Lent 2018: See the Lord's Salvation: Day 8

The Plagues Begin


Today's Text: Exodus 6:28-30, Exodus 7:1-25, Exodus 8:1-32, Genesis 47:4-6, Psalm 95:1-5

Scripture Reading: Exodus 6:28-30, Exodus 7:1-25, Exodus 8:1-32, Genesis 47:4-6, Psalm 95:1-5

One of the biggest fights my husband and I have ever had was over a bug.

Not just any bug, but a big fat bumblebee. We were driving the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, North Carolina, after a day of hiking waterfalls with his brother. Mountains all around, crisp air, blue skies—it was nearly perfect… until a bumblebee flew up from under my seat, and I started shrieking. “PULL OVER PULL OVER RIGHT NOW!” I shouted, as he kept driving.

Realistically, there was nowhere to pull over. We were driving winding mountain roads with no shoulder. I was panicking, and there was nothing he could do (except match my pitch and yell at me to calm down). Finally, a scenic overlook saved us. But my nerves were shot, and my brother-in-law had witnessed a “real marriage moment.”

I can’t read Exodus 7 and 8 without cringing. A river of blood, frogs, gnats, flies just sounds gross. This is one of those passages that I try to skim over without putting myself in the scene: piles of dead frogs that filled the land with stench, and then “all the dust of the earth became gnats.” Is your skin crawling? Mine is.

The panic I felt driving down that mountain road, while feeling hunted by a hungry bumblebee, was probably nothing compared to the terror of being swarmed by flies, gnats, and frogs. In these pages from Exodus, Pharaoh goes back and forth in his response to God, who pulls back the plagues, hardens Pharaoh’s heart, and then sends an even worse plague. Sometimes the plagues are universal, affecting the Israelites in tandem with the Egyptians. Others, like the swarms of flies, are directed only at the Egyptians, while sparing the Israelites as only God can do.

The Egyptians believed that their gods controlled the very things that God commanded in the plagues. During the first three plagues, the magicians of Egypt call upon their gods to mimic what Moses and Aaron were doing. During the plague of the gnats, the magicians could not replicate the work of God. “For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods.” There is none like Him (Psalm 95:3; 86:8).

The meta-narrative of Exodus reveals God’s character to His people: He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6–7). The plagues serve to pull back and reveal another layer of God’s character. He demonstrates His authority over the earth, over the plants and animals, over His people, over all things.

Eventually, the plagues work; Pharaoh relents, and the Israelites are freed. God has rescued His people, but He has also shown them that He can be trusted, that He is in their corner, and that He has all authority in heaven and earth.

Hundreds of years later, God would come to earth as a man and again reveal His authority through a series of miracles—calming the sea, healing the sick, raising the dead—that showed His people and the watching world that He alone is God. We can sit in awe of His power today.


Melanie Rainer is a bookworm from birth who makes her days writing, editing, and reading in Nashville, Tennessee. She has an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary, spends as much time as she can in the kitchen, and can’t wait until her two daughters are old enough to read Anne of Green Gables. She writes online at www.melanie-rainer.com.

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  • Marli Neel

    Why did God straight up tell Moses that he’d harden Pharaoh’s heart ? Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier to let the people just get up and walk out ? I ask this as a point to be made that A LOT of things in my life would be much “better” or easier if the desired outcome would just happen instantly. That MY gratification wasn’t delayed. That it could be like a drive-thru… say what I want… drive ten feet and poof it’s ready! But that isn’t the road to sanctification is it ? The road that shows Gods power. The road that shows His faithfulness. He does as He wills and it’s for His glory. Even if it’s uncomfortable like how Moses felt. He pleaded with God bc he didn’t feel adequate for speaking and God gave him Aaron. He didn’t feel believable so God gave him power through his staff. He provided a way for Moses when he wasn’t too sure of himself. Glory to God bc He is faithful and will do so with us.

  • Josie Vadala


  • Michelle Emery

    I love that God fights for his people–“let my people go!” He fights for us too, he is on our side, he wants what’s best for us. What good news!

  • Lilly Dyer

    This may sound silly, but the passage states that the magicians used the occult to actually produce similar outcomes of God’s plagues, so is “magic” actually real? I’m just confused that something that isn’t real is actually seemingly real in the Bible.

    • Annerie Logan

      Yes magic is real, it’s demonic forces at work. But God showed that He has authority over everything, even demonic powers. What a great God we serve!

      • Lilly Dyer

        So, if magic was real in the Bible, is it something that is still present? Are there actual witches and wizards in today’s world? I guess I’m confused because this is something I have always been taught is not real and made up. Obviously, I don’t think Harry Potter is really off at Hogwarts, but to what extent is this existing in society?

