From our perspective, the plagues of Egypt may seem like a horific natural disaster. Or, more accurately, a horrific sequence of one natural disaster after another. The Nile River is polluted by the red sand of Ethiopia, which drives out the frogs, which causes an outbreak if insects, infection, disease, and pestilence that affect the crops, the livestock, and humans.
That is bad enough in itself. Now, just try to imagine how you would feel if each one of the waves of plagues that flooded over you represented one of your gods? The divine beings that you have spent your life worshipping are now turning on you and wreaking havoc among your people.
For the Egyptians, this wasn’t just a natural disaster. This was a theological coup. This was a direct attack against the very fabric of the universe as they understood it.
The message was not just for the Eyptians. The Israelites, who had spent 400 years enslaved to the Egyptians and their gods, were watching. These Israelites had been told about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but had never seen him in action. If Moses was going to lead these slaves into freedom, in the name of Yaweh, then they had to know that He was real, and, more importantly, that He was more powerful than the Gods of Egypt.
Even more importantly, He had to demonstrate to the Israelites that the Gods of Egypt weren’t gods at all. They were man-made ideas based on created things. We call those idols.
Here’s the main thought for today:
God is bigger than anything that man can create.
Most of human culture is based upon man’s desire to build something in his own image and then worship it. The Egyptians did not worship the creator-God, they worshipped the creation (the river, the frogs, etc.) and gave a god-status to it. The one true, non-created, God will not stand for this. Ask yourself today, “What am I worshipping in my life other than the one true God?” Whatever it is, get rid of it before the river rises!