Summary: The Plague of Frogs, and a lesson on procrastination.
National Frog Day
Text: Exodus 8:1-15
Introduction: Not a lot of people know this, but last Sunday was officially National Frog Day in this country. Believe it or not, on that day we were supposed to be examining local ponds and rivers for frog spawn, and ensuring the protection of everyone’s favourite hopper. But the idea of a National Frog Day is not a new one. In ancient Egypt people were very fond of frogs, indeed frogs formed a vital part of the nation’s religion. They were sacred. The Egyptian goddess Heqt was depicted as having a frog’s head. Egyptians worshipped Heqt as the goddess of resurrection, and she was also believed to aid women in childbirth. One Egyptian picture shows Heqt reciting spells to affect the resurrection of the god Osiris – the giver of life!? And another shows her kneeling before the queen superintending the birth of Hatshepsut the princess who is considered to have rescued Moses from the Nile. Hapi, the god of the Nile was depicted as holding a frog in his hand, out of the mouth of which flowed a stream of nourishment, showing a close relationship between Hapi and Heqt. The Egyptians loved frogs. In fact they revered them so much it was against the law to kill a frog. National Frog Day was no new concept in the land of the Pharaoh’s. Egyptian’s couldn’t get enough of the slimy amphibians, that was until God declared National Frog Week!
I. The Plague Was Declared – vss 1-4
A. How soon Moses returned to Pharaoh after the plague of blood it is hard to say, but I believe the way the text reads that his appearance at Pharaoh’s court was almost immediate.
1. God wasn’t wasting any time in confronting the gods Egypt held dear.
2. Again Moses was instructed to face Pharaoh.
3. This time he is to forewarn him that failure to obey the Lord would result in a plague of frogs.
4. With “frog” worship so prominent in his land Pharaoh probably thought little of Moses’ threat.
5. But the prophet of God was very explicit in the details – and particularly the way in which this plague would affect Pharaoh.
6. Previously Pharaoh didn’t care. The waters were turned into blood, and he just shrugged his shoulders and went home.
a. In Marie Antoinette style he showed little compassion for his subjects – what did he care that they couldn’t bath, cook or eat, as long as there was fresh water stored up in the royal palace.
(i) Illus: Dublin castle – Whilst staying there Queen Victoria couldn’t face the sight of squalor and poverty just beyond her garden wall. So she built a bigger wall that would block out the view. Wealth and privilege has a way of hardening a person to the plight of others.
(ii) Pharaoh could withdraw into privilege from the plight of the Egyptian people vainly digging wells that were soon filled with blood.
b. This time though Moses’ makes it clear that “the frogs shall come upon thee, and upon thy people and upon all thy servants.”
c. In other words “Pharaoh this plague is coming home to roost – God is entering uninvited into your private quarters.”