The Fourth Plague – Flies

The Fourth Plague – Flies

The Fourth Plague – Swarm of Flies

(17) “Or else, if you do not let My people go, I will send the swarm of flies on you and on your servants, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of the swarm of flies including the ground that they stand on. (18) But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are dwelling—except no swarm of flies will be there—so that you may know that I, Adonai, am in the midst of the earth.

Exodus 8:17-18, TLV

For the first time, we see a plague that the Almighty protects His people from, afflicting only the Egyptian parts of the nation. We should note that the Hebrew for this plague translates as “swarms” and that there is debate among the experts about what the “swarm” consisted of. Many Rabbis believe it was swarms of insects or flies, perhaps biting flies, while other Rabbis speak of swarms of wild creatures. Either way, it is clear that this was a terrifying and devastating plague—but only in the homes of the Egyptians. HaShem protects His people from the devastation. Clearly the Hebrews had suffered in the first three plagues. The blood, the frogs, and the lice were throughout the entire land of Egypt and that included the land of Goshen where the Hebrews lived. 

As the people of G-d, we are not guaranteed freedom from trials and hardship. That would be nice, right? But HaShem does protect His children and He does look after us. Sometimes that means He protects us from the harm, as in this fourth plague, and sometimes that means He looks after us through the harm. I know that I have a tendency to see the trials in my life and focus on how bad things are, when my focus ought to be on HaShem who is well able to bring me through the trial. For the Hebrews watching the swarms in the rest of the land, it must have been very clear what the Almighty was protecting them from. It was obvious to them what they should be grateful for. He was showing them clearly His working upon the earth. Sometimes it might not be so clear to me exactly what HaShem is protecting me from, but I know I should to be responding in gratitude and trusting that He knows.

Questions to Ponder: What are the places in my life where I can see the protection of HaShem? What trials am I focusing on, instead of focusing on He who protects me? What can I show gratitude to my loving Father for today?