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Saturday, September 21 2013
Exodus 10: Locusts and Darkness
"Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more"
The plagues upon the obstinate Pharaoh were nearing completion. The Pharaoh was about to make history (see also Ipuwer's Exodus): "That thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD" ("the LORD God" was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God).
"10:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: 10:2 And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD." (Exodus 10:1-2 KJV)
The Pharaoh was completely free to obey or to disobey the LORD - as he did repeatedly. The Pharaoh's heart was "hardened" by the LORD is a figure of speech that describes the Pharaoh's stubborn refusal of the LORD's command - in the same way that anyone can make an already stubborn minded person behave in a stubborn manner, that they weren't yet doing, by telling them to do something. They can then be "hardened" further by further demands.
The next plague would be that of locusts that "shall cover the face of the earth." The Pharaoh was warned.
"10:3 And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. 10:4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: 10:5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: 10:6 And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.
Rather than heeding the warning, the Pharaoh refused and once again drove Moses and Aaron away.
"10:8 And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go?
So then came the locusts. "They covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt."
"10:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left.
As he had done before, the Pharaoh repented when he was blessed by the LORD with a another means to humble himself. Notice carefully what the Pharaoh said: "I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. Now therefore forgive, I pray thee." Unfortunately, for him, his repentance was shallow and temporary.
"10:16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 10:17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only.
Then came the plague of darkness "in all the land of Egypt three days."
"10:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
The Pharaoh squandered his last opportunity to repent. After the darkness would come the death of the firstborn (also a clue as to the identity of that particular Pharaoh - he was not the firstborn son of the previous Pharaoh).
"10:24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.
Fact Finder: What other sort of "locusts" will obstinate humanity inflict upon itself just before the return of Jesus Christ?
This Day In History, September 21
454: Flavius Aetius, Roman general and statesman, died. He was a commander against the Hunnish, Frankish, Burgundian and Gothic tribes of central Europe (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
455: Amidst the decline and fall of the original Roman Empire, Emperor Avitus entered Rome with a Gallic army to unify his rule. Over the following centuries, the prophetic Roman Empire was continued by Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1451: Jews in the Netherlands were forced to wear an identifying badge.
1520: Suleiman "the Magnificent" became the Ottoman sultan. The Ottoman Empire held Jerusalem for centuries before it was liberated by the British during the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate; also listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1435: Charles VII of France and Philip the Good agreed to end the alliance between the English and Burgundy in the Hundred Years' War.
1643: Abahai, Chinese military leader and emperor, died at age 51. He established the Ch'ing Dynasty that ruled China from 1644 to 1911.
1745: The Battle of Prestonpans. Hanoverian forces under Sir John Cope were defeated by the Jacobite forces of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.
1792: The First French Republic was proclaimed when the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.
1897: The New York Sun published its famous "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" (the present-day lie of "Santa Claus" was invented in New York; the myth of the "jolly old elf" was based upon a violent, fanatical Turkish bishop of the Church of Rome who lived centuries earlier; see Could Santa Claus Have Become The Pope?).
1915: The ancient stone monuments at Stonehenge were sold at auction to an Englishman, who later donated the site to the nation.
1931: Britain went off the gold standard i.e. currency was of monetary value based solely upon the government's word.
1934: A typhoon struck western Honshu, Japan, killing over 3,000 people.
1938: A hurricane struck parts of New England, causing widespread damage and claiming more than 600 lives.
1949: The People's Republic of China was proclaimed by its Communist revolutionary leaders Mao Tse-Tung.
1949: Germany was officially split into 2 separate countries - West Germany (under western allies control) and East Germany (under the control of the Soviet Union). The division of Germany didn't last, as it never did before (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro! and listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1964: Malta became independent from the United Kingdom.
1972: As a response to his losing control of his U.S.-backed dictatorship, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos signed a proclamation to place the Philippines under martial law.
1978: Two Soviet cosmonauts set a space endurance record after 96 days in orbit.
1991: Armenia became independent from the Soviet Union.
1993: Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspended Parliament and discarded the constitution, thereby beginning the Russian constitutional crisis of that year.