While I was reading today’s Word, this is the song that kept running through my head. It is called My Deliverer by Rich Mullins. I apologize for the commercial before the music video but over that I have no control.
Chapter 7 — Do you recall back in Exodus 6:12 when Moses said to the Lord: “If the Israelites will not listen to me, WHY would Pharaoh listen to me since I speak with faltering lips?” Now the Lord tells Moses in verses 3-5
But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
Moses, Pharaoh, Egypt, the Egyptians, and yes, the Israelites are about to witness GOD’s power!!!
In Exodus 9:15-16 God tells Moses WHY he and everyone else has and will continue to witness God’s mighty power, His wonders, His miracles, and yes, even the plagues He sent. The verse states:
For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have RAISED YOU UP FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in ALL the earth.
THIS MIGHT JUST BE “MY” VERSE FOR THE DAY!!! God tells Moses “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE…” God has a purpose in EVERY thing. God has to prepare EVERY one for the exodus. The Israelites have to be reminded who God IS, of HIS Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They have to be reminded why they need to leave Egypt to worship the ONE TRUE GOD. Verse 5 states: And the Egyptians will know that I AM THE LORD (YHWH) when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it. Then in Exodus 9:20 it states: Even some of the Egyptians “who feared the WORD of the LORD hurried to bring their slaves and their livestock inside.” WHOAAAA…… IS THAT NOT TOTALLY AWESOME!!! Some of the Egyptians began to fear the WORD of the LORD!!! 🙂 NOW that’s what I’m talkin ’bout 🙂
The reason I mention these scriptures at this point is because in the past I have had a hard time personally answering the question: “WHY is God doing all of this to HIS people?” However, when I look ahead I see that He had to prepare EVERY one and EVERY thing to WANT to leave Egypt. God had to prepare Moses (and as we read HE is still equipping Moses) to be “their Deliverer” out of Egypt. He had to prepare the Egyptians to WANT them to leave. He also wanted EVERY one to KNOW HE IS THE ONE TRUE GOD.
God reminded Moses that he will harden the heart of Pharaoh. Did God intentionally harden Pharaoh’s heart and overrule his free will? NO — God KNEW that Pharaoh was stubborn, rebellious, hard hearted, and wanted NOTHING to do with the ONE TRUE GOD. Pharaoh simply confirmed what God knew all along. Pharaoh FREELY CHOSE a life of resisting God, and God used Pharaoh’s choices and desires in not releasing the Israelites.
The Lord tells Moses and Aaron that when Pharaoh says “perform a miracle” then Aaron was to take his staff and throw it down before Pharaoh and it would become a snake. When Pharaoh did ask this question, Moses and Aaron were prepared and knew what to do. What does Pharaoh do when he sees the staff turned snake …. he tells his wise men, sorcerers, and magicians to do the same AND THEY DO. So, Pharaoh is NOT impressed and nothing has changed.
As we enter into the plagues, it is important to realize that God had a purpose for each plague. Each of the plagues were to not ONLY display God’s omnipotence, His sovereignty, and MORE of HIS character … but EACH plague had a special meaning to the Egyptians. EACH plague made a statement about the gods the Egyptians worshiped and that THE ONE TRUE GOD WAS MUCH MORE POWERFUL THAN ANY AND ALL OF THEIR gods put together. God definitely got through to many of the Egyptians (because as we will eventually read … some of them leave with the Israelites)!!
Since Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding, God sends Moses and Aaron back to meet Pharaoh at “exactly the right time” and tell him He will turn the Nile to blood. The Nile was the MAJOR life source for Egypt, it was their ONLY water source, and God turns it to blood. There is no water to drink, to give their livestock, to water their crops, fish die, the place stinks. The scripture says in verse 21 that “the EGYPTIANS could not drink its water.” This is an assumption on my part but since it states ONLY the EGYPTIANS could not drink its water that possibly the Israelites had discovered another source of water or had been saving up on water, but I am not totally clear on this point. However, several commentaries stated the Israelites were protected by God on each of the plagues.
Here come Pharaoh’s wise men, sorcerers, and magicians and THEY DO THE SAME THING AGAIN!!! HOW could these wise men, sorcerers, and magicians DO THESE SAME THINGS (at this point)?? Some of their feats involved trickery or illusion, and some were satanic power. Since the Egyptians worshiped many gods, these gods were part of the underworld and the Egyptians were worshiping satan. satan CAN and WILL imitate things God does. Which is why it is SO important for us to KNOW the Word of God, so we can tell what is real and what is counterfeit. What does Pharaoh do when the water is turned to blood and his “men” are able to do the same thing … he turns his back and returns into the palace. Notice that the Egyptians are having to dig along the side of the Nile to get drinking water… but does Pharaoh give a rip …. NOPE!!! We can see his is a totally selfish ruler.
