Lent 2013 - Vol. 66.
A Scriptural Reflection on the Fourth Plague

Plague of Flies, mixed media by Yvette Rock

Reflection by Don Schwager

If the plague of gnats was not enough of an affliction upon the Egyptians, the plague of flies was unbearable. These were biting flies which afflicted the Egyptians day and night such that they could not work or sleep.

In all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by reason of the flies (Exodus 8:24). 
The land of Goshen, the region of Egypt where the Israelites lived, was spared this plague (Exodus 8:22). God put his protection between them and the idol worshippers of Egypt. The battle line was cleary drawn between those who serve God and those who serve other gods. This discrimination must have infuriated Pharoah and his priests the magicians. They had no power over this plague.

Since no one could work under these conditions, Pharoah's resistance cracks a little when he says to Moses "Go, sacrifice to your God within the land." But Moses wanted out of Egypt alltogether, since the land was polluted with the worship of false gods. Pharoah's heart remains stubborn because he refuses to serve God.

God cannot tolerate idolatry in any form because it worships the creature above the creator, and useless idols in place of the One God who alone is worthy of our adoration and obedience. Are there any idols in your life which take precedence over God? Anything can become an idol money, wealth, fame, status, job, food, drink, sex, drugs when we give it control of our desires and allow it to possess us. Only God can free us from bondage to our unruly appetites, addictions, and obsessions. 

Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24) Do you allow any idols to master your life?

"Lord Jesus, you alone have power to free us from our unruly desires and sinful habits. Come take possession of my heart that you may rule every thought, desire, and intention. May all that I do and say bring you glory and honor." 

Plague of flies

Exodus 8

20 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Rise up early in the morning and wait for Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, `Thus says the LORD, "Let my people go, that they may serve me. 21 Else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses;  and the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. 22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there; that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. 23 Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. By tomorrow shall this sign be."'" 

24 And the LORD did so; there came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and into his servants' houses, and in all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by reason of the flies. 25 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron, and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God within the land." 

26 But Moses said, "It would not be right to do so; for we shall sacrifice to the LORD our God offerings abominable to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as he will command us." 

28 So Pharaoh said, "I will let you go, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Make entreaty for me." 

29 Then Moses said, "Behold, I am going out from you and I will pray to the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow; only let not Pharaoh deal falsely again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD." 

30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. 31 And the LORD did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained. 

32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.

Go to Next > Plague of Livestock 
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See also > The Ten Plagues: A biblical art work series by Yvette Rock
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