        • Kelley

          I wouldn’t say we see it so much in America these days, but it still exists in some ways I’m sure. And of course we see ‘make believe’ and using our imaginations as well as optical illusions, but those are simply just that and not ‘magic’ as is described in scripture here. However, in other parts of the world like remote African villages, jungles, parts of Asia, etc., people are still driven by fear of the demonic forces and very much bow down to their witch doctors and shamans, who hold power over the people in a very captivating and dark way.
          So I hope this helps to distinguish between the actual differences between optical illusions/make believe, verses calling on demonic forces for power. Sometimes we tend to use the word ‘magic’ fairly loosely when there’s actually a lot of deeper, varying distinctions in the use of the word depending on it’s context :)

  • Lindsey Bailey

    God will go through any earthly measure to make certain our souls are secure for eternity. The plagues will come, and we can stiffen our necks and harden our hearts to His message, but it may cause misery in our lives. One example for me is that God had really been laying on my heart to wake up earlier to spend time reading the Bible and praying. I was obeying, but not fully. I would hit snooze multiple times shortening the time that I had with Him. My sleep at night became really restless, and I was having trouble sleeping more than a few hours each night. It dawned on me that I had not been obedient to the Lord’s request of me to wake up earlier and worship Him. It may not have been a plague of disgusting frogs (thankfully), but it was bad enough to ‘wake me up’ and ensure that I obey. Once I obeyed completely, my sleep is so peaceful.

    • Kristen

      Please listen to this song called a Reckless Love. Go to YouTube! It’s great!

      • Sara

        Oh, I have been so blessed from that song too!! Always reminds me how great is God’s love to us and how He is always there fighting for and with us

  • I live in Asheville, North Carolina!

    That aside, I really like how Melanie brings out the point in the story of God not only saving his people, but doing it in a way that is showing he IS God. He could have just wiped the Egyptians out with one wink if he wanted to, but he didn’t want to just remind his people who he was, he wanted the Egyptians to acknowledge who he is too.

    I think this is very tactful. It’s one thing to argue with someone to prove you’re right, it’s another to argue with them in a way that they eventually see you are right and acknowledge it themselves. That’s where the thought pattern can change, and even a life change can be made! God isn’t about just having his way, but truly changing the hearts and minds of people as they see and acknowledge who he really is. Cunning and gracious.

  • Sarah Wohlgamuth

    It struck me that Pharaoh had asked Moses to get rid of the frogs, and when Moses asks when, and Pharaoh says TOMORROW. Get rid of the frogs tomorrow. How ridiculous is that? But then, I remember, how many times I think “Oh, I’ll change that habit tomorrow,” or “Hey God, let’s spend more time together tomorrow.” In a strange way, I get used to sleeping with frogs in my bed and start liking it. Maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after, it’s not a big deal. But, it is. And, oh, that I would stop pushing the healing, cleansing Presence of God off until tomorrow..

  • I love how Pharoah went from asking “Who is Yahweh that I should obey Him by letting Israel go? I do not know anything about Yahweh, and besides, I will not let Israel go.” (5:2) To finding out for sure Who God is!

  • God proves over and over again that He is in our corner. He is fighting for us, He is with us. Let us be still and sit in his love

  • Jo Gistand

    I’m just amazed at how much mercy and grace GOD provides us on a daily basis. Our hearts harden sometimes, but if we are his people, we are granted that 7th and 8th chance. And I am grateful for his power to stop and start all

  • Denise Powers Fabian

    Praying for a dear friend’s husband who, through a bicycle accident two days ago, is in the ICU, paralyzed, and in a medically induced coma…praying that she knows that God has not ignored her or abandoned her and Tom through this…that He will remember His covenant, even when it appears He has not.

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re so sorry to hear this Denise. We’re praying over your friend and her husband right now in the midst of this tragedy. -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Alice Bower

    God shows his people, once again, that He is a merciful and just God. He calls His people to repentance over and over so that they will repent and return to Him.

  • Audrey Gonzalez

    I’m clinging to the truth that I have this same powerful God on my side. With me every day, every step of the way.

  • Churchmouse

    The magicians’ demonic powers made things worse. Isn’t that just like the devil? God would do whatever it takes to make His beloved people free. Isn’t that just like our God?

    • Patreeya

      So true! Just like the enemy to try and make us discount the genuine by surrounding us with counterfeits. And while they are able to copy the miracles, the power of mercy, compassion, and relenting relief come alone from God Himself.

  • Leah Clark

    Quick question: Why did Moses questions his ability to speak to the Pharaoh in Ex. 6:30?

    • Lisa Guyer

      I think many people believe he had a speech impediment of some sort. He said he had “faltering lips”.

