20 Then the Lord told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in Pharaoh’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 21 If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them. 22 But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the Lord and that I am present even in the heart of your land. 23 I will make a clear distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.’”
24 And the Lord did just as he had said. A thick swarm of flies filled Pharaoh’s palace and the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was thrown into chaos by the flies.
25 Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. “All right! Go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God,” he said. “But do it here in this land.”
26 But Moses replied, “That wouldn’t be right. The Egyptians detest the sacrifices that we offer to the Lord our God. Look, if we offer our sacrifices here where the Egyptians can see us, they will stone us. 27 We must take a three-day trip into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, just as he has commanded us.”
28 “All right, go ahead,” Pharaoh replied. “I will let you go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God. But don’t go too far away. Now hurry and pray for me.”
29 Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the Lord, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will disappear from you and your officials and all your people. But I am warning you, Pharaoh, don’t lie to us again and refuse to let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”
30 So Moses left Pharaoh’s palace and pleaded with the Lord to remove all the flies. 31 And the Lord did as Moses asked and caused the swarms of flies to disappear from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. Not a single fly remained. 32 But Pharaoh again became stubborn and refused to let the people go.
In this fourth plague, we are able to truly see the power of God’s hand and that He is able to do what He pleases, when He pleases, where He pleases, and to who He pleases.
What? I will send swarms of flies.
When? Tomorrow. Gives time for repentance.
Where? Not in Goshen where the Isralites live.
Who? Not My people, the Israelites. Only the Egyptians.
How awesome is our God! How great is love, care, and protection of the Israelites during this judgement.
We also see Pharaoh trying to bargain with God. “Yes” to the sacrifices but “No”to leaving. Do it here. God doesn’t bargain. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand (Proverbs 19:21).”
Pharaoh is not the first man to try and bargain with God. For some of us, we are trying to bargain with Him even right now. Some issue of obedience; perhaps forgive someone, turn right instead of left, a new assignment, loving your enemy, quiet times alone with Him, etc. May I say that just as Pharaoh won’t win in this battle of bargaining with God, neither will we. Obedience is the place of blessing. Stubborn resistance and disobedience will only further harden our hearts and hinder sweet fellowship with our Loving Father.