I have a confession to make. I’m scared of frogs. And a myriad of other four legged creatures. (But that’s topic for another day.) I know, I know, they’re cute. And I agree, they’re darling in the Frog and Toad children’s books. I mean who doesn’t love a frog reading a book or riding a bicycle or building a snowman with his best friend (ribbit – ribbit).
Devotional Scripture: Exodus 8:1-15
Key Verse: “Let my people go, that they may serve me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs.” Exodus 8: 1b-2
But I’ve yet to see one cycling down my street. Usually, they’re hiding in the rocks beneath my favorite flower pots, waiting to attack my face. (Word to the wise: Never trust anything with eighteen toes.)
So to think of them invading my home by the droves. Popping out of the oven, leaping from the bread bowl. Wild eyes sneaking up between the couch cushions, lying in wait between my sheets, my pillow. Preying on me at every corner. Croaking, over and over. Long, slow, deep, and rhythmic; for days on end. (I can’t even.)
Yet the Egyptians did, for who knows how long, during the second plague. The second judgment of God on a people who bowed down to anything and everything but Him. Like frogs, for example.
Heqet, the goddess of childbirth and fertility, had the body of a woman and the face of a frog. Women wore an amulet of a frog around their necks during pregnancy. Egyptian midwives called themselves “servants of Heqet.
Naturally, when the Nile annually flooded and receded small pools of water dotted the countryside. Allowing for a vast frog population and an unhealthy reverence for amphibians. Being sacred, the killing of one of these creatures, even if accidental, was punishable by death. So during the God ordained invasion, not a one could be squashed. Can you imagine? After all, what if it was Heqet?
When Pharaoh decided enough is enough, he called on Moses and Aaron. Recognizing God’s authority in the situation he said to them, “Plead with the LORD to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD” (v. 8).
To which Moses replies, “Alright, when would you like them gone?” (My paraphrase.) And here’s the best part. Pharaoh says, “Tomorrow!” Um excuse me? Why not RIGHT NOW! “Well, I think I’d like to sleep with my new slimy friends one more night, if it’s alright with Jesus.”
OK, OK, Pharaoh didn’t say that, but don’t we? Every time we ask the LORD to help us tomorrow, instead of right now? To let us stew just a little longer in anger, before we forgive. Sit in our sin one more night, before we break free. Just one more magazine. One more episode. One more day of binge eating. Then I’ll stop. Then I’ll move on.
LORD Jesus, free us right now! Not tomorrow, today!
But so Pharaoh would know “there is no one like the LORD our God” (v. 10), Moses requested God take the frogs away tomorrow and the LORD did. All of them died, except for those in the Nile. The Egyptians shoveled them into piles and the land stank of dead amphibians. Providing a tangible message to anyone wearing a Heqet amulet – I’m sorry, but your goddess is dead.
It’s Jesus who creates. Jesus who authors life. Jesus who rules and reigns. He is the LORD and there is no other. The one who steps into relationship with Him, honoring Christ as LORD, trusting in Him as Savior, will carry the benefits of salvation from this life into eternity.
But to the one who doesn’t – God’s wrath is waiting. The plagues are not just a window into the sovereignty of God, they are a window into the coming judgment of God; bearing a striking resemblance to the trumpet judgments to come in the last days (i.e. plagues according to Rev. 9:20).
When the first trumpet blows in the time of the tribulation, destructive hail will fill the sky, just as there was in the seventh plague on Egypt. Only next time God rains hail from heaven in judgment of the inhabitants below, it will be mixed with fire. And a third of the earth will be burned up (Rev. 8:7).
At the second trumpet, a third of the sea will be turned to blood (Rev. 8:8). (Sound familiar?) The fourth trumpet will bring darkness, as the ninth plague did to Egypt. And the fifth? Locusts. Only the locusts spoken of in Revelation 9 are not to wreak havoc on the earth, as they did in the eighth plague on Egypt, but on the ungodly. With stinging tails like scorpions, the face of a human, the hair of a woman, and the teeth of a lion, they will torture people for five months (Rev. 9:10).
Boils show up in Revelation 16:2, at the pouring of the first bowl judgment. As does more darkness, one-hundred-pound hail stones, and the rest of the sea and rivers and springs are turned to blood as the other six bowls cascade upon the earth.
And frogs? Spoken of in Revelation 16:13. Coming out of the mouths of the dragon, beast, and false prophet are seen “three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty” (Rev. 16:13b-14).
But these aren’t the only similarities. Israel will yet again be under great persecution. Jeremiah 30:8 describes the time to come, yet the description could easily fit the time of Exodus. “And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him.” So Israel can serve the LORD their God.
Just as we see Satan replicating the miracles of the LORD during the Egyptian plagues, Satan will once again perform counterfeit miracles to deceive the people (Rev. 13:13-15). And the hearts of the ungodly will be hardened as Pharaoh’s was. Though God will send two designated witnesses to work miracles before the world (Rev. 11:3-6), as he sent Moses and Aaron before Egypt.
We have a consistent God. The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Jealous for the worship of His people. Unwilling to let His well-deserved glory go to another. He is not dead, He is alive. The stories of the plagues were real. It happened and it’s going to happen again. Only next time more terrible than the first.
Worship the King, my friend, and no other. He is faithful to His people and faithful to His promises. But He is also faithful to His justice and will not allow the diminishing of His name to go on forever. Judgment is coming, are you ready?
Contemplate and Evaluate:
What similarities do you see between the plagues of Egypt and the End Times? How should the fact that judgment is coming influence us today? Are you ready for the King to come?
photo by Pixabay