(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Hebrews 11:28 speaks of an act of faith by Moses and all the Israelites the night before they were driven out of Egypt: “By faith he [Moses] kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” The Passover had not been kept before, or even named until that fateful night when the angel of death took life from every firstborn child of every Egyptian family, as well as the firstborn of all the country’s livestock! But for every Hebrew family, God gave instructions though Moses to escape the devastation, telling them…
On the tenth day of this month...take...a lamb...a male...without blemish...of the first year...and... keep it until the fourteenth day of the...month. Then...kill it at twilight. And...some of the blood ...put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel.... For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn...both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment; I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not...destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:3, 5-7, 12, 13).
“…I will pass over you…” This is where the annual celebration of Passover gets its name! And the Jews have celebrated this holy day for over 3, 400 years! This killing of the firstborn was the tenth plague sent upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Each plague not only incrementally destroyed the land and impoverished the people, but each one was also designed by God to show forth His power over the many gods of Egypt!
- The Nile River was the lifeline of Egypt! The water nourished the crops, provided fish for food, and was a main means of transportation.
♀ The god Khnum was viewed as the giver and guardian of the Nile! ♀ Hapi was the god credited with the necessary annual flooding of the river that replenished the topsoil and filled the marshes with birds and other game. ♀ The gods Sodpet and Satet were also linked to the annual flooding. ♀ The Nile was thought to be the bloodstream of Osiris, god of the underworld!
When Moses brought forth the first plague (see Exodus 7:19-21) by striking the water with the rod of God in his hand, the entire river turned to blood, as well as the water in pots and jars throughout Egypt! The fish died and the land stank! For seven days there was blood throughout the land!
- Heqet, goddess of birth and wife of the creator of the world, was depicted with a female body and the head of a frog! The primordial gods Nun, Kek, and Heh were each depicted as a man with a frog’s head! So the second plague (see Exodus 2-6) was a supernatural and overpowering invasion of frogs!
- The third plague (see Exodus 8:16, 17) was the dust of the land becoming lice! Geb was supposed to bring forth bounty from the land. Instead of bountiful crops, the ground produced bountiful lice! The god of healing was Imhotep, and the god Har-pa-khered was supposed to ward off dangerous creatures, but the three gods all failed in this plague!
- In the original Hebrew language, the forth plague (see Exodus 8:20-23) is not “…swarms of flies…,” but just “…swarms…” of some type of flying insect, most likely the scarab beetle! The god Kheper was depicted as a man with a scarab beetle (a dung beetle) in place of his head! Dung beetles pushed balls of manure around the ground. So Kheper, as a dung beetle, similarly pushed the sun across the sky! The god of the dung beetle was defeated!
- Moses announced the fifth plague to Pharaoh in Exodus 9:3 and 4: “…the hand of the LORD will be on your cattle…horses…donkeys…camels…oxen…and…sheep….the LORD will make a difference between livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt.” According to verse 6, “…the next day, all the livestock of Egypt died; but…of Israel, not one died.” This judgement was against the following Egyptian gods…
♀ The creation god Ptah was represented by the Apis bull. ♀ The creator sun gods Atum and Re were represented by the black bull Mer-wer. ♀ Sky and creation goddesses Nut and Neith were de- picted as a celestial cow giving birth to the uni- verse and other gods. ♀ The great mother goddess was Hathor, depicted as a cow-headed goddess.
- The sixth plague is described in Exodus 9:8 through 10: “…the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Take…ashes from a furnace, and…scatter it toward the heavens….it will become fine dust…and cause boils…[and] sores on man and beast….” Again, nothing happened to the Israelites! This dealt a severe blow to Egypt’s healing deities; Imhotep, god of medicine; Thoth, the god of intelligence and medical learning; Nefertem, god of healing; Sekhmet, goddess of healing and war; and Isis, who was thought to have brought the dead god Osiris back to life! They all could do nothing!
- The seventh plague was hail and fire which beat down “…the flax and…barley…and broke every tree…,” except “…in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were…” (Exodus 9:25, 26, 31). Totally discredited were Nut, the sky goddess; Shu, the god of air and bearer of heaven; Horus, the hawk-headed sky god of Upper Egypt; Seth, god of storms and protector of crops; Neper, god of grain crops; and Osiris, ruler of life and vegetation.
The Egyptians had already lost all the fish in the Nile (see Exodus 7:21), now their barley was gone, further reducing their food supply. Flax, was much in demand because they made fabric for clothing from this plant.
- Locusts, the eighth plague, brought further devastation! “…Moses and Aaron… said…to Pharaoh…‘…locusts…shall cover the…earth…and…eat…what is left…from the hail, and…every tree…of the field. They shall fill your houses…’ ”(Exodus 10:3-6). Where was Anubis, guardian of the fields? And Osiris, the chief agricultural god? What about He, Isis, Seth, and Neper? Shu, god of the air, and Amun, god of the wind – all these gods were supposed to protect the Egyptians – but all failed!
- The ninth plague was darkness! Here is what it says in Exodus 10:21 through 23:
...the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand to- ward heaven, that there may be darkness over...Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.” So Moses [did so]... and there was thick darkness in...Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place....But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
There were only two other times when there was such darkness:
➩ Genesis 1:1 and 2 – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.” ✞ During Jesus’ crucifixion in Luke 23:44 and 45 – “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened....”
The god of the sun was the most important god in Egypt! In this land of sunshine almost every day, three days of utter darkness, when nothing could be seen, had to be a terrifying experience! This darkness dramatically showed forth the impotence of the sun god Amon-Ra! As were all the other gods of Egypt, Amon-Ra was power-less before the omnipotent God of Israel!
- The tenth and final plague is described in Exodus 12:29:
And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the first- born of Pharaoh...to the firstborn of the captive...in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock.
Again, none of the gods of Egypt could challenge or change what the LORD God of the Hebrews was doing! It was the final straw! Pharaoh told Moses and Aaron, “Rise and go…both you and the children of Israel….serve the LORD as you have said. Also take your flocks and herds…and be gone….” (Exodus 12:31 and 32).
None of the children of Israel were harmed in any of the ten plagues! Our featured Scripture highlights the last one, when the Israelites marked their doors with the blood of the lamb! God’s judgment of death did not touch anyone safely behind the blood!
Does this remind you of the following most important truths in the New Testament?
- God’s judgment of eternal death is upon everyone! In Romans 5:18 we are told, “…by the offence of one [our first father Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation….”
- Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
- Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- We must do what Romans 10:9 says: “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
- John 1:29 – “The next day John [the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ ”
- Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed His blood on the cross – for you, for me, for all people!
- Revelation 1:5 – “…Jesus Christ…loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood….”
- Now all who are under blood of the Lamb of God (behind the blood-stained door, as it were) are eternally safe from God’s judgment of “…the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).
- By the way, Jesus also said in John 10:9, “I am the door [like the blood-stained door of the Israelites in Egypt]. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
There is one more thing to learn from the LORD God’s defeat of all the so-called powerful Egyptian gods. As He said in Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? ” Now link this all-powerful God to what is written in Romans 8:31 and 32:
What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?
“By faith he [Moses] kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood….” (Hebrews 11;28). By faith let us claim eternal life in Jesus Christ our Savior, and let us claim all that He has given us in this eternal life!
As shown in the last two Gems, Moses had feet of clay! But…
…isn’t it amazing what God can do with imperfect people?