13 MARCH 365 Days with Calvin

Conquered by Frogs

He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings. Psalm 105:29–30

suggested further reading: Exodus 8:1–15

The plague of water being turned into blood was especially grievous to the Egyptians because water was one of the two great means of supporting life. The power of God shone forth brighter considering that the land of Egypt was well irrigated, yet the Egyptians were parched with drought. It is said that their land brought forth frogs and entered even the chambers of their kings. God thus manifestly showed that he was the author of the miracle, for though all Egypt swarmed with frogs, the courts of the kings should have been exempt from this nuisance. The term kings denotes either the nobles of the realm or the king’s sons, who were brought up in expectation of royal power, for at that time, as is well known, only one king reigned over all Egypt.

From this we learn how, by a kind of mockery, God easily humbles those who pride themselves in the flesh. He did not gather an army to fight against the Egyptians, nor did he forthwith arm his angels or thunder out of heaven. But God brought forth frogs in Egypt, which contemptuously trampled upon the pride of that haughty nation and held in contempt the whole world besides. It would have been no disgrace for Egypt to have been conquered by powerful enemies, but consider how dishonorable it was to be vanquished by frogs!

By this God showed that he has no need of powerful hosts to destroy the wicked, for he can do this, even seemingly in sport, whenever he pleases.

for meditation: Calvin provides us with a unique reminder of how deluded we are when we think we are in control. Whether by great natural disasters or by an army of frogs, God will remind us that he is the one in control. How does the Holy Spirit teach us experientially to relinquish control of our lives to God?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 91). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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