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Exodus 9:18-26

18 “Behold, about this time tomorrow, I will send a very heavy hail, such as has not been seen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 “Now therefore send, bring your livestock and whatever you have in the field to safety. Every man and beast that is found in the field and is not brought home, when the hail comes down on them, will die.”‘” 20 The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses; 21 but he who paid no regard to the word of the LORD left his servants and his livestock in the field.

22 Now the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that hail may fall on all the land of Egypt, on man and on beast and on every plant of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.” 23 Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORDrained hail on the land of Egypt. 24 So there was hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very severe, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 The hail struck all that was in the field through all the land of Egypt, both man and beast; the hail also struck every plant of the field and shattered every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were, there was no hail.

Even Pharaoh’s servants are figuring things out by now. When Moses spoke for God, they were paying attention. When he said severe hail was coming, they took action to protect themselves and their possessions. Many times we are surrounded by people that can see things we don’t. Get their input, evaluate their advice. Don’t try to go it alone. God made us social for a reason.

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Exodus 9:8-17

8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take for yourselves handfuls of soot from a kiln, and let Moses throw it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 “It will become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and will become boils breaking out with sores on man and beast through all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from a kiln, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses threw it toward the sky, and it became boils breaking out with sores on man and beast. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians as well as on all the Egyptians. 12 And the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

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 on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth. 15 “For if by now I had put forth My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth. 16 “But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth. 17 “Still you exalt yourself against My people by not letting them go.

The key to Pharaoh’s hardness of heart is in verse seventeen. It had nothing to do with unbelief. He believed God was doing these plagues by now. But He refused to acknowledge that it affected him, or that he needed to give in to anyone, even God Himself. After all, he was the ruler of all Egypt, why should he pay homage to anyone, even a god. Well, he still didn’t quite know who he was dealing with, but he would find out soon enough. One of the key things in being a Christian is realizing you can’t do it on your own. We all need God’s help, and there’s no shame in admitting that.

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Exodus 9:1-7

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and speak to him, `Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 “For if you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them, 3 behold, the hand of the LORD will come with a very severe pestilence on your livestock which are in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the herds, and on the flocks. 4 “But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing will die of all that belongs to the sons of Israel.”‘” 5 The LORD set a definite time, saying, “Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land.” 6 So the LORD did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the sons of Israel, not one died. 7 Pharaoh sent, and behold, there was not even one of the livestock of Israel dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.

God wanted Pharaoh to know that these plagues were no coincidence, so He set a date, and He also said that the Israelites would be unaffected by the next plague. Then it came, and Pharaoh sent a messenger to check on the livestock of the Israelites, and it was just as God had said. There was no more denying that God was doing these things. Yet Pharaoh remained obstinate. Pharaoh is a great example of everything not to do. When God is trying to get your attention, listen. Don’t try to fit Him into your mold, and make Him jump through a bunch of hoops just to get through to you. We are to fit into His mold, and obey His voice.

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Exodus 8:25-32

25 Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It is not right to do so, for we will sacrifice to the LORD our God what is an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what is an abomination to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not then stone us? 27 “We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as He commands us.” 28 Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Make supplication for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you, and I shall make supplication to the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow; only do not let Pharaoh deal deceitfully again in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.”

30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and made supplication to the LORD. 31 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 he did not let the people go.

Pharaoh tries to be sneaky here, and get Moses to compromise. But Moses knew what God had asked him to do, and he was not about to give in. When God asks you to do something, and the world tempts you to do it halfway, just do it. Don’t give in, don’t compromise. Obey God, and watch His hand work.

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Exodus 8:16-24

16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, `Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become 1gnats through all the land of Egypt.'” 17 They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

20 Now the LORD said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, as he comes out to the water, and say to him, `Thus says the LORD, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 21 “For if you do not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and on your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they dwell. 22 “But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are living, so that no swarms of flies will be there, in order that you may know that I, the LORD, am in the midst of the land. 23 “I will2put a division between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign will occur.”‘” 24 Then the LORD did so. And there came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and the houses of his servants and the land was laid waste because of the swarms of flies in all the land of Egypt.

Frogs were apparently easy enough to produce deceitfully, but gnats and flies were a little more difficult. God was upping the challenge with each plague, until Pharaoh would have no choice but to concede. Be careful when you test God, you may get more than you bargained for. Pharaoh certainly did.

