Old Testament: Exodus 8:1-9:35
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Exodus 8:1-9:35 Plagued By Pharaoh
Chapter 8 contains the second through fourth plagues of frogs, gnats and flies.
Chapter 9 is the delightful story of how the death of livestock, boils, and hail could not persuade Pharaoh to let the Israelites go into the wilderness to worship Yahweh.
In Exodus 8, we find the second through fourth plagues.
Phase Two: Frogs (vv. 1-15).
Since Pharaoh wouldn’t let the Israelites go and worship, the Lord sent him a plague of frogs (v. 2). They were up on the stoves and everywhere (v. 3). The Lord worked through Aaron pointing his staff (v. 5). Not to be outdone, the Egyptian magicians certainly did what I would have done (v. 7). They used their “secret arts” to produce even more frogs. (Real smart.) Pharaoh asked to see Moses and Aaron to ask them to get rid of all the frogs (v. 8). M and A told Pharaoh to say “when” so he told them next day (vv. 9 – 10). Why rush a good thing (sarcasm)? So the next day all the frogs croaked except for the ones in the river (v. 13, not wanting to upset the ecological balance) but Pharaoh changed his mind and wouldn’t let the people go (v. 15). The frogs were not in leaps and bounds but heaps and foul (v. 14).
Phase Three: Gnats (vv. 16-19).
Wouldn’t it be lice? Not a Beach Boys song. But after Moses stretched his staff over the earth, the dust became gnats or lice (vv. 16 -17). The ‘Gyptian magicians tried to replicate the trick but they couldn’t (v. 18, Ha!). So they told Pharaoh it must’ve been God’s finger that did it (v. 19a). He cared but then again, he didn’t (v. 19b).
Phase Four: Flies (vv. 20-24).
God told Moses to tell Pharaoh He was going to bring a plague of flies on the ‘Gyptians if he didn’t let the Israelites go and worship (vv. 20 – 21). So they met Pharaoh while he was going out for water the next day (v. 20a). (I’ll bet Pharaoh was glad to see those two again!) M and A gave him the new deal regarding the flies. The deal included the Jews going to Goshen so they wouldn’t be part of the fly over (v. 22). This where the phrase originated, “no flies on you!” The flies swarmed the ‘Gyptians everywhere (v. 24). Pharaoh called for M and A again (v. 25a). He told them the Israelites could go and worship but only in country (v. 25b). M and A said the Egyptians would be offended by what the Jews were going to do (v. 26) so Pharaoh said they could leave the country but not to go too far (v. 28). Moses said OK but Pharaoh really had to go through with it this time and quit lying (v. 29). So God removed the flies (v. 31) and guess what? Pharaoh changed his mind again (v. 32) !
Plagues five through seven are found in Exodus 9.
Phase Five: Death of Livestock Flies (vv. 1-7).
God set a definite time, the next day, to snuff all the livestock, that is, all the horses, donkeys, camels, herds, and the flocks of the ‘Egyptians but not touching any of the Israelite livestock (vv. 3-4). The result? Same song, different chorus. Or maybe it was same chorus, different song. Anyway, the result was the same. Pharaoh would not relent (v. 7).
Phase Six: Boils (vv. 8-17).
Moses and Aaron show themselves to be hard-boiled. God told them to go to a kiln (an oven, not Scottish menswear) and throw some of the dust from it up in the air (vv. 9 – 11a). They threw the ashes up in the air making an ash out of Pharaoh and his people. The ashes caused the ‘Gyptians to break out in boils (v. 10). Even the magicians couldn’t stand before M and A because they, too, had been boiled (v. 11b). Pharaoh still wouldn’t give in (v. 12). God told the great P. that He could’ve had all the ‘Gyptians vaporized by now, obviously (v. 15). But He was choosing to show His power to the world (v. 16).
Phase Seven: Hail (vv. 18-35).
Hail, no! God sent hail this time on the ‘Gyptians (v. 18, 22). He again gave them a day’s notice (v. 18). Hail and thunder came (v. 23). All of the men and livestock out in the fields were destroyed (v. 25). However, all the men who were in Goshen, were not harmed (v. 26).
Once again, Pharaoh said he’d relent . . . again (v. 27, I know I’m being redundant once more). But his heart was again calcified as Moses guessed it might be (v. 35, 30). Once more, he would not let the people go (v. 36).
New Testament: Matthew 19:13-30
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Jesus blessed some more children.
A rich kid came to Jesus and asked Him what kind of good did he have to do to get to heaven. He went away moping when Jesus told him he would have to sell everything he owned.
Jesus told Peter and the boys that there was a whole new world coming and they’d all make out like bandits for all they had given up for Him.
Matthew 19:13-30 You Must Be Kid-ding
Jesus blessed some more children (v. 13). Jesus likes children (v. 14). In fact, He likes all the children of the world. Even if they’re yellow or black or green . . .
The disciples tried to keep the children from Jesus (v. 13b). Jesus rebuked them for it and prayed for the kids (vv. 14-15).
A rich kid came to Jesus and asked Him what kind of good did he have to do to get to heaven (v. 16). Jesus said that since he was mentioning good maybe he should consider that the truest form of good is God Himself (v. 17c). And maybe he should happen to notice Who was standing in front of him (v. 17b). Anyway, Jesus told him to obey all the commandments that had to do with relations with other people (v. 17d-19).
Jesus summed up all those commandments with “‘love your neighbor as yourself” so the young man wouldn’t miss the point that he was supposed to care about others (cf. Lev. 19:18).
The young guy said, “No prob. I’m down with all that” (v. 20).
Jesus didn’t think he was really getting it so he came with a right cross: he told him he should sell everything he had and give it to the poor (v. 21).
The young man was totally bummed because that was like the last thing he wanted to do (v. 22). Jesus told his disciples it was harder for a dromedary to go through the largest landmark in Seattle* (v. 24). The boys were incredulous (v. 25a). After hearing that, the 12 boys got the impression that it was impossible for anyone to get to heaven (v. 25b). “Yeah, you’re staring to catch on,” Jesus told the boys, “you can only get there because of God” (v. 26).
Peter said, “Hey, we’re not like the snobby young ruler. We’ve given up everything. What about us” (v. 27)? Jesus said there was a new world coming and he and the disciples would really make out as would anyone else who gave up all the stuff they did (v. 29). Every day would be “reverse day” up there (in the New Jerusalem, v. 30, cf. Rev. 3:12; 21:2 and commentary in Bible Knowledge Commentary).
(*Oh, c’mon. It’s the Space Needle!)