Calling Out the Gods of Egypt — Exodus Chapter 7
This blog post will cover the devotionals #31-33 for Exodus Chapter 7.
**Pictures will be added at a later date.
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 Exodus 7:1-5
God answered Moses’ doubtful response concerning his uncircumcised lips not reaching the ears of Israel or Pharaoh. He told him that he’d be as a god to Pharaoh, and that Aaron would be like his prophet to relay his messages to Pharaoh. God would give Moses the words to give Aaron to speak to Pharaoh. Verse 3 says the same phrase we first saw in Exodus 4:21. “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.” He also said He’d multiply His signs and wonders in Egypt. It looks here like He’s saying He’d do the first in order to do the second, but we already learned that He only had to do the second because the first happened. God didn’t directly harden Pharaoh’s heart—God’s words were rejected by Pharaoh, which caused his heart to harden. The hardening of a heart isn’t an action, but a response or effect of an action. God told Moses that the king wouldn’t give in. It says… “that I may lay My hand on Egypt, and bring My armies, and My people—the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord…” Once again, it looks like God was going to cause Pharaoh to refuse so He could do things in Egypt. However, look at what we just saw at the end of verse 4 and in verse 5: Great judgments will show who is God. There’ll be a great judgment at the end, often referred to as ‘God’s judgment’ or ‘My judgment’. People often mistake that to mean ‘God’s judgment of us (or against man)’, when it’s actually referring to the judgment of (or against) God (What’s the result of the investigation against God’s character going to be?). Likewise, here, we see that God would set Israel free by great judgments. Who’d the judgments be against? Egypt’s gods. What’d be the result of the judgments? It’d prove that God is the Lord, not them. God can deliver, not them. God can sustain life, not them. We’ll discuss this more soon, but I just want to point you to Exodus 12:12. “And I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt: I am the Lord.” Egypt couldn’t avoid the consequences of idolatry, and God would end their bragging about the supposed blessings they got from their gods. They saw their condition compared to that of the Israelites, and often boasted to them about how much their gods prospered them. Now God’s name would be glorified.
 Exodus 7:6-13
Moses and Aaron obeyed God completely. Moses was eighty years old (and Aaron was eighty-three) when they spoke to Pharaoh. God told Moses that Pharaoh would request a miracle to prove they were commissioned from God—so he was to direct Aaron to throw the rod down, and it’d become a serpent (as Moses had done at the burning bush). When they did this, Pharaoh’s sorcerers and magicians were commanded to do the same, and they were able to replicate the act by sleight of hand and cooperation with their god, Satan—a master counterfeiter of God’s work. Their rods didn’t truly become serpents like Aaron’s had—as Satan has no power to create or give life. Something striking was that Aaron’s rod-serpent consumed all those ‘made’ by the magicians. Even so, Pharaoh was just led to believe (based on the apparent miracle of his own men) that the brothers were also merely sorcerers or magicians, and may’ve just had superior magic powers. He wasn’t impacted, and for a second time, his heart was hardened and he refused to comply. Pharaoh didn’t know that God was actually performing true miracles through the brothers, and assumed his men were doing the same tricks. He declared that he (his men/gods) was just as capable of accomplishing the same powerful wonders as Moses and Aaron (God). This sign caused no harm to the people, creatures, or land there—and it could’ve ended there, but Pharaoh wouldn’t let it go—and things would only go south from there. Satan hoped to discourage the brothers. He did accomplish his goal of hardening Pharaoh’s heart more and more against God, but his greatest purpose was to diminish the miracles of Moses, who was a representative of the Deliverer. He hoped this’d help to diminish the miracles that Christ would, later on in history, also perform. We’ll see how successful he was as we go along.
 Exodus 7:14-25
God read Pharaoh’s heart and told Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, and he refuses to let the people go.” The next day, Moses was to meet him at the river’s edge when he arrived. He was to tell him that God sent him to tell Pharaoh to let His people go so they could serve Him in the wilderness, and until now, he’d refused to listen. Now God would do something so that he’d know He’s the Lord. Using the same rod, Aaron would strike the water in the river, and it’d turn to blood. Moses told him what they’d do, and what the results would be. The river’s fish would die, the river would stink, and the Egyptians would hate drinking the water. All the streams, rivers, ponds, and pools of Egypt (as well as the water contained in wood and stone vessels) would become blood. Pharaoh and his servants watched it happen, and its consequences. Yet, his magicians were able to replicate the act, and he hardened his heart a third time. He turned around and went home, not allowing it to persuade him. The Egyptians dug around the river looking for clean water to drink, and a full week went by—not phasing the king. Now, why was the river the focus of the first plague? The overflowing Nile River was a great source of food and wealth for Egypt—and thus, the Egyptians worshipped the river as a god. Pharaoh went there daily to worship the Nile—praising it for its abilities and goodness, etc. By allowing the river to change from a source of blessing to one of great ‘curse’, God was showing them that their supposed gods weren’t blessing them at all. Notice, ‘Hapi’ (the ‘god of the Nile’) was their water and fertility god (represented as a man with breasts and a large belly). ‘Osiris’ (the ‘god of the dead, the underworld, and the afterlife’ as well as fertility, vegetation, and agriculture) was said to be manifest in the overflowing river. There’s a theory that the focus of the plague against the river was to diminish the ‘power’ of these two gods in the minds of the Egyptians. John 4:13, 14 tells us, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again: but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst; but the water that I will give him will be in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.” Perhaps most importantly, the focus of the blood in the river is theorized against ‘Khnum’, the ‘god of the source of the Nile’. In contrast, Revelation 22:1 shows “…a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (See also Revelation 21:6). Furthermore, because the Nile’s flooding brought silt and clay, and the water brought life, they believed Khnum was the creator of human children’s bodies. He was said to have made them of clay at a potter’s wheel, and then placed them in their mothers’ wombs. He was described as ‘Divine Potter’ and ‘Lord of created things from himself’. As you can probably recall, God is related to, in the Bible, as the Potter (and we’re the clay). Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, Oh Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our Potter; and we all are the work of Your hand.” He fashioned man from the dust of the earth. He’s the Creator of humanity and everything else (that’s good). Did you notice all the counterfeits of God and His attributes here? Romans 1:24 says, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator…”