So far we have 5 Blog entries dedicated to the study of the 10 Plagues. They are

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
Part 4: Discusses the Mercy Of God from the 10 Plagues
Part 5: Discusses why God wanted his name to be propagated using the 10 Plagues

By right I was hoping to complete the study at part 5. Somehow or rather, I got a bit curious and I listened to the next sermon spoken in the series. I realised that there was one more point that was missed out. Hence I decided to create this bonus part to cover the topics.

This is really the last entry regarding our studies of the 10 plagues.

In the previous articles, we have covered that despite the fact that the ten plagues appears as pain and sufferings from the Egyptians, we can look beyond the suffering and see the fairness of Gods judgement, the almighty power of God as well as the mercy of God when he execute his judgement. We had also discussed that the 10 plagues had allow Gods name to be magnified among the other nations, this is not because of God needed extra glory, but rather, to save more souls for God. We also read the testimony of Rahab, who decided to repent before Gods judgement landed on the city of Jericho.

Do we know that the 10 plagues also serves as the training ground for Moses in his walk of faith? God made use of this incident of the 10 plagues to groom Moses into a great servant of the Lord. The sufferings of the 10 plagues is the punishment to the Egyptians, but it serves as Gods way to reform the faith of the people as well as to allow Moses to grow spiritually.

Lets first look at the result of that training.

And the LORD said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether. Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbour and every woman from her neighbour, articles of silver and articles of gold." And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people. Ex 11:1-3

This is spoken just before the 10th plague was executed. So far, the 9 plagues had impacted the people of Egypt significantly. As the Egyptians are tired out and were feeling disappointed. The Israelites became more and more exalted. The Pharaoh became more and more arrogant. Although he saw the almightiness of God, but he was unrepentant because he had a proud heart and is unwilling to submit to Gods power. Pharaoh’s hard heartedness came as a result of his pride. At this particular moment, we can see a great change in the man Moses, he became very great in the land of Egypt. His greatness came as the result of his continued trust in God and his willingness to submit to God.

The Initial State of Faith Of Moses

If we were to compare Moses at this moment verses the Moses in the burning bush. we can see a huge difference in him. At the burning bush, Moses keep pushing away the opportunities to serve God, yes he believed in God but he often say things like "Who am I that I should speak to the Pharaoh? I am slow of speech and of tongue" He gave many excuses. Moses needed to be persuaded by God and and there are times God need to show his anger before Moses complied.

It was because of that Moses faith was weak, that God have to make Aaron his brother the mouthpiece of Moses. In the beginning, Moses faith is weaker compared to Aaron his brother. Aaron not just spoke on Moses behalf, he even performed many miracles on behalf of Moses. Let us consider the how the first 3 plagues are executed

1st Plague
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.’" And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the LORD commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. (Ex 7:19-20)

2nd Plague
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.’" So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. (Ex 8:5-6)

3rd Plague
So the LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.’" And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. (Ex 8:16-17)

Did you notice, God was speaking to Moses, Moses has to tell Aaron what to do. The miracle was accomplished by the rod of Aaron.

The Improvement of The Faith Of Moses

What about the 4th and 5th plague? You will start to notice a change compared to the first 3

4th Plague
And the LORD said to Moses, "Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me. Or else, if you will not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. (Ex 8:20-21 )

5th Plague
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For if you refuse to let them go, and still hold them, behold, the hand of the LORD will be on your cattle in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the oxen, and on the sheep-a very severe pestilence. (Ex 9:1-3)

Notice the absence of Aaron and Moses was talking to the Pharaoh directly. Aaron’s rod was no longer used to perform the miracle. These Miracles are accomplished by the words of Moses.

Lets take a look at the next plague.

6th Plague
So the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes from a furnace, and let Moses scatter it toward the heavens in the sight of Pharaoh. And it will become fine dust in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt." Then they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses scattered them toward heaven. And they caused boils that break out in sores on man and beast. (Ex 9:8-10)

This miracle is done with the help of of the 2 brothers working together. God was talking to the both of them directly.

