“Go [come in] to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of Mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 10:1–2)
In last week’s Parasha, God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand that the Israelites be freed from slavery.
Pharaoh, however, refused to free the Israelite slaves and God unleashed plagues on the Egyptians.
The plagues were so severe that Pharaoh practically begged Moses to stop each plague, promising every time to free the Israelites.
But instead of freeing them, he made their lives increasingly more difficult.
Why Did God Demonstrate His Power in Egypt?
“If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow.” (Exodus 10:4)
Parasha Bo (Come) begins with the eighth plague upon Egypt—Locusts.
We may wonder why God decided to demonstrate His power to both Israel and Egypt. After all, He was fully capable of delivering Israel without involving Pharaoh in the process.
Scripture is clear on this: God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to demonstrate His power over the false gods of Egypt, represented by each of the ten plagues.
In doing this, God demonstrated His mighty power to the Israelites, Egyptians and even the world, proving that He alone is YHVH Elohim (Lord God). (Exodus 10:1–2)
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16)
The Temptation to Compromise
“Have only the men go and worship the Lord.” (Exodus 10:11)
God sought to liberate the children of Israel from Egypt for one purpose—that they may serve Him.
But Pharaoh tried to get Moses to compromise with God by telling him that only the men could go into the wilderness to worship the Lord.
So God brought the eighth plague of locusts upon Egypt.
After God sent away the locusts, Pharaoh allowed the men and women to leave Egypt and worship the Lord, but he didn’t allow them to take their livestock.
Moses wouldn’t compromise. He told Pharaoh, “Not a hoof is to be left behind.” (Exodus 10:26)
We must take this same attitude with the enemy of our soul and refuse to compromise. We must be determined to live completely and fully in God’s Kingdom of Light and to leave behind nothing in the kingdom of darkness!
Only without compromising can we hope to serve God wholeheartedly.
Just as Moses commanded Pharaoh to release the Israelites, Yeshua says to the enemy of our souls, “Let My people go!”
God wants to liberate us from the pharaoh of this world—from slavery to sin—so that we may become slaves of righteousness.
And what a freedom it is to be a slave to righteousness! The enemy has no power over those who are slaves of righteousness.
“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” (Romans 6:18)
The Plague of Darkness
“Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” (Exodus 10:21)
When Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt with their livestock, God sent the ninth plague of darkness.
With this plague, Elohim (God) established His supremacy over the Egyptian sun god.
Although the Egyptians were plunged into total darkness, the Israelites enjoyed light in their dwellings in the land of Goshen.
Likewise, Yeshua (Jesus) came to give freedom to the prisoners of darkness, whether Jew or Gentile.
“I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people … to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’” (Isaiah 49:8–9)
As Covenant people of God, we can trust that even when there is total, paralyzing darkness in the world, we can still have light in our dwellings, just as the Israelites had in Goshen.
If we will rise up and shine, and do all things without arguing and complaining, we will be lights in the midst of a dark and perverse generation. (Philippians 2:14–15)
If we want light in our homes and families, then we must turn from hatred and walk in love. We must stop cursing, fault finding, and arguing, and instead, begin blessing.
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” (1 John 2:9–11)
The Final Plague: Death of the Firstborn
“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13)
This week’s Parasha (Torah portion) includes the story of the first Pesach (Passover), approximately 3500 years ago.
Passover is one of the most significant events in the Torah: it is the physical salvation of Israel through the blood of the lamb.