What the Ten Plagues of Egypt Should Teach Us About the Character of God

What the Ten Plagues of Egypt Should Teach Us About the Character of God The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

“Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment.”

– Exodus 7:4 (ESV)

Thus and just so, we read early on in the account of God telling Moses and Aaron to go and speak to Pharaoh, telling him to let the people of Israel go out of the land of Egypt, that there is not even a possibility of success, humanly speaking, in the near-term. 

Only after ten plagues have devastated that rich culture will the king relent. Even then, he will change his mind after Israel has departed, and will chase after them with his chariots and horsemen, to murder their people in the desert.

Pragmatists and prudential types would have given up straight away in Moses and Aaron’s spot. Knowing the message would not be heeded, they might have bided their time for years or decades more, hoping and praying for a more opportune administration. Yet God said ‘You shall speak all that I command you.” And so they did.

Where God Himself said He would harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not listen to them, so that God could display His power to Egypt, and Israel, and to all generations, some today find fault with God. They say that is cruel, or unjust, or unfair. 

Yet as Paul writes in Romans, the clay does not get to talk back to the potter, asking why he was fashioned for either honorable or dishonorable use. Neither do we have standing to find fault with God.

We learn another thing here, though. Sometimes nothing fails like success, and rewards rather than correction can be a kind of judgment on a nation and people, as well as the rulers of a people. To be rewarded in doing the wrong thing, apart from the grace of God convicting you to repent of your sins, commits you to keeping on to the point of destruction.

That is to say, then, that discipline and correction from God – even when it comes in the spoken words of His servants, told before they even set out that we will not listen – is actually a great mercy, as is His giving clear displays of His goodness and power, whether in justice or in mercy, to individual men or to great peoples and nations.

Again, we may not be Israel. And our enemies may not be Egypt. But God is still God, and His character has not changed, nor will it ever.

Thus and just so, if He tells us to go and say this or that to the people, whether we suppose they will listen ought to be considered a moot point.

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