The Perfection Of The Faith of Moses

Moses faith is slowly improving that we can see a a very different Moses on the 7th to the 9th Plague

7th Plague
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt-on man, on beast, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt."And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt. (Ex 9:22-23)

8th Plague
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land-all that the hail has left." So Moses stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind on the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. (Ex 10:12-13)

9th Plague
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt." So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. (Ex 10:21-22)

We can see the same process in all these 3 plagues, God commanded Moses, Moses did everything. Did you notice Moses did not use the rod at all? Moses understood now God do not need the rod to perform a miracle, and miracles happen because of his obedience to God.

However, the last plague is performed by God himself, not through the rod of Moses or Aaron, because only God has the power of life and death. And that is Gods final judgement to the Pharaoh.

What did Moses learned from this?

Why does God have to go through this process to use the rod of Aaron first then use the rod of Moses? God appointed Aaron to be the mouthpiece of Moses and to perform miracles on behalf of Moses, was Aaron suspended from duties that’s why Moses had to take over? Yes indeed Aaron did make a mistake, but that was very much later in the wilderness journey at the foot of Mount Sinai. But at this current moment Aaron did not make a mistake. Then why did God do that?

God has willed to use Moses from the start, it is because of the weakness of Moses, that’s why God appointed Aaron to assist Moses and to perform miracles on Moses behalf. God wanted to train up Moses, for Moses to see how Gods power is manifested to the Pharaoh.

When Moses is growing in his faith, he did not need the help of Aaron, he is able to talk directly to the Pharaoh. So therefore Aaron is given the backseat and he must retire his rod. For it is time for Moses to use his rod to perform the miracles. That weak Moses at the burning bush was transformed into a great man before everyone, his faith had finally matured and he is able to become the leader whom the Israelites respected.

Let us not just concentrate on the great miracles perform by Moses, because the first few miracles were performed by Aaron. WE have to see how Moses transformed into a servant who completely submitted himself to God. He did not question God’s command, he simply submit and followed. This is very different from the initial Moses. Moses used to doubt the word of God, now he does not question God anymore, it is not because of a lack of courage, but rather, he knew that God is someone that we can trust and believe in. Although there are times Moses cannot understand the reason for Gods command, but he only needs to submit himself fully and do the work. This is one of the most important traits of the church worker.

Moses submission can be seen at the 10th Plague

Moses instruction to the Israelites at Passover

Let us read Moses instruction to the Elders of the Israelites

Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. (Ex 12:21-24)

This is one tall order to be issued to the Israelites isn’t it? After that incident when the Israelites kept the first Passover, they did so willingly and submitted to God completely as they personally experience the salvation of God during the Passover night in Egypt. Have they disobeyed Moses, their firstborn will be killed alongside the Egyptians. But we must understand that at the point of time in Ex 12, they are have not seen the firstborn being killed, if God were to request you to do this, will you have follow Gods instruction fully?

I know i will have many doubts in my mind " How is it possible for God to kill all the firstborn in one night? If we do not spread the blood on the doorpost., will our firstborn die? If the destroyer were to pass by in the day time, he would be able to see the blood on my door post, but will it be effective at night?

If I am Moses, I would be worrying, "How can I make the Israelites believe me? How am I to explain to them? Yes the Israelites have killed lambs before, but to spread the blood on the door? Does God have to make us go through so much hassle just to save us?"

I guess Moses only had one thought in his mind " This is the instruction of God, although I am unable to understand, nor do I know the theology behind the lamb, I do not know who this Passover lamb refer to, but I know that this lamb is suppose to take our place and die on our behalf. If we do not spread the blood on the doorpost, our firstborn will not die" Moses gave God his complete trust, as well as the Israelites because they all perceive that Moses is a great man. Which is why when Moses gave an order, they just carried out, no question asked. Ex 12:28 proves it. Moses completely obeyed God, and lead the people of Israel to do so, everything happen just as Gods instructed.

What we can learn from all these

This incident teaches us an important teaching, that we must follow the words of God, trusting in it and with complete obedience. Now, if God gives us an instruction, will we follow? Lets us do a simple test,
Jesus once told his disciples that "He who believes and is baptised will be saved" (Mk 16:16) and the apostles said, "Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;" (Acts 2:38) . We knew that the disciples conducts baptism in the name of Jesus, full immersion, and in living water .

