I was reading in Exodus this morning about the plagues God brought upon Egypt – aaaand hit the part about the flies.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them.
And the Lord did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials; throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.
– Exodus 8:20-21, 24 (NIV)
If you’re like me, you read this and think, “OK, I’ve seem flies. They are a nuisance, but they can’t be that bad.”
I think i’d be with you, except for an experience my wife and I had years ago…
We were living in a mobile home at the time and one day we started noticing a terrible smell in our front bathroom. Something really bad. Awful. Horrendous.
We called an plumber, thinking it was the sewer, and he walked into the bathroom and immediately proclaimed, “YOU HAVE A DEEED ANEEMAAL!” I write what he said that way because it took us a second to completely understand him and then a few more to grasp what he was saying.
Turns out, a varmint had snuck up through the underlining of the house and got stuck in the hollow part of the shower stall. Sounds innocent enough, but we really didn’t know about it until we smelled something.
Again, something really bad. Awful. Horrendous.
There really wasn’t much we could do – the critter was wedged in a space that we really could not get to. So, at the plumber’s recommendation, I cut a hole in the back side of the closet and tossed some lime in there to control the stench. We dealt (thank goodness we had a second bath) and the smell dissipated…
Experience over, right? WRONG! Here’s the Exodus, Moses, Pharaoh, flies part. If you’re easily freaked or grossed out, brace yourself!
We never considered the eventual decomposing aspect of Mr. Varmint…and the “things” that come with that process.
The stench was gone; but one day one of us went into the bathroom and noticed a fly.
Then there was another. Then a few more. Then there was a dozen. Then I noticed the cover where the shower head comes out of the wall and into the shower: a scene reminiscent of one of those “swarm” movies where the bugs are scampering – no fighting to get into the house!
If that had been a movie, the crowd would have been covering their eyes and screaming “Don’t take the cover off! Don’t take the cover off!”
…and the room filled with flies.
Maybe not in “Moses showing Pharaoh God’s might” proportions, but it sure seemed like it!
Cutting to the end of this experience, I ended up sealing up the shower head opening, hanging several of those handy dandy, sticky fly trap ribbon things, and putting a towel across the door gap at the floor. What can I say, it did the trick…
So, on a intensely smaller scale, I can imagine a bit of the freakiness Pharaoh, his officials, and the Egyptians went through.
Sorry, no stories about frogs, gnats, cows, or locusts…