So far I have completed 3 parts of my sharing

Part 1: Talks about the introduction and a brief summary of the story of Exodus
Part 2: Talks about the fairness of God in the 10 plagues
Part 3: Discusses how the 10 plagues teaches us about the power of God Vs the power of the devil

This discussion would help us understand, that even in the midst of God punishment, his mercy is clearly evident as well.

Many a times, people accuse God of the old testament as unfeeling., barbaric and one who loves to see death and blood. He tramples on the winepress with the blood of the sinners, and he cannot tolerate any form of sin. If you were to sin against God in the old testament, you only have one end, that is to die at the hands of God.

They love quoting Sodom and Gomorrah, Amalekites, the Moabites at Shittim, as example of Gods anger.

Yet at the same time, the same God speaks through the Prophet Ezekiel
“For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!” – YHWH (Eze 18:32)

This is also the same God that taught Jonah that he had compassion for the 120 000 babies and animals who are living the city of Nineveh
” And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left-and much livestock?” – YHWH (Jon 4:11)

Indeed, even as God executes his punishment onto the people, his mercy is always shown. The study of the 10 plagues will tell us even more about Gods mercy when he chastise the people

Gods punishments Comes With Increasing Severity

The serverity of each plague increases as we move down the list. God is putting in much effort to lead the Egyptians and the Pharoah who are hard hearted. Eveytime a plague happens, he is waiting for the Egyptians to change, and help that they will see beyond the sufferings and to turn to GOd. Whenever the Pharoah entreat Moses to stop the plagues and humbles himself before God. God immediately stopped the plagues. However when the plague is lifted from the land, Pharoah started to disobey God again.

In fact God sent the Moses to the Pharoah and tells him not to treat God deceitfully. (Ex 8:29). Unfortuntaely, the Pharoah and his people choose to continue their rebellion against God . In Ex 8:15, Ex 9:27-28. These are not the only times when Pharoah admitted his guilt. But everytime when he repented, God stopped the plagues. But when he treated God with deceitfully, God increase the serverity of his Plagues.

Despite the Pharoahs disobedience, God continue to show his mercy and lift the plagues when he show signs of repentence.

Now let us ponder over the effects of each of the plagues onto the people

1. Nile Brought fear and inconvience to people
2. Frogs Brought fear and inconvience to people
3. Lice Brought pain onto man and animals
4. Flies Brought discomfort to man and animals
5. Livestock Death to animals only
6. Boils Brought severe pain to man and animals
7. Hailstone (Refer Below)
8. Locust (Refer Below)
9. Darkness (Refer Below)
10. Firstborn Death to all the firstborn of Egypt.

7th Plague : Hailstones

So God decided to rain hailstones down onto the earth, this is a very startling reminder of the fire and brimestones that God has cast down on Sodom and Gomorrah isnt it?
So was God angry that he decided that it is war time, no more mercy will be given to the Egyptians?

Let us look at that plague in details
“Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Egypt since its founding until now. Therefore send now and gather your livestock and all that you have in the field, for the hail shall come down on every man and every animal which is found in the field and is not brought home; and they shall die” – YHWH (Ex 9:18-19)

Can we see the warning God gave to the Pharoah and his courts? He told them to gather all the livestocks, stay indoors and to harvest as much of the food in the fields as possible. God did not sent Moses to speak the Pharoah in the morning and he gave them one day to prepare it. So God did not rain these hailstones like Zeus would have done with his thunderbolt. God did not rain down hailstones out of anger.

Some of us may wonder, did anyone listern to this warning? Lets look carefully at Ex 9:20-21

He who feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his livestock flee to the houses. But he who did not regard the word of the LORD left his servants and his livestock in the field. (Ex 9:20-21)

God was trying to rescue even the Egyptians who already had understood Gods message to the Egyptians and have feared God. Only on the next day, the hail appears. That was one big hail, that hailstorm destroyed everything on the ground, clausing fire and broken trees all over Egypt. The land of Goshen was miraculously spared, as well as the Egyptians who feared God

So was God cruel? always eager to see blood like what everyone thinks he is?

This part of the story also gives us a big warning. When God gave the people time to prepare, not all Egyptians listern. So when we listern to the story of Gods judgement, do we believe in it? Do we write the teachings in our heart? or do we treat it as a mere story? Now ask yourselves what would you do when the Plagues strikes?

There was another interesting fact about this hailstorm. Let us read Ex 9:31-32. Only Barley and Flax are struck. The Wheat and Spelts are spared. This is actually Gods grace, God left them some produce of the land. Barley is used as food for the livestock. Wheat and Spelt are food man for Human beings. God preserved them, God left food for these Egyptians who disregard God. God gave them a chance for surivial. God allowed them to keep their lives, God only wanted to punish them for their hard heartedness. Just like what God said in Ezekiel that he doesnt desire mans death.

God hopes that they will repent after he struck them.

8th Plague : Locust

The locust are more frightening than the hail and thunderstorm. Ex 10:15 tells us that the land was darken, everything green is eaten. When the locust came, they ate the land dry, nothing green was left in the Egypt. This plague was so server that Pharoah summon Moses back, admit that he had sin again God, as well as sin against Moses and Aaron. If we were to count, this should be the 8th time he admited his mistake. But when God relented, his heart goes back being stubborn

Now think about it, are we sometimes as stubborn as Pharoah?

9th Plague : Darkness

This plagues seems relatively harmless but lets think about it. For 3 full days, non one can see each other. This is an attack on the hearts of the people. This Plague is specially targeted at Ra, the god of the Sun. It is one of the Most Important God of Egyptians. It is their greatest reliance. Now he appears helpless before God. The Egyptians believed that Pharoah is the son of Ra. So now even Pharoah is punished by Goid, and can only see darkness. This made great fear fell upon Egyptians. Yet God did not take away their lives. God wanted them to give them a chance to repent.

What we can learn from this?

In Jer 26:2-3, God is still showing mercy to the Jews who came to worship in the temple of GOd. Although God has already pronounced his judgement on the kingdom of Judah. God can see that the people did not listern, but the fact that since they are still willing to worship God in the temple., God wanted JEremiah to continue to speak and to tell them every word that God wanted to say. Perhaps they will listern and turn away, and God can relent from his judgement. In Jer 36:2-3 God still asked Jeremiah to write it on a scroll so they can read by the people. GOd wanted it so that he can forgive them and relent from his punishment.

God has already pronouce his judgement, and calmity is on its way, yet God still wanted Jeremiah to continue preaching, hoping that they will listern and turn from their evil way, . God will forgive and stop his calamity.

God judgement is alwas full of the mercy and grace of GOd. God only wanted to deal with the sin of the people. God has no intention to kill them. Therefore when we see calamities from God. Let us depart from evil and return to God, regain Gods mercy and favor. Do not only see the pain and suffering clause by the 10 plagues, we must see Gods mercy within it as well.

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