Next Sunday we begin to study God’s judgment on Pharaoh and the land of Egypt. The first nine plagues are ordered in three cycles of three plagues each. The plagues increase in severity from the first to the ninth and will reach their climax in the tenth and final plague. In these plagues we witness God’s judgment, but we also see His mercy and grace. God warns Pharaoh and his inner circle of the judgment that is to come if they fail to heed the words of His servants.
There are at least 5 areas that we will open up.
First, God is proving that He is the Lord. Remember Pharaoh was thought to be God in Egypt. Pharaoh declared to Moses in chapter 5 verse 2 “Who is the LORD that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” After these plagues, Pharaoh will know who the LORD is! After the second plaque, Moses declares to Pharaoh, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God.” And as the seventh plaque is announced to Moses, God declares to Pharaoh, “For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth.
Second, God is proclaiming that He is powerful and sovereign in His judgment. He declares in chapter 9 verses 15-16: “For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”
Third, we see God’s judgment is real and it’s imminent! But then fourthly, God shows His mercy amid His judgment by not completely wiping out the Egyptians in these nine plagues. Also God separated His own people Israel from the judgment, showing mercy and grace (see 8:22-23 and 10:23)
Fifth and finally, God is producing worshipers; this is the reason God saves His people! Seven times God declares to Moses to proclaim this to very thing to Pharaoh (see 8:1 for example).
We have a large portion to handle, so this week please read and meditate on Exodus 7:14 – 10:29 so that you are prepared to listen to the exposition on Sunday.