Scripture text for Wednesday, January 27, 2010: Exodus 6:28-11:10
Typically the word “plague” elicits feelings of dread; we equate plagues with evil, calamity, and torment. To express our abhorrence of something we say we “hate it like the plague.” In Exodus 6:28 through 11:10 we find Pharaoh utterly and completely plagued by plagues – ten times over.
Biblically, the number ten often has to do with God’s completeness. Ten Commandments establish God’s law. Ten clauses comprise the Lord’s Prayer. The gospel of Matthew contains ten parables of the kingdom. Jesus refers to Himself with ten “I am” statements in the gospel of John.
Here we find God’s complete judgment executed in ten plagues. Moses and Aaron approach Pharaoh ten times with the Lord’s request: “Let my people go so they may worship me.” Ten times the Lord sends plagues – blood, frogs, gnats, flies, death of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, death of the firstborn – some with warning, some without. Egyptian magicians replicate a few plagues that only continue to worsen in intensity. Each corresponds to an Egyptian god or goddess that is overthrown by the one true God. Ten times the Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart so that he disobeys Him.
The summary seems clear: ten times God completely proves His sovereignty.
Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him?…I do not know the Lord…” (Exodus 5:2) Do we know and obey the Lord or focus on idols like comfort, pleasure, security, control, image, or performance? In every weakness His grace is sufficient – but His authority and power will also not be mocked.
Devotion prepared by Beth Muehlhausen