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The 4th Plague

“I will send swarms of flies on you… the houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them.”

Hmm… definitely not one of the most charming passages in Scripture.  And unfortunately for me, the flies in this area stage a full-scale reenactment of this epic occasion at my house every fall.  It’s truly a gala event — for them.  Now you may be wondering at this point, “how exactly do you go about recreating the 4th plague of Exodus 8:21?”

Three simple steps:
1.  Buy yourself a house that sits adjacent to a corn field.
2.  Have the farmers grow the corn all summer to achieve the maximum fly population.
3.  Watch them harvest the entire crop at once — leaving not a single stalk in a field
      where at least a billion flies once spent all their time.  Voilà!  Insta-swarm! 

Out of necessity, my family members have become specialists with all the usual anti-fly munitions: swatters, fly tape, glue traps… and even a hand-held electronic zapper was added to the arsenal this season.  Working with these weapons over the years, we’ve definitely learned one thing:  flies are as dumb as a box of donuts when it comes to identifying and fleeing a dangerous situation.  I’ll never understand their logic in landing on a sticky strip that’s clearly imprisoned scores of their friends.  Or how they nimbly evade a deadly blow from the swatter, only to take the air for a quick, haphazard circle and land again in the exact same spot – smack!  And in the ultimate irony, I often find gangs of ne’er-do-well flies loitering right on top of the swatter itself when it’s not in use.  

It’s easy to think of these creatures as illogical and uninformed, but seriously, I wonder if God sometimes thinks the same way about us.   How often do Christians fall into the same simple traps over and over?  How often do we willingly investigate questionable areas that we know have doomed many other Christians?   How often do we escape a bad situation, only to circle around and find ourselves right back in that same place again?  And how often do we choose to hang out with the wrong crowd – one that may congregate in a precise area of life that we know can be deadly to us?

The Lord used flies in Exodus 8 to help free His people from bondage.  We can continue that tradition by remembering these examples.  They might just help us to avoid getting caught in the traps we face every day.

Romans 16:19 (The Message) — I want you also to be smart, making sure every “good” thing is the real thing.  Don’t be gullible in regard to smooth-talking evil.

-Ron Reid