    • Marti

      I think that Moses also lacked confidence in himself, and it seems as though he didn’t view himself as a leader. I often compare myself to Moses by thinking, “Oh I can’t speak to people so that they will believe me; I’m no good at public speaking; I’m not eloquent enough to do God’s work; I know there are others out there who are more qualified for this task.” For the past year I have been working on these things, but for most of my life I have not been very good at confronting people or even just speaking to them, in front of them, etc.

  • Jessica McCreary

    There is no one like our wonderful, marvelous, and amazing God! ❤️

  • Pharaoh is interesting, because he could have asked for the plagues to be lifted right then and there, but he waited for “Tomorrow.”
    How many times have I told God, “tomorrow?”
    And when God did move, pharaoh just went back on his word.
    I saw tomorrow. I change for that moment and see God move. And then I just go back to doing my own thing.
    Lord, let us not wait for us to change tomorrow. Let us want change to day and everyday.

    • Diane Huntsman

      Woah!! So good!!!!

    • Jeanne Fitzpatrick

      Wow! I need that to reflect on. So true. It’s always tomorrow! Time to make that today ❤️

    • Rosie Liljenquist

      Love this. I’d never considered it in that way before but it’s so true. Thank you for your explanation, I really appreciate it and hope to make that change to do God’s will and not my own.

    • Sarah Marshall

      I never thought about it like that! thank you for the fresh perspective ❤️

    • Jen Jennings

      Yes I thought that was interesting too

    • Lesandra

      wow! Powerful! I had never seen it like that before. Thank you for this new perspective

  • “For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.”
    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭95:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    “Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.”
    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭86:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    • Morgan Brown

      Micah 4:5
      Though all the peoples each walk in the name of their gods, we will walk in the name of Yahweh our God forever and ever.

      Psalm 96:4-5
      For the Lord is great and is highly praised; He is feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

  • Hayley Sheldon

    Since each of the plagues Moses delivers was to show power over specific Egyptian god, I can see how “hardened heart” has an even deeper meaning. I just came across this- “The hardening (lit. making heavy) of pharaoh’s heart tendentiously alludes to the Egyptian belief that pharaoh’s heart must be weighed against the feather of truth, maat to grant him entry to the afterlife.”

  • Peony Noirr

    It struck me on a personal level that God told Moses beforehand that HE was going to harden Pharaoh’s heart. There have been countless situations in my life when I thought the devil was behind certain situations but it may have been God all along- testing me, using the people around me, so I may grow in Jesus, overcome the “impossible”, step into the light, and find my purpose.

    • Jen Jennings

      Yes I struggled with that- I couldn’t understand for the longest time why would God harden his heart and know that they would be denied freedom and go through those terrible plagues! What we don’t understand God does! Sometimes that’s a hard pill to swallow! His plan is much greater than we could imagine.

  • Kerry Terry

    God is merciful and gracious. How long Pharaoh relied on his own power and held to his own understanding of life. His pride in himself clouded his eyes and I believe it is as mentioned above, as in Romans 1:21-24, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened even more. We can be very stubborn, even taking pride in our stubborn ways. One might even call us hardheaded.

    My God, my God! How long will it take me! Thank you for your daily mercies and daily blessings!

  • I have always been struck by the plagues and how the magicians were able to use occult power to produce the same results. At first, I couldn’t understand why God would let this happen. I mean, doesn’t it seem to indicate that they have equal power? Of course, we know God is all-powerful, but it always gave me some dissonance I couldn’t resolve.
    Today made me think about this in a new way. If the magicians were truly powerful, they would have reversed the plagues, not simply produced the same results. That would’ve been a lot better for them! Instead, they only added more blood, more frogs…
    It makes sense, though…satan cannot do cleansing miracles. he cannot bring goodness, he only further destruction. And that’s what happens. The plagues’ effects are only exacerbated, not made any better.
    It so perfectly illustrates the deception of the enemy. Though there is some ‘ability’, it is not constructive. It only brings harm!
    This is making me sing all kids of new praises for how GOOD God is in His power!

    • Gina

      That is such a good reply! I was wondering about that myself…that is quite good.

    • Alexis

      I love this response. I was also wondering about this :)

    • Lindsey

      I just said out loud “Oh, this is so good!” Thank you for sharing your insight.

    • Lauren

      I was conflicted about this part of the passage as well but I love your insight! So helpful!

  • I notice the contrast between Moses and Aaron’s response to what God said–“they did just as the Lord commanded” (7:6, 7:10, 7:20, 8:17) and Pharaoh’s hardened heart.

