Why did God send the plagues? Why? God tells us!
Before the Nile ran red, Moses announced to Pharoah, “Here is how you will know that I am the Lord. Watch. I am about to strike the water in the Nile with the staff in my hand, and it will turn to blood” (Exodus 7:17).
When Pharoah begged Moses to remove the plague of frogs, “Moses replied, ‘As you have said, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God’ ” (Exodus 8:10).
When Moses announced the fourth plague, the swarming insects, He promised God’s special protection for His people, saying, “I will give special treatment to the land of Goshen, where my people are living; no flies will be there. This way you will know that I, the Lord, am in the land” (Exodus 8:22).
Concerning the seventh plague, God said, “you will know there is no one like me on the whole earth” (Exodus 9:14), I will “show you my power and to make my name known on the whole earth” (Exodus 9:16), and you will “know the earth belongs to the Lord” (Exodus 9:29).
Before the eighth plague, the plague of locusts, “the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may do these miraculous signs of mine among them, and so that you may tell your son and grandson how severely I dealt with the Egyptians and performed miraculous signs among them, and you will know that I am the Lord’ ” (Exodus 10:1–2).
Before the tenth and final plague, “the Lord said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt’ ” (Exodus 11:9) and before the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea, the Lord promised, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will pursue them. Then I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord” (Exodus 14:4).
God’s passion is to be known and worshipped! That’s why God announced the seventh plague, the hail! “I will rain down the worst hail that has ever occurred in Egypt from the day it was founded until now” (Exodus 9:18). “The hail, with lightning flashing through it, was so severe that nothing like it had occurred in the land of Egypt since it had become a nation” (Exodus 9:24).
Listen to God’s declaration and note His patience and compassion. “By now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague, and you would have been obliterated from the earth. However, I have let you live for this purpose: to show you my power and to make my name known on the whole earth” (Exodus 9:15-16).
God’s unequalled display of might and majesty prove that He alone is God. The god of the Nile, the god of the sky, the god of this and that, are impotent. Pharoah, who claimed to be god, was powerless!
The ten plagues demonstrate God’s great purpose: the glory of His great name. Our greatest happiness will come when we pursue His glory, delight in His glory, and rejoice in His glory.