And they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt.
Dust to Gnats
This was the third plague that God used to try to convince the Egyptians to let the Israelites leave Egypt. God instructed Moses to tell Aaron to strike the dust of the Earth with the staff. When Aaron did so, all the dust turned to gnats.
YUCK! Gnats? I think of a warm summer day, sitting in the shade of the big oak tree, perhaps eating a picnic lunch. Then I’m taken over by a swarm of gnats. How can this little tiny bug have the ability to change my peaceful setting? They may be tiny, but they are seldom alone. They are many, and they pester you by getting in your face, on your arms and legs, and any uncovered part of your body. They win and I go inside the house where it is cool and bug free.
The Egyptians were not able to escape the pesky critters. All the dust of the land became gnats. The magicians of Egypt could do nothing to control it. Come on Pharaoh. Let my people go. But Pharaoh was not willing.
I think I would have been more than willing, if they would just get rid of these gnats. Pharaoh realized that the slave labor of the Israelites was very important to his Egyptian empire. Of course he didn’t want to let them leave. Several more plagues would be needed before he finally allowed it, and even then he changed his mind and chased after them.
I look around my home and think about the dust in corners and under furniture. It’s everywhere. If it turned to gnats, I’d be in trouble. OK, time for some Spring Cleaning.
Lord, as I think of the dust turning to gnats, I realize that your love for Israel was showing in this plague. Thank you for your power to control all we face, even if it’s as much as the dust of the earth. Amen