Exodus 8:19 (HCSB)
19 “This is the finger of God,” the magicians said to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
This is the first time God does not instruct Moses and Aaron to go before Pharaoh and deliver a message. Instead, God directly commands Aaron to perform a miracle, this one being the production of some sort of flying, and presumably biting, insect, all over Egypt, on people and animals.
The description of, “all the dust of the earth became gnats,” seems to more likely be hyperbole, used to express the huge number of the insects. It seems unlikely that it is meant to be taken literal.
This is also the first plague that Pharaoh’s magicians are unable to mimic. And again, there seems to be no attempt on the part of the magicians to undo what has been done, and the gnats remain. Instead, the magicians report to Pharaoh that this plague is certainly the work of God. Yet Pharaoh’s heart remains hardened to God!
It is interesting that nobody could explain this plague naturally. The magicians could not conjure up something to mimic it, Moses and Aaron pointed to it being a miracle of God, thus by definition supernatural, and scripture does not record any other suggestions. Yet Pharaoh still turns his back to God, denies His power, essentially His very existence. It seems almost ludicrous, yet isn’t that what is happening in the world all around us? Heck, it’s even happening in the church itself, where doctrines that are hundreds, a thousand or more, years old are suddenly questioned and abandoned without any natural evidence even! Pharaoh is alive and well in the world today, as is God. Are we seeing the miracles and believing, crediting God? Or are we closing our eyes and turning away from Him?
Lord, thank You for the signs all around us, Your fingerprints all over Your creation. On top of that You have given us miracle after miracle, and recorded it, for our benefit, to bolster our faith. I pray that You would continue to guide us towards You. Help us to open our eyes to You all around us. Amen.