In our study of Exodus chapter eight, we will look at how the devil tries to get us to compromise but God wants unconditional surrender.
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ADONAI said to Moshe, "Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Here is what ADONAI says: "Let my people go, so that they can worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will strike all your territory with frogs. The river will swarm with frogs. They will go up, enter your palace and go into your bedroom, onto your bed. They will enter the houses of your servants and your people and go into your ovens and kneading bowls. The frogs will climb all over you, your people and your servants."'"
Once again, Moshe is sent to Pharaoh with the same message and a warning. In the Hebrew, instead of saying "If you refuse", it says "Since you refuse". This is an indication to us and to Pharaoh that God already knows that he is going to refuse. The Egyptians had a god named Hapi who they credited with providing nourishment to the people and it was depicted with a frog in its mouth. The battle of the gods continues with the Lord declaring that He would turn their so called blessing into a curse.
ADONAI said to Moshe, "Say to Aharon, 'Reach out your hand with your staff over the rivers, canals and ponds; and cause frogs to come up onto the land of Egypt.'" Aharon put out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same with their secret arts and brought up frogs onto the land of Egypt.
Once again, the stubbornness of Pharaoh was demonstrated as he refused to comply with God's demands. Aharon called up frogs but the magicians did the same thing.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aharon and said, "Intercede with ADONAI to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let the people go and sacrifice to ADONAI." Moshe said to Pharaoh, "Not only that, but you can have the honor of naming the time when I will pray for you, your servants and your people to be rid of the frogs, both yourselves and your homes, and that they stay only in the river."
Pharaoh appears to have given in to the will of God as he asks Moshe and Aharon to pray to the Lord on his behalf. We notice that Pharaoh uses the name Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh and is at least acknowledging the God of the Hebrews. We also see that he says he will send them to "sacrifice" to the Lord even though he had been told it was so that they could worship God. Together, they show that Pharaoh is growing in his understanding of the God of the Hebrews. Moshe also lets Pharaoh choose the time that they would pray for him so that the result could not be a mere coincidence. Pharaoh's response is odd as he does not ask for them to do so immediately but instead to pray the next day. This was probably in the hope that they would leave on their own before that time so that Pharaoh could get out of the deal. It appears that he has offered unconditional surrender but, as we shall see, that is not the case.
Moshe and Aharon left Pharaoh's presence, and Moshe cried to ADONAI about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. ADONAI did as Moshe had asked -the frogs died in the houses, courtyards and fields; they gathered them in heaps till the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that he had been given some relief, he made himself hardhearted and would not listen to them, just as ADONAI had said would happen.
What appeared to be unconditional surrender to the will of God turned out to be just a desire to escape a current problem. Moshe cried out for God's will to be done and all of the frogs that were not in the Nile died where they stood. When the problem was removed, the true state of Pharaoh's heart was revealed. The same type of thing happens with us in our Christian walk as we can see people make a profession of faith when times are tough but, when the tough times pass, so does the faith. Many people have seen this happen and concluded that the people had lost their salvation. The opposite has happened in that those people are like Pharaoh. They never surrendered to the will of God and did not lose their salvation but did not have it to begin with.
ADONAI said to Moshe, "Say to Aharon: 'Reach out with your staff and strike the dust on the ground; it will become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.'" They did it -Aharon reached out his hand with his staff and struck the dust on the ground, and there were lice on people and animals; all the dust on the ground became lice throughout the whole land of Egypt.
The pattern of warning is changed now as Moshe and Aharon immediately executed the next plague. The lice were a direct attack on their earth "god" Geb. This reminds us that there is a point where God will stop warning us of our need to repent and He will initiate judgment.
The magicians tried with their secret arts to produce lice, but they couldn't. There were lice on people and animals. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh was made hardhearted, so that he didn't listen to them, just as ADONAI had said would happen.
In the original Hebrew, The magicians did not try to make lice appear but instead they tried to make the lice leave. When the magicians could not reverse the plague, they informed Pharaoh that it was the finger of God and that it was really a small matter and so Pharaoh again rejected the will of God.
ADONAI said to Moshe, "Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh when he goes out to the water and say to him, 'Here is what ADONAI says: "Let my people go, so that they can worship me. Otherwise, if you won't let my people go, I will send swarms of insects on you, your servants and your people, and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of insects, and likewise the ground they stand on.
Once again, Moshe is sent to meet Pharaoh and to give him a warning. Most translations give this as insects or flies but the original Hebrew speaks of a mixture of wild animals. These wild animals would leave the rural areas and enter the cities where the people were located.
But I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people live -no swarms of insects will be there - so that you can realize that I am ADONAI, right here in the land. Yes, I will distinguish between my people and your people, and this sign will happen by tomorrow."'"
Until this point, the plagues had affected all of the people in the land of Egypt. Now, God is going to protect His people so that the Egyptians see that he is in control. This is also a picture of the sealing of the witnesses as described in Revelation. We see that the purpose of protecting His people is so that Pharaoh will realize that the Hebrews are His people.
ADONAI did it: terrible swarms of insects went into Pharaoh's palace and into all his servants' houses - the insects ruined the entire land of Egypt.
God sent the wild animals and they caused much damage throughout the land.
Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aharon and said, "Go, and sacrifice to your God here in the land."
Once again, Pharaoh tries to get Moshe and Aharon to compromise in what God had said to them. This is the way that Satan works in the world today. That compromise can cause separation as we know that it is wrong. Satan can then use that separation to make us feel that we are unable to turn back to our heavenly Father.
But Moshe replied, "It would be inappropriate for us to do that, because the animal we sacrifice to ADONAI our God is an abomination to the Egyptians. Won't the Egyptians stone us to death if before their very eyes we sacrifice what they consider an abomination? No, we will go three days' journey into the desert and sacrifice to ADONAI our God, as he has ordered us to do."
Moshe explained that Pharaoh's compromise was not in the will of God and that the Egyptians would see the Hebrew worship as an abomination and stone them for doing so. He stands firm in following the will of God.
Pharaoh said, "I will let you go, so that you can sacrifice to ADONAI your God in the desert. Only you are not to go very far away. Intercede on my behalf." Moshe said, "All right, I am going away from you, and I will intercede with ADONAI; so that tomorrow, the swarms of insects will leave Pharaoh, his servants and his people. Just make sure that Pharaoh stops playing games with the people by preventing them from going and sacrificing to ADONAI."
When Pharaoh saw that Moshe would not compromise on what God had told them to do, he apparently caved in again. Moshe warned him to carry through on his promise and to stop mocking God and being deceptive.
Moshe left Pharaoh and interceded with ADONAI, and ADONAI did what Moshe had asked: he removed the swarms of insects from Pharaoh, his servants and his people -not one remained. But this time, too, Pharaoh made himself stubborn and didn't let the people go.
Once again, Moshe prayed and, when the plague was lifted, Pharaoh did not keep his word. This is a reminder to us that unconditional surrender to the will of God will be demonstrated by our actions in serving Him.