We now start the third triad of plagues. Each group of three has its own dynamic. The purpose of this group was to divide the enemy.
Moses announced the plague of hail coming on Egypt with the proviso that anyone who got their cattle indoors would escape the economic ruin. By now the wealthy had spent their money to restore their herds which had been destroyed by the plague. That represented a huge capital investment since all the cattle in Egypt had died in the first round.
So all the rich and famous had a tough choice to make. They could stand in solidarity with Pharaoh and simply ignore the Hebrew prophet, or they could allow their neighbors to see that they did not trust the Egyptian gods to protect them from the Hebrew God.
In other words, fear of man or fear of God!
If they went with fear of man, it would most likely cost them a whole lot of money – all the money they just spent on cattle to restock the farm. So far, the Hebrew prophet had not missed a single call. (Wish ours were halfway that good!)
If they went with fear of God, one had to watch his back carefully for fear of retribution from Pharaoh who could be pretty deadly himself when he was unhappy with life.
By now, the fear of God was so widespread in the land, that huge numbers of people brought their cattle in. And the day after, they could look their neighbors in the eye, because the neighbors had dead cattle to deal with – for the second time in a brief space. What an offense. Not only did your cattle die, but you have the added expense and inconvenience of dealing with the dead cattle – while your pesky neighbors are watching their live cattle graze, getting them fat for a market that once again is heading high!
Defiance in humans is common. God waits long, but when He decides to bring people to their knees, He knows how to do it.
Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk
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