  • Hey all, update, I have the flu. I’m at college now, so my mom is going to pick me up and I’m going to go home to try to get better. Please pray that I get better quickly, that the teachers are gracious, and that I will be able to get caught up on my work and not get overwhelmed. Love you all.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for sharing Sarah. We’re praying for a quick recovery for you! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • His autority its not discutible! but just for stay clear the only universal God´s plage was the first-born´s dead but God provide the way to stay safe from this plague using the lamb´s blood.
    The rest of plagues was only for egiptians. :)

    • Debbi Faust

      I always thought the baby boys Pharaoh ordered killed were the “first born”. But Aaron is 3 years older than Moses. So I re-read Exodus 1:15-22 and I says the midwives were to kill every boy they observed being born. So I am thinking his orders weren’t for the boys already born just the ones who were born after he came into power. I hope I have this figured out right. I would not want to mislead anyone.

  • Sabrina Michelle

    In reading this I gathered that often times the adversary tries to mimic God. It is vital for us to be able to know our Father and the fruits of the spirit so we are not miss led.

    Moses and Aaron went back to God for their assignment. They did not attempt to handle it on their own and that’s how we should be with Him. Everyday we should look to the Father for our daily bread.

  • Wow ladies— just wow!! Such good food for thought today and everyday! Thanks SRT

  • Robin Elgard

    I’m reminded today of God’s miraculous power! My family has been asking for a miracle for many years now. Grateful for fresh hope that He is able!

  • I wondered why God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, would it not have been easier to soften his heart to co-operate to free His people? On checking further I found the answer, the Lord used Pharaoh to demonstrate his own superior power, He is God of Gods and Lord of Lords. I’m loving this study and how it makes me questions and learn.

  • Kristin Hanley

    How does one reconcile God’s intentional hardening of Pharaoh’s heart (almost making him stubborn and blind) with the passage from James about how God will not tempt people to evil? (James 1:13)

    • Kim A.

      I have struggled with this too… I have never fully understood the purpose of hardening his heart when he is capable of doing the exact opposite as well.

      • Kristen

        Please keep reading these responses. The one from Charity is really good. You can also google the question, and there is a Christian site called Got questions that answers too. However, if you keep scrolling down to Charity’s response it will help. A young pastor once asked his elder pastor why about certain things. The wiser older pastor said that doesn’t the Lord of all the earth do right. (May be off on the exact presentation of the scripture.) That young pastor decided that’s it… trust God and know He is good! He’s ways aren’t our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

  • Chrissy E

    I was really struck by how many times God said that what He was doing was so that the Egyptians would know who He was (is – the great I AM). This really reminded me that not only do I sometimes have to go through stuff I don’t want to so that God can do a work in me, sometimes He lets me go through things so that He can show others who He is and help them come to know Him, too. Incredible. Our God is just incredible! I pray this helps soften my heart the next time I encounter a hardship of any sort… I can’t selfishly think it’s all about me all the time! :-)

  • I kept thinking this is so like me; getting through one trial after another while each one should have been the final trial that drives me to my knees for good. But each one I simply thank God and move on as if a miracle did not happen. As if it wasn’t Sovereign God who worked. As if I did something special by thanking God for His mercy. As if, worse still, I harden my heart to God not realizing, once again, He wanted my whole heart. He wanted my submission not just my thanks. He wanted my repentance not just my acknowledgement. He wanted my obedience, my sacrifice, my changed heart. He wanted my worship every second of every day believing He is the Lord every second of every day.

    • Susan

      Wow, must be the name, because I too am Susan and do this same thing! Thank Him for getting me through a situation and move on and yes, worse still sometimes think I helped Him and don’t even really thank Him. I am so thankful that He is the God of second chances; multiple chances and He always welcomes me into His loving arms. Priscilla Shirer says in her study Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted, “The Lord is always willing to forgive. He is quick to extend mercy. Yet He desires that the knowledge of His long-suffering way and His willingness to show grace not dissuade you from the higher calling of obedience.” That is my prayer, that I will seek His way and the obedient life above all else.

    • Heather N (MNmomma)

      yes…..this <3

    • Gina Glennon

      Yes, yes. Me too! Thank you for your thoughts.

  • Caroline Smith

    God has authority over heaven and earth and still does today! This spoke to me and I realized that I’m often as ridiculous as Pharaoh and I forget that and allow myself to worry so much. Can I ask you all to pray for me? I stepped out in faith majorly yesterday and if you could pray that God finishes his work in myself + my friend from high school that he has begun and gives me the desires of my heart I would be so appreciative!!!!

  • Hardening of hearts is hard. God knows that we are a people who lose our convictions or beliefs quickly, so it’s painful to think that sometimes He has to go to incredible lengths to help us to remember, to hold on to the strength of God. He could have left Pharaoh’s heart alone and Pharaoh could’ve conceded the freedom but how quickly would his mind have had him convinced that he didn’t “see what he thought he saw”, how quickly would he have been ready to doubt what had been before him. Unfortunately, we are a people that often has to learn from mistake, we often have to learn by seeing over and over and it isn’t until we do that things click and we realize God in front of us. God knows this. Allowing the hardening of hearts and the multiple plagues ensured a large number of folks to KNOW Him as God. I am prayerful that I be someone who doesn’t require hard reminders to know WHO He is, that we become a people that doesn’t require wrath for conviction or freedom.

