Summary: The last plagues before Passover prove Yahweh’s power over Pharaoh and Egypt and give hope to believers under the New Covenant.
Before we move on to the next plague in our study in the Exodus I want to remember, first of all, the context of the promise as a whole. If you'll remember, Adam and Eve fell in the garden and it was then that God promised to send a seed through the woman that would redeem them and crush the head of the serpent. That promise resurfaces all throughout the book of Genesis, and we see a great deal more of it in the story of Abraham who was called out of an idolatrous land and promised a land of his own and descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky.
Abraham had a son named Isaac, and Isaac had a son named Jacob, and Jacob had twelve sons who would be the fathers of the nation of Israel. During the course of time this family came to reside in the land of Egypt, and there they stayed until they grew powerful, and the Egyptians feared them and subjected them to slavery. 400 years passed, and the people cried out to God until he finally sent a man named Moses to deliver them out and lead them into the Promised Land.
Moses commanded freedom from Pharaoh, but God had supernaturally hardened his heart so that he wouldn’t listen: “Who is Yahweh?” he demanded to know, “and why should I obey him?” (5:2) The answer comes from Yahweh himself in the form of ten plagues “that ye may know,” says Yahweh, “that there is none like me in all the earth” (9:14). The Exodus is a showdown between the God of the Hebrews and the gods of Egypt, and it’s a fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham and his descendants.
There’s a second thing we need to remember before we get into this next plague, and that is the spiritual significance behind the story. This is more than just a lesson in ancient Israelite and Egyptian history; we’ll read in the New Testament that these things are all “examples and shadows” (Heb. 8:5) representing bigger and/or better truths. The tabernacle, the sacrifices, and the priests all represent something in the New Covenant. Even the nation of Israel itself foreshadows God’s people who are called out and brought into a Promised Land.
These are those who are circumcised in their hearts and share in Abraham’s faith. They are the heirs of the promise, and when we read of the Exodus we have to see it from that New Covenant perspective; it’s a model or a shadow of what God has done for us spiritually. He sent a Savior better than Moses, freed us from spiritual bondage to a spiritual Pharaoh, and promised us a spiritual city where he will dwell with us and wipe out all the effects of the curse. The Exodus for us is a revelation of Christ and the gospel and is a source of hope and comfort!
So far the water has turned to blood, frogs have invaded the land, lice and swarms of insects have bitten and devoured the people, disease has killed the cattle, and the people have broken out with boils. Despite all this, and despite the fact that Israel has suffered none of it, Pharaoh refuses to comply, so the Lord promises hail for the next plague. This is where we left off last time, and it’s where we pick back up again today: