Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go 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 If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, 3 the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys and camels and on your cattle, sheep and goats. 4 But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.'”
5 The Lord set a time and said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” 6 And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. 7 Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go. Exodus 9:1-7
The plagues were worsening but Pharaoh was still unrelenting and stubborn. Why, though? He has seen the Lord produce plagues and take them away again. Pharaoh knows it’s nothing his magicians can do at this point, so why does he refuse to let the Israelites go? Is it his pride? Does he honestly believe he can match strength with the Lord.
What’s interesting about this passage is this is the first time the Lord didn’t rescue the Egyptians even though many of the animals died. So the next plague would pile right on top of this one.
How callous of a leader do you have to be to keep doing this to your people? Well, unfortunately, Pharaoh isn’t the worst of leaders, not by a long shot.
As I write this, there are mounting tensions between Iran and the rest of the civilized world. They’ve threatened annihilation of Israel and the United States. Pray for all three countries.
Pray for the people in Iran. They’ve been beaten down for many years. There are Christians in the land but they cannot be vocal.
Pray for wisdom among the leaders of these lands. And pray that the truth will come out about the corruption in the United States that has allowed Iran to continue their nuclear weapons programs.