One of the key tenants to the gospel, the Good News sent from heaven, is that our God is the God over all gods, Lord over all lords, King over all kings. If anyone is above our God, then our ability to put our hope for salvation in Him is in jeopardy because all of a sudden God isn’t God, and that’s a big problem! As our first and foremost responsibility with the gospel is to believe it (John 5:24), we must also believe that God alone is able to save us (Acts 4:12).
If you’ve read through Exodus or watched the movie “The Ten Commandments,” you know about the 10 plagues put on ancient Egypt. When God told Moses to go to Pharoah and demand that he “let My people go,” Pharoah refused. Each refusal was met with a different plague, and this was repeated 10 times before he finally relented and released the Israelites from slavery.
Did you ever wonder why God chose those specific plagues? In short, these seem to be very purposeful and tell a story of God’s power, might, and complete sovereignty.
The ancient Egyptians had many gods. Polytheism was the name of the game in Egypt, and the captive Israelites were surrounded by worship of gods made of things from the Lord’s creation. It must have been very difficult to resist the temptation to worship or admire these other gods as they saw Egypt prosper, especially after the great famine we read about last week.
God used these plagues to prove to the Israelites that He was above all other so-called gods. Each plague appears to be symbolically designed to show His power over the false Egyptian gods. Only the Lord of lords would have such authority and dominion, and it must have been an amazing sight for the monotheistic Israelites to observe as these plagues unfolded around them.
- The plague of blood (Ex 7:14-24) defeated Hapi and Khnum, the pagan gods of the Nile river.
- The plague of frogs (Ex 7:25-8:15) defeated Heqet, the frog goddess of Egypt
- The plague of gnats (Ex 8:16-19) defeated Geb, the pagan god of the soil
- The plague of flies (Ex 8:20-32) defeated Khepri, the pagan god of creation
- The plague on the livestock (Ex 9:1-7) defeated Hathor, the Egyptian goddess associated with cattle
- The plague of boils (Ex 9:8-12) defeated Imhotep, the pagan god of healing
- The plague of hail and fire from the sky (Ex 9:13-35) defeated Nut, the pagan sky god
- The plague of locusts (Ex 10:1-20) defeated Renenutet, the pagan god of the fields and harvests
- The plague of darkness (Ex 10:21-29) defeated Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun
- The final plague, the death of the firstborn (Ex 11:1-12:36) defeated Nekhbet, the Egyptian god of protection over Pharoah’s children. And this is also where Passover was instituted, a foreshadow of Christ’s death on the cross.
After all this, Pharoah finally let the Israelites leave Egypt, with his false and lifeless gods completely and utterly defeated, and the True God, the One worshipped by the Israelites, standing firm as the Lord over all.
Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses. (Exodus 14:31)
Immediately after crossing the Red Sea, the people of Israel sang a song of praise to the Lord (Exodus 15). The last line of this song is perhaps the best of all…
The LORD will reign forever and ever.” (Exodus 15:18)
This is the God we serve today. The God Who reigns forever and ever, and our salvation and hope rest solely in Him (Acts 4:12, Eph 2:8, Hebrews 7:25). Let this amazing truth settle into your heart today and lift up your praise to the God reigns over all other wannabe powers in the universe.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)