~~~~~Lesson: Exodus: First Five Plagues (Reading After Lesson)
Today we're going to cover the first five plagues that came upon the Egyptians.
Moses requested permission for the Israelites to go to the desert for three days to worship their God, and Pharaoh replied by increasing their workload- aka: making bricks without straw.
The ten plagues are often debated, as is much of the Exodus story.
I'm sure most of you have heard of it, but there is a "non-God-involved" explanation in some circles for the plagues.
The basic explanation is that a volcano erupted, causing red ash to fall into the river, making it appear as if the water had turned to blood. All of the fish died from the elements in the ash poisoning them. The frogs all fled the water, making people think there was a plague of frogs. As all of the fish and frogs died, the gnats came to feast on the remains, as did the flies. I'll explain the rest of it when we read about the last five plagues.
Question: Can there be a scientific explanation for a "miraculous" event and still have it be led by God?
Or if God is involved, does that mean that there cannot possibly be an explanation that we can understand?
-or- in other words, are science and God mutually exclusive? If so, why? If not, why?
~Reading: Exodus 4-9
Staff into snake: Exodus 4:8-9, 12-13
(8-9) The Lord told Moses and Aaron, "If Pharaoh demands that you work a sign or wonder, you shall say to Aaron: Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, and it will be changed into a snake."
(12-13) Each one [Pharaoh's magicians] threw down his staff, and it was changed into a snake. But Aaron's staff swallowed their staffs. Pharaoh, however, was obstinate and would not listen to them, just as the Lord had foretold.
First Plague: Water Turned Into Blood:
Exodus 7:15-16, 20-21
(15-16) Tomorrow morning, when he [Pharaoh] sets out for the water, go and present yourself by the river bank, holding in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent. Say to him: The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you with the message: Let my people go to worship me in the desert. But as yet you have not listened.
(20-21) Moses and Aaron did as the Lord had commanded. Aaron raised his staff and struck the waters of the river in full view of Pharaoh and his servants, and all the water of the river was changed into blood. The fish in the river died, and the river itself became so polluted that the Egyptians could not drink its water. There was blood throughout the land of Egypt.
Second Plague: the Frogs
Exodus 7:25-27, 8:2, 4, 8-9, 11
(7:25-27) Seven days passed after the Lord had struck the river. Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and tell him: Thus says the Lord: Let my people go to worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I warn you, I will a send a plague of frogs over all your territory.
(8:2)Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.
(4)Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Pray the Lord to remove the frogs from me and my subjects, and I will let the people go off to offer sacrifice to the Lord."
(8-9)After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh's presence, Moses implored the Lord to fulfill the promise he had made to Pharaoh about the frogs; and the Lord did as Moses had asked. The frogs in the houses and the courtyards and fields died off.
(11) But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he became obdurate and would not listen to them, just as the Lord had foretold.
Third Plague: the Gnats: Exodus 8:13, 15
(13) They [Moses and Aaron] did so. Aaron stretched out his hand, and with his staff he struck the dust of the earth, and gnats came upon man and beast. The dust of the earth was turned into gnats throughout the land of Egypt. (15) The magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." Yet Pharaoh remained obstinate and would not listen to them, just as the Lord had foretold.
Fourth Plague: the Flies: Exodus 8:18-20, 26-28
(18-20) [The Lord said:] But on that day I will make an exception of the land of Goshen: there shall be no flies where my people dwell, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. I will make this distinction between my people and your people. This sign shall take place tomorrow." This the Lord did. Thick swarms of flies entered the house of Pharaoh and houses of his servants; throughout Egypt the land was infested with flies.
(26-28) When Moses left Pharaoh's presence, he prayed to the Lord; and the Lord did as Moses had asked. He removed the flies from Pharaoh and his servants and subjects. Not one remained. But once more Pharaoh became obdurate and would not let the people go.
Fifth Plague: the Pestilence: Exodus 9:2-3, 6-7
(2-3) If you refuse to let them go and persist in holding them, I warn you, the Lord will afflict all your livestock in the field- your horses, asses, camels, herds, and flocks- with a very sever pestilence.
(6-7) And on the next day the Lord did so. All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one beast belonging to the Israelites. But though Pharaoh's messengers informed him that not even one beast belonging to the Israelites had died, he still remained obdurate and would not let the people go.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong