Exodus 9:13-35 Plague of Hail
God has just allowed a plague of boils to come upon the Egyptians, and Pharaoh’s heart is hardened. This time God did not give advance warning, and God honored Pharaoh’s desire to have his heart hardened. So far, after 6 plagues, Pharaoh still is not willing to allow Moses and the Israelites to go into the wilderness and sacrifice to God. Pharaoh wanted the sacrifice to be within the boundaries of Egypt, which Moses rejected because that could have caused the Israelites to be killed by the Egyptians for what they consider a distasteful act. So far Pharaoh has not budged from his position, although I think he is realizing he is not the all-powerful one that he thought he was. And he has observed that the plagues are happening only on the Egyptians, so even his people must be murmuring about what is going on.
Well God will now let Pharaoh have a warning about the next plague – Hail.
Exodus 9:13-14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, “Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let my people go, that they may serve Me, for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.”
God wants Pharaoh to know that God is sovereign. Now Pharaoh’s resistance boils (sorry couldn’t resist) down to pride. Will he acknowledge God as God, or will he keep allowing plague after plague to torment him and his people? I am certain he is angry at God for the plagues, but the real culprit is Pharaoh, who refuses to obey God. And God has said, “Come, let us reason together.” God has allowed nations to go unscathed as long as they have not hurt His people, Israel. Even today, we have to be careful because God has promised to bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who hurt Israel. Where will we stand as a nation? But God is now trying to reason with Pharaoh.
Exodus 9:15 “Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in the earth.”
I think that this is where we get so messed up today, forgetting who God is. Forgetting that God has everything under control, it is not us who act independently, but there is a divine plan. We may want to pretend to ourselves that we are in charge of our universe, as the new agers claim, that we are gods, but in reality there is God, and God is sovereign.
Romans 9:14-18 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
God put the situation in front of Pharaoh and gave him the choice. Pharaoh chose to harden His heart, causing untold damage to his land and people. That is the problem when people pretend they are god, they are self-serving, caring only for their interests, and what ends up occurring is anarchy. The only true freedom and peace can come when there are absolute moral standards, and the only absolute moral standard that we can measure with is God’s Word.
God desires none will perish, but He is the potter and we are the clay. God raised us up for a purpose, and we have a choice to work with God and achieve the purpose, or not. It is not for us to fully understand how God will do what He will do, his thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are far higher than our ways. It is a blessing that He chooses to use us in the first place.
Exodus 9:17-18 And yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Egypt since its founding until now.
God has Pharaoh’s number, that he has exalted himself. Here God has given Pharaoh a warning about heavy hail. Pharaoh can protect his people and livestock if he humbles himself and spreads the word. Let’s see what happens.
Exodus 9:19 Therefore send now and gather your livestock and all that you have in the field, for the hail shall come down on every man and every animal which is found in the field and is not brought home; and they shall die.
So God tells Pharaoh bring the animals and people into shelter, for if they are left out in the open they will die. God does the same with us, he tells us to come under His covering, to obey and trust Him, and do as He tells us, and He will be with us in our situation. When we disobey God, we are no longer under His covering, and satan has a field day with us. Sin is death to us, and when we disobey God, we sin – leaving ourselves unprotected. It only takes a moment to repent and bring us back in the shelter of His wings, but our pride keeps us exposed.
Exodus 9:20-21 He who feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his livestock flee to the houses, but he who did not regard the word of the LORD left his servants and his livestock in the field.
Obviously when Moses speaks, others listen, even if Pharaoh chooses to harden his heart. Those who listened and believed the Word of God, and acted on it will be spared. Those who choose to ignore the Word of God will suffer consequences. It is not enough just to hear the Word of God, we must also act and obey it. Pharaoh heard the Word and did nothing to protect his servants and livestock, and he will suffer for that. How many warnings have we been given by God that we have ignored, and then found that we got pounded?
Exodus 9:22-24 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt–on man, on beast, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.” And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
Revelation 16:21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
In Revelation the hail is about 100 pounds each. God is using these plagues, both in Exodus and in Revelation as a warning to people. Instead of repenting, turning to God, the people blaspheme God. Sometimes with my kids I try to get their attention, and they have selective hearing. If I mention a treat they perk up and listen, if I mention work and chores, they pretend they don’t hear. We can pretend we don’t hear God, but God will keep persisting to get our attention. It can be a gentle nudge or a 100 pound hailstone. It is our choice, will we listen and obey or not?
Exodus 9:25-26 And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both men and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.
Don’t you want to go up to Pharaoh and say, “Take a hint!” Sometimes I wonder at the thinking of people, and what they choose to ignore, when the writing is on the wall in front of them, the warning lights are flashing, and they still choose to do what they are doing that will only lead to trouble.
Exodus 9:27 And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time. The LORD is righteous, and my people and I are wicked.”
THIS TIME!!!!!!! Oh, Pharaoh, from day one when you wanted to start destroying the Egyptian babies you have sinned. This apology of Pharaoh is not sincere, as we shall see. Sometimes people are sorry, but it is not from a deep repentance, it is that they are sorry that they got caught, sorry that there will be consequences.
Exodus 9:28 “Entreat the LORD, that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough, I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.”
Let’s see how he lets them go, and then we can judge his sincerity.
Exodus 9:29 So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the LORD’s. But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the LORD God.
The Earth is the LORD’s and we forget that. We have, in the new age era, started worshipping the creation, gaia, mother earth, and all of creation, forgetting that the Creator is the one to be worshipped. Moses knows that Pharaoh has not yet gotten to the point where He will honor his word, and where he realizes that God is sovereign.
Exodus 9:30-32 Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in the bud. But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are late crops.
Here is a good example of God’s mercy, because of the growing season in Egypt, God timed this plague of hail to hurt one crop, but there is still the wheat and spelt saved. The people do not have to starve, if Pharaoh does the right thing and lets the Israelites go. Will Pharaoh care about his people? We will see that He does not.
Exodus 9:33-35 So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread out his hands to the LORD; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the LORD had spoken by Moses.
I know that sometimes I have tricked myself, a trouble arises and I plead for God’s help, the help comes, and I trick myself into thinking that it was part of the natural order of things, and God had nothing to do with it. We can take a miracle of God and find a hundred reasons why it is not a miracle, but we are fooling ourselves. Once the crisis passes, we sometimes put God on the back burner, and forget our promises to Him. It is a huge mistake when we do that, for God does not lie. If He says He will do something He will. Pharaoh is only kidding himself when he thinks he can go back on his word to God about the Israelites. God will not be mocked. Pharaoh will come to realize that God is God and God’s will will happen no matter how godly Pharaoh thinks he is.
I am trying to cultivate the ability to listen to God the first time He speaks, not wanting Him to have to escalate His attention getting capacity. I pray that my first desire is to do His will, to respond immediately to His suggestions. I don’t always succeed, but I think with His help, I am improving.
Hoping you have a blessed week.
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