As we journey through Exodus, we come to the Ten Plagues.
The plagues run from the stomach-turning discomfort of spoiled water, to the cringe-inducing invasion of frogs to the exasperating annoyance of the lice and flies, to the economically damaging animal sickness, the personally debilitating pandemic of boils, to the environmentally disastrous hail and locusts, to the shockingly eerie and terrifying darkness, and ending with the devastating, heart-stopping sadness of the death of the sons.
This is a terrifying tale—a tale of a mighty fall, an unrepentant leader, and a redeemed people. But the point that God repeats over and over is that we are meant to know something.
What are we meant to learn?
Here, we see dramatically portrayed the disasters sin brings and the unavoidable death with which sin ends.
The plague accounts in Exodus are explicitly designed to teach us the Lord is supreme not only over Pharaoh but over all creation, and in so doing, to expose all else, including other gods, as inferior and insignificant.
We are meant to learn that the Lord will not tolerate injustice, particularly the oppression of the vulnerable.
We are meant to learn that the Lord will publicly humiliate Pharaoh, he will judge Egypt for her oppression, and he will redeem Israel. And in so doing – the world will know what kind of God he is.
And in the person of Pharaoh, we are meant to learn exactly how NOT to live and lead.