“Now the Lord had said to Moses, ‘I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.’ (The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)” (Exodus 11:1-3 NIV84)
The last plague was about to take place. God was telling Moses what the last plague was going to be and what He wanted the children of Israel to do during and after this plague. Why? Because after this plague they would be leaving for home. Before we get to the Passover and its many applications to our daily lives, let’s look at all that had changed since the first plague took place. Remember that early on the Egyptians were treating the Israelites ruthlessly. They were putting them through hard labor and killing their male children. During the first two or three plagues they mocked Moses and Aaron because they seemed to have the same abilities as Moses’ and Aaron’s God. But we know that they were only forgers and copycats. In the middle plagues the attitude of the leaders began to change. Many of them felt that the hand of God was heavily upon them in these plagues. By the time we got to the plague of hail, many of the Egyptians heeded the Lord’s warning and brought their slaves and animals in for protection. God tells us in our verses for today that many of the Egyptians, even the leaders, highly respected Moses and Aaron. God might not have won Pharaoh’s heart, but He certainly won some of the Egyptians’ hearts. God also told Moses that when this tenth plague was over, the Egyptians would actually push the Israelites out of their country. They would give them gold, silver, linens and other things, begging them to leave their country. Now that is a drastic change.
But you see, drastic change is what God is all about. God will use His Word and our life experiences to wake us up and cause us to repent (change). God seeks changed hearts and changed lives. He will not settle for anything less. He will even use the negative experiences of our lives to speak truth into our lives. Paul really meant it when he said in Romans 8 that “God works out all things for the good.” If God could use the devastating plagues to enlighten the hearts of many of the Egyptian people, then He can use the dark parts of our lives to enlighten us as well. Whether He uses the light of His Word or a 2 x 4 on the back of our heads, may we be changed and transformed through the experience. May His Holy Spirit work to soften our hard hearts and enlighten our dark paths. May we experience renewal and change with every encounter we have with God, no matter what the circumstance may be.