The plagues had grown progressively worse. God’s plague on the Nile River was a blow to everyone, but the Egyptians adapted and got by. The frogs were a horrible nuisance too. But the third plague brought physical pain that seemed almost unbearable.
In the third plague, God afflicted the Egyptians with gnats. This was especially difficult, because the Egyptians were fanatics about cleanliness, but they were covered with these insects. The gnats also penetrated their nostrils and ears, which would have been very painful.
Interestingly, while Pharaoh’s magicians duplicated the Nile turning to blood and the plague of frogs, they couldn’t duplicate this one.
This reminds us that although the devil has considerable power, there are limitations to it. We might think that just as God is omnipotent, so is Satan. And just as God is omniscient, so is the devil. But that is not true.
God knows everything; Satan has limited knowledge. God has all power; Satan clearly has limited power.
Even after these plagues, Pharaoh’s heart continued to harden. So, God sent the fourth plague: an invasion of flies. Exodus 8:24 says, “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” (NLT).
Meanwhile, God intervened in an amazing way for His people. From the fourth plague on, God protected the land of Goshen in Egypt where the Israelites lived. While other people in Egypt suffered through the plagues, God protected this area.
Psalm 91 gives us this promise: “Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished” (verses 7–8 NLT).
These are wonderful, comforting words. But they are conditional. This psalm contains a series of conditional promises that are ours—if we do our part. God promises that He will protect us. He promises that His angels will be around us.
But what do we need to do? We must “live in the shelter of the Most High” (verse 1 nlt). We must also “make the Lord [our] refuge” and “the Most High [our] shelter” (verse 9 NLT). When we do that, the promises of Psalm 91 are ours.
God wants to be our hiding place. This means that God will protect the believer. What may happen to nonbelievers as they reap the consequences of their sin won’t happen to believers because they are seeking to live godly lives.
Does that mean Christians won’t suffer? No.
Does that mean Christians won’t die? No.
But it does mean that Christians won’t die before their time. They will die when their day has come and not a second before. And when death does come for Christians, God promises they will be taken into His presence in Heaven. God will protect us. He will protect us on earth until our final day.
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