Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ninth Plague-Pharaoh Felt the Darkness

By Mary Vee
Exodus 10:21-29


I am the great Pharaoh.  I rule Egypt.  All who live in my kingdom should obey my every word.  My scribe is recording the events of the past three days as I dictate. 

Three days ago, in the afternoon, I conducted business as usual.  Well, not exactly as usual.  Since the Hebrew prophet, Moses, arrived in Egypt I've had nothing but problems. 

Moses speaks for the Hebrew God, words of letting the Hebrews go to sacrifice and serve their God.  He came to me eight times repeating the same message, "Let the Israelites go into the wilderness to sacrifice and serve their God."  Each time I grew more tired of his words. Each time I refused, the Hebrew God sent a punishment: water turned to blood, frogs, lice, flies, disease upon our livestock, boils, hail, and locust.  My country has suffered. We have no food.  We've lost most of our animals. Our homes have been damaged.
I met with my advisors regarding the Israelite slaves.  As the chief advisor spoke his first word darkess rolled through the sky.  We assumed a storm was approaching.  I ran to the window and watched a black cloud swirling through the air, seeping into buildings around the palace. 

I commanded the servants to light every torch, but the light grew weak.  One advisor requested to postpone the meeting until the darkness passed.  I agreed and dismissed the meeting. 

Never had I felt such darkness before. My arms and legs grew heavy.  There wasn't enough air to satisfy my lungs.  My hands, neck, and head poured nervous sweat.

Like everyone else in the palace, I stumbled about.  Guards delivered their report of the thick darkness throughout Egypt, except in the area where the Israelites lived.  Why were they spared?

The second day of darkness brought anger.  Citizens of Egypt screamed at each other.  They grew hungry, afraid to sleep, and lonely.  This had to be Moses' fault. He brought fear into Egypt.  I determined to not let the Hebrews go or give into him.

Toward the end of the thrid day, I could bare the strain no longer.  The citizens stopped shouting and cried.  Their lamenting hurt my ears.  If the darkness lasted another day, I fear we'd all go crazy. 

"Guard, bring Moses."

Sometime later a guard announced Moses' presence. I couldn't see him.  I raised my fist, even though he couldn't see it.  "Moses, go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back."

Moses answered. "You need to give us sacrifices and burnt offerings that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. Our livestock will also go with us to serve the Lord, nothing shall be left behind."

Nothing is good enough for him.  He wants me to let all of the Israelites and everything they own leave Egypt.  I won't listen to him repeat this message one more time. "Get away from me! You will not see my face again.  For on the day that you do, you shall die!"

Moses cleared his throat. "You have spoken well. I will never see your face again."

Shortly after Moses left the palace, the darkness ended.

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1.  Name the nine plagues (answers are in this story)
2.  This is the first plague God sent before Moses asked Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go.  Why do you think God sent the plague first this time?
3.  What do you think darkness feels like?
4.  Why do you think God chose darkness as the ninth plague?  Remember there is only one more plague as you think about your answer.

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