The Plagues of Egypt

Michael Wilcock

READ : Psalm 105:26-36

They performed his signs . . . miracles in the land of Ham. (v. 27)

Moses has returned to Egypt after his encounter with God at the burning bush. His reception by his fellow Israelites is warm to start with, but rapidly cools, for his first interview with Pharaoh provokes the king to make life harder still for the Hebrew slaves.

“Now,” the Lord tells him, “you shall see what I will do” (Exod. 6:1). And what the Lord does is to inflict on Egypt 10 terrible plagues. Through them he demonstrates the kind of Lord he is. His power to destroy is awesome, as those who oppose him discover. But his power to distinguish is awesome too. Increasingly, as the plagues progress, he points out that those who trust him are being preserved while the rebellious suffer: “The Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel” (Exod. 11:7).

This is the testimony of all who have understood another wonderful psalm, one always to be read alongside the plague story: “You will not fear . . . the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you” (Ps. 91:5-7).


Say to the Lord ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust’ (Ps. 91:2).