One can’t help but notice that there are a number of frightening events occurring around the globe today. There is a very real danger to human health from dangerous viruses, and quarantines are being established everywhere to prevent their spread. As well, there is significant risk of famine resulting from the recent appearance of hordes of locusts that can devour whole fields of crops in mere minutes. What is the significance of these events? Is God somehow behind these threats? Do we have good reason to be concerned?
These kinds of events are not new. Where have they occurred before in history? When Pharaoh refused to let the nation of Israel leave Egypt to make a new home in the Promised Land, there were a number of judgements delivered by the LORD through the ministry of Moses. In Exodus
Chapter 9 Verses 13 and 14 we read this:
And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand
before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews,
Let may people go, that they may serve me,
For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants,
and upon thy people, that they mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.
The Hebrew word translated plagues for us is the word Maggephah and means a plague, a pestilence, a blow, or a slaughter. This noun appears 26 times in the Old Testament and in every single case refers to a plague that is sent by God.
In this case, the LORD sent a total of 10 different plagues which were all designed with a specific purpose. He intended to pierce and reveal the heart of Pharaoh.
What can the content of the Hebrew pictograms for Maggephah reveal to us about the desire of the LORD to work in Pharaoh’s heart? Maggephah is spelled Mem Gimel Pey Hey.
Mem is the picture of waters that can be chaotic and destructive like a tsunami or gentle like a stream in the desert. It can be the living waters or the Word of God that brings life.
Gimel is the picture of the camel and means to lift up, to lift up with pride, or to lift up the name of the LORD.
Pey or Fey is the picture of the open mouth and means to speak or a word.
Hey is the picture of the man with arms raised to the heavens and means to behold, to reveal, or to pay attention to what follows.
Would you guess there are two messages to be discovered here? They indicate the consequences of a choice that must be made.
The first message is that if Pharaoh will speak and lift up the name of the LORD,
and behold Him, he will enjoy the gentle living waters.
The other choice that Pharaoh can make is:
To not raise his hands to the LORD, but instead to lift himself up with pride, and to
speak only for himself. What will be the result? Chaos and destruction like a tsunami.
Which did Pharaoh choose? Pharaoh chose to lift himself up in pride and to ignore the warnings of Moses. By doing so he brought horrible tragedy upon his nation. The LORD brought pressure to bear upon Pharaoh’s heart to force Pharaoh to choose for or against the LORD.
Why are we seeing plagues today? Is this just a coincidence?
The prophet Zechariah described a time of trouble that would occur near the end of the age that would mark the return of Messiah. In Chapter 14 verse 12 he writes this:
And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
The word Zechariah uses for plague is again Maggephah and indicates that even at the end, the LORD will be using plagues to force people to choose. They will either lift Him up or instead rebel and continue to lift themselves in their own pridefulness to their everlasting destruction.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Yeshua warned that this was coming. In Chapter 24 Verse 7 He stated:
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there
shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
He continues by comparing these things to birth pangs, meaning that they are indicators revealing that the end of the age is very close at hand.
The letters for Maggephah are also numbers that contain meaning and provide insight.
Mem is 40 and means trials and testing followed by renewal.
Gimel is 3 and means divine perfection.
Pey is 80 and means new birth.
Hey is 5 and means grace.
These tell us that:
The Maggephah that are sent by the LORD are trials designed to pierce our hearts.
Through His divine perfection there is a new birth by His grace for all those
who choose to lift Him up and receive the Living Waters.
Where do you stand with the LORD? Will it be destruction for you or the Living Waters that bring life? The Maggephah are warning us there is not much time left. As Jesus said in John Chapter 12 Verse 36
While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.