“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh and say to him, “Thus says the Lord: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. 3The river shall swarm with frogs; they shall come up into your palace, into your bedchamber and your bed, and into the houses of your officials and of your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your officials.” ’ 5And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, “Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, the canals, and the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.” ’ 6So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7But the magicians did the same by their secret arts, and brought frogs up on the land of Egypt.
8 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron, and said, ‘Pray to the Lord to take away the frogs from me and my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 9Moses said to Pharaoh, ‘Kindly tell me when I am to pray for you and for your officials and for your people, that the frogs may be removed from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.’ 10And he said, ‘Tomorrow.’ Moses said, ‘As you say! So that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God, 11the frogs shall leave you and your houses and your officials and your people; they shall be left only in the Nile.’ 12Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh; and Moses cried out to the Lord concerning the frogs that he had brought upon Pharaoh. 13And the Lord did as Moses requested: the frogs died in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. 14And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart, and would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.”
Ah, the second plague Moses and Aaron bring down upon the Egyptians to force Pharaoh to let the people go and it’s a doozy. Moses is very clear as he describes all the places frogs will infest the land, people’s homes and even in places they eat. I’ve almost had a heart attack when just one hopped at me unexpectedly from an outdoor wreath on my door. So, to imagine thousands popping up everywhere and in everything, how was this not enough? Yet the story notes, even as Pharaoh first relents and the plague of frogs subsides, his heart is hardened, and the people remain in bondage. Frogs, I am sure, to the Israelite’s relief, are listed as unclean animals in the later laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, to see a frog in their homes again, would be too soon.
Ever faithful Lord, as we hear just a small snippet of your great acts of claiming and freeing your people from Egypt and using even wild animals, like frogs to show your power. In their hopping and ribbiting we hear songs and dances of praise, but may they stay outside, please. In Christ’s name, we pray, Amen.