If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them. “‘But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land.-Exodus 8:21-22
So the 4th plague or the first stroke of the second set of plagues begins.
This time a violent swarm of flies is released.
These flies were of a much more aggressive nature than the lice released in the previous plague.
These varmints were called “dog-flies” by the locals and were particularly effective at rendering livestock helpless.
They had a nasty tendency to invade the moist openings of animals, striking at the corners of their eyes or eyelids, and around the nostrils.
They would deposit their eggs in these openings causing severe inflammation.
The result would be blindness or in extreme cases death.
As with the other plagues, these flies did show up from time to time but not at the level of intensity that occurred at Moses’s command.
However, this time, the most miraculous aspect of this plague was that it ONLY affected the Egyptians.
The Israelites were left completely untouched.
This time the Lord made it clear that He would “distinguish between my people and your people“.
This must have greatly intensified the anger and frustrations the Egyptian people were feeling toward Israel.
It’s general human nature to assume that all humans are the same and suffering should be equally shared.
People just hate it when one group thinks they’re special, especially if they’re not part of that group.
I remember in my early years of attending a Jewish Messianic congregation, I used to harbor an inferiority complex because I wasn’t Jewish.
This was a time when I was still insecure in my faith and had yet to internalize the foundational truth that indeed “there be neither Jew nor Gentile in the body of Messiah”.
I used to have these ridiculous fantasies that suggested I must actually be Jewish or I wouldn’t have been called to the Messianic movement in the first place.
I remember once (actually more than a couple of times) googling my mom’s maiden name to see if there was any hope that maybe just maybe my mom had originally come from a Jewish family that was forcibly converted to Catholicism and had thus lost their Hebrew identity over the years.
Or I recall the time I used to walk around San Francisco with a Kippah on my head thinking I was cool because of it.
In the past, I even lied about my identity and actually told people I was Jewish.
Man, this is embarrassing and in hindsight I can see just how incredibly insecure in my identity, both spiritually and as a person, I was at the time.
I still see this tendency in others who attend Messianic congregations, even among Jewish believers.
I remember meeting a believer who was Jewish on his father’s side or so he claimed.
I say “or so he claimed” because I later found out from his mother that actually his father was only half-Jewish which would technically make him only a quarter Jewish.
While I don’t deny this guy’s Jewishness, I just find it amusing that he so emphasized that minor one-quarter of Jewish blood in him to the total exclusion of three-fourths of his ethnic being.
It was like all of his self-esteem and identity was solely based on that one-fourth of Jewish blood flowing through his veins.
Regardless, having said all this, it is a Biblical truth that the Lord distinguishes those who trust Him (whether ethnically Jew or Gentile) from everybody else.
This principle and pattern is the very essence of salvation and is clearly demonstrated right here in Exodus.
It is for this very reason the world has always hated Israel and the reason the world increasingly hates true believers today.
Unfortunately, the modern church has become sensitive to this criticism and as a result has begun promoting a false doctrine that says God does NOT make a distinction among people or nations.
This is opposite to what the Bible teaches.
The hard truth is, if you’re a believer, the only thing separating you from an eternity apart from God is that God has distinguished you from everybody else.
And that distinction is based on one thing alone.
Trust in His Messiah Yeshua of Nazareth.