TUESDAY, AUGUST 21
SCRIPTURE: EXODUS 7-8
BY: Jeremy Witt
Remember the excuse of Moses in Exodus 6:30 as we begin today’s reading. The LORD heard Moses and responded in verse 1 by saying that Moses would be like or seem like God to Pharaoh and that Aaron would be Moses’ prophet. Why did God do this? We see in chapter 6 that Pharaoh had not heard of the LORD, the God of Israel and was not impressed. Through Moses, God would demonstrate His power to the Egyptians so that they would know who God is and of His power.
It should be noted that the Israelites were viewed as slaves at this point. No one feared the Israelites. No one feared the LORD, the God of Israel. God would use the events forthcoming to shape how the people and God Himself were viewed by the nations. God took a small group of people who were viewed as slaves and as nothing by the nations to become His priests’ and to share His saving power to the nations. Israel’s purpose has always been to show who God is and to build relationships with people.
Verse 3 is important. Pharaoh worshipped other gods. He was a powerful man whose pride was in himself. He was viewed as a god by his people. His heart was hardened by this, and would not listen, and God used these things to demonstrate His power. Notice verse 5 too. All of these things were not just for Pharaoh but also for the people of Egypt. They will know the power of the one God, not their Pharaoh. They will see God’s power shown to them and they will recognize who is the Almighty.
How old was Moses when all this happened and how old was Aaron? Do you see it? They were not young! God wants us to be obedient regardless of age. As long as we are breathing and alive, God has a plan for us for His glory in every stage of life. Let us not use an excuse of age to keep us from teaching, serving, giving, and being faithful to what God calls us to do.
Verses 8-13 begin this display of God’s power to Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Notice after Aaron’s staff becomes a serpent; the Egyptian sorcerers accomplish the same feat. How did they do this? Illusion, sorcery, or just plain satanic power as they worshipped all types of gods are possible answers, but notice in verse 12 how Aaron’s staff ate theirs up. Any attempt of duplicating God’s power is futile, and God will display His power over anything else. This is true throughout Scripture all the way to the new heaven and new earth. Satan tries to mimic God’s power and lead people astray. He is the great deceiver, but ultimately Satan simply fails.
Notice verses 13-14 and the hardness of heart by Pharaoh. We see the same thing as we read Revelation. Despite God’s power and the judgments, people’s hearts are hardened and they choose not to repent and believe. We see similar plagues appear again in the end as well.
Our first plague is blood (verses 14-25) Notice that the Egyptians’ magicians are able to turn the water red as well. Side note: Read Revelation11:6 and 16:4.
Chapter 8 begins with the plague of frogs in verses 1-15. Can you imagine seeing all those frogs? They were everywhere because their Nile River home was now blood, so they went inland. Again the magicians are able to duplicate this as we read in verse 7, but this time Pharaoh begs Moses to get rid of the frogs by praying to the LORD God. I find it funny that when Moses asks Pharaoh when he would like for this to happen, Pharaoh says, “tomorrow” (verse 10). Why not today? Why would you want to wait until the next day?
The plague of gnats comes next in verses 16-19 after Pharaoh refused to let the people go and worship God. Notice that this plague was not able to be reproduced by the Egyptians’ magicians. Even the magicians’ claim this is the hand of God in verse 19, but Pharaoh again refuses to believe or to let the people go.
The plague of flies comes in verses 20-32, but this plague will only affect the Egyptians. God protects the Israelites who live in Goshen from this plague. This shows God’s power by limiting who is affected as verses 22-23 state.
Verses 25-28 are an interesting dialogue as Pharaoh gives in but puts his spin on things. After Moses points out that the Egyptians won’t like it, Pharaoh says to go but hurry back. This time he wants relief immediately instead of waiting till tomorrow. Moses warns Pharaoh not to lie to him again in 29. Yet that is exactly what Pharaoh does.
Have you ever done the same thing as Pharaoh? Have you ever promised God something and didn’t follow through? Maybe God answered your prayers specifically and once you got what you wanted, you didn’t do as you promised. One of the things about Scripture that speaks to me is that we can learn a lot about others (humanity) as well as ourselves. Clearly we need help and clearly we need a Savior! Thank You LORD for not being like me or us!