7 The Lord answered Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet. 2 You must say whatever I command you; then Aaron your brother must declare it to Pharaoh so that he will let the Israelites go from his land. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 Pharaoh will not listen to you, but I will put my hand into Egypt and bring the military divisions of my people the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. 5 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the Israelites from among them.”6 So Moses and Aaron did this; they did just as the Lord commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh tells you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh. It will become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent. 11 But then Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers—the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same thing by their occult practices. 12 Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs. 13 However, Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
The First Plague: Water Turned to Blood
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hard: He refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning. When you see him walking out to the water, stand ready to meet him by the bank of the Nile. Take in your hand the staff that turned into a snake. 16 Tell him: The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you: Let my people go, so that they may worship[a] me in the wilderness, but so far you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: Here is how you will know that I am the Lord. Watch. I am about to strike the water in the Nile with the staff in my hand, and it will turn to blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, the river will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable to drink water from it.”19 So the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over their rivers, canals, ponds, and all their water reservoirs—and they will become blood. There will be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.”20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded; in the sight of Pharaoh and his officials, he raised the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile was turned to blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad the Egyptians could not drink water from it. There was blood throughout the land of Egypt.22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same thing by their occult practices. So Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 23 Pharaoh turned around, went into his palace, and didn’t take even this to heart. 24 All the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink because they could not drink the water from the river. 25 Seven days passed after the Lord struck the Nile.
The Second Plague: Frogs
8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him: This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, then I will plague all your territory with frogs. 3 The Nile will swarm with frogs; they will come up and go into your palace, into your bedroom and on your bed, into the houses of your officials and your people, and into your ovens and kneading bowls. 4 The frogs will come up on you, your people, and all your officials.”5 The Lord then said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, canals, and ponds, and cause the frogs to come up onto the land of Egypt.” 6 When Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 But the magicians did the same thing by their occult practices and brought frogs up onto the land of Egypt.8 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Appeal to the Lord to remove the frogs from me and my people. Then I will let the people go and they can sacrifice to the Lord.”9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor of choosing. When should I appeal on behalf of you, your officials, and your people, that the frogs be taken away from you and your houses, and remain only in the Nile?”10 “Tomorrow,” he answered.Moses replied, “As you have said, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God, 11 the frogs will go away from you, your houses, your officials, and your people. The frogs will remain only in the Nile.” 12 After Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord for help concerning the frogs that he had brought against Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did as Moses had said: the frogs in the houses, courtyards, and fields died. 14 They piled them in countless heaps, and there was a terrible odor in the land. 15 But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
The Third Plague: Gnats
16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the land, and it will become gnats[b] throughout the land of Egypt.” 17 And they did this. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and when he struck the dust of the land, gnats were on people and animals. All the dust of the land became gnats throughout the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried to produce gnats using their occult practices, but they could not. The gnats remained on people and animals.19 “This is the finger of God,” the magicians said to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
The Fourth Plague: Swarms of Flies
20 The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh when you see him going out to the water. Tell him: This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship[c] me. 21 But if you will not let my people go, then I will send swarms of flies[d] against you, your officials, your people, and your houses. The Egyptians’ houses will swarm with flies, and so will the land where they live.[e] 22 But on that day I will give special treatment to the land of Goshen, where my people are living; no flies will be there. This way you will know that I, the Lord, am in the land. 23 I will make a distinction[f] between my people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.”24 And the Lord did this. Thick swarms of flies went into Pharaoh’s palace and his officials’ houses. Throughout Egypt the land was ruined because of the swarms of flies. 25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go sacrifice to your God within the country.”26 But Moses said, “It would not be right[g] to do that, because what we will sacrifice to the Lord our God is detestable to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what the Egyptians detest in front of them, won’t they stone us? 27 We must go a distance of three days into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he instructs us.”28 Pharaoh responded, “I will let you go and sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but don’t go very far. Make an appeal for me.”29 “As soon as I leave you,” Moses said, “I will appeal to the Lord, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will depart from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. But Pharaoh must not act deceptively again by refusing to let the people go and sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 Then Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and appealed to the Lord. 31 The Lord did as Moses had said: He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people; not one was left. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also and did not let the people go.
The Fifth Plague: Death of Livestock
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him: This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go and keep holding them, 3 then the Lord’s hand will bring a severe plague against your livestock in the field—the horses, donkeys, camels, herds, and flocks. 4 But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that the Israelites own will die.” 5 And the Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” 6 The Lord did this the next day. All the Egyptian livestock died, but none among the Israelite livestock died. 7 Pharaoh sent messengers who saw that not a single one of the Israelite livestock was dead. But Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not let the people go.
The Sixth Plague: Boils
8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of furnace soot, and Moses is to throw it toward heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 It will become fine dust over the entire land of Egypt. It will become festering boils on people and animals throughout the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took furnace soot and stood before Pharaoh. Moses threw it toward heaven, and it became festering boils on people and animals. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians as well as on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had told Moses.
The Seventh Plague: Hail
13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh. Tell him: This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 14 For this time I am about to send all my plagues against you,[h] your officials, and your people. Then you will know there is no one like me on the whole earth. 15 By now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague, and you would have been obliterated from the earth. 16 However, I have let you live for this purpose: to show you my power and to make my name known on the whole earth. 17 You are still acting arrogantly against[i] my people by not letting them go. 18 Tomorrow at this time I will rain down the worst hail that has ever occurred in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 Therefore give orders to bring your livestock and all that you have in the field into shelters. Every person and animal that is in the field and not brought inside will die when the hail falls on them.” 20 Those among Pharaoh’s officials who feared the word of the Lord made their servants and livestock flee to shelters, 21 but those who didn’t take to heart the Lord’s word left their servants and livestock in the field.22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven and let there be hail throughout the land of Egypt—on people and animals and every plant of the field in the land of Egypt.” 23 So Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail. Lightning struck the land, and the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. 24 The hail, with lightning flashing through it, was so severe that nothing like it had occurred in the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 25 Throughout the land of Egypt, the hail struck down everything in the field, both people and animals. The hail beat down every plant of the field and shattered every tree in the field. 26 The only place it didn’t hail was in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were.27 Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron. “I have sinned this time,” he said to them. “The Lord is the righteous one, and I and my people are the guilty ones. 28 Make an appeal to the Lord. There has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.”29 Moses said to him, “When I have left the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know the earth[j] belongs to the Lord. 30 But as for you and your officials, I know that you still do not fear the Lord God.”31 The flax and the barley were destroyed because the barley was ripe[k] and the flax was budding, 32 but the wheat and the spelt were not destroyed since they are later crops.[l]33 Moses left Pharaoh and the city, and spread out his hands to the Lord. Then the thunder and hail ceased, and rain no longer poured down on the land. 34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his officials. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not let the Israelites go, as the Lord had said through Moses.
Chapter 7 tells us that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to prolong the signs and wonders as judgment on the Egyptians. The Egyptians had done wrong and judgement was in order. But what made the Israelites different than the Egyptians? Had they never done anything wrong? Were they perfectly innocent and without sin? Of course not. They deserved judgement just like the Egyptians. What made them different was God’s choosing them as His people and his covenant with them.
The same is true for christians. We deserve God’s judgement, but in his sovereign grace, he extends mercy and forgiveness through Jesus. And in Jesus, we are eternally secure. Have you accepted His grace and given your life to Him?