We pick up this week with Moses in an increasingly hard place. God has once again told him to go and speak to Pharaoh, and Moses hesitates. Things seem to being going from bad to worse and Moses appears to be having a real struggle of faith. It can be so hard to have faith when things are not going well and you can see the storm clouds forming. The people of Israel are so beaten down that they just want the pressure to ease up and it seems to them that Moses is bringing more harm than good. But God keeps consistently telling Moses that He will deliver the people and in the process, He will show beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is the one true God.
The Hebrew people were monotheistic meaning that they worshipped one God, while the Egyptians were polytheistic meaning they worshipped many gods. They had deities that symbolized everything. For example, the great Nile River was depicted as Hapi, the god of fertility and nourishment, and frogs were represented by Heka, the frog-headed goddess who was the goddess of fertility and rebirth, closely aligned with Hapi. There was not a single area of life that their idolatry didn’t cover. God was very specific with the plagues, showing His greatness over the inadequacy of their gods and nature itself. In the first two plagues that God sent, the Nile was turned into blood and then frogs covered the land.
I hope you will take some time and read through the rest of the plagues. Next week we are going to pick up again with chapter 12, but as you read this week, keep in mind how God is showing His power and greatness over all the idols of the Egyptians. This is such an awesome picture of how mighty our God is and the lengths that He will go for His plans to be accomplished.
As I read through Exodus the word “freedom” keeps popping into my mind. God desired His people to be free from the oppression of slavery in Egypt. He wanted them to be free from the bondage of idolatry. He wanted them to be free to experience His best for them. He still wants that for His people today. Galatians 5:1 is one of my very favorite verses and I think it fits so well with this story: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Just as the Egyptians had many idols in their lives, you and I can so easily struggle with the same. The idols of workaholism, control, self-sufficiency, substances, relationships – the list goes on and on and they often take the place in our lives that should only be filled by God. It is for freedom that we have been set free and that freedom only comes through surrender to God’s rightful place in our lives. God is God alone and He doesn’t share His position. There is no limit to His pursuit of our hearts because of His great love for us. Take some time to reflect on that this week.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5
New Hope Church