Pharaoh knew the truth when he left Moses standing by a river of blood. He knew that Jehovah appeared to Moses. He knew that Jehovah is Lord. Yet, he still refused to give Israel religious freedom. Pharaoh’s pride short circuited his intelligence. Pharaoh’s religious convictions had been law in the land but the unthinkable happened. A shepherd, someone the Egyptians would not sit at the same table with came into his throne room with evidence of a God greater than the ones he taught a nation to worship. Complicating an already difficult situation, at one time, Moses was an Egyptian prince mighty in words and deeds. I imagine Pharaoh was perplexed that Moses turned his back on the gods that made Egypt a great and glorious land. Pharaoh’s theology about the gods was unraveling. Jehovah waited seven days before he taught Pharaoh why Moses abandoned the religion of Egypt – There is no one like Jehovah.
8 And the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. 3 So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. 4 And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants.”‘”
Moses rod had turned into a serpent eating serpent. The river that sustained life in Egypt had turned into blood, and now frogs will fill the land. Was Jehovah playing with Pharaoh, perhaps even amused by this mortal shepherd who thinks he can enforce his will on a living God? If you really wanted to strike fear in the heart of a mighty ruler of a great nation would you threaten him with a frog.
When you know the truth and harden your heart, you will create misery in your life and the in the lives of everyone under your authority. Once again, Pharaoh denied Israel religious freedom.
5 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.'” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.
Frogs covered the land of Egypt and what do Pharaoh’s servants do but add to the frog problem. If Pharaoh’s lackeys wanted to do something useful they should have made the frogs go away. People who think they possess the power of God when they don’t only add to your problems.
8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.”
We looked at this verse last week. Pharaoh not only believes Jehovah appeared to Moses, he knows Jehovah is Lord because Pharaoh called him Lord. He also knows that Jehovah is greater than the gods he taught a nation to worship because no one in Egypt can undo what Jehovah does. Pharaoh’s only option was to ask Jehovah for relief from the misery his rebellion created. Even devils believe God exists and tremble in his presence yet remain devils. Pharaoh was ready to give Israel religious freedom but was he sincere?
9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.” 10 So he said, “Tomorrow.” And he [Moses] said, “Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 And the frogs shall depart from you, from your houses, from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only.”
Moses gave Pharaoh the honor of deciding when the frogs would leave and Pharaoh said “tomorrow.” Why not today? Jehovah delivers today. Today is the day of salvation, if you hear his voice today don’t harden your heart. Jehovah is shrewd will give you what you want. If you want to be delivered from your misery tomorrow, Jehovah will deliver you tomorrow but tomorrow’s deliverance is gonna stink.
12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh. And Moses cried out to the Lord concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. 13 So the Lord did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields. 14 They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank.
The dead fish in the Nile made the river stink and now dead frogs make the land stink. Arrogant shepherds who refuse to let people worship their God according to their own conscience create a stench. The people who continue to support these shepherds deserve to smell the odor.
Moses said to Pharaoh, “Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God.” Pharaoh learned there is no one like Jehovah, when Jehovah judged him by the words of his own mouth. From this point on everything Jehovah did in his dealings with Pharaoh, he did “tomorrow.” All of the livestock of Egypt died tomorrow. The worst hailstorm ever to come upon a nation came tomorrow. The locust came to eat the crops of Egypt tomorrow. But there was something unique about God’s use of Pharaoh’s “tomorrow.”
Pharaoh used “tomorrow” to delay deliverance one more day. Pharaoh’s tomorrow kept him and all of his servants in misery one more day. God used tomorrow to delay misery until tomorrow. God’s tomorrow gave Pharaoh and all of his servants one more day to repent and escape misery.
34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The “day of judgment” is any day God gives you opportunity to repent. Pharaoh’s heart was evil and out of the evil treasure in his heart he continually brought forth evil things in the land of Egypt, like one more day of suffering when everyone could have been delivered today. God’s heart is good. Therefore, he could not bring forth something evil even when he used Pharaoh’s evil words. Pharaoh was the reason everyone had to spend one more night of misery eyeball deep in frogs. God was the reason misery was delayed one more day in all future judgments against Egypt.
15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the Lord had said.
Pharaoh had promised Moses if the frogs were removed he would let Israel worship Jehovah, but he lied. When misery left, the promise was forgotten. He pushed one more reason to believe to the back of his mind with the other reasons he sought to ignore. He was becoming heavy with truth, treasuring up wrath for the day of wrath. But God does not want Pharaoh to taste his wrath and acted quickly to give Pharaoh another reason to repent.
16 So the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.'” 17 And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. 18 Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”
God sought to heal Pharaoh’s heart every way possible. If Pharaoh did not want hear Jehovah’s people, maybe he would listen to his own people. The magicians of Egypt are Pharaoh’s assistant pastors who help him teach the nation about god. These men believe gods exist, build elaborate temples to worship gods, believe in life after death and spend their entire lives preparing for the journey they must make after they die to face judgment.
Aaron stretched out the rod, the sign that Moses spoke the truth, to turn the dust of Egypt into lice, Pharaoh’s servants tried to make more lice and failed. These religious teachers, servants of Pharaoh, came to their shepherd with their professional opinion – “this is the finger of God.”
Pharaoh knows Jehovah appeared to Moses, he knows Jehovah is Lord, he knows there is no one like Jehovah in Egypt because Pharaoh’s people came into his throne room and told him we cannot do what Jehovah does, this is the act of a God. Even though Pharaoh’s heart is heavy with truth, he chose not to listen “just as the Lord had said.”