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Friday, October 28, 2011

Plague of the Flies

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the water and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground where they are.
Exodus 8:20-21
This week a cold front hit southwest Oklahoma after having 80 degree weather for some time. The flies, because of their God-given instinct, knew that the cold weather was coming and they have been looking for refuge. Hundreds of flies gathered in our garage, some even making it into the house, all looking for warmth.
I know this situation doesn't nearly compare to the situation the in Egypt thousands of years ago, but it made me think of the 10 Plagues the Lord sent to Pharaoh and his people because of Pharaoh's hardened heart.
We have a fly spray for the garage, but it can't get them all.  We have fly strips in the garage (sideways picture).  But it can't get them all.  So, as odd as it may sound, I even have a fly strip hanging in the kitchen.  I don't care that it doesn't match the decor.  It helps get rid of the pests!  It fills up quickly and we switch it out with another one.  The flies seek warmth, but our house is kept fairly cold (by my husband's choice) and the warmest place is in the kitchen.  They congregate in there.  YUCK!
And the LORD did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials, and throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.
Exodus 8:24
This picture is my favorite because it shows many of the flies that have died because the garage is cold. There are probably a lot more out there now (I have checked.  Don't want to let any more in!)  However, my husband has probably already swept them up and thrown them in the trash.
Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the desert, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.”

Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD, and tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh and his officials and his people. Only be sure that Pharaoh does not act deceitfully again by not letting the people go to offer sacrifices to the LORD.”

Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD, and the LORD did what Moses asked: The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.
Exodus 8:28-32
Can you imagine what it would have been like to have all of the plagues that the Lord sent to Pharaoh and the Egyptian people?  I can't.  These flies have been enough!  But remember, all of the plagues happened because of Pharaoh's hard heart.   He would not let the (Israelite) people go.  What a shame!
During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested.  Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.”
Exodus 12:31-32

Only after Pharaoh had lost his first born son, did he finally soften his heart to the Israelite people and allowed them to go.  He had to loose his crops, his livestock, be subject to pain and sorrow.....all of that before his heart was softened and he obeyed the Lord.

Makes me what ways do I need to soften my heart?  In what ways do I allow a hard heart to keep me from doing what the Lord wants me to do?  Perhaps I should example my life - look into my heart and just see what might be getting in the way.

Notice the last sentence in the passage above.  Pharaoh said to the Lord, "And also bless me."  Interesting, isn't it?  Pharaoh finally obeyed God and now asks for His blessings.  Obedience is the key.  God's blessings will be bestowed upon those who are His children.

Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.  Psalm 119:2 

My plague of flies will go away, but for now, I'm thankful for the reminder to seek God, to examine my heart for any hardness, and to be thankful for God's blessings each and every day.

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

yuck! Yes, I can't imagine what the real plague was like!

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