Reading: Exodus 7:14-25
God sends Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh to demand Israel’s release. But Pharaoh refuses. Ten plagues follow. The plagues contain messages for Pharaoh and his court. First in Exodus 7:17 “Thus says the LORD: ‘By this you shall know that I am the LORD.’ ” Second, by the plagues all nations will learn this; God says to Pharaoh in Exodus 9:16 “But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Third, the Lord attacks the Egyptians’ gods. Numbers 33:4 says about the Egyptians: “Also on their gods the LORD had executed judgments.”
The Lord records these things in the Bible as a strong message for all times. The plagues are not just some devastating events in Egypt; they are a great demonstration, to all nations, of God’s majesty and power, His care for the church and the futility of serving idols. This gives us greater respect for God and many reasons to honour and praise Him.
The first plague which the Lord sends changes Egypt’s water into stinking blood which chokes the life out of fish and robs the Egyptians of their vital water sources. Why does God begin with this miracle? The River Nile, which also turns into blood, is extremely important in Egypt. It gives great wealth and conveniences; it provides fish for food; the land is made fertile each year by the river’s flooding; it provides water for their crops and forms an important transport route for defence and commerce. The river Nile was worshipped because it represents Osiris the goddess of life; the life giving floods are brought by the god Hapi. Now, suddenly God, by a single command, converts the river and all water to blood; without water, Egypt would soon be an uninhabitable desert. God teaches the Egyptians that there is no security in their great river and its gods. God, not the gods, holds the life of the Egyptians in his hand.
Key text: Ex 7:20-21 “And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.”
Question: what does the miracle of water into blood teach us today?