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Lessons in Patience

can get brutal.

Exodus 7:25-8:14 (ESV)

Seven full days passed after the LORD had struck the Nile. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “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. The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.”’”  And the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt!’” So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “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.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.” And he said, “Tomorrow.” Moses said, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. The frogs shall go away from you and your houses and your servants and your people. They shall be left only in the Nile.” So Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the LORD about the frogs, as he had agreed with Pharaoh. And the LORD did according to the word of Moses. The frogs died out in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank.

This time, the Egyptian God Heqet (or Heket or Heqt), the goddess of fertility and childbirth gets hit.

Frogs were considered manifestations of Heqet and were so revered that killing one was a crime. Cleaning them out of ovens would have been difficult to do properly. At last, Pharaoh shows signs of weakening. He asks Moses and Aaron to, “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.”

They do this but then the Egyptians have to shovel piles of dead frogs. Given how much they are revered, this must have grossed them out. Heqet is totally trashed.

There’s a twist here that must have been especially hard on Moses and Aaron, but should encourage us. Not only does God take His own sweet time releasing Israel from its bondage, in this passage Pharaoh acts like he’s about to come around. He’s not, and God has made it clear that he’s not, but Moses and Aaron could be forgiven for getting their hopes up. That’s got to be tough.

If God seems to be teaching you patience, take heart; He takes those lessons very seriously.

Note: starting next week, the DEEP will be six days a week – Monday through Saturday.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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