Chapter 8 — It has been seven days since the Lord struck the Nile. Now Moses is to go tell Pharaoh to “let my people go” or God will bring FROGS down up Egypt. Moses and Aaron are again obedient to God, confront Pharaoh, hear his refusal, and bring in the frogs (poor Kermit)!! And AGAIN, Pharaoh’s wise men, et al, do the SAME thing. One thing I noticed was that Pharaoh’s wise men, sorcerers, and magicians were able to duplicate things (so far) BUT…. they couldn’t FIX anything!! Pharaoh didn’t even NOTICE that he had to come back to Moses and Aaron and ask them to pray to God to get rid of the frogs and oh yeah… if you will do this then I will let your people go. They pray… the frogs go…. but did you notice in verses 13-14 that the frogs “DIED IN THE HOUSES, IN THE COURTYARDS AND IN THE FIELDS. THEY WERE PILED UP IN HEAPS, AND THE LAND REEKED OF THEM.” I could find nothing in this Scripture that stated this happened only to the Egyptians specifically so again I am not clear on this point, but several commentaries indicate it only happened to the Egyptians.
Remember that the Egyptians were quite wealthy (not all… but many). The ones who were not wealthy lived in small houses or mud huts. The ones who were wealthy had HUGE homes… three story… and the FROGS WERE IN EVERY room!!! And can you IMAGINE the SMELL…. HEAVENS. Well, you guessed it… the frog dance is over, and Pharaoh reneges on letting the people go. I KNOW… I CAN SEE YOUR SHOCK FACE FROM HERE!!!
Next the Lord tells Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out his staff and strike the dust of the land and this time GNATS come. My husband is a real information/history source. He was explaining to me that even in 2013 in Northern Canada there are “deer” flies that DRIVE THE Elk CRAZY!!! I can picture the gnats being something like that …. biting, stinging, getting into the eyes, ears, and noses of every living thing and making them wish they were dead!! The magicians could do NOTHING!! EVEN the Magicians told Pharaoh “THIS IS THE FINGER OF GOD”!!! HELLOOOOOOOOO!!! The very people you call on for advice are telling you this is GOD and you still turn your back!! As my Grandmother would have said in her strong Italian accent ….”Disa man… heza… coconutsah”!!!
Rather than list each of the remaining plagues (flies, livestock, and we end today with boils)… I have made a chart with all of the plagues below so you will be able to compare the plagues, who they effected, Pharaoh’s response, what the magicians did, and what Egyptian gods these plagues specifically were focused on. The chart includes ALL of the plagues from Chapters 7-12 so some will come in tomorrows reading. However, I wanted to go ahead and provide you with the chart so you could see their impact.
I am so impressed at God’s attention to detail. He wasn’t JUST giving HIS CHOSEN people a DELIVERER, but HE wanted ALL to come to HIM. He knew what it would take to get the attention of the average Egyptian (excluding Pharaoh). He KNEW how loyal they were to their gods and that their gods could not hold a candle to HIM. Some people have gone so long and so far REFUSING to acknowledge God that it may be too late when Jesus comes again to gather His people (just as in the day of the great flood). However, THAT personal CHOICE is NOT the CHOICE of God which is why HE so carefully orchestrates all the details. HE HAS AN AWESOME PLAN … WHICH ONE DAY WILL BE THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST FOR US …. and HE is working on us, through us, with us, and for us… right now.. today… for that appointed time.
