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  The Great Bible Story #29
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God warns Pharaoh

Jacob Ninan
Moses took Aaron with him and went to meet Pharaoh. He told him that the God of Israel wanted him to let them go into the desert to celebrate a feast. Pharaoh became angry with them thinking that they were planning to take the people away from their work. So he commanded his officials not to give the slaves any hay to mix with the bricks they were making but to ask them to bring it themselves. Now the people of Israel found it harder at work, and their frustration was turned against Moses for making this happen. Moses in turn cried out to God. God told him that even though Pharaoh would harden his heart, He would finally bring out Israel from Egypt with great power.

The next time Moses went to see Pharaoh, he tried to demonstrate the power of God, as He had told him to, by throwing down his shepherd's rod on the floor which immediately turned into a snake. The magicians of Pharaoh imitated this. But Moses' snake swallowed up their snakes. But Pharaoh was tough and would not listen to God.

Then God made different types of plagues fall on Egypt. Each time Moses would warn Pharaoh what God was going to do, and tell him to letting God's people go. The water in the Nile became blood, the land was covered with frogs, lice came to bite man and animal, swarms of flies invaded the place, the cattle that belonged to the Egyptians died, the people all got boils, hailstones fell and killed people and animals who defied God's warnings, swarms of locusts came and ate up all the vegetation, and darkness came over the land for three days. Israel was spared. Every time something happened, Pharaoh would request Moses to pray to God and get rid of it, but after it was gone he would take a tougher position against Moses and the God. He also tried to make partial allowances to Moses, saying that people could go without the children or the animals, etc., but Moses insisted that all the people and their cattle had to go. A point came when God found Pharaoh was always hardening his heart, and then He stopped trying to change his heart and just let him go his way.

God told Moses now that He was going to send a last plague on Egypt after which Pharaoh would only be too happy to see them go. One midnight God would send an angel to kill every first born son of the Egyptians, including Pharaoh, and their animals. The people of Israel were asked to prepare themselves so that this Angel of Death would pass over their homes without touching them.


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