Exodus Devotional | The Plagues - Day 1, Part 1
The Book of Exodus
The Greatness of God to His People in Need
Exodus The Plagues, Part 1, Day 1
“Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’ But Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.’” (Exodus 5:1-2)
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh's heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent. And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, ‘Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.’ But so far, you have not obeyed. Thus says the Lord, ‘By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood. The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.’” (Exodus 7:14-18)
God is answering a question. That’s what he’s doing. That’s what the plagues over Egypt are for—among other things. God is answering a single and extremely important question Pharaoh has asked: “Who is this God, that I should obey him?” That’s the sinful heart of all humanity, exposed in a challenging query to God.
You see God’s response there, in chapter 7, verse 17, yes? “By this you shall know that I am the Lord.” By my ability to ruin the Nile River, the source of your farms, your economy, and your prosperity--I’ll turn the water to blood. Interesting, isn’t it, that the same Nile the Egyptians were told to drown Hebrew children in now runs red with the blood evidence of their sin? God is saying, “I am the Lord. I know what you’ve done to my people. I’ll show you my power. No denying it.”
In fact, as we explore the plagues this week, we’ll see how God is showing himself to be Lord-God . . . alone, over and above all other supposed gods. Later in Exodus, when God’s people are out of captivity and he’s laying down his Law, he’ll explicitly say, “I am the Lord, your God . . . the one Pharaoh didn’t know, fear, or obey. I . . . I alone am the Lord, and there will be no other gods.” So, here, all the gods the Egyptians associated with the Nile River are being dismantled and put to shame in their powerlessness and falsehood.
1. Set aside time today to consider the sins of your mind, heart, and even action—I want you to consider how these sins are a challenge to God, much like Pharaoh’s: Who are you, God, that I should obey you?
2. Repent. Do what Pharaoh didn’t want to do and failed to do—turn away from your sin, turn away from the false gods of sex, money, power, leisure, convenience . . . ask the Lord to forgive you and restore you in your relationship with him.
3. Are there ways in the past that you’ve seen God dismantle and tear down things you put in front of him so that you could recognize you were in sin? What did God do in those times?