Exodus 9 Commentary
We have three plagues: Livestock, Boils, and Hail. The LORD set a timetable for the plague on livestock. The idea was to ensure that Pharaoh understood that the plague wasn’t a random occurrence. Israel is selectively spared – a fact that Pharaoh investigates.
The plague of boils reveals an interesting fact. Pharaoh still had faith in his magicians – shown by their presence during this plague. It was a fully brown conflict of sovereignties. Pharaoh remained unmoved hence the last plague of the chapter.
The plague of hail comes with an interesting introduction. The LORD explains to Pharaoh why only minor plagues are coming. Pharaoh was raised up for this very purpose. While the plagues cause pain and suffering the ultimate goal is to reveal God to mankind. So, as we see plague after plague we understand that the LORD is expanding our appreciation of HIS power. It is a proclamation of God’s name on all the earth.
The plagues are already bearing fruit. Some of Pharaoh’s own officials begin to fear the LORD.
The LORD hardens Pharaoh’s heart. Again. You would want to understand this hardening as an absence or withdrawal of God’s special gift within man to respond to the LORD. When a man is left to himself even logic begins to fail him. Many atheists are very educated by this world’s standards but their failure to understand and appreciate very basic and foundational truths of life and existence itself reminds you of Pharaoh. Even when clear evidence is presented to him Pharaoh simply refuses to believe.
Here the LORD calls Himself the God of the Hebrews. This name is important for us as we associate it with an entire nation in the immediate and current context. The LORD is current and not past. He is the God of our spiritual ancestors (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) but importantly He is your God now – in the present.
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