Stubborn Pharaoh Learns the Hard Way
Who God Is (Part 2)
by Sophia Prinsloo with Barbara Wilmerton Haas
Text Version | Afrikaans
(Continued from Part 1)
Debbie and Deidre were twins. Debbie was always trying her best to help their mom with chores around the house but Deidre was just the opposite. For example, when Mom wanted the table set, Debbie would rush downstairs to fetch the knives and forks, gather the plates and lay them out neatly on the table. Sometimes in spring or summer, Debbie would pick fragrant flowers from the garden and arrange them nicely in a vase on the table.
Deidre usually pretended she did not hear Mom calling for help. She even refused to come and help when Debbie asked her politely. Deidre would stubbornly stay in her room, playing video games until she was called for dinner. When Mom reprimanded her for not coming to help, she only persisted in her disobedience all the more.
Can you remember what the FOURTH plague was?... Well, after the FOURTH plague of swarming gadflies, Pharaoh hardened his heart again and refused to let the Israelites go.
Aaron said, “Moses, how stubborn do you think a man can be? One should think that after having a fright from the snake miracle, then being unable to drink water because it turned into blood, and having frogs jump all over the place and on everyone, plus scratching like mad because of lice everywhere, and also being stung by swarming gadflies, Pharaoh would give in, acknowledge the Lord our God's mighty power, and let us go! But his heart only grew harder. Do you really think he will ever let us go? I mean, how many more plagues will the Lord have to carry out on Egypt to make Pharaoh quit his stubbornness and change his mind?”
Moses stood quietly for a moment. Then he replied, “Aaron, the Lord knows what He is doing and He wants to show Pharaoh his awesome power, but we have to persist in praying to God and obeying Him in everything if we are to see the GREAT DELIVERANCE He is planning for us! I need to know what to do next, so I am going upstairs to pray to the Lord!”
Moses wearily climbed the stairs to the upper room. He turned to God earnestly in prayer, waiting to hear from heaven. Suddenly, he heard the voice of the Lord speaking:
“Go to Pharaoh! Tell him: 'Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go, so they can serve Me.' Then warn him, 'If you refuse to let the Hebrews go and continue to hold them as slaves, a pestilence will break out among the livestock of the Egyptians. It will be very severe and come upon your horses, your donkeys, your camels, your cattle, your sheep and your goats. But the Lord will protect the livestock of the Hebrews and only the livestock of Pharaoh and the Egyptians will be infected with pestilence and die.'
“Then tell Pharaoh, 'I am setting a time when I shall bring the plague on the livestock. It will be tomorrow!'”
Again Pharaoh stubbornly refused to listen and let the Israelites go. The next day, the animals of the Egyptians died by the thousands from the pestilence.
In desperation, Pharaoh called his spies together for a meeting. Then he sent them to Goshen, where the Hebrews lived, telling them, “Go, see if any of the livestock of the Israelites died and come, tell me immediately, even if only one has died!”
The poor spies had to walk all the way to Goshen because there was not a healthy horse, or a donkey, or a camel left to ride on. Tired and with aching feet, they made their way back to the palace, went in, and bowed before Pharaoh, ready to give their report. “Long live Pharaoh! Your Majesty, we come to report about the livestock of the Hebrews.”
“Yes, yes! And?” Pharaoh inquired impatiently.
“We could not find a single dead or sick animal in Goshen. All the livestock, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the cattle, the sheep and the goats of the Hebrews are healthy and well!”
Pharaoh's face became red-hot with anger when they continued and said, “But, Your Majesty, sadly, we have to report that most of the livestock of Egypt is dead and those which are left are so sick, we don't know if they will make it through the night!”
Rage rose up inside of Pharaoh, making him even more stubborn and hard-hearted than ever before. He refused to let the Israelites go.
Pestilence among the livestock was the FIFTH plague that the Lord sent to prove his power over Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt who were supposed to keep their livestock healthy.
With Pharaoh refusing to allow the Hebrews to leave, Moses went back to the Lord in earnest prayer, asking Him what to do next.
Soon the voice of the Lord came with an answer: “Take handfuls of ashes from the furnace and scatter it towards the heavens. It will became a fine dust covering all Egypt and cause boils to break out as sores all over the bodies of the Egyptians and their animals that survived the plague.”
The next morning, Moses and Aaron took ashes and soot from the furnace and came before hardhearted Pharaoh.
“Not you two again!” Pharaoh said with a big scowl on his face. “You can forget that I will ever allow Israel to go!”
What do you think Moses and Aaron did with the ashes and soot? The very next thing they did was toss them up in the air and, just as God said, they became boils erupting in sores on the Egyptians and their remaining animals.
The magicians who were standing nearby were the first ones to break out severely with boils which caused a high fever and lots of pain. It hit them so hard that they could not even stand in front of Moses and Aaron.
And what do you think that stubborn Pharaoh did? He hardened his heart all the more, refusing to let the Israelites go.
