FREE TO WORSHIP?
Mighty God, I bow in worship and praise before You today. What an amazing, awesome God You are.
Read Exodus 7:14 – 8:7
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[a] 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 of Frogs
25 Seven days passed after the Lord struck the Nile. 8 1 [b]Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country. 3 The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. 4 The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.’”
5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’”
6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. 7 But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAsk God to show you about any potential idols in your life. Take a moment to be still. Be open to him, recognizing anything that you might be worshipping other than God.
Moses is told to challenge Pharaoh with some plagues. The Nile River – the life source of Egypt – and its surrounding water sources will turn to blood (vs 17– 23). Then there will be a plague of frogs (vs 7:25 – 8:7). Reading this in the 21st century, it can all seem a little strange. Why would these plagues happen?
God is challenging Egypt’s idols. Egypt was known to worship 114 gods, and sacrifices were made to the god of the Nile; there was even a god called ‘Heket’ who looked like a frog. The Nile River was central to the Egyptians’ wealth – they used it for water supplies, fishing, and for transportation. These plagues were challenging their gods, and Pharaoh was being challenged by the creator God. Moses wanted Pharaoh to let his people go so they could be free to worship (8:1). In this story, we hear big echoes of Jesus being the one who frees us from the idols of our culture in order that we might be free to worship God today.
Reflect on these words: ‘Idolatry is not just a failure to obey God, it is a setting of the whole heart on something besides God’ (Tim Keller, 2009).
Holy Spirit of God, sensitize me to the guidance I am receiving from You. Help me overcome my sometimes stubborn resistance to Your will for my life.
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