Summary: God sent plagues against Egypt to judge their idol gods and to set his people free. Will God send plagues against our idols as well?
BEWARE OF THE PLAGUES
I am sure that most of you have read the story of the Exodus. Israel had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years, driven and abused by the power of Pharaoh to build cities that would be a monument to Egyptian power and gods for many centuries. Some of those monuments are partially visible even today, thousands of years after the deliverance of Israel from bondage by the mighty hand of God.
Most of the time we read through that story and we don’t even give them much thought. That was a story for people who lived a long time ago and in a place far away. We don’t think of those plagues of Egypt that happened some 4500+ years ago as something that has just as much impact upon our lives of today as it did back then.
I don’t know about those who are here this morning, some of you are still new babes in Christ and haven’t had time to learn what others have. Some of you have been saved for a long time and perhaps you have a little more knowledge of the ways of the Lord. Time as a saved Christian isn’t as much of a limiting factor to your knowledge of the Word of God as your commitment to study of the Word. I have seen a lot of young Christians who were far more understanding of God’s Word than some who were much older because the younger ones made a decision and had the discipline to spend a lot of time in studying.
One thing you must know this morning is that the plagues of Egypt were not just a passing story that God used to judge Egypt and to show his power to deliver. Those plagues carry a powerful message right to the front door of your heart this morning. Their warning is just as real right now at it was the day that Moses stood before Pharaoh and pronounced God’s judgment upon the Egyptians.
Firstly, let me say that if you have looked into the legitimate study of what specific numbers mean in the Bible you will see that there are definite reasons that God uses these numbers.
7 = the number of completeness or wholeness. God creation lasted for 7 days and on the 7th day he rested from his finished work. It must be a favorite number for God. There are seven days in the week, seven colors in the rainbow, seven continents, and seven notes on a musical scale and many other evidences that it has meaning much beyond its numerical value. The dominant number in the Revelation is the number seven. The 7 churches of Asia represent the whole church and Babylon sits on the 7 mountains representing the entirety of the kingdom of the Antichrist.
6 = the number for being incomplete. The number 6 is said to be the earthly mind of man and the number 666 from the Book of Revelation is a tripled 6 and symbolizes Satan making himself god after the fashion of the true God with Satan symbolizing the Father, the Antichrist representing the Son, and the False Prophet representing the Holy Ghost.
The study of the meanings behind various numbers used throughout the Bible is a fascinating and enlightening study but be very careful not to get caught up in the teachings of Numerology that is combined with occult and unscriptural patterns of numbers. The studies of patterns of numbers in the Bible that are supposed to give us prophetic interpretation of the future are usually based upon false teaching. That doesn’t mean that there are some numbers in the Bible that do have special significance to us.
So what significance does the number 10 have for us today? Why were there 10 plagues? Why not 7 plagues to show God’s complete judgment against Egypt? Why would God use 10?
Those Ten Plagues were:
1. Waters of the Nile River were turned to blood
2. Swarms of frogs are everywhere
3. Mosquitoes and Gnats covered the land
4. Flies covered the land
5. Cattle got sick and died
6. Boils (sores) broke out on both man and beasts
7. Hail, which destroyed more crops
9. Thick darkness that covered the land, except the Land of Goshen.
10. First born sons died, where the blood of the Lamb was not placed over the doorposts and lintels.
From the study that I have done there is a double meaning to this number 10. Firstly, it is a number that means the end of one cycle of events and the beginning of another. Secondly, it represents worldly power.
If we examine the plagues and their effect we can easily see that they marked the end of bondage for Israel and the end of Egyptian power as well as a new beginning for Israel. The power of Pharaoh to enslave God’s chosen people is broken forever and Israel is delivered to live for God as a free people, who must daily make their choice to obey God and follow where he leads.