The Plague of Gnats
With this next plague there are a couple of differences from the previous two. First we aren’t told how long the frogs were around or how much time has passed. In addition a major change with this plague is the King is not given an advance warning, or a chance to let the people go. It appears the plagues are grouped in threes, the first two with the warning given to the King, the third without that announcement. The final plague, the death of the first born stands alone.
This time the very dust of the land becomes the source of the plague. The god attacked here was “Set, god of the desert.” 6 The dust or sand was transformed to gnats. It appears God had once again brought life from nonlife, life from the sand.
“… the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and t he man became a living creature” (Genesis 2:7 ESV) .
By the way, we might better understand this plague as lice instead of gnats as stated in some translations, though it might even be mosquitoes. While these creatures may have been scavengers, riding the land of the dead frogs, they soon would have been a major problem in their own right. While it is not clear exactly what discomfort they caused we can be sure it was unpleasant.
Notice another change here, the court magicians we re finally out of the running. They are unable to duplicate this miracle. They cannot create life. Satan can only do that which God allows. Not only do they fail, but they are forced to admit that what was occurring must be from the hand of God. After all, if they couldn’t do it, it must be supernatural in origin. What is interesting is it appears they didn’t realize that their own powers were also supernatural. They did know when they were outclassed.
Again as God had foretold this had no effect on the Pharaoh, he still refused to hear
Conclusion: What we see in these passages is God often uses that which men worship as the instrument of their chastisement. And remember people often don’t recognize that goals of their lives are the objects of their worship.
Exodus study to be continued.