river.’” (7:15-18)

And that’s exactly what happened.  The next morning, Moses and Aaron confronted Pharaoh by the Nile River, Aaron hit the water with his rod, and the entire river turned to blood.  And not only did the water in the river turn to blood, but all the little streams, creeks, and ponds in all of Egypt turned to blood.  And not only that, but all the places where the Egyptians stored water turned to blood…so like their cisterns, buckets and even small jars of water.  Imagine sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch and the pitcher of water right in front of you turned to blood!  Yikes! 

Now, how did Pharaoh react to this incredible display of God’s power?  Well, just like with the snake miracle, Pharaoh turned to his magicians.  And the Bible says that the magicians, “did so with their enchantments.” (7:22) Somehow, the magicians were again able to fake a miracle and were at least able to seemingly turn some small amount of water into blood.  And the Bible says that, “Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them” and that Pharaoh, ”turned and went into his house. Neither was his heart moved by this.” (7:22-23)

So, what did God do?  Well, God continued to increase the pressure.  And God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants.” (8:1-4)

And that’s exactly what happened.  The Bible says that Aaron, “Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.” (8:6) Now, I know I know kidzos, because you guys love frogs…this might sound like heaven to you.  You kidzos spent a lot of time catching frogs and toads.  So, you kidzos are probably thinking…frogs everywhere…yay!!  But, just imagine that you had so many frogs around that you could not keep them out of the house, and they came into your kitchen, into all your pots and pans, onto the stove, in the microwave, all over the floor, and even in your beds!  Now that would be no fun at all! 

And how did Pharaoh react to frogs in his bed?  Well Pharaoh again turned to his magicians, and…again…somehow…the magicians were able to fake the miracle.  So again, Pharaoh had an excuse to doubt God’s power.  But…unlike the blood plague, Pharaoh could not stand this frog plague.  Too many frogs everywhere!  And Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and he said to them, “Entreat the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” (7:X) So Pharaoh was giving up, and he was going to let the Israelites go.  And so, with his mission apparently accomplished, the Bible says that Moses, “cried out to the Lord concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. So the Lord did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields. They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank.” (7:12-14) So…all was back to normal…everyone seemed to understand they didn’t want any more plagues…and it was time for the Israelites to get going…right?

Well, no.  After all the frogs were gone, and after everything had gone back to normal, Pharaoh looked around and…well…he changed his mind.  And the Bible says that Pharaoh, “hardened his heart and did not heed them…” (7:15) So Moses and the Israelites were back to square one.  And, what did God do?  Well, of course God continued to increase the pressure.  And God said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, 'Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.'” (8:16) And that’s exactly what happened.  All the dust throughout all Egypt became lice.  Do you kidzos know what lice are?  They are these tiny eensy weensy black bugs that make their homes in your hair.  And they like to sit in your scalp and bite you all day long.  They are super irritating!  And of course Pharaoh turned to the magicians, and the magicians tried to make some lice…but this time they were not able to do it.  Apparently, the magicians had reached their limit, and they admitted to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” (8:19) And with his magicians out of their depth, and with nothing left to base any doubts on, of course Pharaoh immediately let the Israelites go, right?

Well, no.  No he didn’t.  Again, Pharaoh’s heart grew hard.  And again, God increased the pressure.  Again, Moses was sent to Pharaoh to demand that the Israelites be let go.  This time, Pharaoh was warned that God would, “send swarms of flies on you and your servants, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand.” (8:21) Again, things happened exactly like Moses said they would.  And Again, in the middle of the plague Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and agreed to let the Israelites go if they would just stop the plague.  And Again, Moses asked God to stop the plague, and again God did so.  In fact the Bible says that after God caused the flies to leave, that “not one [fly] remained”.  And again, after the plague was over, Pharaoh changed his mind and decided that he wasn’t going to let the Israelites go.

And what did God do…well…you guessed it…God increased the pressure.  Except now the plagues started to get much more serious.  And God caused all of the livestock of the Egyptians get sick, and all the cattle, horses, donkeys, camels, oxen, and sheep…all the animals that the Egyptians depended on for food, clothing, carrying heavy stuff, and getting around…died.  Still Pharaoh’s heart was hard.  Then God caused all the Egyptians to get boils.  Boils are these really painful and really gross and really big sores that break out on your skin.  Still Pharaoh’s heart was hard.  Then God sent hail.  You know, little ice balls that fall out of the sky during a storm.  Except these weren’t little ice balls, they were ginormo ice balls.  And the hail devastated Egypt – any animal and any person that was caught outside died, and all the crops that were growing in the fields were destroyed, and all the trees were damaged.  These plagues were starting to cause serious damage to Egypt.  Again, Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron to stop the plague and that he would let the Israelites go, but when the hail stopped, again Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he changed his mind. 

Then God sent locusts.  Locusts are a type of grasshopper that flies in swarms and can fly long distances, and they eat anything green.  And a huge swarm of locusts landed in Egypt.  There were so many locusts that they completely covered the ground.  And the locusts ate absolutely everything.  Egypt went from being a land of green, to being a land of brown.  Again, Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron to stop the plague and that he would let the Israelites go, but when the locusts left, again Pharaoh changed his mind.  Then God sent darkness. And not just darkness like we see at night time, but a darkness that you could feel…a darkness that was hard to breath in.  The darkness was so thick that the Egyptians couldn’t even see each other, and no one could even leave their house.  Still, Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go.

Ok…now, let’s just pause the story here for a second.  Egypt has been through a lot.  The frogs, lice, flies, and boils were bad enough, but the dead livestock, the hail, and the locusts caused major long-lasting damage to Egypt.  At this point, most Egyptians are probably wondering how they were going to feed themselves in the coming weeks and months.  And with this last plague of suffocating darkness, they couldn’t even start getting back on their feet.  All they could do was sit in their homes and think about all the bad things that had been happening to them.

And I’m sure that many Egyptians began to realize a few things.  For one thing, this “Lord God of Israel” was not only real, but He was no joke.  None of the supposed Egyptian gods had ever been able to do anything like this.  But also, what was going on with Pharaoh?  Couldn’t Pharaoh see that his stubbornness was destroying Egypt?  Why was Pharaoh’s heart so hard?  And I really want you kidzos to think about this too.  Even though Pharaoh had the world coming down on him, he just was not willing to obey.  His heart was hard, and it made him resist God’s will.  And you know kidzos even though Pharaoh is an extreme example, a hard heart is something that can happen to any one of us.  We see it all the time, many people have hard hearts…especially against anything to do with God.  So it’s super important that we guard our hearts…and we do everything we can to keep our hearts soft…especially towards God.

So…what was God going to do?  Well, a tenth and final plague was coming.  And this plague was going to be so terrible and so tragic…that Pharaoh would indeed finally obey.  And we are going to talk all about it…next time.