Passover – the Fourth Plague

Exodus 8:20  And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
21  Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
22  And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
23  And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.
24  And the LORD did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.
25  And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.
26  And Moses said, It is not meet (proper) so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians (animals the Egyptians worshipped) to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?
27  We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us.
28  And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me.
29  And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.
30  And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the LORD.
31  And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one.
32  And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.

The Fourth Plague- Swarms of Flies
(against Khepri – Egyptian God of creation, movement of the Sun, rebirth)

Khepri had the head of a fly.

With the fourth Egyptian plague, which consisted of flies, begins the great miracle ot separation or differentiation. Moses met Pharaoh at the Nile River in the morning and made the demand, speaking on behalf of the Lord, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me.” Again, Pharaoh hardened his heart and disregarded the request, resulting in a pronouncement of swarms of flies.

This time, however, only the Egyptians are affected by the judgement, or plague, and the children of Israel remain unscathed. This wonder also moves the Egyptian plagues to a different level, adding destruction as well as discomfort to the consequence of their decisions.

Plagued by flies, Pharaoh tried a new tactic and begins bargaining with the Lord, showing his desire to maintain power and authority over God. He tries to dictate the terms and conditions of the offer, telling them they may sacrifice but only “in the land” clearly not complying with the requested “three days journey” that the Lord required. Moses wouldn’t budge, and Pharaoh relented allowing them to leave, but telling them not to “go very far.”

This temporary allowance is made solely to have Moses “intreat the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart”, at this point Pharaoh has learned in part who the Lord is and asks for His assistance over the Egyptian gods and goddesses. As soon as the request is granted by the Lord, Pharaoh reneges on his promise and will not let them go, and continues to worship his Egyptian Gods.

Some translations the Hebrew word translated flies in the KJV meansscarab beetles, also called dung beetles, though a more likely translation is flies.)
Whether flies or dung beetles, the Egyptians felt they didn’t need to worry much about it, because one of their most powerful gods, the god of creation who moved the sun was in control of insects!
The name of this god was Khepri, and not only were both beetles and flies supposedly under his control, but he was thought to be such a powerful god, that he even controlled creation, and personally moved the Sun across the sky each day!
The Egyptians depicted Khepri with a dung beetle for his head.  Dung beetles got their name from the fact that they are always seen rolling balls of dung across the ground to their homes. (If anyone should have authority over flies, the Egyptians believed, it should be a god with a dung beetle for a head!)  As the dung beetle rolled a big ball of dung along the ground, so the Egyptians thought Khepri rolled the Sun across the sky each day!
It is interesting that both flies and dung beetles have one thing in common, dung.  They are both attracted to dung.  So Khepri is a dung god!
 But the Egyptians thought he was mighty!  They called Khepri the “self-created god”.  They believed he hadn’t been created as the other gods were, but came into being on his own.  They thought he was able to rise again by his own power.
Yet when God sent the plague, Khepri was of no help at all! God’s message to the Egyptians was… don’t be so proud of your dung god!
That’s His word to many today also.  Often, we’re very proud of our own righteousness.  We think we can try hard and be good enough to please God. In Philippians 3 Paul tells us that he counted his good works and self-righteousness as a pile of dung!  (Literal translation!)
Philippians 3:8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Overcoming the dung god means abandoning all pride in our works and our hope that they will accomplish anything toward our salvation.
Reject the dung god of self-righteousness, and come to the Lord in humility to receive His GRACE!
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