- Plague of hail and lightning—God through Moses and Aaron warned Pharaoh and his servants before the plague occurred. He gave them time to head for shelter along with their livestock. (I thought all the Egyptian livestock died in the previous plagues?)
- Plague of locusts—Moses and Aaron told Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord… if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country.” For the first time, Pharaoh sent for Moses “in haste,” and he confessed his sin against Moses and against God. He asked for forgiveness. When Moses asked the Lord to remove the locusts, the Lord sent a violent west wind to sweep them away. What an impressive sign!
- Plague of thick darkness that could be felt—It lasted for three days. (1) I don’t recall any of the previous plagues stating a specific duration. (Am I forgetting something?) In the days before street lights and electricity, prolonged darkness would be oppressive indeed. Once again, the Israelites were spared. (2) They had natural light in their dwellings. Wow! (3) The text doesn’t record Moses restoring light.
- If you get me out of this mess, I’ll read my Bible/pray/etc. every day.
- If I pass this test, I promise I will study next time.
- If I win this battle against the Ammonites, “whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return … will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” Judges 11:30-35
c. Bargains I’ve made with God—An example along the lines of Pharaoh’s bargain escapes me. If one comes to mind, I will post an update.
I used to think that God was reluctant to answer my prayers and that I must persuade Him with a promise. As I’ve come to know Him better, I ask for wisdom and guidance in how to pray about situations. I also try to discern when the motivation behind my request is fear or unbelief.
I’ve also learned it isn’t necessary to know how to pray specifically. So much is going in that we don’t know about. That’s why praying in the Spirit is essential.
So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. Romans 8:26
I have a long way to go, but He is willing and able to change and conform my outer bits into His likeness.
12. Comparison of Moses’ determination to have the Israelites worship God—
- In Exodus 6:30, Moses, intimidated by Pharaoh, lacks confidence in his own ability to speak convincingly. He has not learned to trust God to back him up.
- In Exodus 10:24-29, Moses stands before Pharaoh without the help of Aaron, it seems. He is not intimidated by Pharaoh, emboldened by his trust in a God who showed up every time He said He would. Moses now believes God is all-powerful, and Pharaoh is arrogant, stubborn and impotent.