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Friday, October 12, 2018

“There Will Be Blood”

Exodus 7:14-19

The preliminary encounters are over.  Moses and Aaron have tried to persuade Pharaoh to let the Israelites go into the wilderness for three days to worship the Lord.  Pharaoh has rejected them at every turn.  This next confrontation is not in the palace.  They encounter Pharaoh as he is about to bathe in the River Nile.  For the Egyptians the river was more than a body of water.  It was a sacred source of life for them.

This initial plague is a judgment on the Egyptians.  They had thrown Hebrew male babies into the Nile (Ex. 1:22).  The river now has turned to blood.  It is as though the blood of the murdered children has now taken over the entire river.

It is sobering at this point that Moses and Aaron are the only ones confronting Pharaoh.  The elders of Israel are not mentioned as being with them.  Since this is out in the open and not in Pharaoh’s palace they could have certainly been present.  No doubt they are afraid.  What about the Egyptians?  They now are also suffering.  God has literally given them blood to drink.  Meanwhile Pharaoh is free to enjoy his palace wine.

There is an old statement that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.  Pharaoh is a tyrant.  Through his actions now he is oppressing his own people as well as the Israelites.

Moses claims that he is not a speaker (Ex. 4:10).  Yet he along with Aaron is the only one to address Pharaoh forcefully.  However Moses is not speaking for himself.  He is speaking the Word that God has given him.  In spite of the negative response of Pharaoh the Word of God will prevail.

We like Moses need to have the courage to speak that Word.

Faithful and loving God, give me the courage to speak out in the face of evil, injustice and oppression.  In so doing may I experience the power of your Word and Spirit in my life.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen