Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Exodus, chapters 7 through 9, chronicling the first seven plagues on Egypt. Some impressions from the text:
- “The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord…” This was, and remains, God’s purpose. He does what He does for his own sake, for his glory, to make his name known. For literally anyone else, this might rightly be characterized as self-aggrandizement. For God, it is wholly appropriate. He is God. “I am,” He tells Moses from the burning bush. He is. He exists and, because He exists, everything else does. His name should be known. It must be known. It will be known.
- The plagues against Egypt were God’s credentials. He showed his dominance over Pharaoh and the false gods of Egypt. It’s clear from the confrontation of staffs, where Moses’ staff became a snake and devoured those of the Egyptian sorcerers, that the Egyptian gods – while false – were real. They were demons. They had real power. Egypt was a pagan Satanic culture. But God remained dominant over those forces.
- By turning the Nile to blood, God showed his dominance over the Nile god Hapi. He demonstrated his sovereign control over the life-giving waters, over life itself, and over the very nature of reality.
- It’s noteworthy that Egypt’s sorcerers were able to duplicate the transformation of water into blood. Pharaoh let this convince him that there was nothing special about what Moses had done. But isn’t it telling that the sorcerers could not reverse the plague?
- From the fourth plague on, God makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites, protecting his people from his wrath.
- It’s amazing that, after six miraculous plagues, there were still many Egyptians who did not heed God’s warning regarding the seventh plague. Here God began to offer salvation to those Egyptians who feared him and would heed his warning. This progression from wrath on all, to saving the Israelites, to eventually saving any who believed, modeled the salvation offered through the gospel. Jew and gentile alike may be saved.
Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.
Catch up on the previous entries:
Moses gets a mission from God. – Exodus 1-3