And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. ~Exodus 8:16
Exodus 8:16-19 tells of the third plague that God sent to afflict Egypt. It is the plague of the lice, or gnats. Like the previous two plagues, God used this plague to humble the Egyptians. In this situation, God touched the earth, or the dust of Egypt, to get their attention. This morning, let us see the great significance of God sending this plague.
We see the intent.
God told Moses to smite the dust of the land that it may become lice. The Egyptians worshipped the earth god “Geb.” The Egyptians believed that Geb was responsible for giving them fertile earth for their crop growth. In smiting the earth, the Lord demonstrated that He was all-powerful compared to their god. It demonstrated that their god could be altered and changed. The earth, or dust, was turned into an overwhelming number of flying gnats. Instead of being a god that they adored, Geb became a god that was annoying. Instead of being a god that helped, it became a god that harmed. God uses plagues then and now to send a strong message against the worship of false gods. God said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
We see the illustration.
God formed man out of the dust. After Adam sinned, God told him “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Dust speaks about man’s mortality. Every man has a lifespan. Every man will die. There is physical death when this life on earth is over. There is spiritual death when a man dies in his sins and will spend all of eternity in Hell. The judgment of God against the dust made the Egyptians face the reality of their mortality.
We see the incapability.
The Egyptian magicians tried to duplicate the miracle, but they could not. The Egyptians were overwhelmed with gnats. Man and beast were covered with lice. The magicians came to Pharaoh and acknowledged that they had no power against this plague. They said, “This is the finger of God.” These idol worshippers conceded defeat. They acknowledged that they had no power against God. It’s interesting that they described what God did as the finger of God. It testified about how powerful God is. The finger of God wrote the Ten Commandments. The finger of God wrote on the wall and gave a fateful message to King Belshazzar.
There are some closing thoughts. First, God will not be mocked by man’s defiance. Second, Satan is a cheap imitator. Whatever he tries to imitate, God will expose it as a lie and fraud. Third, the Egyptians described God’s awesome power as the finger of God. We would do well to believe, by faith, in the awesome power of God. Last, we must be mindful and sober about our mortality. We only have one life to live. Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ.” Live your life knowing that eternity is just around the corner. Egypt bit the dust. They were defeated in the very area that they thought they were invincible. Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered.
Have a victorious God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Samuel 19-21