3 PLAGUES OF ILLNESS AND CATASTROPHEKey verse 9:3
God sent the fifth and the sixth plagues in the form of illnesses. The seventh plague came in the form of a natural disaster. Pharaoh's heart remained unchanged.
1. The plague that touched the cattle’s health (9:1-17)
God pushed Moses to go before Pharaoh again. God send a plague that attacked the animals in the fields in Egypt. There was always a clear distinction between the Egyptians field and the Israelites field. This time it was Jehovah who set the time limit for Pharaoh’s decision before sending the plague. Pharaoh asked his servants how bad the damage was and he took note of the difference made between the two fields. Nevertheless, he did not change his mind.
2. The plague of ulcers (9:8-12)
God send this plague giving the Pharaoh's stubbornness. He told Moses to take some dust from the ground and throw it in the air so that it would become ulcers on the skin of men and on that of the cattle. The magicians were unable to mimic Moses and come before the Pharaoh this time as their faces were very badly deformed. As God rightly said, it was not the Pharaoh that hardened his own heart but God himself hardened it. His servants therefore had no need to become discouraged, they just needed to remember what He had predicted : His Word. When faced with a hardened heart, sometimes we imagine that Satan is behind it but in reality it's the work of God. Therefore, we need not fear. Satan, however, works to weaken us by making fear death and failure. We can therefore have no other supporting rock besides God's Word.
3. The plague of hail (9:13-35)God said that in the midst of all these plagues, He would let Pharaoh live. God owns all lives. Pharaoh who kept on resisting Him could have been gone in the blink of an eye. God let him live so that the World would see Him and glorify His name (16). God let hail mixed with fire rain down to destroy everything. During an entire day God had the choice between the two : hail and fire. Those who received the warning were saved but those who did not suffered great losses. This time Pharaoh said “I have sinned”. However, this was simply an expression of his regret and not one of true penitence. He hardened his heart once again and Moses feared that he would never change. However, he interceded for his people once more.