Exodus 6:28-11:10, 12:29-42
God sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh (the leader of Egypt) to tell him to release God’s people, the Israelites. Moses and Aaron were brothers and God spoke to Moses, who told Aaron what He said, and then Aaron spoke to Pharaoh. Thus Moses was the leader and Aaron the spokesman. God began instructing Moses and Aaron to tell Pharaoh of the signs and wonders He was going to do to convince him to let the people go. The first wonder was that Aaron’s staff (large walking stick) was turned into a snake. However Pharaoh’s magicians used their black (evil) magic to do the same thing. Then Aaron’s snake ate the magicians’ snakes. But Pharaoh wasn’t convinced.
The next day, Moses and Aaron met Pharaoh at the Nile River and told him since he didn’t let the people go God would turn all the water to blood. Aaron struck the water and it turned to blood and all the fish died! But Pharaoh’s magicians were able to use evil magic to do this too, so Pharaoh wouldn’t listen.
After 7 days Moses and Aaron went back and told Pharaoh if he didn’t let the people go, God would bring frogs all over the land. And when Aaron raised his staff frogs covered everything! They were even in the beds and dishes!! But this time, even though the magicians could do this wonder too, Pharaoh bargained with Moses and Aaron. He said that if Moses and Aaron would pray and ask God to take away the frogs he would let the people go. So Moses and Aaron prayed and the next day all the frogs went back in the water where they belonged! But, Pharaoh changed his mind!
Now the next wonder or plague God sent was different. He sent swarms of gnats, however the magicians couldn’t do this one and told Pharaoh that this must be God. But he still said no! Then the next plague was flies. There were flies all over Egypt, except this time none of the Israelites were bothered by the plague. God was showing Pharaoh he was powerful and who his chosen people were! So Pharaoh tried to bargain by saying they could sacrifice there in Egypt, but Moses and Aaron told him that wasn’t good enough. So he agreed to let them go into the desert. But after Moses and Aaron prayed for the flies to leave, he changed his mind again!! The next 2 plagues were just on the Egyptians. First God killed their livestock (cows, goats, camels, etc.), then they were covered in boils! (Boils are like giant blisters) Now if I was an Egyptian, by this time I would have been very upset with Pharaoh! I would have been fed up with all these plagues! But Pharaoh was stubborn and still wouldn’t let the Israelites go.
Moses and Aaron came and warned Pharaoh that the next plague was going to be hail. Now the smart Egyptians brought in everything they could but the others were just as stubborn as Pharaoh so when the hail came, not only did they lose their crop they lost everything else too! Once again Pharaoh said he would let them go, but changed his mind. Next Moses and Aaron warned that locust would come. So Pharaoh said that just the men could go. Moses and Aaron (who were just as stubborn as Pharaoh) said this wasn’t good enough so the locust came and destroyed all the crops that hadn’t been big enough for the hail to destroy! Pharaoh said he was wrong again and God blew all the locusts into the Red Sea, but once again Pharaoh changed his mind. The next plague was darkness. It was completely dark in Egypt (except where the Israelites were) for 3 days. Now remember, they didn’t have electricity so it was totally dark! The Bible says no one could see anyone else or leave his place for 3 days! At the end Pharaoh sent for Moses and told him that all the people could go but they had to leave the animals behind. Moses told him no deal! Then Pharaoh said not to come back and Moses said he would not be back again.
The final plague God sent was the first born. God gave the Israelites a way to mark their homes and during the night the first born son of every unmarked home died. Pharaoh was devastated and this time the people were allowed to leave. The Israelites asked the Egyptians for gold, silver and provisions. They gladly gave them everything, just go! Finally the Israelites left Egypt!
But what does this story have to tell us? Men may be stubborn, but God is more so!! God does not ever give up. He always gets His way. He can cause miracles and he can change men’s minds. If it is His will, He will make it happen!!!
Are you ever stubborn? Is that always good or always bad? Discuss how stubbornness (or persistence) can be good or bad based on whether our position is godly or not.