URC Daily Devotion Friday 14th August 2020 The Plague of Boils

Friday 14th August 2020 The Plague of Boils 

Exodus 9: 8 – 12

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw it in the air in the sight of Pharaoh.  It shall become fine dust all over the land of Egypt, and shall cause festering boils on humans and animals throughout the whole land of Egypt.’  So they took soot from the kiln, and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses threw it in the air, and it caused festering boils on humans and animals.  The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils afflicted the magicians as well as all the Egyptians.  But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.


‘The Lord’ really is relentless!

We are now at plague number six of ten. As if bloody water, frogs, lice, flies (or wild animals depending on source), and pestilence would not be enough for you or I to ‘let God’s people go’!

At the end of the passage, we discover why these afflictions were not enough and why Pharaoh was so cold – because the Lord had hardened his heart’.

I kind of feel sorry for ‘The Lord’ throughout the telling of the story of Moses. To my mind, God gets written in as the ultimate baddie; even beyond Pharaoh. Pharaoh had no control over his reactions, it would seem, with God hardening his heart in the face of such calamity.

How can we know how Pharaoh would have reacted without the Lord’s interference?

We have to ask ourselves, why is the story told in this way?

Might it be to show us that God can be relentless for us?

God is persistent through Moses’ words, through every increasing calamity and even through the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart. God just won’t let it go.

God seems like an angry dog with a bone, for the freedom, justice and release of the Israelite slaves. Without getting involved with the question of whether this is an historical event or an accurate retelling, or even if God was written-in by the history-teller doing things we find deplorable today, might we be being guided to learn that God is for us?
If we are brought low, on the edge of society or destroyed by it, in pain, crying for justice and hope – God is for us and will go above and beyond for us!

 I pray you will hear this truth today, in all that you face.

 Beware, however, if you are in the way of God’s justice and love.

‘The Lord’ really is relentless!


Loving God,
may the truth of your persistence and devotion speak to us from years past.
May it give us hope and peace.
May it agitate us away from inequality and towards integrity.
May we know deep in our hearts that you are for us and for our freedom.


Today’s writer

The Rev’d Martin Knight is minister of St Paul’s URC, South Croydon and South Croydon United Church (Methodist/URC)


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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