Behold, the hand of the Lord will be on your cattle in the field, … a very severe pestilence. Exodus 9:3.
Pharaoh was now forewarned of a still more terrible visitation, that of murrain [pestilence] upon all the Egyptian cattle which were out in the field. It was distinctly stated that the Hebrews should be exempted from this evil. The plague came, as predicted, and Pharaoh, on sending messengers to the homes of the Israelites, found that they had entirely escaped. Still the king was obstinate, and he was encouraged in his persistency by the priests and magicians.
But they also were to feel the judgments of God. Moses and Aaron were commanded to take ashes of the furnace and sprinkle them in the air before Pharaoh. As they did so, the fine particles spread as dust over all the land of Egypt, and where it settled became a “boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.” The magicians could not by any of their enchantments shield themselves from the grievous plague. They could no longer stand before Moses and Aaron, because of this affliction. The Egyptians were thus permitted to see how useless it would be for them to put their trust in the boasted power of the magicians, when they could not protect even their own persons.
Still there was no yielding on the part of the monarch…. Then a plague of hail was threatened which would destroy the cattle and every man and woman found in the field. Here was an opportunity to test the pride of the Egyptians and to show how many were really affected by the wonderful dealings of God with His people. All who regarded the word of the Lord gathered their cattle into barns and houses, while those who disbelieved the warning left their animals in the field. In thus providing a way of escape for all who chose to act upon the warning given, we see the mercy of God in the midst of judgment.
The storm came on the morrow as predicted—thunder and hail, and fire mingled with it, destroying every herb, shattering trees, and smiting man and beast. Hitherto none of the lives of the Egyptians had been taken, but now death and desolation followed in the track of the destroying angel. The land of Goshen alone was spared. Here the Lord demonstrated to the Egyptians that the whole earth is under the command of the God of the Hebrews, that even the elements obey His voice.—Signs of the Times, March 18, 1880.