Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 9:13—10:29 we come to the third group of plagues. Like the first two groups, this group also is composed of three plagues. We have seen that God used the first six plagues to expose the actual condition of the water, the earth, and the air, all of which are necessary for man’s livelihood. As we shall now see, in the third group of plagues God altered some of the principles that govern the functions of the universe.
In Genesis 1 and 2 God restored the universe which had been judged because of Satan’s rebellion. As a result of God’s judgment, darkness was upon the surface of the deep (Gen. 1:2). Everything had become void and desolate. In His work of restoration and further creation, God caused the light to appear, and then He gathered the waters together so that the dry land could come forth. On this land various kinds of life—grass, herbs, and trees—came into being. Then God created the sun, the moon, and the stars, which are necessary for the development of higher life on earth. Through this procedure, God prepared everything necessary for man’s living on earth. Therefore, the Bible reveals that the heavens are for the earth, the earth is for man, and man with his human spirit is for God.
Because the heavens are for the earth, they provide sunshine, wind, and rain to sustain life on earth. Without these three things, nothing can grow. Man must have such a provision if he is to live on earth for the fulfillment of God’s purpose.
Genesis 2:5 indicates that in order for things to grow, there is the need of two things: rain to water the earth and a man to till the ground. Rain is a basic factor in the growth of living things on earth. Rain is primarily for life, to enable living things to grow. The function of rain is both to cause plants and trees to grow and to quench the thirst of man.
During the ninth conflict between the Lord and Pharaoh, the Lord changed the function of the rain (9:13-35). Instead of water, there was hail that damaged the produce of the earth. In this plague God changed one of the functions of the universe; that is, He changed one of the natural principles governing the universe.
The universe was not only created by God, but also arranged and ordained by Him to meet the need of man. Therefore, God has ordained certain principles or laws to govern the function of the universe. In the seventh plague God changed the principle related to the functions of rain. The rain no longer watered the earth for the production of life, but became hail to damage the life on earth. Instead of quenching people’s thirst, it killed them. Exodus 9:23 says that as the hail was coming down, fire ran along above the ground. Furthermore, the fire was even mingled with the hail (v. 24). Hence, two extremes were mingled together as an indication that God had changed the function of the universe.
It is possible to apply this plague to our own spiritual experience. If our relationship with God is proper, He sends the spiritual rain upon us to water the garden in our spirit and to quench our thirst. But if we are stubborn or rebellious against the Lord, our relationship with Him is destroyed, and He alters the spiritual function of the rain by sending hail upon our spirit and fire with the hail. This change of spiritual function causes severe damage.
In the eighth plague, which took place during the tenth conflict (10:1-20), we see a change in another function of the universe. This time God changed the function of the wind. When the wind functions normally, it sends a supply of fresh air. If there were no wind at all, we all would suffocate. We thank the Lord for the function of wind to sustain our life on earth. Spiritually speaking, the Lord is also the wind to us. The line of a hymn says, “I cannot breathe enough of Thee, O gentle breeze of love” (Hymns, #172). For a proper spiritual life, we need to experience Christ as a gentle breeze.
In the eighth plague God altered the function of the wind so that it no longer supplied fresh air to support life, but caused locusts to appear which devoured what remained from the plague of the hail. The hail destroyed herbs and trees in a rough way, but the locusts did a finer work to devour the plant life. As 10:15 says, the locusts “covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.” What a thorough work was done by the locusts! In judging the Egyptians and in educating both them and the children of Israel, God did a fine, detailed work. After the hail, the locusts came to consume the life supply. This was caused by a change in one of the functions of the universe.
After the first eight plagues, it seems that there was no need for further judgment or education. Look how much damage had been done to the land of Egypt. The water had become blood, the dust had become lice, the water had brought forth frogs, flies had polluted the air, pestilence had destroyed the cattle, boils had broken forth upon man and beast, the rain had been changed into hail, and the wind had brought in locusts. What thorough destruction! If I had been there, I would have told the Lord that these plagues were sufficient, for everything had been destroyed.
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