8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a brick kiln, and have Moses toss it into the air while Pharaoh watches. 9 The ashes will spread like fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, causing festering boils to break out on people and animals throughout the land.”
10 So they took soot from a brick kiln and went and stood before Pharaoh. As Pharaoh watched, Moses threw the soot into the air, and boils broke out on people and animals alike. 11 Even the magicians were unable to stand before Moses, because the boils had broken out on them and all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and just as the Lord had predicted to Moses, Pharaoh refused to listen.
The Lord continues to prove Who is God and who is not. We are blessed to see that everything that He is doing is a message to Pharaoh and his officials about the gods they serve and the Lord’s power over them.
This plague comes with no warning. I am reminded of the Lord’s first meeting with Moses in Midian when Moses’ response to this assignment was ‘you don’t mean me, I can’t do it, suppose they won’t listen to me?‘ The Lord said, “What is that in your hand?”
This time the Lord tells Moses, “Take handfuls of soot” from the brick kiln that the Israelites are forced to use as slaves and toss it in the air as the one who is forcing you watches. He will learn that “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…(Psalm 24:1).” Even the brick kiln and the soot within it belongs to the Lord and should be used for His glory.
Colossians 1:16 comes to my heart, “For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Even the brick kiln, the soot, Pharaoh, the Egyptians, the Israelites, and Moses belong to the Lord. All people, all things for His glory!
This plague is the first one to present a health hazard and severe human pain. Can you imagine? Festering boils? Open boils and soot is not a combination that I want any part of and I am sure the Egyptians and animals did not either. The supposedly powerful magicians were so weak and effected that they could not even stand before Moses.
The Egyptians god, Sekhmet, who was suppose to have power over disease is proven powerless along with Isis, the god of healing. They were found powerless to heal the animals and people. Isaiah 43:10-13, “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me…Yes, and from ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
We read these Scriptures and find encouragement in the depth of God’s love, care, and concern for His children. The Lord raising a standard against the enemy of His people. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” And yet…Pharaoh’s heart has hardened to the point that the Lord will allow it to take its course as He continues to deliver His children for His glory!
No matter what the true believer faces, “life happens, stuff comes.” Immanuel, God is with us. Jesus is our Standard! The war was won at Calvary and He has caused us to be victors through His shed blood and resurrection from the dead. He is our Victor, our Standard, our Banner, our Defense…it is good to trust in the Lord. Yes, there will be trouble and the enemy has all kinds of strategies…but know, no weapon formed shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17) for those who are in Christ!