Last year, I was allowed to present a lesson before the Dalraida church of Christ concerning the Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Aspects of the Ten Plagues. The lesson was written and presented specifically for Vacation Bible School: Miracles, Signs, and Wonders. The first area covered in the lesson was The Physical Aspect of the Plagues.
Introduction: When God set out to free His people from Egyptian oppression, He didn’t play around. The Great Jehovah attacked them on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. God wanted to make sure that those who would question His power understood that He knows the “whole person” and can build up or tear down the whole person. If you look at each of the plagues, it’s easy to see how God teaches the Egyptians that their false gods are meaningless and that He is the one true God. We’ll be jumping around to various verses in Exodus Chapters 7-12 if you want to follow along…
The most obvious physical traits of the plagues were their very nature: Water to Blood, Frogs, Gnats, Flies, Death of Livestock, Boils, Hail, Locusts, Darkness, and Death of the Firstborn. Each plague, however, brought a different type of suffering:
- Lack of water brought thirst – (7:21) The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
- Frogs brought stench and disgust – (8:14) [When they died] They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them. (8:3) They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs.
- Gnats/lice brought itching and discomfort – (8:17) gnats came upon men and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats.
- Flies brought inability to rest – (8:21) The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground where they are.
- Death of livestock brought loss of food and revenue – (9:3) A terrible plague on your livestock in the field–on your horses and donkeys and camels and on your cattle and sheep and goats.
- Boils brought pain – (9:10-11) Festering boils broke out on men and animals. The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils
- Hail brought death and terror – (9:24-25) Hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. Throughout Egypt hail struck everything in the fields–both men and animals; it beat down everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree.
- Locusts brought famine – (10:15) Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
- Darkness brought inaction – (10:23) No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days.
Death brought the desired effect – (12:31) During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. God also used the Passover as a way to prepare the Israelites physically for their long journey to the Promised Land. He told them to eat the lamb, the bread, and to have their bags packed and have their shoes on their feet. The meat would provide protein for strength, the bread carbohydrates for energy, and the shoes and bags were for preparation.