Exodus 8-10 You have heard of stories where a person is in a crisis and they plead with God and offer to obey Him forever after. However, like Pharaoh, we have short memories and usually, after the crisis we find ourselves doing another lap around that same crisis! Pharaoh is no different! Pharaoh stated emphatically: “Who is the LORD that I should obey him…” And he began to bargain with God. Sounds like a challenge we hear agnostics and atheists say today.
The Israelites too at first were enamored that soon they would be free from their slavery but when Pharaoh told them to make bricks with no straw their belief waned. How like us! Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to count it all joy, as James says, they fell into the deadly d trap of discouragement. But God is God. He will reveal Himself to the Egyptians that they may know that these doings are “the finger of God.” And to the Israelites, He will give them a story of His power for the next generation.
Many centuries later the psalmist wrote similar words “we will tell the next generation about the LORD’s praiseworthy acts; about his strength and the amazing things He has done.” [Ps 78]
So what is the point of all the plagues? Why didn’t God just send one catastrophic plague and release His people? It was so that the testing of the Israelites faith would produce endurance for the journey to the Promised Land. Secondly, they needed a fresh faith of God’s presence and power. Thirdly, these plagues would reveal to the world the foolishness of idolatry.
So where is God testing your faith? Will you endure to the end that you might hear “well-done thou good and faithful servant.” OR are you like Pharaoh just doing one lap after another because you refuse to humble yourself?