Here is a challenge for you — Review these chapters and see how many times you can find where the WORD says “JUST AS THE LORD HAD SAID”… one is in 7:13 … can you find a few more?? HINT… they appear at the end of each story of each plague 🙂
|The Plagues of GOD and the gods of Egypt Exodus 7-12|
|PLAGUES||WARNINGS||EXTENT||PHARAOH’S RESPONSE||MAGICIANS EFFECT||POSSIBLE EGYPTIAN DEITIES ATTACKED BY THE PLAGUES|
|Water turned to blood (7:14-25)||Given to Pharaoh (7:15-18, 20)||Blood was everywhere in Egypt (7:21)||Hardened his heart, refused to listen displayed indifference (7:22-23)||They duplicated turning the water into blood (7:22)||Hapi — god of the Nile; Isis — goddess of the Nile; Khnum –guardian of the Nile; Osiris — a god that gave life in the Nile|
|Frogs (8:1-15)||Given to Pharaoh (8:1-4)||Covered the land of Egypt (8:6)||Dealt deceitfully, hardened his heart, refused to listen (8:8, 15)||They could duplicate turning the frogs (8:7)||Heqet — goddess of birth, with a frog head|
|Gnats (8:16-19)||None given||Throughout the land of Egypt (8:17)||Hardened his heart, refused to listen (8:19)||Magicians could NOT duplicate the gnats and told Pharaoh “THIS IS THE FINGER OF God” (8:18-19)||Set — god of the desert|
|Insects (or flies) (8:20-32)||Given to Pharaoh (8:20-23)||Throughout Egypt the land was ruined (8:24) NOTE: 8:24 is the FIRST time the Scripture mentions that God will deal DIFFERENTLY with the land of Goshen where my people live||Dealt deceitfully, hardened his heart, refused to release the Hebrews (8:25-29, 32)||No mention of the Magicians||Re — a sun god; Uatchit — a god possibly represented by the fly|
|livestock epidemic (9:1-7)||Given to Pharaoh (9:1-5)||All the livestock of Egypt died (9:6) NOTE: Verse 4 states The Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that fo Egypt so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.||Hardened the heart, refused to release the Hebrews (9:7) NOTE: Pharaoh sent men to investigate and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died (9:7)||No mention of the Magicians||Hathor — goddess with a cow head; Apis — the bull was a CHIEF god, he was creator and symbol of fertility; Mnevis — sacred bull of Heliopolis|
|Boils (9:8-12)||None given||On man and beast through all the land of Egypt (9:9)||God hardened his heart; refused to listen (9-12)||The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians||Sekhmet — goddess with power over disease; Sunu — the pestilence god; Isis–goddess of healing; Imhotep — the god of medicine with the “power” to heal|
|Hailstorm (9:13-35)||Given to Pharaoh (9:13-21||All the land of Egypt (9:25) NOTE: verse 26 states: “The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen where the Israelites were.”||Dealt deceitfully, hardened his heart, refused to release the Hebrews (9:27-29, 34-35) NOTE: Look at Pharaoh’s words in verses 27-28 ” THIS TIME I HAVE SINNED… THE LORD IS IN THE RIGHT, AND I AND MY PEOPLE ARE IN THE WRONG. PRAY TO THE LORD…” He SPECIFICALLY says he sinned and says THE LORD is right… NOT YOUR GOD!!!||WHAT MAGICIANS???||Nut — (now there is a good name for a goddess 🙂 ) –a sky goddess; Osiris — god of crops and fertility; Set–god of storms; Seth–protector of crops|
|Locusts (10:1-20)||Given to Pharaoh (10:1-6)||“All the land of Egypt” (10:14)||Dealt deceitfully, God hardened his heart, refused to release the Hebrews (10:16-17,20 NOTE: Pharaoh states again in verses 16-17 “I have sinned against the Lord you God and against you. Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God…” Talk is certainly cheap for the Pharaoh and he refers to the Lord as “the Lord YOUR God”||Maybe the magicians flew the coop??? They are still not mentioned here.||Nut— a sky goddess; Osiris–god of crops and fertility; Seth–protector of crops|
|Darkness that could be FELT and lasted for THREE days (10:21-29)||None given||“All the land of Egypt” (10:22) NOTE: Verse 23 states: “Yet all the Isrealites had light in the places where they lived.”||Proposed a bargain rejected by Moses; God hardened his heart, refused to release the Hebrews, told Moses “do not appear before me again!”||Magicians are long gone 🙂||Re, Aten, Atum, Horus — all sun gods; Nut, Hathor — sky goddesses|
|Death of the firsborns (11:1-12, 32||Given to Pharaoh (11:4-8)||“All the firstborn in the land of Egypt” (12:29) NOTE: Verses 1-28 –God tells Moses EXACTLY what to tell the Israelites to do and WHEN to do it so their firsborns would be protected PASSOVER — when all the firstborns (animals and children) of the Egyptians would be put to death.||Told Moses and Aaron to lead the Hebrews with ALL their possessions OUT of Egypt. The Egyptians were MORE than willing to give the Hebrews ALL their gold and silver (see Exodus 3:22 … another promise fulfilled) just so they would hurry and leave before the ones remaining died. This gold and silver will be used in the building of the tabernacle.||The mag…. WHAT???||Min–god of reproduction; Isis–goddess who protected children; Heqet–goddess of birth; Pharaoh’s firstborn son–a god|