We see examples of the irrationality of unbelief in our passage this morning. Pharaoh is on his last legs. It’s clear that he is no longer in a position of strength or control. So he begins to act more and more irrationally as the plagues go on. This is one of the themes that rise to the surface as God’s judgments on Egypt draw to a close in the eighth and ninth plagues before the final great plague.
The seventh plague, before us this morning, is the fiery hail. It is a lengthy plague. It, like the first and fourth plagues, announces an amplification of God’s original purpose for the plagues. Here the Lord gives Moses a much longer word for Pharaoh than in previous episodes. Like in the first and fourth plagues, a clear statement of the Lord’s purpose in the seventh through ninth (and tenth) plagues right at the outset. This purpose is stated at the end of v 13: so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth.This Scripture passage is not only about God, however. It also contains important teachings of what this glorious God of the Exodus demands of all humanity. Today, I want you to see from the seventh plague four important teachings, not only about God and who we are before him.
Just as the first plague set the tone for the first three plagues, the fourth plague gives the theme of the second set of plagues. Back in 7:17, God said, By this you shall know that I am Yahweh. Now, in the 4th plague, But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, … that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. When Egypt is affected and Goshen isn’t, God will show convincingly that he, Yahweh, Israel’s God, is the one in the midst of the land of Egypt, performing these wonders of judgment. Thereby the 4th – 6thplagues take God’s purpose in the first three plagues and amplify it. Still, the foundational purpose of the plagues is that men know that Yahweh is God. Since he is God, we ought to love and obey him. Let’s look more closely at these plagues and see how God glorifies himself in them.
Last week we saw how the plagues are for the glory of God. The purpose of the first set of plagues is grounded in the purpose of the first, the turning of the Nile to blood. The Lord’s purpose in this plague is plain: by this you shall know that I am the LORD. In the first three plagues, God shows Pharaoh and the Egyptians that he, the God of the Hebrews, is truly God. As the plagues develop, he’ll amplify this message. Any man who takes up his Scripture and reads the Exodus account of the plagues ought to confess that Yahweh is God. There are several ways God glorifies himself in our passage.