v1: Pharaoh and his servants persisted in disobedience to the L-rd Himself. Whenever we persist in disobedience it will have an adverse effect on us spiritually.
· G-d wanted to give greater revelation. Although G-d did not cause Pharaoh’s disobedience He used it to manifest revelation – more and more people saw the power and authority of G-d. G-d used this disobedience for the purpose of adding to those who left Egypt (a mixed multitude – Exodus 12:38)
v2: The mighty things I have done – G-d is referring to the pain and suffering which He had brought about. These signs revealed to all of Egypt who G-d was and is – sovereign and has absolute authority (Psalm 115:3). What pleases G-d? That which is holy and righteous. That which is good, right and proper.
v3: How could Pharaoh show he was humble? By sending the Hebrews out into the wilderness, as G-d had requested. Humility is agreeing with G-d and participating in His will.
v4: Tomorrow – G-d continues to show Pharaoh that He is in control of time. Nothing happens early and nothing happens late. G-d’s timing is always perfect.
· Nobody wants locusts in their land. They are extremely destructive.
v5: Cover the face of the earth – a Hebrew idiom. These locusts were going to be so thick that you wouldn’t have been able to see the ground. Whatever had survived, or whatever had been spared, these locusts were going to destroy. This was an announcement of total loss coming.
v6: There had been bad plagues of locusts in the past – but never any like this one. This was going to be unique in its severity. G-d does not delight in destruction, but he uses it to reveal to people His displeasure – so they are able to repent and change their ways while they still have time.
v7: In an attempt to save their own necks Pharaoh’s servants are now agreeing (in a sort of way) with Moses, and urging Pharaoh to humble himself and send the men to serve G-d. His consistent and persistent disobedience is like stepping on continuous landmines (snares). Each step of disobedience causes destruction.
· “Let the men go”: Their advice is called partial obedience. Partial obedience before G-d is no obedience whatsoever.
v8: Pharaoh calls Moses and Aaron back into his presence. He wants to know all the information about who’s leaving.
v9: The primary purpose for them to leave Egypt (for us to leave the things of this world) was to worship G-d (Exodus 3:12). The whole point of the exodus was to reposition the people and bring them to the point, and the place, where they could worship G-d.
v10: He = Pharaoh. Pharaoh is warning Moses to proceed cautiously. He is implying to Moses that if Moses continues to go in this direction (wanting to take everyone – including the little ones) it is going to be evil for Moses, as he and the people will suffer Pharaoh’s wrath.
v11: Pharaoh now makes it very clear to Moses that he is allowed to take only the men into the wilderness.
· “That is what you desired” – Pharaoh tells a lie here. He’s misrepresenting what Moses had said. He was trying to get Moses to compromise. We should NEVER compromise truth. We do not have the liberty to compromise the authority of the Biblical text.
v12-13: In Scripture an east wind speaks of judgment (Jonah 4:8, Psalm 48:7 etc)
v14: It is emphasised that this was a unique plague – Pharaoh should have seen this and realized that this was a sovereign and authoritative G-d.
v15: There were so many locusts that the earth became dark because of them. They caused total annihilation. This was not new to Pharaoh – he had been warned.
v16: This is good! Pharaoh has now come to the realisation. and understands the concept, that he has sinned.
v17: Pharaoh has grown in his knowledge of Biblical truth, but the problem is he’s not submitting to it. He is now saying the right thing – but his heart remains unchanged. Pharaoh knows that if there is no change, if G-d doesn’t bring restoration, all of Egypt is going to die. Sin brings about death.
v18: Moses prayed and interceded on Pharaoh’s behalf.
v19: Based upon the intercession of Moses for Pharaoh, G-d changed the direction of the wind.
v20: So what did G-d do that caused Pharaoh’s heart to become hard again? G-d took away the punishment. When Pharaoh saw an opportunity to persist in his will, the punishment was over, he forgot about G-d and went right back to his will. This is a sign of someone who is a false believer. Pharaoh is a sad representation of the human race. Unfortunately, this is how many, many people behave toward G-d.