Plague of Hail, mixed
media by Yvette Rock
by Don Schwager
God is patient not only with his friends but also with his enemies,
giving them time to consider their sinful ways and to repent of their wrongdoing.
But after Pharoah has rejected God's offer six times, God's warning becomes
more severe than ever:
"I will send all my plagues
upon your heart, and upon your servants and your people, that you may know
that there is none like me in all the earth" (Exodus 9:14).
The purpose of God's discipline is to get us to acknowledge that he is
a God of justice and goodness, holiness and truth, mercy and forgiveness,
steadfast love and faithfulness. He can even work through the sinfulness
of his rebellious creatures to show his glory on the earth (Exodus 9:16).
In the seventh plague God caused the rain and hail to destroy the crops
and every living thing in the fields. God warned the Egyptians to seek
shelter for themselves and their livestock. Those who heeded the warning
were spared. When Pharoah saw the destruction, he repented to Moses, acknowledging
that he had sinned and that the God of Israel was in the right (Exodus
9:27). Moses, however, knew that Pharoah's repentance was insincere. As
soon as the plague ceased, Pharoah hardened his heart once again.
God's discipline trains us to renounce sin and irreligion and it produces
the fruit of holiness and goodness in those who cooperate with God's grace
(Hebrews 12). Do you resist God's discipline or do you receive it with
humility and the readiness to change and be transformed into the likeness
"Lord Jesus, warm our cold hearts by the fire of your love that we may
hate sin and love your commandments. Give us a fervent love for you and
a generous spirit of mercy and kindness towards our neighbor."
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13 Then the LORD
said to Moses, "Rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh,
and say to him, `Thus says the LORD,
the God of the Hebrews, "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
14 For this time I will
send all my plagues upon your heart, and upon your servants and your people,
that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth.
15 For by now I could have
put forth my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you
would have been cut off from the earth; 16 but for this purpose have I
let you live, to show you my power, so that my name may be declared throughout
all the earth.
17 You are still exalting
yourself against my people, and will not let them go. 18 Behold, tomorrow
about this time I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has
been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 Now therefore send,
get your cattle and all that you have in the field into safe shelter; for
the hail shall come down upon every man and beast that is in the field
and is not brought home, and they shall die."
20 Then he who feared the
word of the LORD among the servants
of Pharaoh made his slaves and his cattle flee into the houses; 21 but
he who did not regard the word of the LORD
left his slaves and his cattle in the field.
22 And the LORD
said to Moses, "Stretch forth your hand toward heaven, that there may be
hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man and beast and every plant of the
field, throughout the land of Egypt."
23 Then Moses stretched forth
his rod toward heaven; and the LORD
sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORD
rained hail upon the land of Egypt; 24 there was hail, and fire flashing
continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail, such as had never
been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 The hail struck
down everything that was in the field throughout all the land of Egypt,
both man and beast; and the hail struck down every plant of the field,
and shattered every tree of the field.
26 Only in the land of Goshen,
where the people of Israel were, there was no hail.
27 Then Pharaoh sent, and
called Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "I have sinned this time; the
LORD is in the right, and I and
my people are in the wrong. 28 Entreat the LORD;
for there has been enough of this thunder and hail; I will let you go,
and you shall stay no longer." 29 Moses said to him, "As soon as I have
gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the LORD;
the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know
that the earth is the LORD's.
30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the
LORD God." 31 (The flax and the
barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud.
32 But the wheat and the spelt were not ruined, for they are late in coming
up.) 33 So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and stretched out his
hands to the LORD; and the thunder
and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured upon the earth.
34 But when Pharaoh saw that
the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again,
and hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh
was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go; as the LORD
had spoken through Moses.