locusts

Locusts were one of the plagues brought against Egypt in the book Exodus.

As if being in a pandemic isn’t enough with its health and economic ramifications, we're being infiltrated by biting gnats and subjected to severe weather, including tornadoes.

Now there's a disturbance in the Atlantic that has the possibility of turning into a … let's just not go there.

Of course, all of this has led to lots of jokes on social media about facing the biblical plagues.

But just what were the plagues in the Bible? Let's reflect. Some of them sound a little too close to home.

Exodus 7-12

Most people, when they hear plague, think of those brought against Egypt in the book of Exodus.

The plagues were a series of events attempting to convince Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt, to release God’s people from slavery.

Many of us have read the story at some point, but how many plagues do you recall? In order, they are:

• All water, even in containers, was turned to blood.

• Frogs were everywhere, including inside.

• Hordes of gnats took over.

• Flies covered the dead gnats.

• All Egyptian livestock died, but not the animals of the Israelites.

• People and animals had festering boils.

• The worst hailstorm that had ever fallen on Egypt killed anything that had not taken shelter. Even the flax and barley were destroyed.

• Locusts covered the ground so that it could not be seen. They devoured the crops that were left.

• Darkness covered the land for three days, but not for the Israelites

• And the last was the death of the firstborn child or livestock, which bypassed the Israelites because they were instructed to place the blood of a lamb on the door frame as a signal for death to pass that house.

This final night is known as The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is still observed by Jewish families.

In 2020, it was observed the evening on April 8 through the evening of April 16.

These events led to the Israelites being able to leave slavery.

Revelation 15-16

There are other plagues in the Bible.

In Revelation, the final book of the Bible, we find “seven angels with the seven last plagues — last, because with them God’s wrath is completed,” according to Revelation 15:1.

Revelation 16 lists what plague each angel brought to earth. All the quoted Scripture are from the New International Version. Many of these plagues will sound familiar.

The first angel poured out “his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.”

The second angel’s bowl was poured “on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.”

“The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.”

The fourth angel’s bowl was emptied on “the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.”

“The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness.”

“The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.” A result of this bowl was three impure spirits that looked like frogs appeared.

“The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’” This bowl came with thunder and lightning and an earthquake stronger than had ever hit the earth. Islands and mountains could no longer be found, and “huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people.”

Sources: biblegateway.com, chabad.org/holidays/passover/pesach_cdo/aid/871715/jewish/What-Is-Passover-Pesach.htm

Facets of Faith runs every other Saturday in Living. Reach Leila Pitchford at lpitchford@theadvocate.com.