To read “Moses part one” click here.
To read “Moses part two” click here.
To read “Moses part three” click here.
10) The ten plagues.
This was new to me. Sometimes when I read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, I read it like a book. Not really looking for the reason behind why something not only happened but was recorded in the Bible. What I learned about the plagues was one of those times.
The purpose of the plagues was to prove the Egyptian god’s to be false and to show everyone that the God of the Israelites is the one true God.
In order to do that God chose plagues that would prove their gods impotent.
Plagues one and two were against the gods of the Nile River. Osiris was a chief Nile god. When the water turned to blood and all the fish died and an invasion of frogs out of the Nile River covered the land, where was Osiris?
Plagues three through six were against the god’s of the land. God brought hordes of insects from the soil to torment the Egyptians. Then more swarms of flying insects. Where was Geb the god of the soil? What about Apis the bull god or Hathor the cow goddess when all the livestock were struck down? And when the ashes that Moses spread over the land caused boils on the people, where was Imhotep who was worshiped for his healing ability?
Plagues seven through nine were against the god’s of the sky. Egypt is a land of cloudless skies. Almost year round sunshine. When hail fell from the sky it was unheard of. The hail struck and killed people and animals. It flattened crops. However, we see some sunshine at this point because the Bible records (Exodus 9:20) that some of the Egyptians heeded Moses’ warning and moved their animals and servants into shelter. Wind brought locusts in another plague that ate everything green. No warning was given for the ninth plague which blotted out all light for three days. The sun god Ra, whom the pharaoh was to be the son of, went missing. Where was the power of pharaoh if Ra is gone?
The tenth plague , the death plague seems so horrible. Horrible like the Egyptians ordering the murder of all male Israeli babies. Yet we see mercy. Mercy for those who will believe in the one true God. This plague was a death blow to the Egyptian gods. They could do nothing about the death of the first born because they were nothing. God proved it. Some Egyptians believed and fled with the Israelites.
I always read the section of the plagues as one after another. A closer look supposes a long period of time for all these plagues to take place. Probably a varying amount of time between each.
11) Why would God harden pharaoh’s heart?
In Exodus 4:21, before Moses ever returns to Egypt, God told Moses that He would harden pharaoh’s heart so that he wouldn’t let the Israelites go. That doesn’t seem fair.
Again, I go back to what I know about God. His characteristics. God is holy. He is completely without sin. He cannot do anything wrong. He also knows all things. Past, present, future. He created time. His is not dictated by time.
Exodus records that in the first five plagues pharaoh hardened his own heart. In the last five plagues God hardened pharaoh’s heart.
I believe God knows who will believe in Him and who will never believe in Him. He knew that pharaoh (who was considered a god) would never believe in the one true God. Pharaoh was a human created by God and would be used by God whether he wanted Him to or not.
There are multiple places in Exodus that God gives His reason for the plagues. Exodus 9:14 “…so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the Earth, 9:16 “….that I might show you my power and the my name might be proclaimed in all the Earth, 9:29 “…..so you may know that the Earth is the LORD’s”, to name a few. God so loves us that He wants us to know Him. He will go to great lengths to reach us.
12) The Passover
The Old Testament is full of a gradual revelation of God’s plan for mankind. Over the years God showed the Israelites their sinful human nature. He showed them that death would be required to make amends for sin.
In the Passover those who had faith in God took a male lamb without blemish into their homes for four days. At the end of those four days the lamb was sacrificed and consumed. The blood of this lamb was brushed onto the door frame of the house. When the angel came and saw the blood on the doorframe He would “passover” that house and not kill the firstborn child.
What is important about this is that the Israelites were on the same level as the Egyptians. Death would come if they didn’t have faith and act on it. In other words they too were sinful. Just because they were God’s chosen nation didn’t mean they were without sin. Their faith in the one true God, put into action, is what showed them different from the Egyptian families who lost loved ones that night.
I love to study God’s word. I think that I could study it forever and always learn something new.
We have moved from Exodus to Leviticus. Not surprising but there is a lot of very cool stuff in Leviticus. When I read it on my own it seems boring. When I read it in a formal Bible study with people who have masters or doctorate degrees from some of the best Bible colleges I learn stuff I never would have known.
Thanks for listening.
Have a blessed day,