“‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.'”
Modern skeptics of the Bible, including skeptics within the church, often deny the Bible’s description of God’s actions in the ten plagues against Egypt. However, our growing knowledge of ancient Egypt tells us that the plagues described in the Bible were exactly what God Himself said that they were. They were indeed the true God’s judgment against the false gods of Egypt.
When God turned the Nile water into blood, He was acting against Hapi, the Egyptian god, who was honored as the giver of life. When the river turned to blood it was no longer able to give life. When Egypt filled with frogs, God showed that the frog-headed goddess Hekt, responsible for creation and fertility, could not even control the fertility of frogs. The massive death of Egypt’s cattle was an attack on Hathor. Hathor was the cow-headed goddess of love, one of the oldest Egyptian gods, and the one that was worshipped by Pharaoh.
The hail was God’s judgment against the sky goddess Nut who was also mother of the sun god. It was her job to protect the land from destruction that came from the heavens. The three days of darkness showed the powerlessness of Amon-Re, one of Egypt’s main gods. Finally, the death of Pharaoh’s firstborn and then Pharaoh, both considered living gods, left no doubt about the all-powerful nature of Israel’s true God.
Today people still look to things in the creation to give them what only the true Creator God can give them. Yet it is the creation itself that bears witness to the only true God.
Prayer: Lord, I confess that at times I, even though I am Yours in Christ, have sought vainly in the creation for the peace and material goods that only You provide. Forgive me for Jesus’ sake and teach me. Amen.
Author: Paul A. Bartz
Image: Seventh Plague of Egypt painting by John Martin (PD)
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