A Brief Skim Through the Bible

Exodus

This devotional is written by Matt Coombs

Exodus 7:14-24, 11:1-10

The Plague of Blood

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, 'The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.'"
19 The Lord said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt - over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs - and they will turn to blood.' Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone."
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh's heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.

The Plague on the Firstborn

11 Now the Lord had said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. 2 Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbours for articles of silver and gold." 3 (The Lord made the Egyptians favourably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh's officials and by the people.)
4 So Moses said, "This is what the Lord says: 'About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt - worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. 7 But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.' Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.
9 The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.

Reflection

The Exodus story reveals yet more understanding as to what God is like and how he will restore the world. This is a story of liberation. God is setting his people free from Pharaoh's tyranny, one day he will bring complete freedom and the world will be renewed.

These are the first and last plagues to come upon Egypt. The Israelites later described these plagues as "signs and wonders"- (Deut 6:22-23). Each plague is an act of power that is a sign that reveals who God is.
 
The Egyptian were polytheists. Which means they worshipped a multitude of gods. So, if you wanted a good harvest you would leave an offering at the shrine of harvest god. If you were struggling to conceive, you would give an offering to the fertility god. There was a god for everything; the Sun and Moon, agriculture, sea, river, animals, warfare, work life, home life and so on.
 
To the Egyptians, these gods determined what happened in the earthly realm. If they were angry with you, you needed to please them somehow. So for God to lead the people of Israel out he needs to overpower these gods.
 
God says to Moses tell pharaoh "I will bring plagues upon Egypt until you let my people go."
 
In the first plague, the river Nile turned to blood. But the Nile was the sacred abode of the Egyptian river god Hapi. So when the Nile turned to blood it symbolised the death of that god.
 
The whole nation of Egypt can see their main river turned to blood, not only would they be concerned that as the river provided so much life for humans, animals and crops, but more than that their god had been exterminated.
 
Then the next plague, the livestock begins to die, to the Egyptians the bull was sacred to the god Apis and rams to the god Amon. These gods are also exterminated.

Not only is the Egyptian food supply wiped out, But more than that their gods are being destroyed and overpowered.
 
In the penultimate plague the sun god Rah was blotted out. Again it's not just they can't see anything, it's their gods are being overpowered. They'll be thinking "What do we do? Who's going to look after us?" 
 

Then, the final plague Pharaoh's first-born son dies. And in Egyptian belief pharaoh and his offspring were thought of as divine beings. That was the basis of their authority, so the death of pharaoh's son represents not only the death of a deity but also the end of his authority.
 
One by one, God wipes out the Egyptian gods to send a clear message to Egypt but also as a sign to Israel to say, I'm powerful to save you. I’m going to free you because I’m just that powerful.

Do you know that God is powerful enough to rescue you? To look after you. To restore all that has been lost.

Israel looked back on this Exodus account every year, remembering God's deliverance and the signs and wonders he performed. Do you have your own stories of God powerfully working in your life? Addictions overcome? Financial provision at the right time? Peace in a time of chaos?

Reflect and Pray

Remind yourself of these times. Pray to God thanking him for his faithfulness and power, ask him for his power for the situations that are currently overwhelming. 

No Comments


Recent

Archive

 2019

Categories