At first glance, the 10 plagues God sends on Egypt seem harsh – water to blood, disease, storms of hail, locusts and darkness bringing devastating loss. But as we look closer, we get a glimpse of important truths about God’s character and purpose.
From the beginning, when Adam and Eve committed their sin, God has always given us a chance for repentance. And this is what we see here. The first plagues are not major ones. They are unpleasant and disruptive warnings to Egypt to let God’s people go. God easily could have overwhelmed Egypt instantly, but instead, He gave them many opportunities for Pharaoh to change course. But he didn’t. Despite this, God was patient and eager for resistant hearts like Pharaoh’s to turn towards Him.
Additionally, each plague specifically targets and takes down an Egyptian god, exposing their impotence versus the one true God. For instance, the Nile river turned to blood cuts out the lifeline of Egypt’s trust in false gods. When the plagues of frogs, flies and locusts came contaminating the land, it revealed God’s supremacy over earth and nature. By disease and darkness stopping Ra the sun god, God proves only He is worthy of praise, not Pharaoh’s god. Here we see that God fights for the freedom of His children while dismantling idolatry.
Lastly, amidst these judgments on Egypt, God sets His people apart. Goshen where the Israelites live avoids plagues touching the rest of Egypt. As God’s Spirit sets division from the world and convictions of falsehood, He also shelters those who follow Him. God shields us even when storms rage, using trials to unseat the competing rulers of our hearts too.
The plagues display God’s persistent call to renounce counterfeit gods, whether ancient Ra of Egypt or modern faith in money, romance or success to give us meaning. God judges idolatry not to punish but to save, offer refuge, bring us into His freedom. Take time today to examine your heart today. Is there anything that is distracting you from God? If so, turn back to the one true God.
This is from one of the passages in the Bible in a Year plans. If you would like to start reading the Bible daily this year, click here for 5 different reading plans.