The Plague of Frogs. (Exodus 8:8-10)
by Bishop Jacob Afolabi
When God was preparing to deliver the ancient people of Israel from their Egyptian nursery, (which later became slavery), He employed several means to convince the Pharaoh to “Let my people go….”
On one occasion Frogs came up, at the call of God, and covered the land of Egypt. God has many ways of troubling those who trouble Him!
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.’ ” So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt. (Exodus 8:5-7).
The magicians were permitted to imitate it, (V.7). They also brought up frogs, but could not remove those that God sent. What the magicians needed was to remove the plague of frogs, not to add to it!
But, because of their lack of wisdom, they were too concerned with competition with The LORD than anything else, and went on to add to the plague of frogs.
The unclean spirits which came out of the mouth of the dragon are said to be like frogs, which go forth to the kings of the earth, to deceive them (Rev. 16:13).
God took charge of the situation in Egypt by rebuking every deceiving influence that may cloud the heart of the Egyptians.
Pharaoh relented under this plague: it was the first time he did so, (v. 8). He begs of Moses to intercede for the removal of the frogs, and promises that he will let the people go. He that a little while ago had spoken with the utmost disrespect both of God and Moses, is now glad to beg for the mercy of God and the prayers of Moses.
Those that are playful with prayer have always been brought to beg for it, as the rich man that had scorned Lazarus, later begged him for a drop of water when he came to the end of his life’s journey, in hell!
Then, Moses fixes the time with Pharaoh, and then prevails with God by prayer for the removal of the frogs. Moses, to show that his performances had no dependence upon the conjunctions or oppositions of the planets, or the luckiness of any one hour more than another, like magician do, asked Pharaoh
to name his time.
“And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?” (v. 9). This was designed for Pharaoh’s conviction, that, if his eyes were not opened by the plague of frogs, they might be opened by their miraculous removal.
So various are the methods God takes to bring men to repentance.
Pharaoh sets the time for to-morrow, (v. 10). Why not today? And, why not immediately? Was he so fond of his “ froggy” guests that he would have them stay another night with him? No, but probably he hoped that they would go away of themselves, and then he should get clear of the plague without being obliged either to God or to His servant Moses.
However, Moses joins issue with Pharaoh’s response. “Let it be according to your word. It shall be done just when you would have it done, that you may know that, whatever your magicians pretend to perform is nothing compared with the resources of the Lord our God.
“There is none like Him! None has such a command as He has over all the creatures, nor is any one so ready to forgive those that humble themselves before him.’’
Note, The great design by God, both of judgments and mercies, is to convince us that there is none like the Lord our God, none so wise, so mighty, and so good. No enemy so formidable, no friend so desirable, and so valuable. Moses then applies to God, prays earnestly to him, to remove the frogs.
God answered. The prayer of the righteous avails much.
About the writer
Nigerian-born Bishop Jacob Afolabi is Senior Pastor at the Christ Chapel Bible Church in Ottawa. He is the recipient of many community awards, including the 2017 Black History Ottawa Community Builder award, for his many years of community work. He is the founder of the Ottawa Pastors’ forum and has contributed inspiring articles in community newspapers and commentary on community radio stations, as well training a new generation of pastors. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.