For God’s Fame


One of the hardest disciplines to master is patience. The Hebrew people knew this well. They had remained enslaved in the land of Egypt for 430 years! Many of the Israelites probably felt like God had broken his promises, or that he had altogether abandoned them. But all along, God was actively working to restore his people. In this passage, Pharaoh tries to bargain for just how much God is allowed to redeem. But God’s plan is for a complete and total rescue of his people and their possessions. Not a hoof would be left behind.

  • In what ways have you personally experienced God’s power to draw you back to himself?


12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, so that they may come upon the land of Egypt and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again. 15 They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh hastily called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore, forgive my sin, please, only this once, and plead with the Lord your God only to remove this death from me.” 18 So he went out from Pharaoh and pleaded with the Lord. 19 And the Lord turned the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go.

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived. 24 Then Pharaoh called Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord; your little ones also may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind.” 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the Lord our God, and we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.” 27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me; take care never to see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.” 29 Moses said, “As you say! I will not see your face again.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. In this passage, what are four ways that God displayed his complete control over nature?
  2. Compare verses 19 and 24. How did God show mercy to the Egyptians? What is the irony of Pharaoh demanding that some of the livestock be left behind?
  3. Describe the interchange between Moses and Pharaoh at the end of this passage. What does Pharaoh’s lack of repentance reveal to you about the condition of man’s heart?
  4. Is there anything in your life that you won’t “allow” God to rescue?


The devastation that God unleashed upon Egypt was purposed for one thing: that his name would be made great in all the earth. Future generations would know without doubt that God was mighty. In this passage, Pharaoh challenged God’s authority by declaring what could and could not be rescued out of Egypt. But God didn’t need to bargain with men, regardless of whether or not they were in a position of earthly power. He would save everything, down to the livestock.

As Christians, we can celebrate that we serve a God who wants to redeem every single aspect of our lives. We have been fought for and loved to ultimately be vessels through which God demonstrates truth and grace for his fame.

  • Take some time to thank God for demonstrating his power and grace in your life, purposed at drawing you to him.
  • Ask God for the courage needed to live a life set apart so that he can demonstrate his truth and grace through you to a lost world.