LINK: Exodus 9
Plague 5: Death of livestock
This plague may have been aimed at the different gods that represented livestock. The god Apis or Re represented the bull. The cow represented Hathor, the goddess of love, beauty, and joy. Khnum was a ram-god. Many animals were also considered sacred.
God made a distinction and killed the livestock of the Egyptians and not the livestock of Israel. It should also be noted that the animals were the animals still in the field (9:3) as opposed to those that may have been inside. Therefore, this is why there were still some livestock to flee into the houses in 9:20.
Even with all of this, Pharaoh refused to let the people go!
Plague 6: Boils
The Egyptians worshiped Sekhmet, a lion-headed goddess with power over disease; Sunu, the pestilence god; and Isis, goddess of healing. This was another challenge to their deities who were powerless against the living God, as shown through the powerlessness of even their magicians to overcome the affliction of boils.
Still Pharaoh refused to listen!
Plague 7: Hail
Again, the power of more Egyptian gods was being challenged. Nut was the sky goddess and Set was the storm God, yet they could not stop the hail. Osiris was the god of crop fertility, but he could not maintain the crops during the hail.
Prior to the coming of the hail, the LORD, speaking through Moses, stated His purpose for allowing Pharaoh to remain: "in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth."
Remember that there is a bottom line message to all of Scripture. God displayed His power so that all the earth would know Him. You may want to underline this phrase and phrases like it as you come to them in your Bible reading. Some Egyptians were beginning to know the power of the LORD as indicated in 9:20 that some of the Egyptians did "fear the word of the LORD" and brought the livestock in the houses.
This time Pharaoh actually acknowledged his sinfulness and God's righteousness; but it was short-lived because, after Moses prayed for the plague to stop, Pharaoh's heart was hardened once again.
Are you writing what you are learning about God in a journal?
LORD, I pray that we would always be people who listen to You and do not harden our hearts. LORD, help us to see You as the LORD over everything and not try to control things on our own power. Reveal to us and destroy the other "gods" in our life that we depend on instead of You. We ask this in Jesus' name, AMEN.