One more night with frogs

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In reading about the plagues that God brought on Egypt so that the Pharaoh would to let His people return to their promised land, an interesting exchange between Moses and Pharaoh was brought to my attention. I think it would be useful to explore it further.

The story of the plagues of Egypt begins in Exodus chapter 7 and carries through chapter 11. On the surface they were manifested to make Pharaoh and the people of Egypt release the Israelites. But at another level, they were significant as types of divine judgment on demonic power in the worship of the Egyptian idols. There were 10 plagues visited on Egypt. In Hebrew culture, the number 10 is the symbolic number for the law signifying completeness of divine judgement on evil. Each plague struck directly at one of their idols.

The plagues humbled their idolatry in the eyes of the Egyptians. It proved the impotence of their gods, in contrast to the God of Moses, Jehovah. All things that were most sacred and were symbolic of their deities to the Egyptian people, were involved in this humiliation and judgment. The plagues proved their gods utter helplessness to defend or avenge themselves.

However, a study of all of the 10 plagues is not the focus of this current lesson. So let’s pick the story up at the second plague; a plague of frogs. The frog was the symbol of human life and fertility. This god was shown as a woman with the head of a frog. She was worshipped as Heqet the frog-headed god.

Exodus 8:1-4 (NKJV) And the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. 3 So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. 4 And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants.”‘”

Pharaoh began to harden his heart when Moses and Aaron performed the first miraculous sign of turning the waters of Egypt into blood, just as God said he would do. His magicians duplicated the sign and he further hardened his heart.

What does it mean to harden your heart? It means to see clear evidence of the hand of God at work and still refuse to accept His Word and submit to His will. It means to resist Him by showing ingratitude and disobedience and not having any fear of the Lord or of His judgments. Hardhearted people say with Pharaoh, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?”

Life was miserable for the Egyptians because of the invasion of the frogs, so much so that Pharaoh asked Moses and Aaron to remove the pests. Apparently such intimacy with the frog-headed god was more than they could stand. Pharaoh even admitted that the frogs had been sent by the Lord. So anxious was he to be rid of the frogs that he offered to let the Jewish people go on their worship trip if Moses and Aaron complied with his request. This was only a scheme to remove the plague, but Moses and Aaron cooperated with him.

Exodus 8:8-10 (NKJV) 8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.” 10 So he said, “Tomorrow.” And he said, “Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 And the frogs shall depart from you, from your houses, from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only.”

This is the exchange that caught my eye. When Moses asked Pharaoh when he wanted the frogs removed, Pharaoh answered, “Tomorrow.” If the plague of frogs was so bad that Pharaoh specifically called for Moses and Aaron so that he could beg them to remove the frogs, why would he want to spend one more night with them?

This, then, is the story behind the title of this lesson “One More Night With the Frogs.”

People that reject the gospel are just like Pharaoh. They love the things of this world. They really don’t want to change from their old sinful nature. They just want to be free from the consequence of their sins. They would rather spend one more night with the frogs.

1 John 2:15-17 NKJV 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

“The pride of life” is one of the commodities that the world system offers. Like Pharaoh, most people go out their way to acquire it. Bible commentator William Barclay put it this way, “Pride is the ground in which all the other sins grow, and the parent from which all the other sins come.” It causes men to be fools:

Proverbs 19:3 NKJV The foolishness of a man twists his wayAnd his heart frets against the Lord.

They are just like Pharaoh, who saw his country ruined by God’s plagues and yet wouldn’t give in to the Lord. He raged against Jehovah and Moses. Fools don’t learn from their mistakes but go right back to their same old mess.

2 Peter 2:22 NKJV But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

That is a disgusting picture Peter paints for us. But sin is disgusting. Like a sow that’s been washed, unbelievers think they look better on the outside; and like a dog that’s vomited, they temporarily feel better on the inside; but they go right back to the old life because they get comfortable with it. Many sinners aren’t interested in repenting and receiving God’s grace; they want only to be delivered from God’s judgment. And, just like Pharaoh, their hearts get hardened to anything that would change their condition.

They keep sliding down an ever increasing spiral that leads into more pride. More pride leads to more disobedience, more drunkenness, more disrespect, more illusion, and more greed. As they sink deeper into that depravity, that despair, their pride keeps getting worse and worse. They don’t see any way out. They are bound to spend one more night with the frogs. But there is a way out.

All the while, Jesus is standing there, knocking on the door of their heart. His arms are outstretched towards them. He is calling to them, “Come to me. You don’t need to spend another night with the frogs. Come to me and I will give you rest.  Come to Me and I will give you peace in your heart and mind. No more torment by the frogs, the lice, or the flies. No more despair; just peace, rest, joy and the calm assurance that you can come to Me anytime with anything and I will hear you.
But, to the very end, Pharaoh was a proud, unrepentant sinner who refused to hear God’s Word, do God’s will, or even keep his own promises to the Jewish people. Pharaoh made his own decisions and hardened his own heart against God.

Today, we do not have to be like Pharaoh. If we realize the love God has for us and the mercies He has shown to sinful men, He will transform us.

Ephesians 2:4-5 NKJV 4 But God, who is rich in mercybecause of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespassesmade us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Lamentations 3:21 NKJV Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumedBecause His compassions fail not.

God in His grace gives us what we do not deserve. God in His mercy does not give us what we do deserve. In His mercy, He will come for us and take us to Himself when we humble ourselves before Him:

James 4:6 NKJV But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:10 NKJV Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

So, humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and be lifted up by Jesus. Do not spend one more night with the frogs. Pray this prayer with me right now.

Lord, I do not want to spend another night with my inner demons. Take my pride, my self-righteousness from me. I ask You now to cleanse me. Transform me. Make me new in Your image. I repent from my wicked ways and follow You. I am a new person because I believe in You. Thank You for dying for me to give me everlasting life in the place of certain death. Amen.

Congratulations! You are a Christian. Keep your heart open to hear from the Lord as He transforms you in His image. You are beginning a most wonderful journey. And you are not alone. Contact us and tell us about your experience. We care about you and are here to help.

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