God makes a promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). That promise is passed on to Isaac, then Jacob, and eventually through the line of Judah. The Israelites didn't know much about God, but they knew He was above all others. The New Testament echoes the same timeless truth. There is one God who is above all others and the Father of all people n the earth. The promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was one of an inheritance. However, I've always wondered why God would promise Israel a land only to take them to Egypt for around 400 years? Maybe you've pondered the same thing.
If you've read the end of Genesis, and the beginning of Exodus, you know that God allowed Israel to be stripped of any reliance upon human strength. The low point of the nation was only to show how helpless Israel would be with their God. The one and true God! The Lord wanted the people to know that He could be trusted to save them from any power, nation or enemy. They were simply to believe in God and obey His word. The only problem is that they did not have a written law or a prophet in those days. This was going to be the beginning of something really BIG!
The Israelites were about to experience redemption from God’s mighty hand. The God above all would not only show Israel the way but also reaffirm His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 13:15-16, 15:5-6, 17:5, 18:18, 22:17-18, 26:4-5). Because the Egyptians cursed the descendants of Abraham, they would receive curses (Genesis 12:3). The punishment the Egyptians gave Israel would pale in comparison to that which the God of all would bring upon them shortly. Every judgment of God comes a way of escape. Even the Egyptians had a chance to repent and change, but their leader refused God's mercy. The blood of the Passover lamb protected the Israelites from the judgment of God, but the Egyptians would pay a heavy price. The plagues would be legendary and live in infamy.
Pay close attention to the words of Moses and Aaron during this crucial time. They repeat over and over that God was doing these miracles so that they may know that the God of the Hebrews was the only God. The Egyptians were the most powerful nation on the planet. If their God could bring Egypt to its knees, then no enemy (past, present or future) could threaten Israel or overthrow them without God's knowledge.
These plagues were not random. Each plague targeted at least one of the Egyptian gods, sometimes multiple gods. This included Pharaoh himself, who was thought to be deity. The God above all defeated Hapi, Isis, Haget, Set, Ra, Uatchit, Hathor, Apis, Sekhmet, Sunu, Nut, Osiris, Min and countless other "gods" that were worshipped by the Egyptians. What does this prove? There can be only one God. Israel figured it out. I hope we are paying attention and taking note of what's happening in our world. We have a choice. Who will you choose to follow?
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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