Exodus

Exodus

Exodus 8:16-19

The Plague of Gnats

16 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,' and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats." 17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats. 18 But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.

Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, 19 the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh's heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.

Reflection

Okay, just one more plague.

Gnats.

This is the first plague that the Egyptian magicians are unable to repeat. They eventually acknowledge this is far beyond what they can perform (19).

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,' and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats." (16). The word ‘dust' ('apar - עָפָר) echos back to the story of Abraham where God promises him that his offspring will be ‘as the dust of the earth' (Genesis 13:16) - in other words, beyond anyone's ability to count.

Abraham's blessing is held in contrast with the plague of gnats.

God has promised blessing and abundant life, the gnats, therefore, represent a reversal where the sign of dust as blessing has become a curse for those who have cursed Abraham's offspring.

Moses says at the start of Deuteronomy (in the wilderness having been released from Egypt) "The Lord your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky. May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!" (Deut 1:10-11)

We are fortunate to see the bigger story. The Bible offers us a birds eye view of God's plan. We can see throughout scripture that God's big plan is blessing from beginning to end. When it seems like our birthright of blessing is being thrown in our face, we know that God is faithful to the end. That he is more powerful than we dare imagine and nothing will stop him.

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