So the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.’” And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. (Exodus 8:16-17)
There are other versions of text that render the Hebrew word khinim as “gnats,” or “sand fleas.” Whatever they were, they were as common as the dust of the earth. It is also possible that they were some other similar type of insect, spawned among the rotting frogs. It must have been miserable to have these pests swarming about and getting into everything.
To add insult to injury, the magicians of Egypt could no longer duplicate these signs and were forced to concede that Moses was not a magician – this was an act of God. They confessed to Pharaoh that this latest wonder was indication that “the finger of God” was writing Pharaoh’s demise. It is fairly reminiscent of another event that happened many years later when a hand appeared writing upon the palace walls of Babylon, spelling out the demise of Belshazzar (Daniel 5). The biggest difference in the two stories is that Belshazzar’s knees knocked together but Pharaoh hardened his heart.
In those few passages that speak of the “finger of God,” it is connected with a wonder such as described above or with writing instructions to His people. Specifically, Moses was given two stone tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments that had been written with the “finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). When the people received them, there were those who did so with fear and reverence and there were those who, like Pharaoh, hardened their hearts.
And so it is to this day. The same words and deeds wrought by the “finger of God” can cause one man’s heart to melt within him so that He turns from His wicked ways and cause another man to stiffen his neck and harden his heart. When Messiah was performing incredible signs for that generation, there were those who praised God and there were those who accused Him of performing miracles by the prince of demons. To them He said, “If I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:19-20).
The point today is we need to recognize when the finger of God is working in our lives and discern what it is He is instructing us to do. We must be sensitive to His guidance and correction and be careful not to allow our hearts to be dull and calloused. There are some things that touch our life that we might be able to explain away as nothing but might, in fact, be His gentle nudges. In other words, pay close attention to what is happening in your world — it just may be the finger of God trying to get your attention.
Blessings and Shalom,