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.
What signs has God used to convince you of His love and convict you of your sin? Pray for wisdom and grace to discern any signs you may be missing.
The importance of signs lies in their sign-ificance.1 God does not perform signs to dazzle but to deliver; His wonders do not seek to wow people so much as to woo them into a relationship. God had already given ‘signs’ by which the Israelites would know that He was the Lord – and they had ‘believed’ and ‘worshipped’.2
However, since ‘Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding’ (v 14), the Lord makes good on His promise to ‘multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt’.3 The first of these signs relates to the Nile. Since the annual flooding of the river made the land fertile, ensuring Egypt’s economic prosperity, the Nile was worshipped as the personification of the god Hapi. Like Elijah’s challenge to the prophets of Baal,4 the plagues that follow are part of a divine challenge whereby various false gods of Egypt are exposed and deposed and the God of the Hebrews is revealed as all-powerful: ‘by this you will know that I am the Lord’ (v 17). Fittingly, Moses is sent to confront Pharaoh ‘on the bank of the Nile’ (v 15), where Pharaoh may have been conducting rituals connected with this sacred river. Indifferent to his people’s suffering (vs 21,24), Pharaoh refuses to relinquish control. The magicians’ response also supports the idea of a contest, since they merely duplicate the signs (7:22; 8:7) rather than attempt to reverse the plagues and bring relief to the people.
God’s redemptive purposes are never confined to just one nation. The ‘mighty acts of judgment’5 by which God would deliver Israel would also make him known to the Egyptians. While the plagues do represent a kind of progressive sentence, they were also signs by which Pharaoh (v 17) and the Egyptians could know that God was indeed the Lord and respond appropriately – as some later did.6
False teachers are multiplying, false teachings abound. Pray earnestly for those who are falling prey to dangerous deceptions.
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.
1 Leon Morris, Jesus is the Christ, IVP, 1989, p11 2 Exod 4:8,9,30,31 3 Exod 7:3 4 1 Kings 18:21–40 5 Exod 6:6; 7:4 6 Exod 9:20