  • Sheila Busch

    I feel like God is also shoring up Moses’ faith and those of the Israelites in showing His absolute sovereignty over the earth, the insects, and even pharaoh’s heart. He is setting up the scene, so to speak, to demonstrate that He can do all He promises, that he can predict the events of a situation. This is a good reminder to His people that they can trust Him. Reading these passages, I am reminded that God is the final authority in the world as He is in heaven.

  • Angela Sackett

    About pharaoh’s heart – it seems he hardens it himself first. I have seen this in other places as well. While I cannot make a case for this, I wonder if God is using the sin-driven direction of pharoah’s heart and life to remind us He is in control even here. Is it possible that there is some sort of warning here for when we (the human race) are tempted to repeatedly harden our hearts against Him?

    I also notice that the Israelites were not spared some of the plagues. It reminds me that while sometimes we are forced, as God’s children, to suffer the consequences of another’s sin, even this is not outside the realm of His sovereign design, and it gives me hope that when something horrible affects me, He has not forgotten me. It reminds me that even then, He is still working for His glory and my good- a result I may not tangibly see.

    • Susan

      Thank you for sharing this insight!

    • KayLyn EspeFox

      I think Romans 1:21-24 kind of speaks to this heart condition. The most frightening words in the Bible… “God gave them over to the sinful desires of their hearts.”

    • Rhonda

      Yes, good insight!

    • Irina

      great thoughts! Thank you.

    • Jen Jennings

      Yes wow great insights! Katlyn I love that you mentioned Romans 1:21-24 that is a hard one to understand sometimes isn’t it? God uses all things all circumstances to draw us even nearer to Him, so that we might be reminded how much we need Him and let go of our attempts to over control our own lives right?

  • Kelly Chataine

    We serve a powerful God! He is still more powerful than magicians and things of this world. He is able to equip, empower, and use His people for His glorious plan. May we be aware of our own heart condition and always be pliable to the Lord’s bidding.

  • Chris Gruhlke

    Good Morning Sisters! I have a question…why does the Bible say that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart? I’ve always thought that we have a choice in the matter of our hearts and that we choose whether to believe or not.

    • Kristine Loughman

      I think God wanted Pharaoh’s heart hardened so He could continue to showcase His power and might. Since God is the author of this story, He was building to a climax way more awe inspiring than if Pharaoh had seen the first plague and been like, “yep, y’all can go!”

    • Charity Parker

      I believe that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened because of God. Not that God made his heart hard, but that the idea of any God having power over him, over his gods, over his desires, or over over his bidding made him angry and hard-hearted. Not to mention the fact that this God was The God of his slaves. How could the God of his slaves be more powerful than him?! As Pharaoh, he would’ve been regarded as God status by his people, but now he is challenged by the God of a slave race to humble himself and give these slaves what they want. Not a chance. The fact that a God unworshipped and unrecognized by Pharaoh was involved at all was enough to harden his heart. His father killed children to keep these slaves from becoming greater than his own people, so now that he is threatened with losing them all – all his power, his workforce, and his legacy – he hardens himself to maintain it. Of, course he will lose it all in the end anyway because who can stand against God and win?

    • Lisa Shelton

      You are correct in saying we each have our individual choice to follow and serve God. However, God will not force himself on any of us. It is exactly that, our choice. Pharaoh had chosen his gods and was serving them. Had Pharaoh been a trusted source the miracles that had been performed , they would not have been directed back to the one true God. Therefore, God hardened Pharaohs heart so that He could prove in the end that He was ultimately the one in control of all things. This is why we have to be so vigilant in this world today. Many people have hardened hearts and instead of giving God praise and honor for miracles too often doctors, lawyers and just others in general get the praise that should be directed to God. Just like in the story of Pharaoh God sometimes has to harden the hearts of those who choose not to serve Him because once that choice is made we are not guaranteed another, but by the grace of the all mighty God through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ we often get one, again and again. But we are living in a world of Pharaohs and we must be aware. The world can give us things that God promises such as healing, wealth and an abundance of things that make us happy. But if we have to serve the gods of Pharaoh to get them then they truly are not a completion of what God has in store for His people which is true Salvation. As a child of God I see Him in everyday life, but as a servant of Pharaoh other people do not see the goodness and mercy in today’s miracles. Since the death and resurrection of Jesus, a hardened is the choice of man, not God. I hope this helps.

      [Romans 12:2 ] Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.

