Above image from truthinmotion.wordpress.com
It is a dark time for the people of the covenant. Although conditions have settled since the flight of the murderer Moses, the people possess little hope.
Evading the dreaded Egyptian guards, Moses, in obedience to instructions from God Almighty, returns to the palace seeking the freedom of his people.
The evil lord Pharaoh, obsessed with holding on to his slaves, refuses to let the people go. Making conditions for the laborers more difficult, Pharaoh leaves the resistance with few options…
When we look at the plagues in Exodus, it’s easy to view them as normative. Every time we encounter the story of the exodus there they are.
Ancient Egypt = lots of crazy miracles.
However, I doubt that Moses and Aaron had that perspective. While they may have trusted in God’s power, witnessing the Nile turning to blood, massive swarms of creatures descending on the people, rampaging disease, localized darkness, and death taking only/all the first-borns would have been extraordinary and terrifying events.
And that’s really the point.
If these sorts of things were to be expected in that time and place, the effect on the Egyptian population, and specifically Pharaoh, would have been insufficient to bring about the release of the people of the covenant. These were horrifying incidents.
Looking at the text, Pharaoh repeatedly felt some motivation to release his slaves under the weight of these plagues, but would later change his mind. Only because God hardened Pharaoh’s heart did Pharaoh continue to withstand the terror of what was happening around him.
One theory suggests that each of these plagues was a targeted attack against a particular Egyptian god. If true, how much more terrifying would this have been for the quasi divine Pharaoh. His own gods, those who were greater even than himself, were being outdone by the God of his slaves. How scared and hopeless Pharaoh must have felt.
By the time the people of the covenant were released, both camps in this struggle had witnessed the overwhelming might of God. Why he can even make giant yellow letters fly through space.
For more on the plague/Egyptian god theory: go here
To make your own Star Wars intro: go there