-Two more plagues and interaction between Pharaoh and Moses and Aaron are given for us in chapter 10. God reveals again His purposes for the signs and wonders and hardening. His purpose is for knowledge of the Holy One, the Righteous One, the All-Powerful One. “That you may know that I AM the LORD (Exodus 10:2).” These works were manifested for a perpetual testimony throughout the generations to the awesomeness of the Living God and that there was no other god besides Him. The testimony was instructed to be taught and carried on into the future. *Application* God reveals Himself to us so that we can instruct others in the knowledge of His greatness.
-As Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh for one of the last times they give him the word of the LORD asking the question, “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me (Exodus 10:3)?” This gives us the heart and root issue facing the god of Egypt, Pharaoh. He simply could not bring himself to acknowledge that there was a power greater than himself and kept refusing to let God’s people go so that they could fulfill His purposes back in the land of promise. His stubbornness is known by the LORD and drastic action has to happen and keep happening to bring about the release of the Hebrew people. He would not even listen to his servants who were telling him that Egypt is destroyed because of his actions. They realized that Moses was a snare to them and that he needed to be let go along with the children of Israel.
-Now locusts cover the land and eat the remaining vegetation left after the tremendous hail storm. Pharaoh hurriedly calls for Moses and Aaron as he realizes the complete annihilation that this plague is causing. He even acknowledges his sin against the LORD and the children of Israel and begs for the prayers of the righteous. Moses graciously makes supplication to the LORD, and the LORD does relent by shifting the wind so that the locusts are driven into the Red Sea. But, Pharaoh’s heart is again hardening by the LORD and he refused again to let the people go. *Application* Waffling back and forth is a horrible approach to God. He was overly gracious with Pharaoh as we see here in the text, but he spurned the grace of God and went back to his pride. For Pharaoh and us the LORD’s patience eventually runs out and His wrath comes only after every effort is made to draw us into His love and protection. It is foolish to keep resisting God and His authority in our lives. Don’t let His patience run out. Give up and run to Him for His mercy is great and endures forever. You’ll be glad you did.
-Darkness is now covering the earth in the next to last plague of God’s demonstrated power in Egypt for the release of the captive children of Israel. This is an intense darkness that could be felt, which was an ever increasing and ominous declaration that the gods of Egypt were futile to do anything against the LORD. God was making a statement against false gods. Let’s review a bit to see the powerlessness of the Egyptians gods as they began to realize the LORD’s power. Hapi, the god of the Nile River, could not prevent the waters from turning to blood (Exodus 7:20). Hathor, the shrewd cow-goddess, was helpless as Egyptian livestock died in vast numbers (Exodus 9:6). Amon-Re, the sun god and head god of the Egyptians, could not stop an entire and eerie darkness from covering the land for three full days (Exodus 10:21-22). God was marking out His exclusivity as the true, living-personal Being that was the only One worthy of being worshiped. He made these things manifest to not only His children of the promise, but the Egyptians as well. If we understand the cultural context, we see that God made every effort in His desire to draw them to repentance and knowledge of His truth. In other words, His wrath on them in the end was justified because He made every attempt to show them the way to life.
-Pharaoh was willing at this point to let them go with their children, but he wanted the livestock to remain with him. This partial disobedience was once again nullified by Moses in argument that sacrifices had to be made and the exact number had not yet been determined; therefore, the livestock must go with them. This led to Pharaoh’s last refusal to let them go. Pharaoh threatens Moses with death if he sees his face again. Moses prophesies in retort that indeed Pharaoh will not see his face again. The stage is set for the Passover.
Verse to Memorize: Exodus 10:27