“Then the LORD said to Moses, Go to Pharaoh once again and tell him, This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse, then listen carefully to this: I will send vast hordes of frogs across your entire land from one border to the other. The Nile River will swarm with them. They will come up out of the river and into your houses, even into your bedrooms and onto your beds! Every home in Egypt will be filled with them. They will fill even your ovens and your kneading bowls. You and your people will be overwhelmed by frogs!” (Exodus 8:1-4, NLT).
It’s always amazed me that even with the clear revelation of God’s will to Pharaoh, ruler of Egypt, to let God’s people go, he just continued to defy the Lord despite grave consequences to his nation, his people, and even his own household. One aspect of God’s judgment on Egypt for the oppression of Israel and Pharaoh’s hard heart illustrates the folly of disobeying the Most High God – the time the frogs (lots and lots of them) came to live with Pharaoh and the people of Egypt.
The Lord told Moses to command Pharaoh to release the people of God so that they could worship Him. If he refused Aaron was to stretch out his hand with his staff over the streams, canals, and ponds and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt. Sure enough, the frogs showed up in the palace, bedrooms, houses, on the people, in the ovens, and in the kneading troughs (the vessel where the mixed and leavened bread was left to swell or ferment – they had a little extra protein in their bread) of the Egyptian people. Just imagine all those slimy, squishy, bug-eyed critters getting into everything – and they were the invited guests of the Pharaoh (God only knows what we invite into our lives through our own obstinate attitude).
Despite the fact that the Egyptian magicians “seemingly” duplicated the whole frog routine, Pharaoh pleaded with Moses and Aaron to take the frogs away from the people with a promise to let them go make sacrifices to the Lord if they did. The stunning development in this story is the fact that Moses gave Pharaoh the option of when the frogs would leave. Amazingly Pharaoh simply said, “tomorrow.” What? You like sleeping with frogs, watching them do the backstroke in your bathtubs, and finding them in your cabinets? Ok, Moses said. “It will be as YOU SAY so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God.” The frogs will leave and will remain only in the Nile.
Of course after the frogs departed, Pharaoh hardened his heart again and reneged on his promise (as usual). But what is simply unbelievable is that anyone under any circumstances would allow the fruit of disobedience and rebellion to hang around another second (let alone another night). When the beady eyes on the pillow next to you remind you of your refusal to listen to God the time to act is now rather than saying smugly, “oh, tomorrow.” This is strange logic to put it mildly. It’s like saying we want deliverance and freedom, but maybe tomorrow or maybe next week. No, the time to put away the consequences and devastation of disobedience is now.
For many Christians today, the same principles apply. Not only are many not following God’s will for their lives choosing instead to pursue ease, money, worldly pleasures, etc., they don’t even bother asking the Lord for his counsel on the major life-changing decisions we all have from time to time. It appears on one hand that the decisions are fine, but under the surface you find frogs in the bed, frogs in the stove, frogs in the refrigerator, frogs in toilet, frogs everywhere! The invading frog is a symbol of the results of self-directed living and a failure to conform to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Some folks are so used to sleeping with the frogs they seem to move in slow motion back into obedience to God. Their motto could be, “just one more night with frogs.” As with Egypt, we tend to downplay the possible effects of our rebellion and eventually we too are overwhelmed by the frogs (consequences).
At some point we need to wake up to the reality that the best way to live is to live in the center of God’s will. When we do, just like Pharoah, we’re going to have to face the problems we initiated while we camped out in the outback of disobedience (seedtime and harvest). As the frogs died they were piled into heaps “and the land reeked of them.” Our lives may put off a stench (the smell of rebellion) as well as we are getting things back in order with the Lord, but with that repentance and obedience we will eventually see peace, victory, freedom, provision, and no frogs!
Remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “I tell you now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Unlike clueless Pharaoh, don’t choose to wait another day to get right with God. Keep in mind that you are the deciding factor determining when the frogs (bondage, affliction, addiction, consequences) will leave your life. The frogs will leave when you say (just like Pharaoh). I want to encourage you to say the words and be free. It’s time to kiss the frog…goodbye.