Why were there frogs everywhere? (God sent them to make Pharaoh let God’s people go.)
Did Pharaoh finally let God’s people go? (Yes!)
Who was with the Hebrew people and who is always with you? (God)
Read: Exodus 7-12
God sent the plagues on Egypt as much for the Israelites as for the Egyptians – wanting to remind his people that he saw them, loved them, and had the power to save them. It may be easy to look at the craziness and destruction of the plagues and conclude that God is mean. But we cannot miss this: God wanted to be clear that 400 years of brutal slavery and evil against his people would not go unpunished. He is just and holy.
Plague after plague rendered different Egyptian gods powerless, destroyed the resources of the Egyptians and eventually dismantled their economy. God was taking the power away from Pharaoh, all the while protecting the Israelites from the various calamities. Pharaoh’s magicians were able to replicate the first and second plagues, but their power ran out by the third. God’s power did not. Pharaoh’s own magicians told him in Exodus 8:19 that this was surely “the finger of God”, and yet Pharaoh remained hard-hearted and defiant. Eventually, Pharaoh became so hardened that he even turned a blind eye toward the suffering of his own people.
Finally, Moses threatened Pharaoh with the last plague – the plague of death to the firstborn. The life of Pharaoh’s own son was on the line, and yet still he refused to soften his heart towards God and his people. To protect the Israelites, God commanded them to sacrifice a lamb and smear the blood on their doorposts. If they did this, the spirit of death would pass over their home, and their lives would be saved. It was the first Passover.
And Passover points to Jesus, the ultimate sacrificial lamb, whose blood saved you and me and everyone from death and set us free from our slavery to sin. This story is so powerful because it also foreshadows the infinite grace of God and his plan to save not just the Israelites, but all of us.
Have you ever thought about God’s justice and how seriously he takes our sin?
How does the plague of death and the Passover inform your view of grace?