Within this passage, Aaron stretches out his rod over the dust of the earth, and the dust becomes lice. For the first two plagues, the magicians could replicate it. Yet, this time, they are without power to do the same miracle. This third plague comes without warrant, that is, without warning. It is because of this that the magicians declare, “This is the finger of God!”
When we turn the Gospel of Luke, we have the exact same phrase repeated. It is the finger of God that the psalmist declares created the heavens and the earth (Ps 8:3). Now this very finger is producing a plague against the Egyptians that is most likely unbearable. Whether we see these insects as gnats, mosquitos, or lice, all three are pests that we all can’t imagine the severity of what it must be to have them swarming in terrifying masses.
In Luke 11, Jesus is being questioned by the Pharisees. They claim that He casts out demons by the prince of demons. Jesus responds by claiming that you must bind the strongman in order to dispossess him. He asks by what means the Pharisees and their sons cast demons out. In between those two statements are the words, “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
What is Jesus saying?
He is pointing back to this event, specifically this statement of the magicians, and making the connection that God revealed to the Egyptians that their gods are not gods. It is the God of Israel who is God, and their gods are unable to stand before Him. This statement is more than just to admit that God is real, or that God has worked this. It is an acknowledgement that the gods of Egypt have not been able to do these mighty acts, and that next to this plague, it is obvious that Israel’s God is truly a God indeed.
The demons cannot stand against the power of God. It is through the Spirit of God, according to Matthew 12:28, that Jesus does this. Here it is that we have the finger of God, the Spirit of God, and the Kingdom of God being paralleled with one another. The act that was taking place in Exodus was the establishment of the Kingdom. The act that Jesus is performing is equally an establishing of the Kingdom. To then equate that with the kingdom of darkness is to blaspheme the Spirit, which shall not be forgiven (Matt 12:31-32).
I find this text incredibly interesting. It has a lot of concepts strung together, which makes it difficult to perceive all of the layers. However, there is a lot that is easy to perceive. We see meat to the mature, and milk to the babes.