Finally: the last plague. It probably wasn’t until right now that Moses knew this would be the last one. Do you think he had been wondering what God was up to and when these were going to end? Nine times, God had faithfully told of a coming plague; nine times, Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go. God was obviously up to something bigger than the dire circumstances that loomed before them.
- Have you ever had a time when God clearly showed you what to do, yet you felt there was no end in sight? What was that like?
READ THE WORD: EXODUS 11:1-10 (ESV)
11:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely. 2 Speak now in the hearing of the people, that they ask, every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, for silver and gold jewelry.” 3 And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.
4 So Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, 5 and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle.
6 There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. 7 But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ 8 And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ And after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. 9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What did God tell Moses was about to happen (vs. 1)?
- What were two ways that God made a distinction between the Israelites and Egyptians (vss. 2-5, 7)?
- What was God’s reason for hardening Pharaoh’s heart (vs. 9)?
- Have you had a time when you realized that God was doing something more than the obvious circumstance in your life? Reflect on that time and what you learned from it.
- How does the perspective that God uses your past to prepare you for the future encourage
you to be faithful in your current circumstances?
RESPOND TO GOD
“Every act of God builds on the past with a view toward the future,” Henry Blackaby says in his book, Experiencing God. God was up to something bigger than what the Israelites could see. They saw slavery and plagues. He saw his chosen people and their deliverance. He made a distinction between Egypt and Israel with this final plague, his plan for those whose hearts were hard toward him. He wanted them to see his wonders and recognize him as the one true God. He is God and his ways and plans do not always look like what ours would be. But he is always faithful: what he promises, he will do. He always acts for our good and his glory. That was true in Exodus; it is true today.
- Spend time thanking God for how he has been faithful and a promise keeper in your life.