Exodus 8* The plague of frogs. (1-15) The plague of lice. (16-19) Theplague of flies. (20-32)1-15 Pharaoh is plagued with frogs; their vast numbers madethem sore plagues to the Egyptians. God could have plagued Egyptwith lions, or bears, or wolves, or with birds of prey, but hechose to do it by these despicable creatures. God, when hepleases, can arm the smallest parts of the creation against us.He thereby humbled Pharaoh. They should neither eat, nor drink,nor sleep in quiet; but wherever they were, they should betroubled by the frogs. God's curse upon a man will pursue himwherever he goes, and lie heavy upon him whatever he does.Pharaoh gave way under this plague. He promises that he will letthe people go. Those who bid defiance to God and prayer, firstor last, will be made to see their need of both. But whenPharaoh saw there was respite, he hardened his heart. Till theheart is renewed by the grace of God, the thoughts made byaffliction do not abide; the convictions wear off, and thepromises that were given are forgotten. Till the state of theair is changed, what thaws in the sun will freeze again in theshade. 16-19 These lice were produced out of the dust of the earth;out of any part of the creation God can fetch a scourge, withwhich to correct those who rebel against him. Even the dust ofthe earth obeys him. These lice were very troublesome, as wellas disgraceful to the Egyptians, whose priests were obliged totake much pains that no vermin ever should be found about them.All the plagues inflicted on the Egyptians, had reference totheir national crimes, or were rendered particularly severe bytheir customs. The magicians attempted to imitate it, but theycould not. It forced them to confess, This is the finger of God!The check and restraint put upon us, must needs be from a Divinepower. Sooner or later God will force even his enemies toacknowledge his own power. Pharaoh, notwithstanding this, wasmore and more obstinate. 20-32 Pharaoh was early at his false devotions to the river;and shall we be for more sleep and more slumber, when anyservice to the Lord is to be done? The Egyptians and the Hebrewswere to be marked in the plague of flies. The Lord knows themthat are his, and will make it appear, perhaps in this world,certainly in the other, that he has set them apart for himself.Pharaoh unwillingly entered into a treaty with Moses and Aaron.He is content they should sacrifice to their God, provided theywould do it in the land of Egypt. But it would be an abominationto God, should they offer the Egyptian sacrifices; and it wouldbe an abomination to the Egyptians, should they offer to God theobjects of the worship of the Egyptians, namely, their calves oroxen. Those who would offer acceptable sacrifice to God, mustseparate themselves from the wicked and profane. They must alsoretire from the world. Israel cannot keep the feast of the Lord,either among the brick-kilns or among the flesh-pots of Egypt.And they must sacrifice as God shall command, not otherwise.Though they were in slavery to Pharaoh, yet they must obey God'scommands. Pharaoh consents for them to go into the wilderness,provided they do not go so far but that he might fetch them backagain. Thus, some sinners, in a pang of conviction, part withtheir sins, yet are loth they should go very far away; for whenthe fright is over, they will turn to them again. Moses promisedthe removal of this plague. But let not Pharaoh deal deceitfullyany more. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: if we think tocheat God by a sham repentance and a false surrender ofourselves to him, we shall put a fatal cheat upon our own souls.Pharaoh returned to his hardness. Reigning lusts break throughthe strongest bonds, and make men presume and go from theirword. Many seem in earnest, but there is some reserve, somebeloved, secret sin. They are unwilling to look upon themselvesas in danger of everlasting misery. They will refrain from othersins; they do much, give much, and even punish themselves much.They will leave it off sometimes, and, as it were, let their sindepart a little way; but will not make up their minds to partwith all and follow Christ, bearing the cross. Rather than that,they venture all. They are sorrowful, but depart from Christ,determined to keep the world at present, and they hope for somefuture season, when salvation may be had without such costlysacrifices; but, at length, the poor sinner is driven away inhis wickedness, and left without hope to lament his folly.
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