During the call of Moses at Mount Sinai, God gave Moses a rod with which he could perform mighty signs before the Israelites and before Pharaoh. Aaron was to be his spokesman. Moses and Aaron gathered the Israelite elders and leaders to tell them what God had said to them. After Moses had performed the miracles that God had showed him; the Israelite leaders believed him.
They then approached Pharaoh so that he may release the Israelites. However instead of releasing the Israelites, Pharaoh became crueler. He gave Israelites harder work. When Pharaoh refused to release Israelites, God instructed Moses to bring ten plagues upon Egypt. These plagues brought; great trouble and suffering to Israelites.
1) The plague of blood (Exodus 7: 14 – 25)
Moses and Aaron used the rod. They struck the waters of the river as God instructed them. All the water in the rivers, canals, and pools in Egypt turned into blood. All the fish died and there was no water to drink. This situation lasted for seven days. However Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. He did not release the Israelites.
2) The plague of frogs (Exodus 8:1 – 15)
God then sent Moses to tell Pharaoh that if he refused to release the Israelites the whole land would be covered with frogs. At the command of Moses, Aaron held out the rod of Moses and frogs covered the whole land. On seeing this, Pharaoh pleaded with Moses and Aaron to pray to the Lord to get rid of the frogs and he would release them. They prayed and all the frogs died. Pharaoh, however, changed his mind and refused to release the Israelites.
3) Plague of gnats (Exodus 8:16 – 19)
The lord instructed Moses to tell Aaron to strike the ground and Aaron did so and all the dust in Egypt turned into gnats or small flies that bites. The magicians of Egypt could perform the first two plagues. They could not bring the plague of gnats. Egyptians acknowledged that the presence of gnats or small flies that bites was God’s work. But even with this information, Pharaoh still refused to release the Israelites.
4) Plague of flies (Exodus 8:20 – 32)
The Lord warned Pharaoh through Moses once more. He was told that God would send swarms of flies to the Egyptian houses. The Israelites houses would be spared. Even after bringing the plague of flies, Pharaoh’s heart hardened even more.
5) Death of cattle (Exodus 8:1 – 7)
A plague of disease befell the Egyptian cattle. Not a single Israelites’ animal died. Pharaoh was not moved; and he refused to let Jews go home.
6) Plague of boils (Exodus 9:8 – 12)
Moses threw ashes into the air as God had instructed. This produced boils, which became open sores on the skin of the Egyptians. Unmoved by the suffering of his people, Pharaoh still refused to let the Israelites leave.
7) Plague of hail (Exodus 9:13 – 35)
Moses raised his rod and there was a hailstorm with lighting and thunder. The people, animals and plants that were struck by the lightning died. Pharaoh then promised to let the Israelites go but as soon as Moses prayed for the hailstorm to stop, pharaoh hardened his heart and refused to let the Israelites leave.
8) Plague of Locusts (Exodus 19:1 – 20)
Locusts covered the whole land and ate all the crops in the fields. The locusts ate all that had not been destroyed by the hailstorm. When Moses prayed to God, for locusts to leave; Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused to let the Israelites leave.
9) Plague of darkness (Exodus 10: 21 – 29)
God then instructed Moses to stretch out his hand to heaven. There was total darkness in Egypt for three days. But there was light where the Israelites they were living. Pharaoh remained unmoved and would not release the Israelites out of Egypt.
10) Death of Egyptian first-born males (Exodus 11: 1 – 31).
After the plague of darkness, God sent Moses once more to Pharaoh. He was told that this time even his family would be affected. The Lord would kill all the first-born Egyptian sons and first-born male animals at midnight. This plague occurred during the night of Passover. Pharaoh was moved and allowed Israelites to leave Egypt.
What do the plagues tell us about God’s attributes?
- Empowers His people to perform miracles and to do His work
- Is Almighty and more powerful than the Egyptian gods.
- Is determined to fulfil His plans.
- Is a God of justice. He protects the oppressed.
- Gives everyone a chance to repent. Notice that each time Pharaoh promised to release the Israelites; God relieved the Egyptians from the plagues.
- Fulfils His promises – He had promised Abraham to deliver his descendants from foreign lands.
- Expects total obedience and faith.
- Communicates His will through natural events.
- Is caring and loving.
African Moral Values Introduction
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