The LORD set a definite time, saying, “Tomorrow
the LORD will do this thing in the land.”
Our God is not a God of chance. He is not a God of happenstance. His work is not dependant upon anyone or anything outside of Himself. He is self-existent and self-sufficient. Our Creator God is omnipotent. He is all powerful and His power comes from within Himself. He is sovereign over all the universe, even over time. God decides to specifically point this out to Pharaoh as He brings His next three plagues upon the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh’s refusal to keep his word after the fourth plague leads to this fifth plague, a severe pestilence upon the livestock. This fifth plague is an attack upon the Egyptian god Apis, who was worshiped as the bull god.
The Egyptians believed that the souls of their gods lived in these bulls, as well as in goats, rams, and cows. Moses tells Pharaoh that “Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing…” (Exodus 9:5) and we read in Exodus 9:6, “So the LORD did this thing on the next day…”
I read this and I think of the late and great baseball player, Babe Ruth. I am reminded of the legend that speaks of him standing at home plate in the 1932 World Series and pointing to the outfield stands and “calling his shot” right before he knocks the ball out of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. However, God is not going to leave any room for controversy.
Once again God will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. The pestilence comes and all the livestock in Egypt dies, but not even one dies from Israel.
Pharaoh once again hardens his heart and would not let the people go.
God then sends the sixth plague, boils upon the beast and men of Egypt. This plague is against the Egyptian god Thoth, who was known as the god of medicine and wisdom. The Egyptians had several medicinal gods and it is believed that it was to these gods that human sacrifices were made.
Humans were burnt upon a high altar and their ashes were scattered into the air in order to send out a blessing to the people. Moses does as the LORD commanded and takes handfuls of soot from a kiln and throws it toward the sky and instead of a blessing the people of Egypt receive a plague of boils.
The magicians who probably were the ones who used to toss the ashes of human sacrifices into the air are also covered in these sores. So much so, that they cannot stand before Moses because of the boils. Yet still, Pharaoh, covered in his own sores, hardens his heart and refuses to submit to God.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 the Word of God declares, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-“ It is now time for Pharaoh and the people of Egypt to know that there is no one like the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
When God calls Moses to stand before Pharaoh to deliver the coming of the seventh plague He tells him “For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:14) This nation has been worshiping false gods formed by there own hands through their own imaginations. They have been worshiping mere men and bowing before pharaohs who had set themselves up as gods. They have refused to look at the creation around them and give glory to the one true God. Instead they have believed the lie and worshiped the creation instead of the Creator (Romans 1:25). Now, one plague at a time, God is opening the hearts and minds of those not only of Israel, but those throughout all the land of Egypt.
“Behold, about this time tomorrow, I will send a heavy hail, such has not been seen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now.” (Exodus 9:18) God is calling His shot. He is pointing out His finger. He is extending His hand. He is giving fair warning to His opponent and giving them a heads up so that they may position themselves accordingly. God has always done so, and He will do so until the end of the age.
I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
‘Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not participate in her sins
and receive of her plagues;
for her sins have piled up as high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.
God does not act in secret. He never has. He never has to, because He is just in all his ways.
Before God sends this seventh plague upon the land of Egypt He has Moses announce to Pharaoh that He could have already destroyed him and his land, but that He has allowed him to remain in order to display His power and to proclaim His name through all the earth.
With each plague that comes because of Pharaoh’s refusal to submit, the LORD God takes His stand against the false gods the people of Egypt have lifted up in worship. With each plague more people hear about this great God of the Hebrew slaves.
This seventh plague of hail is God’s stand against the Egyptian god Nut. She was the sky goddess, the god of the harvest. Her husband was Geb, the Egyptian god of the earth that God came against with the third plague, the plague of lice. This plague was also against Shu, the god of the wind, storm, and violence from the sky. He supposedly held the ladder to heaven.
Our God is showing the world that He alone is omnipotent. He alone is to be feared. “The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses; but he who paid no regard to the word of the LORD left his servants and his livestock in the field.” (Exodus 9:20-21) The people of Egypt could trust in their gods, or they could trust in the God of Moses. They would have to choose whose word they would fear.
How about you?
Do you fear the word of the LORD?
That is really the bottom line. God has given us all fair warning of the judgment that is to come. He has laid out to us what is true and good. He has set before us blessings and cursings (Deuteronomy 11:26) and He leaves the choice to us. He has not acted in secret. He has given us all ample time and opportunity to take Him at His word. He has the power, authority, and right to destroy us but He waits, and still so many of us, like Pharaoh, exalt ourselves or choose to trust in our own little “g” gods and refuse to regard His word.
You leave us without excuse (Romans 1:20). You have made Yourself known to us. You have allowed us all to experience good and evil. You have openly displayed Your glory for all to see. Your Word does not sugar coat the actions of Your people. You have recorded their failures along with their victories. You have recorded Your judgments along with Your mercies. You are good, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness (Numbers 14:18). All You ask is for us to trust You. To acknowledge You alone as God and submit ourselves in obedience to Your Word. Oh Father, forgive me for the times that I have exalted myself andf trusted in my own ways and not had regard for Your Word. You alone are God and I humble myself before You.
My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,