Lent 2013 - Vol. 66.
A Scriptural Reflection on the Ninth Plague

Plague of Darkness, mixed media by Yvette Rock

Reflection by Don Schwager

 The ninth plague came over the land of Egypt without warning. Darkness covered the Egyptians for three whole days and nights. The darkness was so heavy "it could be felt" (Exodus 10:21). No one could see one another or even move safely about their houses. All work and activity ceased, except for the land of Goshen where the Israelites lived. This was an extraordinary sign light dwelt with the people of God, but darkness covered the idol worshipers of Egypt. 

This was an apt symbol for the darkness of sin and unbelief which clouds the mind in moral confusion. Sin not only cripples us from doing good it blinds us to the truth of God's word and causes us to stumble in our own ignorance and unbelief. Sin suffocates love for God and makes the heart cold towards our neighbor. Only the light of Christ can dispel the darkness of sin and restore sight to those who hunger for God. 

Isaiah the prophet pointed to Jesus as the one who would bring light out of great darkness:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. (Isaiah 9:2)
Jesus' teaching repeats the same message : 
Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. (Luke 11:34-35)
After the ninth plague, Pharoah again tries to compromise with God's servant, Moses. "Your people may go and worship in the wilderness, but you must leave behind all your livestock." Pharoah knew they would starve in the wilderness and return to the fleshpots of Egypt. Moses refused to budge from God's command.

If we compromise with sin in any form, we chain ourselves to its prison, unable to escape until we repent and allow the Lord Jesus to set us free.

"Lord Jesus Christ, your took our sins upon yourself and nailed them to the cross. Set me free to walk in your truth and love and to reject the glamor of worldliness and moral corruption."

Plague of darkness

Exodus 10

21 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt."

22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days; 23 they did not see one another, nor did any rise from his place for three days; but all the people of Israel had light where they dwelt. 

24 Then Pharaoh called Moses, and said, "Go, serve the LORD; your children also may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind." 

25 But Moses said, "You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. 26 Our cattle also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the LORD our God, and we do not know with what we must serve the LORD until we arrive there." 

27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. 

28 Then Pharaoh said to him, "Get away from me; take heed to yourself; never see my face again; for in the day you see my face you shall die." 

29 Moses said, "As you say! I will not see your face again."

Go to Next > Plague of the Firstborn 
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See also > The Ten Plagues: A biblical art work series by Yvette Rock
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