Okay, what’s going on here? This guy, this former prince of Egypt, comes walking out of the desert after being gone for 40 years. He boldly walks into the palace of Pharaoh and demands that he let God’s people, the Israelites, go. They’ve only been here 400 years! This guy Moses and his brother Aaron get into a “magic” contest with the Egyptian wise men and sorcerers – shepherd rods becoming snakes with Aaron’s rod swallowing all the other rods. But, Pharaoh wasn’t impressed.
Then we wake up in the morning and our river – the one we drink out of, wash our clothes in and water our crops with is bloody! What a mess that was; the fish in the river started dying and the stink was horrible. We had to dig around the river bank to get water to drink for seven long days. The people said that Moses’s God struck the river because we worshiped it and his God wanted us to see that the God of the Israelites was stronger than our gods. Pharaoh just went into his palace and shut the door. I guess he didn’t have to worry about digging around for water!
Evidently Moses went before Pharaoh again asking for the Israelites to be released and Pharaoh refused again. So, this morning, we woke up to frogs hopping and croaking all over the place. We’ve got frogs in our house, in our beds, in our drinking water pot – inside, outside, everywhere! Ugh! I hate frogs! So, our magicians in order not to be outdone did the same thing! More frogs, as if we needed any more!! Pharaoh has finally decided to let those Israelites go. But, Moses said not until tomorrow! So we had “one more night with those frogs”!!! And then they die and stink up the land. Can you imagine millions of frogs lying around, raked up into piles dead? That was a plague in itself!
If that was not enough, Pharaoh when he saw that the frogs were gone, refused to let the Israelites go! What next? Lice! Lice so thick they covered our bodies and our animals. You couldn’t breathe without breathing them in. You couldn’t open your mouth without them flying in! The magicians were amazed this time and told Pharaoh that it was surely the hand of God that did this. But, our intelligent, all wise, god like Pharaoh didn’t listen!
We then had to endure flies! The whole of Egypt was corrupted with them. They were flying around in thick swarms, outside and inside. In our food, in our water – what next?
I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be an Egyptian during this time in history! Doesn’t sound like a fun time to be alive in Egypt! But what a time to be alive for the Israelites to see the hand of God working on their behalf after 430 years, during which most of that time they were reduced to slavery. Depending on which side you were on, they were either wonders or plagues. Each plague removed Egypt’s reliance on another of their gods including the Pharaoh himself, who was considered to be a reincarnation of the sun god Ra.
What we have in this first part of Exodus is the human and the divine working in concert together to accomplish God’s will. What Moses held in his hand – his shepherd’s rod became the rod of God. Moses didn’t feel adequate for the task God had given him, but God assured him that God had equipped him for the task.
We can look back through history and see that every circumstance of Moses life was leading him to a destiny ordained by God. His placement in the Nile River when he was an infant to desperately try to hide him from Pharaoh’s killing teams trying to wipe out the rapid growth of the subservient Israelites. What it actually accomplished was his adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter and his being raised in the palace, trained and educated for leadership.
His attempt to come to the aid of an Israelite being beaten by an Egyptian taskmaster resulted in him fleeing to the desert rather than being punished for killing an Egyptian. But, his roaming the desert with his father in laws flocks just led him over ground that he would lead the children of Israel over in their flight from Egypt into the Promised Land!
What a story – what an adventure! There’s much more to come! Stay tuned!
Isn’t it astounding to realize that God can orchestrate our lives so that even the tragedies can become opportunities for God to bring His will for our lives into being. Move God in my life today – bring your purposes to pass!