The lines have been drawn, and so many will suffer because Pharaoh refuses to let God’s people go, and the Lord refuses to have them remain in slavery any longer. In this chapter, frogs, gnats, and flies all infest the land of Egypt – Pharaoh is unwilling to hear God at times, and at other times he sees the hand of God and is willing to turn – but only until the pain is gone.
So is the pattern of our lives. God does not cause the bad things in our lives – those are the results of our fallen world, our own choices, or the choices of others. God can, though, discipline us. I can know the difference because I can see the connection between my disobedience and the lesson God is trying to teach me (even with hindsight). God loves me, and He will punish me so that I will follow Him, I will know He is watching and cares, and so that I will learn from my mistakes. I have experienced His discipline in big things (being fired) and small things (headache). Nothing has to be God’s discipline, it is just something I am pretty sure of – through prayer and repentance.
In this story Pharaoh does not repent, does not turn, and as a result his entire kingdom is suffering.