This is the summary of a Sermon I heard sometime ago. Regarding Moses leaving Egypt in with the Israelites. There, the preacher was sharing about the 10 Plagues sent by God onto the Land of Egypt to convince the Pharaoh to let the Israelites go.

Many a times, whenever we see God punishing people and bringing calamity onto the people, it is difficult for one to maintain his faith. There will be times where one would start to fall from grace, and to be disillusion. They will tend to ask, “Why would God allow us to suffer?

A famous philosopher called David Hume once exclaimed “I do not believe that there’s a almighty God, because if he exist, he will allow innocents to suffer, therefore he doesn’t exist”

During the Holocaust, there was a Rabbi who wrote “O Lord God, I can forgive your inability to deliver us”.

But we all agree that there are times where suffering are meant for good. Have we seen any operations that are happy? Yet there are times we endure pain and bitterness because we know that it will bring benefit in the future. The same things goes when God allowed calamity to strike his beloved.

A lot of times, we find it easy to comfort someone else suffering telling him that it is Gods will and theres always a good will.. But there are times when calamities before us, we find it hard to look beyond the suffering to see the blessings of God.

People usually use the book of Job to explain the reasons for suffering. But in fact, if one were to study Gods punishments to Egypt in the 10 plagues one could better understand Gods reason for calamity. The book of Job covers the suffering of one man, while the book of Exodus cover the reasons for a whole nation.

By looking beyond the pain and sufferings of the ten plagues,, we can see
1. The fairness of God and why did he allow calamity to happen
2. The ten plagues allow us to understand the power of God and the power of the devil
3. Understanding God mercy in the midst of the calamity
4. God used the ten plagues to proclaim his name, as well as to save others.

In fact, the 10 plagues is the central theme of the book of Exodus, in fact the punishment of God was recorded in such details compared to God judgement to Sodom and Gomorrah, the Moabites at Shittim and the Alamakites.

In the past, people remembers God of the Old testament as a God who rained fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah. God who threatened to destroy the city of Nineveh. The God who punish the Jews by sending them into Captivity under the Babylonians. These make people doubt that there is a loving and kind God who is just and merciful at the same time.

Story Summary from Ex 5-12

Moses went back to the Pharaoh, and passed the message from God to him, asking him to allow the Israelites to go. Moses have also told the Pharaoh that if he were to disobey, or he will send pestilence upon the land of Egypt. God has also warned the Pharaoh that he will kill his firstborn son if he refuses to listen (Ex 4:22)

The Pharaoh did not allow, and he made the yoke on the people heavier, by not providing the slaves with straw, and yet demanded the same quota of bricks. These was then the Israelites started to doubt God and become faithless.

God send Moses and Aaron to deliver the message to Pharaoh once again, this time, Aaron Rod became a serpent, and while the servants of the Pharaoh could do the same. Aaron’s Rod eventually ate up the rods of the servant of the Pharaoh (Ex 7: 8-12). However, the Pharaoh still refuses to listen. Hence God begin sending the Plagues onto Egypt. In the following order

1. Water into Blood
2. Frogs
3. Lice
4. Flies
5. Diseased Livestock
6. Boils
7. Hails
8. Locust
9. Darkness
10. Death of Firstborn

Finally the Pharaoh relented and allowed the people to leave Egypt.

Interested facts and background information

There may be many of us who wonder, is there a reason from Pharaohs disobedience, and why are the Egyptians that brave as to stand against God in the entire story? One of the main reasons for Pharaohs refusing to yield, is due to the fact that in Ancient Egypt. the King is viewed as the son of the Sun God (Ra). And the people viewed him as a God, and if he were to submit himself to the God of the Hebrews, he may lose his political standing.One of the main reasons for the Egyptians disobedience, is the fact that they trusted in their Egyptian Gods whom they worship. And the believe that their Gods would be able to stand protect them despite all the warning given by God through Moses and Aaron.

Perhaps some of you may wonder, why then does God not force his way through and yet still requires humans submission? That is because God never want to impose his will onto human beings. God allow humans to choose which ever path that he choose to believe. Hence he does not make his will compulsory for all to follow. God wants human beings to repent, and go to him with their free will.

Now with these ideas in mind, I would be sharing the following points and viewpoint when reading the book of Exodus, in my next few entries

1. How the 10 Plagues demonstrated the justice of God
2. How the 10 Plagues demonstrated the Power of God, and the power of the devil
3. How the 10 Plagues demonstrated the mercy of God
4. God ultimate purpose in allowing the 10 Plagues to happen.

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