ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 111

E x od u s
Moses replied, “We will all ­go—­young and old, our sons and daughters,
and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in celebrating a festival
to the Lord.”
Pharaoh retorted, “The Lord will certainly need to be with you if I let
you take your little ones! I can see through your evil plan. Never! Only the
men may go and worship the Lord, since that is what you requested.” And
Pharaoh threw them out of the palace.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt
to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and devour every plant
that survived the hailstorm.”
So Moses raised his staff over Egypt, and the Lord caused an east wind
to blow over the land all that day and through the night. When morning
arrived, the east wind had brought the locusts. And the locusts swarmed
over the whole land of Egypt, settling in dense swarms from one end of
the country to the other. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history,
and there has never been another one like it. For the locusts covered the
whole country and darkened the land. They devoured every plant in the
fields and all the fruit on the trees that had survived the hailstorm. Not a
single leaf was left on the trees and plants throughout the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “I have sinned against the
Lord your God and against you,” he confessed. “Forgive my sin, just this
once, and plead with the Lord your God to take away this death from me.”
So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and pleaded with the Lord. The Lord
responded by shifting the wind, and the strong west wind blew the locusts
into the Red Sea. Not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt.
But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart again, so he refused to let the
people go.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and the
land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.” So
Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire
land of Egypt for three days. During all that time the people could not
see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the
people of Israel lived.
Finally, Pharaoh called for Moses. “Go and worship the Lord,” he said.
“But leave your flocks and herds here. You may even take your little ones
with you.”
“No,” Moses said, “you must provide us with animals for sacrifices and
burnt offerings to the Lord our God. All our livestock must go with us,
too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the
Lord our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we
are to worship the Lord until we get there.”

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