Here we go again. The Lord tells Moses to go before Pharaoh, with Aaron, and tell Pharaoh everything God commands of him. Tell him to let His people go. Pharaoh’s heart is going to be hardened again, even though God is going to increase His signs and wonders. Now, He isn’t just going to increase them in front of Pharaoh. They’re going to increase in all the land of Egypt. Why? I mean, it’s Pharaoh whose heart needs to change in order for the Israelites to find freedom, right? We find out in verse 5,
“The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.”
Yep, He wants the whole nation of Egypt to know that He is the Lord. AND He doesn’t want there to be any doubt at all among the Israelites about who brought them out of bondage.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I’m not really sure how to put my thoughts into words (but of course I’m going to try! 🙂 ). There are lots of things out there that we need to be free from…you have them or have had them…I have them or have had them…The process of finding freedom from things in my own life has usually been somewhat painful. The Israelites were going through a painful time in slavery as the process towards freedom was taking place. Have you ever been freed from something in your own life? Past hurts, anger, addiction, pride, etc? What did that process look like in your own life? We’ve seen, and will continue to see, God making Himself known to those going through the process in many ways. In Exodus, He uses signs and wonders (which we’re about to see ten of), but what about in your own journey? What signs and wonders has God put throughout your process in order for you to know that He is still there, still orchestrating your freedom? He goes before you too, just as He did the Israelites. Don’t believe that? I hate to say that doesn’t matter, but the truth is, just because you don’t believe it doesn’t make it untrue. As a matter of fact, whether you see God going before you or not, we have many witnesses of God’s faithfulness whose lives we can look to. Hebrews 12:1-2 points that out clearly,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Yep, we have a great cloud of witnesses as to God’s faithfulness. Who is this cloud of witnesses? Read Hebrews 11 for a list of inspiring witnesses. We even see what we are learning about in Exodus brought up in Hebrews 11:22-29.
Back to Exodus 7…I just have to point out Moses’s and Aaron’s ages at this point. 80 and 83! Just goes to show…age doesn’t matter when you’re called by God!
Now, Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh. Aaron throws down the staff and it becomes a snake. But Pharaoh calls his “wise men and sorcerers” and they each did the same thing through their “secret arts.” They were able to do this act either through sleight of hand or by demonic power. But Aaron’s snake swallows up their snakes. I find some crazy satisfaction when I read that. I think it’s the whole “My Daddy is bigger than your daddy” thing! Even through all of this, though, Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened “just as the Lord had said.”
And the plagues begin… The Lord tells Moses and Aaron to go meet Pharaoh on the banks of the Nile as he goes out to the water, which he did as a routine each morning. Can you imagine? Out you go to wash yourself or perform some religious rite (differing opinions on this) and…Oh! Good morning Moses and Aaron!! They definitely had something to say to Pharaoh…Verses 16-18,
“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 Egyptions will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.'”
Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord told them to. Aaron struck the waters of the Nile with the staff, and “blood was everywhere in Egypt.” Can you imagine?!?
But here come those pesky Egyptian magicians again. They do the same things and Pharaoh won’t listen to Moses and Aaron. His heart is hardened again! Not even blood in place of all the water in Egypt seemed to phase him. Are there warnings in your life? Take heed to them!