A while later, Moses met Pharaoh along the banks of the Nile River.
"Because you will not listen to God and let His people go, God will
turn your river into blood." And the instant Moses' staff touched
the water, it became bright red. Every drop of water turned to
blood. Fish died, and the smell was dreadful. But even after seven
days of this, Pharaoh still refused to listen.
So God sent another plague. And the river grew thick with frogs.
The frogs overflowed the banks and began to cover the ground. Frogs
everywhere! People could not walk without stepping on frogs.
Pharaoh begged Moses to send the frogs away. He even promised to
let God's people go. But when God got rid of the frogs, Pharaoh
broke his promise. Pharaoh thought he could trick God.
And so God sent more plagues. Next there were huge swarms of gnats!
Then millions of flies! And once again Pharaoh promised to let
God's people go. But when the pests were gone, Pharaoh said, "NO!"
Then the Egyptian animals died. Yet Pharaoh still refused. Next,
the Egyptians became covered in horrible, itching sores, but still
Pharaoh said, "NO!" Then God sent locusts, and hail, and even three
days of pitch-black darkness. But Pharaoh's heart remained harder
than a rock.
Finally, God told Moses, "I will send one last plague. To protect
my people, you must mark your homes with lamb's blood. When I pass
over Egypt, I will spare the homes with this mark. But all
firstborn sons in the unmarked homes will die." God did as He said.
Wailing and crying were heard throughout the night. Many Egyptians
died, including Pharaoh's own son. But the Israelites were spared.
At last, Pharaoh gave up. He called Moses before him.
"GO!" he shouted. "Take your people and leave!"
Did the King Have no Choice?
Throughout the Bible, we read the each of us have a choice. We can obey God or disobey him. And we will receive the benefits or the consequences of our decisions. Yet, it seem at first glance of this passage that the Egyptian king's stubborness was caused by God. How can this be?
God gives us the freedom to make our own decisions. When people choose to continually disobey God, he "makes them stubborn." These individuals have already made the choice to turn away from God.
We can compare the king's stubbornness and God's causing him to be stubborn to the following statements:
"Joey flunked history class," and " The history teacher flunked Joey." Both statements are true, but the cause of Joey's failure is Joey.
Similarly, the king already had a proud, stubborn attitude. God did not cause h to have this atitude. He knew the king would not readilyrelease teh Israelites. God used this situation to show both the Israelites and the Egyptians that he is the one true God.