And Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt. Exodus 8:17
He spoke, and there came a swarm of flies and gnats in all their territory.
All summer I have been aggravated by a few gnats! I hate them and I have wondered if the ones I have are ancestors to those in the days of Moses! What are gnats exactly? Gnats have tiny wings-some bite-some do not; they are scarcely visible to the naked eye. Some swarm in dense clouds number perhaps a million! At least I have only had a few over the summer but that is enough to cause you to become aggravated. You just don’t know how many times I have slapped myself trying to kill one.
Have you noticed that Jesus spoke about them in Matthew 23:24? Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. I never understood that quote but I have discovered there are rules in Leviticus 11:41-43, dealing with pesky creatures like the gnat, lice, flies, etc. The Pharisees would meticulously strain out the smallest unclean insect-the gnat-with a cloth filter before drinking liquids, especially wine.
Now to foxes, Song of Solomon 2:15, little foxes that are ruining the vineyards. You might say it is like in the hen house!
Sin is a topic we are all familiar with because Jesus delivered us from our sins. We know what sin is to God. At time, I looked for a way for those “little white lies” to fit into the Word but God looks at it like He does man we are all equal in His eyes. The Holy Spirit warns us not to go down a certain path but we still go! A major sin in God’s eyes is disobedience.
We know and hear stories all the time about people who have gone too far; the sin is exposed and we have to deal with it. Those gnats were little but yet they caused havoc among the Egyptians; stealing little things often leads to big stuff; a small lie becomes larger because you have to lie to cover it up (been there many times). I think of the bit as a round circle and man of us dance around the edge thinking we never will fall into it! If you don’t run from the very appearance of evil (sin) then you could slip and fall! How do you think people get in there? Foxes are cut little animals-one might be okay but get a bunch and they do major destruction. We all need to look for those “gnats” and “foxes” in our lives and then exterminate! How do we do it? We go to the Father in prayer and confess and read the Word. (1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22, 1 Thessalonians 5:22 and James 4:7)
What you see with your eyes, what you fill your thoughts with, the company you keep, the compromises you make and what you engage in can put you on the rim of the pit! Jesus said what is in your heart will be revealed some day!
I am still chasing a gnat or two at home. I hit them with bug spray, they fall to the floor, wake up and begin again. The devil is like that, he knows more than one tactic; he knows time is running out and everyone is a target—even your children. But, I know One that holds the keys and gives us the authority to defeat “all” that comes against us!
Note: Exodus 8:17, we often say the third plague was lice. Scholars say it could have been ticks, life, gnats or mosquitos. All of these existed in the dry hot climate of Egypt.