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Exodus 8:1-15

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, `Thus says the LORD, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 “But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite your whole territory with frogs. 3 “The Nile will swarm with frogs, which will come up and go into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and on your people, and into your ovens and into your kneading bowls. 4“So the frogs will come up on you and your people and all your servants.”‘” 5 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, `Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the streams and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.'” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 The magicians did the same with their secret arts, making frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Entreat the LORD that He remove the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “The honor is yours to tell me: when shall I entreat for you and your servants and your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, that they may be left only in the Nile?”

10 Then he said, “Tomorrow.” So he said, “May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 “The frogs will depart from you and your houses and your servants and your people; they will be left only in the Nile.” 12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had inflicted upon Pharaoh. 13 The LORD did according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out of the houses, the courts, and the fields. 14 So they piled them in heaps, and the land became foul. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

This time, Pharaoh has learned a bit. He isn’t satisfied with more frogs from his magicians. He realizes the only way to get rid of them is to agree to God’s request. Of course, He changes his mind once the frogs die, and refuses to listen, even though the foul stench is still there to remind him of what God is capable. He’s not the only one who quickly forgets what God can do. We all can be guilty of trusting in what we ourselves can do, instead of believing and trusting fully in God.

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Exodus 7:14-25

14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go. 15 “Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he is going out to the water, and station yourself to meet him on the bank of the Nile; and you shall take in your hand the staff that was turned into a serpent. 16 “You shall say to him, `The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness. But behold, you have not listened until now.” 17 `Thus says the LORD, “By this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, I will strike the water that is in the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned to blood. 18“The fish that are in the Nile will die, and the Nile will become foul, and the Egyptians will find difficulty in drinking water from the Nile.”‘” 19 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, `Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their reservoirs of water, that they may become blood; and there will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both invessels of wood and in vessels of stone.'”

20 So Moses and Aaron did even as the LORD had commanded. And he lifted up the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood. 21 The fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. And the blood was through all the land of Egypt. 22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORDhad said. 23 Then Pharaoh turned and went into his house with no concern even for this. 24 So all the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink of the water of the Nile. 25 Seven days passed after the LORD had struck the Nile.

So God turns all the water in Egypt into blood. Somehow, Pharaoh’s magicians convince him that they can do the same, although likely not on the same scale. He obviously didn’t want to believe God, otherwise he would have commanded his magicians to fix the water. The hardness of his heart allowed him to accept a counterfeit miracle, when God was right in front of him. Often, we are guilty of not seeing God, because we insist in looking in the wrong places, instead of just listening for His voice. Don’t try to box God up, or make Him play by your rules. Seek Him honestly, and you will find Him.

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Exodus 7:8-13

8 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, `Work a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, `Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.'”10 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and thus they did just as the LORD had commanded; and Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. 12 For each one threw down his staff and they turned into serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

Satan is pretty good at deception, but God will always make sure you know who is the right voice to believe. There’s no doubt Pharaoh knew Moses and Aaron were legit, but there was no way he was going to let the Israelites go just because God could turn a stick into a snake. It would take more than that to convince him it was worth it. When God speaks, listen. You don’t want God’s voice to get as loud as it would in Pharaoh’s case.

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Exodus 7:1-7

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. 2 “You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land. 3 “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 “When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5 “The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.” 6 So Moses and Aaron did it; as the LORD commanded them, thus they did. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three, when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Moses was worried about his lack of eloquence, but God was not worried about that. In verse five, he says, ‘The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord…” God will make Himself known, even if we think we are not skilled enough to be used in that effort. God can use anyone who is willing.

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Exodus 6:14-30

14 These are the heads of their fathers’ households. The sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn: Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben. 15 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon and Kohath and Merari; and the length of Levi’s life was one hundred and thirty-seven years. 17 The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, according to their families. 18 The sons of Kohath: Amram and Izhar and Hebron and Uzziel; and the length of Kohath’s life was one hundred and thirty-three years. 19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations. 20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; and the length of Amram’s life was one hundred and thirty-seven years. 21 The sons of Izhar: Korah and Nepheg and Zichri. 22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael and Elzaphan and Sithri. 23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 24 The sons of Korah: Assir and Elkanah and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites. 25 Aaron’s son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers’households of the Levites according to their families. 26 It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORDsaid, “Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts.” 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt; it was the same Moses and Aaron.

28 Now it came about on the day when the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 that the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “I am the LORD; speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I speak to you.” 30 But Moses said before the LORD, “Behold, I am unskilled in speech; how then will Pharaoh listen to me?”

Moses was concerned about his physical inabilities. God had no such concerns. When God asks us to do something, He will provide the words, the ability, and will do His work through us. All He needs is a willing vessel to use.