Exodus 10:4–5 (HCSB)
4 But if you refuse to let My people go, then tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. 5 They will cover the surface of the land so that no one will be able to see the land. They will eat the remainder left to you that escaped the hail; they will eat every tree you have growing in the fields.
The plague of locusts, the eighth plague, documented in this pericope shows the continued increase in devastation of each successive plague. While the previous two plagues, boils and hail, had physical impact directly on people (boils on their body, and those not inside struck and killed by hail), this plague returns to an indirect effect. But, in a way, this plague is even more severe.
The hail in the seventh plague destroyed crops, the ripe flax and barley, but the wheat and spelt were spared because they ripened later. The locusts are prophesied to destroy all the remaining crops, as well as fruit trees. The livestock has already been impacted, so this means Egypt would be left with very little food, nothing other than whatever remaining livestock they had, or perhaps what had been stored, if anything. This plague impacts all the people of Egypt, not just those who refuse to bring their servants and livestock indoors.
And this is what stands out to me today: the lack of a long range vision by Pharaoh. At this point even his officials are calling for the release of the Israelites, yet he tries to trip up Moses and play some sort of sly game to keep all but the men in Egypt instead of letting all the Israelites go and worship God. Obviously God has His plan, but I think Pharaoh is symbolic of us today, even at a national level. We have leaders that are very short-sighted in their attitude towards God. As long as things are bearable in the moment, God is a joke. Pharaoh displays it yet again by claiming repentance, only to have his heart hardened again and not release the Israelites. We call out to God after disasters, after tragedies, but then turn around and marginalize Him the rest of the time. And it all leads up to a plague of locusts, eventually destroying what we need, what sustains us: food for ancient Egypt, a relationship with God for everyone.
Lord, thank You for being long-suffering, for bearing with our hard-headedness and stiff-necked ways. I pray for a revival! I pray for our nation to return to You, and not just when there is tragedy, but all the time, good and bad. I pray personally, that I will remain submitted and dependent upon You alone. Amen.