21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”
25 But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”
27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”
29 “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.” Exodus 10:21-29
For the Egyptians, there was no visible source of light during this plague: no sun, moon, stars, nothing. It was pitch black. With no source of light they could not go anywhere or do anything.
It’s rare that we find ourselves in situations where this is the case. Often after we turn out the lights, we cannot see anything until our eyes adjust to the glimmer of light. But in Egypt it was completely dark. Of course Pharaoh wanted to restore the light by any means possible, but he did it again. He tried to seek a way out on his terms. And it worked, but it was merely a temporary fix.
When darkness is total, you’ll do or say anything to get it back. Most people do not see the darkness they are in. There’s enough light for them to find safe haven in. Their darkness is not so bad.
We’ve seen many instances, however, when the darkness around people is so complete, the best option they have is to look up. They have other options, of course, but those are too dark to comtemplate. Unfortunately, sometimes people have to come to the end of themselves before they realize that they can’t do it on their own. When you see loved ones doing it, it’s painful and unbearable. But often it’s what God uses to draw them to Himself.
You probably know someone in this situation. Pray as if their life depends on it, because it may.