Ten destructive plagues; God’s judgement poured out on the Egyptian landscape, the livestock, the people, their evil king, and their dead gods.
Notice the pattern. Before the first plague (blood) and second plague (frogs), God instructed Moses to go to Pharoah to warn him of the impending doom (Exodus 7:15; 8:1). But before the third plague (gnats), God did not send Moses to Pharoah (Exodus 8:16). Likewise, before the fourth (flies) and fifth (death of livestock) plagues, God sent Moses to Pharoah with a warning (Exodus 7:15; 8:1), but before the sixth (boils), God gave no warning (Exodus 9:8-10). Again, before the seventh plague (hail) and the eighth plague (locusts), Moses was dispatched to warn Pharaoh (Exodus 9:13; 10:1). Before the nineth plague (darkness), God offered no warning (Exodus 10:21). Warning, warning, no warning. Warning, warning, no warning. Warning, warning, no warning. The tenth and final plague stands alone. Interesting?
Before the second plague was unleashed, “the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go in to Pharaoh and tell him: This is what the Lordsays: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. But if you refuse to let them go, then I will plague all your territory with frogs. The Nile will swarm with frogs; they will come up and go into your palace, into your bedroom and on your bed, into the houses of your officials and your people, and into your ovens and kneading bowls. The frogs will come up on you, your people, and all your officials’ ” (Exodus 8:1-4).
“Mr. Pharoah, sir, if you don’t submit to the Living God, then God will cause a tsunami of frogs to pour from the Nile and into every corner of your palace. You won’t sleep because your bed will be alive with frogs. You won’t eat because your kitchens and banquet hall will be infested with frogs. You won’t walk through your splendid galleries or down your ornate garden pathways without squishing a frog with every step. And... not just your palace, but every home of every Egyptian!” Pharoah didn’t submit, so “frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt” (Exodus 8:6).
The Nile River ran blood-red for “seven days” (Exodus 7:25). I wonder how long the stubborn king resisted. Seven days? How many days did he listen to his wife and family complain? How many times did he hear his servants whispering? Did his underlings dare to enter the king’s presence, begging that he do something to alleviate the nasty mess? How many days did Pharoah, king of Egypt, curse Moses and his God, and those blasted frogs?
After an unspecified time, “Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Appeal to the Lord to remove the frogs from me and my people’ ” (Exodus 8:8) so “Moses cried out to the Lord for help concerning the frogs” (Exodus 8:12).
The frogs didn’t just hop away into the sunset. No! They rolled over and died. Dead frogs were everywhere. In the days that followed, every able-bodied man was on frog-scooping duty! “They piled them in countless heaps, and there was a terrible odor in the land” (Exodus 8:14). The stench, the smell of death and decay, lasted for weeks.
Pharaoh “hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15).