    • Sarah Sholar

      Charity, thank you for explaining it in this way!!! I was really troubled by this too, Chris!!! I thought my entire belief about free will was about to come tumbling down (though often times it’s good when that happens) but I think Charity hit the nail on the head. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in the sense that the idea of God terrified him. Thank you for showing me I’m not the only one who gets confused. Blessings, sisters.

    • Laura Madeira

      7:3 makes it clear that *God* hardened Pharaoh’s heart, not just that Pharaoh *had* a hard heart and God knew it… and 7:5 and Romans 9:14-23 explain more of why he did that—primarily because it made known His power and brought Him more glory! The Romans 9 section was definitely helpful to me in trying to understand this.

    • Chris Gruhlke

      Thank you ladies for your responses! How lucky are we, to be able to explore our questions with one another? It has helped me time and again! Have a wonderful and blessed day! ❣️

    • Gina Glennon

      Romans 9:14-23 is very helpful here.

  • At first when I read that God would harden Pharoh’s heart, I was confused. Why would God intentionally do that? But the more I thought about it, I realized that sometimes God allows situations to be really hard or challenging so that His glory can shine more clearly through the situation.

    • Kelly Chataine

      In verse 14 of chapter 7, we are told that Pharaoh’s heart was unyielding. We see Pharaoh’s true heart and God allowed him to continue with his unyielding or hardened heart. Also, when God moves, people either believe, repent and live faithfully or they don’t believe, deny and continue to live their lives their way. Pharaoh thought he was a god, why would he yield to these two Hebrews and their God?

    • Lauren

      That’s SO true and such a reminder. Our struggle isn’t punishment but a way for His glory to shine even brighter!!

  • Courtney Dewey

    Why does God allow the occult practices to preform the same plagues as Him. If He wants pharaoh to know that He is the Lord isn’t that confusing to Pharaoh?

    • Precious

      it was hardening Pharohs heart, just as he said he would do.

    • Kelly Chataine

      God knew the complete plan and knew that Pharaoh’s magicians would not be able to keep up. What a praise that Moses and Aaron continued to believe the one true God in the midst of all that was happening.

    • Mary Edwards

      Their power was demonic. When Satan was sent to earth he was given a certain amount of power and there have always been people who want this power and are who are under the control of these spirits. I love these stories because I’m sure both pharaoh and his magicians thought they had outwitted The Lord with their power, until God put them in their place – BENEATH Him. The plagues seem to increase in power, quickly usurping the amount allotted to the Enemy. It’s a reminder that yes, he is present and working against us, but The Lord is a Great God, a Great King above all gods!!

    • Morgan Brown

      That is a really good question. I have the same. Hope we get some good insight.

    • Heather Gaydos

      My thoughts… if he didn’t address these other “gods” and powers one might be left to wonder if he was really the one true God or just another god ( as this culture was familiar with many.) The strength and glory of God is again shown when the magicians cannot replicate the plague and declare it is “the finger of God”. A magician is admitting that this display of power is beyond his demonic power… and could only be from God.

    • Morgan Brown

      Love Heather and Mary’s insights. Thank you!

  • Let my People go…

    What words to read right now in this moment as I sit with tears running down my face…
    My dear grandson aged 16 is in a bad place to the point of disappearing for days after a fight with his mum, who called the police, and now has a warrant out for his arrest. We as a family have been beside ourselves…He turned up this morning at his mothers house, filthy, hungry, resigned… he’d rather be arrested than run…
    I pray the Lord God is saying these words “..Let my son go..” over this sweet child who has been seduced by smoking the wrong stuff …
    “…Let my people go”

    I hope and pray my grandson is one of God’s people that He wants to free from the chains of slavery( in his case.. smoking the wrong stuff)and hanging around with the wrong people… I pray that God can set them free too…
    “..Let my people go ..” says the Lord…
    Says the Lord… no mere mortal saying these words… the Lord God Almighty is saying them.. these are powerful words… there will not be anything more power filled…
    Praying release, breakthrough, chains to be broken, freedom out of these words, please God, to be spoken over my grandson and his friends…
    You are the Lord Almighty maker of heaven and earth… creator of each and everyone of us, and for each you have a purpose..and a plan. Please God, let this not be the ruination of the youngsters… set them free to be a testimony of your Goodness, Grace, Love, Mercy Hope..
    Thank you Lord God for ALL you have done so far, and all that is to come for your Glory…

    Soliciting prayers for family, but most especially my grandson Kane…
    God be with us…

    Sister wishing and hoping your day is blessed to overflowing with God’s love and Grace…xxx

    • Kathy

      Praying for Kane.