We know that Baptism forgives sins, which is why Jesus wanted the disciples to do it (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Titus 3:5, John 3:5) . Alot of times when we share this with our fellow Christian friends, they often question among themselves " Do we really need do it? Do we need that to wash away our sins?" Sometimes we try to reason ourselves, "If we follow the correct mode of baptism, but yet without faith, will it be valid? If no, that will mean faith is more important." Does that mean that we can change our mode of baptism just because we have faith?

Sometimes I wish that God will not make it so difficult for us, it is easy for a healthy man to undergo baptism in the sea or river, but it will be a huge test of faith if the person is sick or bed ridden, cant we just sprinkle water on him? There are many people who claimed that we are childish and the question why do we need to follow everything in the scriptures. They like to use Romans and say that it is our faith that justify us, and all we need to do is to say the sinners prayer and that’s all.

But isn’t all those verses instructions from God? Personally although there are still many things I am unable to rationalised about baptism, but I tell myself, I will do it according to God instruction. Jesus often taught us to "Go and do likewise" since it is a command from God, why cant we just accept it and do it?

Ironically in our workplace, when we are given specific orders to do, we do not question the order. This usually applies in both the Army and as well as our daily work.. but why then cant we apply this same principle onto God?

Isn’t Gods command of greater authority? Many of Gods instruction is not for us to question and requires our act of faith and complete obedience. If we always try to explain the instruction of God with logic, and only kept those where we can rationalised  and reject those that we cant, aren’t we telling God that, "I am not inferior to you, if your orders cannot be understood by my logical mind, I will not accept it?"

This is the exact reason why Adam sin, the devils started to clause doubts into him, "why do you need to abstain from the fruit? will you surely die?"

This same failure in the garden of Eden is repeating day by day, sometimes we cannot see our relationship with God. Moses could not see it initially, he argues, question God, but now you can see his obedience, Moses has truly humbled himself, and when he magnified the name God God, God made Moses great before the Pharaoh, the Egyptians as well as the Israelites.

Elder Peter once said this
"Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for " God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" – Peter (1 Pet 5:5-6)

Here Elder Peter taught the younger people to be humble, in fact we must all be humble regardless of our status and how strong our faith are. We must learn to be submissive to one another, not to demand others to be submissive to you. WE must learn to show respect to each other, and not expect others all to respect us. God will give grace to those who are humble

Verse 6 teaches us not to try to exalt ourselves, for the more we try to exalt ourselves, the harder the fall, we only need to humble ourselves before God, and lead others to submit to the word of God. Just like Moses, He did not force others to listen to him, but rather he lead the others to listen and to submit to God

The bible verdict to the live of Moses, is not about the great miracles that he had perform, but rather the bible talks about the faithfulness of Moses as a servant in the house of God, how he lead the Israelites to worship God. How he had given all the glory to God and not himself. He is just being a servant, using his explanation of the word of God to lead people to be humble before God.

And we see a truly different Moses, one that have achieve growth in his faith and spirituality, as well as maturity in his thoughts.

Perhaps there are times we have failed like Moses, lets not be too critical of our past, or to bother about what others have to comment about our past failures. Most importantly we have to continue to pursue improvement, just like Moses, who once relied on his own wisdom to save the Israelites. That lead him to flee the courts of the Pharaoh and to stay in Midian for 40 years. He once rejected Gods instruction but he eventually is able to do what God wanted him to do. He is able to lead the people out of Egypt not fearing the wrath of the Pharaoh

So let us pursue spiritual improvement, although the environment we are serving in is not always ideal. It may even clause us tears and sorrow. We may not understand why we need to go through these pain. Just like the case of the 10 plagues to Egypt, it also allow the Israelites and Moses to grow, when they left Egypt, they became the Army of the Lord, and started a new direction in their lives, they are no longer a slave to the Egyptians but the chosen race of God..

They helped to build up the kingdom of God and are servants in Gods kingdom, isn’t this the goal that all Christian wanted?

This concludes our study of the 10 plagues.

I have also create some simple hand-outs that could be used to summarized the story of the 10 plagues, it contains the pictures of the Egyptian gods that are targeted in the 10 plagues as well as the important points about the plague.

Download Hand-out Here

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