Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20060301.htm
EXODUS: FUNCTIONING WELL IN A HOPELESS GROUP ASSIGNMENT
Part I: God's Deliverance Of Israel Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
J. God's Glorifying Himself By The Plague Of Lice
Lesson: (1) Hort's naturalistic explanation for Egypt's plague of lice (or gnats, sand fleas or mosquitos) is countered by Scripture itself. (2) The plague critiqued Egypt's gods of the earth, it (3) exposed Pharaoh's magicians to be ungodly and (4) vindicated Moses and Aaron as God's servants!
- Scripture reveals five goals for the plagues of Egypt: they came (1) to deliver Israel from Egypt (Ex. 3:8, 19-20), (2) to answer Pharaoh's question of "Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice and let Israel go?" (Ex. 5:2; 8:22; 9:14), (3) to reveal God's power to Israel (Ex. 10:1-2), (4) to reveal the earth belongs to God, not Egypt's gods (Ex. 9:29) and (5) to level God's judgment on all the gods of Egypt (Ex. 12:12; Num. 33:4), R. Grigg, "The Ten Plagues of Egypt," Creation (v. 27, no. 1), Dec.-Feb. 2005, p. 36.
- For such goals to be reached, the plagues would have to have been seen as miracles by the Egyptians.
- However, naturalistic explanations for the plagues were offered by Greta Hort in 1957, a scholar of medieval English literature and religion, and her views are cited in reference works today, Ibid., p. 34, 38.
- Thus, we view the Scripture and the data to see if the third plague was a true miracle that glorified God:
- God's Glorifying Himself By the Plague Of Lice, Exodus 8:16-19.
- The Biblical account of the third plague is as follows:
- God directed Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out his rod and smite the dust of the ground so that it might become lice (or gnats, sand fleas or mosquitos, the "meaning is uncertain") in all the land of Egypt, Exodus 8:16; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Exodus 8:16.
- When Aaron did so, and the lice (or gnats, sand fleas or mosquitos) came up out of the dust to afflict man and beast throughout the land of Egypt, Pharaoh's magicians attempted to duplicate this sign themselves; however, for the first time, God did not allow them the liberty to do so, Exodus 8:17-18.
- At this point, they reported to Pharaoh that the power ("finger" of God pictures His "power or Spirit", cf. Ex. 31:18; Deut. 9:10; Psalm 8:3 and Luke 11:20 with Matthew 12:28, Ibid.) of God had caused this plague as opposed to any other power, Exodus 8:19a!
- However, Pharaoh had become so used to rationalizing away the former plague miracles that he continued to be hardened in his heart. He concluded this event was not outside of the power of Egypt's false gods, a conclusion reached by a growing self-deception, Exodus 8:19b in view of 2 Timothy 3:13.
- Yet, Greta Hort gave a naturalistic explanation for the plague to counter the view that it was a miracle: she held the "third plague was mosquitoes, which had bred in the floodwaters" of the Nile, Ibid., Grigg, p. 34.
- However, this naturalistic explanation is countered by the Scripture record itself (as follows):
- There is no reference to the Nile flooding anywhere in the Exodus 7:14-12:36 record of the plagues.
- Rather, Moses met Pharaoh on the banks of the Nile in Exodus 7:15 and the Egyptians dug in search of water on the saturated banks of the river, an act not typical of a scene by a flooding river, Ibid., p. 36.
- In glory of Israel's God, the third plague of lice (or gnats, sand fleas or mosquitos) "confronted all the gods of the earth" such as "Akhor." (Ibid.) Such a plague along with the fourth one also "confronted another favorite, Khepri, the scarab (dung beetle) god." It was this god's job to bury the dung to stop the breeding of destructive insects in the dung on the earth, Ibid. "This god [Khepri] was also associated with rolling the sun across the sky, like dung beetles rolling balls of dung," Ibid.
- Since this was the first plague that could not be duplicated by Pharaoh's magicians, it exposed the errant ministries of these men to the credit not only of Israel's God, but also of Moses and Aaron as His true servants, cf. 2 Timothy 3:8-9; Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to 2 Timothy 3:8. Paul here refers to this exposure of Moses' foes to encourage Timothy to stay faithful in his ministry of the Word (cf. 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5), for false foes who seek to discredit God's servants will in time have the folly of their efforts become evident for all to see, cf. 2 Timothy 3:8-9 in view of the context of 2 Timothy 2:24-26; 3:10-4:5!
Application: May we trust the Bible's ONE, TRUE God Who ALONE is God of the earth, and heed the messages of His servants whom He vindicates in the face of their foes as being His true servants!