    • EarlyBird

      Dear sister, my heart breaks for you and your family, for Kane who is traveling a road that leads to nothing good. BUT GOD…. We cry out to Him here and now, and we lock arms even across the pond that our Mighty God will release Kane from all chains that bind him. Even now I will envision those chains breaking free and the prison door flying open, that he will walk through unbound, unchained, and singing praises to our God who heals! Hugs to you.

    • YaYa

      My Mother’s/grandmother’s heart is aching for you. Lifting Kane up now. Praying for Gods protection and His revelation.

    • Brandi

      Praying for our Father’s deliverance for Kane! And wisdom and guidance for mom and dad and for you during this time – that He would give you all the words to say and show you the way He has prepared – the path out of this Egypt. Love to you and your family! I too have two babies living in the lies and darkness and praying each day for our Father’s deliverance.

    • Lynne

      Tina, as a mother and grandmother I know your heart is breaking. I am praying for your family and, especially, Kane. May God keep him safe and work in his heart!

    • Pam

      Praying for Kane.

    • Anne

      Tina this breaks my heart-i have sons 12 & 14 and pray daily for a hedge of protection from the seductions of the world. I pray for Kane that he would see Gods love and the lies of the World. Praying for you and your family as well.

    • ~ B ~

      T, I will be praying release, breakthrough and freedom for Kane, for you, for your whole family. I will be praying for peace in the process and that unlike Pharaoh, God allows Kane to see Him right away, that there be no hardening of hearts and Kane comes to a quick realization of the abounding love over him and for him. Hugs to you friend!

    • Anne

      Praying now for Kane!

    • GramsieSue

      Yes, Tina, praying for Kane. That’s his heart would soften towards God, that God would free him from the chains, that he would seek and receive the help he needs. Praying for you and his mum as well. Hugs to you across the pond. ❤️

    • Heather N (MNmomma)

      Lifting Kane and your entire family up in prayer <3

    • ClaireB

      Tina, so sorry for your family and especially Kane. Since the SRT app hasn’t worked well due to “upgrades” I try to flip over to the webpage to see if you or a couple of my favorites have commented. You always have blessed commentary. Thank you

    • Mari

      Tina, I am going to be praying for Kane. As a mother of a 16-year-old son myself my heart aches for you and Kane’s mother . Going on a run right now and I will pray the whole time. Interestingly my son and I had a long heartbreaking, tearful late night talk last night. I will be praying for this precious 16 old boy of yours.

    • Anne

      Inspired by today’s He Reads Truth commentary, I pray that God will use this unraveling to bring Kane to repentance, that he will see this blow as an invitation to bow and surrender to God. With faith, hope and love…

    • Churchmouse

      Praying that Kane would today come to the end of himself and realize he needs a stronger.,more powerful One – Jesus. I’m praying he would surrender to His will for his life and that many would help him stay in the Way. I have seen it done. Praying for you and your family as it is not easy to watch Kane struggle with such demons for that is what they are. Oh but Kane can be more than a conquerer. I pray that for him.

    • Lindsey

      This spoke so deeply to me as I have lived this road that you are on… except it was my brother. He chose to run at 15 and has chosen to run every day for the last 17 years. For many many years he would rather be in prison than be “free”, for every few years when he is released… he does everything he can to be placed back in. Praying Kane finds that freedom, physical and spiritual, is a much better place to live than continuing to run.

    • Hilary

      Praying for Kane and your family now!

    • valerie

      Tina, I am in the war as well for my son who is 17. The enemy has a hold of their generation like no other. But we have a God who listens to our prayers and will fight for us. I would like to recommend 2 books that have really strengthened my prayer life 1). Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenagers: Discover How to Pray God’s Purpose for Their Lives by Jodie Berndt and 2). Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. They are both must reads as far as I’m concerned.

      I will definitely be praying for Kane – please pray for my son JE as well. I would love to be “virtual prayer partners” with you – it would be nice to have someone in the trenches with me. Please email me if you are interested [email protected]

  • As I read this, questions kept cropping up…I’m glad to see I’m not the only one! Two main questions: First, what was the deal with these magicians who could duplicate God’s power with their “secret arts?” Second, what was the point of Aaron? God tells Moses that Moses will be like God and Aaron will be prophet. But…if Moses is speaking God’s words, isn’t he the prophet? Is it just because he had that fear of public speaking/speech impediment thing?

    • Kathy

      I went to this website, https://www.gotquestions.org/Pharaohs-magicians-miracles.html, and looked up the question of the magicians doing what Moses did. It basically said that there were two options: they could have received power from Satan to perform the same kinds of miracles or, the more probable answers is that they were creating illusions. Bottom line was that however, they did it they were eventually stymied by God’s power.

    • IndigoBlue

      Did Moses change God’s order? Did God say 3 days out in the wilderness to worship?

