The Plagues Begin
Open Your Bible
Exodus 6:14-30, Exodus 7:1-25, Deuteronomy 7:6-11
BY Abby Flynn
It’s the early nineties, and I’m sitting in the front row staring at the Sunday school felt board. (Does anyone else remember those?) I’m not sure if the other kids can see around my puffy pigtails, but in that moment, I don’t really care. The teacher booms out in her best Moses voice, “Let my people go!” And all of us kids, playing the part of Pharaoh, shout, “NO!”
At the time, I thought of Moses and Aaron as these powerful guys with booming voices and a magical stick who eventually wear Pharoah down so he sets the Israelites free. But today, as I meditate on our reading in Exodus 7, I’m able to get a little clearer on the details.
It turns out Moses and Aaron were pretty regular guys. They came from a long line of people you’ve probably never heard of (Exodus 6:14–25). Nothing about them or their family would hint at God assigning them to take on this massive task. Not to mention, the fact that these guys were not young birds (Exodus 7:7). On the contrary, they were already in their eighties when God told Moses to deliver the Israelites.
And don’t get me started on Moses. The booming voice from Sunday School? Probably not biblically accurate. In fact, Moses told God, “Since I am such a poor speaker, how will Pharaoh listen to me?” (Exodus 6:30). Moses struggled with his own weakness. He didn’t believe God could use him because he was a terrible speaker, thus, why God allowed Aaron to be a part of the plan.
They knew their mission wouldn’t be easy and over and over, Pharaoh’s heart would be hardened. But the fact that the task seemed impossible made it clear that only God could accomplish it. In Exodus 7, we see God give Aaron and Moses the command of what to say, “Let my people go” (Exodus 7:16). And so begins the story we’ve come to know so well.
Once the plagues begin, Moses and Aaron are simply conduits of God moving on behalf of His people. The Israelites had been enslaved and without hope for so long. Now, God had chosen two unlikely men to lead them to freedom.
Today’s reading reminds us that God doesn’t need superheroes or perfect people to carry out His will. In fact, He has often chosen the weak, the foolish, the rejected, and the unpopular to accomplish His purposes. He just wants us to be willing to trust and follow Him.
It’s those of us who are weak that need a mighty hand. So trust Him today, follow His commands, and see how He can use you.