January 15, 2022 - Exodus 9-11
The plagues continue: the plague on the livestock, boils, thunder and hail, locusts, and darkness. Before the final plague, the Lord declared, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely” (11:1). We might get caught up in thinking all this is about Pharaoh’s hardness and stubbornness and, certainly, on some level, that is true. But, looking ahead to chapter 12, we understand that the confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh is actually a struggle between the true God, Yahweh, and the false gods of Egypt: “on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord” (12:12).
God commands, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Why? Because the Lord alone is God, who declares, “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). Paul writes, “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Corinthians 8:6).
So, then, what are these “gods” of whom we read? “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them” (Psalm 115:4-8). Oh, to know the one true God and to rest in him!
Sing praise to God who reigns above,
the God of all creation,
the God of power, the God of love,
the God of our salvation.
With healing balm my soul is filled
and every faithless murmur stilled:
To God all praise and glory. -- Johann Jakob Schütz (1675)