    • Precious

      1. It was part of God hardening Pharohs heart, he used them in a “we can do that too, so your God isn’t that impressive ” sort of way, until it was not longer allowed by God. We have to remember that Satan deceives, but he can only do what God allows him to do.
      2. in Ex 4:14-16 it explains Aaron’s role in all of this per God speaking to Moses. if you read the verses before that you see what brought it about, that Aaron entered the narrative.

    • Dani

      I asked the same questions! When you read Exodus 4, you see that with every thing Moses says as reasons why he is not the person, God basically says “I made you, I will be with you, I will help you” which is the BEST promise ever, because with God, we can do all things. But Moses did not trust God fully at this time (but when you read on, you see Moses REALLY grows in his faith), and begged “Oh my Lord, please send someone else” (ex 4:13) and God got angry, and gave Aaron.
      When I read that, it made me think about how often when God calls us to do things, sometimes we want to hide behind someone who seems more adequate. God gave Aaron because Moses would not step out without him, and God’s plan to use Moses will still continue! But…. with Aaron too.
      I think in 7:1 where God says he makes Moses LIKE a God to pharaoh, it is basically saying Moses stands as God’s representation, giving the very words of God to pharaoh. Notice that God does not speak directly to Aaron, only directly to Moses, and Aaron is sent out to rely the information to the people. Often we see it is Aaron talking to pharaoh, and it is even Aaron who is stretching out the staff and doing the miracles!!! In many ways, Pharaoh saw more of Aaron in action than Moses, even though Moses was the one who was speaking directly to God (movies of Exodus often show Aaron as a sidekick next to Moses, but often it is Moses standing next to Aaron). Moses hesitations and lack of faith made Aaron necessary, it still meant God will use Moses, but alongside Aaron.

  • Why did God allow the Hebrews to suffer some of the plagues. My thought is that even they needed a reminder that he was God and then another that he is merciful and stopped the plagues from reaching them.

  • I had a question about what God was getting Moses to ask Pharaoh for in the first place- he is asking that they get the opportunity to go and worship in the wilderness for three days (Ex 3:18), but in fact it was a rescue mission to lead Israel out of Egypt forever. It feels like a bit of a “ruse”. Is God asking Moses to lie for him? I imagine not, but I’m trying to make sense of the text at this point. It’s a bit tricky!

    • Ashley

      I was actually thinking the same thing! Later on in chapter 14, Pharaoh siad “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” It’s like he knew they were leaving perminantly.
      I was curious, so I did a bit of research, here is a link I found. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1325-did-god-ask-moses-to-be-deceitful
      I was actually thinking the same thing! I also noticed that in chapter 14, Pharaoh said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” It’s like he knew they were perminantly leaving.

      I was curious, so I did a bit of research – here is an interesting link I found. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1325-did-god-ask-moses-to-be-deceitful

    • Precious

      God was using it to harden Pharoh’s heart. He knew Pharoh would not release them until something catastrophic happened that was close to his heart (his son died during Passover). That moment would lead to Pharoh, not wanting the Hebrew people there at all, causing him to FREE them, not just letting them leave for a few days. Their freedom was always the end game. Everything that happened after the initial “no” was to remind the Israelites that God was Almighty AND to give them favor with the Egyptians, who witnessed his power, so when they left they would give them the things they requested (gold/clothes/etc).

    • Shannon

      Bek, I’m wrestling with the same question this morning. God’s intent was obviously to free the Israelites permanently, so it does seem like God was asking Moses to lie about his true intentions. Having a hard time with that.

  • Marisa Narro

    That’s a way if reading this I never would have. Jesus’ coming to earth reveals God’s authority in another way, in miracles. Because Jesus came to ultimately deliver us, fulfill the promises made in the OT. Beautiful. Thank you for this!

  • I do find the whole magicians story weird. I know some people have difficulty believing the old testament’s “great stories” for more than their symbolic value. For me it’s not too hard to believe God let these plagues come, but believing there would be magicians who could do that? In primary school, that was credible of course, but now?! Anyone else feeling the same way?

    • Molly

      Totally! Seemed a bit weird to me, too.

    • Other Karen

      I was wondering the same thing about the magicians and looked at Bible Hub for some commentary information. It doesn’t sound like there is consensus on what happened. Some ideas are that it was a slight of hand trick; or used the frogs that God produced to make it look like it was from their gods; or that God allowed them to produce the plagues, adding to the plague; or that the devil helped them. Either way, they could only add to the plague, not remove it!

  • Sarah Pasco

    I read how people doubted so often the works of God and am disgusted. But then I realize, I too see miracles and signs of God but often try to ignore them or justify them as coincidence. I am not different than Pharaoh hardening my heart when things do not go as I would have liked. But God has always delivered me from my struggles. He’s always been there. He is gracious and merciful and loving. He is the great I am.

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