Boils was the SIXTH plague, proving just how mighty the Lord was over the gods of Egypt who were supposed to keep them healthy.
Again, Moses wearily climbed the stairs to the upper room. He turned to God earnestly in prayer, waiting to hear from heaven. Suddenly, he heard the voice of the Lord speaking:
“Get up early tomorrow morning and go and tell Pharaoh, 'The Lord God of the Hebrews says, “Let my people go to worship Me. This time I am going to send a plague that will really shock you, your servants and all the Egyptians. I am going to prove to you that there is no other God in all the earth. By now, I could have killed you, but I did not, because I wanted to show my power to you and to all the earth.
“So, you still think you are so great, do you, defying my power and refusing to let my people go? Well, tomorrow morning I will send upon you the heaviest hailstorm in Egypt's history! Heed my warning and gather your remaining livestock from the fields. Put them into the barns and get your people into their houses, because everybody outside will be struck and killed by huge hailstones.”
Moses did as the Lord told him. The Egyptians who were terrified and listened to him, brought their families and their animals to safety before the hail fell.
The next morning, Moses lifted up his hand towards the heavens and hailstones as big as bricks rained down throughout all of Egypt. Loud thunder and lightning struck everywhere as never before. Only in Goshen, where the Israelites lived, there was not a single hailstone, thunder strike or lightning bolt.
The Egyptians, who did not listen to Moses and were outside, were killed, both man and beast. Plants were struck and trees were shredded by the hailstorm. Each time the thunder struck, Pharaoh's heart skipped a beat and his face turned pale with fright. Mrs. Pharaoh and the children hid under their beds.
Then Pharaoh urgently sent for Moses and Aaron.
By the time they reached Pharaoh, he was more than ready to speak with them.
“Moses,” Pharaoh began, “I have committed a huge sin by not letting you go. The Lord your God is right, and my people and I have been wrong. Please! Beg the Lord your God to stop this dreadful storm and I promise to let your people go at once.”
Do you think he really meant it this time?
Moses replied, “The plague of hail will stop as soon as I have gone out of the city, prayed to the Lord and lifted up my rod towards the heavens. This will prove that the earth is controlled by the Lord our God! But I already know that you and your servants still won't obey Him.”
As Moses left the palace, something amazing happened. While huge hail came thundering down with lightning striking everywhere, not a single hailstone or lightning bolt struck Moses! When Moses reached the outside of the city, and lifted up his hand, the thunder and lightning, the rain and the hail stopped immediately!
Relieved, Pharaoh kept on sinning with a stubborn attitude. He did not keep his word. Again, he refused to let the Israelites go.
Hail was the SEVENTH plague proving that the Lord even controls the weather and that Pharaoh and the Egyptian gods were powerless against Him.
When Moses went back to the Lord in prayer, God told Moses, “Be encouraged! One day you will be able to tell your children and grandchildren true stories about all the wonders I did in Egypt to prove that I am God. I am going to make Pharaoh even more stubborn so that I can do many more miracles to show him my power. By all those miracles, you and your descendants will know that I am the Lord your God!”
(Continued in Part 3)
It never pays to be rebellious against God or your parents. A stubborn attitude will hurt you deeply in the end. Seek to keep a loving, obedient spirit and God will bless your life abundantly with his favor.
1. Who was the stubborn king of Egypt?
2. Who accompanied Moses when he went to the palace?
3. What did Moses want Pharaoh to do?
4. Where did the Israelites live?
5. What can we learn from today's lesson?
A VERSE TO LEARN:
“Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Luke 4:8).
AN ALTERNATIVE VERSE TO LEARN:
“To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7b).
What did Pharaoh do every time Moses asked God to stop a plague? Did he keep his promise when the plague stopped? How about you? Have you ever been on the brink of getting punished for something you did and then made all kinds of promises just to try and skip punishment? Did you intend to keep those promises?
[After discussion:] Remember, every time we hear God’s Word and disobey, our hearts become harder and harder but, worse yet, it breaks God’s heart. You see, God loves us so much, He’s more willing to forgive us than we are to forgive ourselves. He longs to forgive and help us do what’s right, but we must be deeply sorry for disobeying Him and truly want to leave our sin behind and live in a way that brings honor and glory to God.
Let’s take a moment in prayer and ask God to forgive us for our hardened hearts and give us tender hearts that earnestly want to do his will with all that’s within us, for the glory of his Name.
Heavenly Father, give me a tender heart and ears
that are quick to hear and obey your voice. Help me
live in a way that pleases You and makes others
want to know You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
BIBLE STORY ARCHIVE
God Sent Plagues Upon Egypt Coloring Page
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Superbook: Let My People Go! Season 1 Episode 4 (watch online)
10 Plagues of Egypt for Kids Exodus 7-11 (watch online)
The Greatest Adventure Stories from the Bible: Moses (watch online)
The Ten Commandments: Moses Turns Water into Blood (watch online)
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