CLASH OF THE TITANS
There are a couple movies out right now that have mythological gods fighting each other and fighting humans. Admittedly, I think these movies look pretty entertaining, but it would also be frightening to find yourself mixed up in all of that.
Well, this storyline is essentially what we see playing out between Moses and Pharaoh with the ten plagues that God brings upon the Egyptians.
The Egyptian people worshiped dozens of gods. In the way that God brings His people out of Egypt, God is showing His people, and really the whole world at the time, that He alone is the one true God.
In fact, in Exodus 12:12 God makes it very clear that this is exactly what His purpose is. He says, “I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am YHWH, the Lord!”
Pharaoh sees the situation as a clash as well. The first thing Pharaoh says to Moses back in Exodus 5:2 is “Who is this god Yahweh, and why should I obey him?” The Egyptians had dozens of gods that they believed controlled different aspects of life, and Pharaoh believed his gods could do everything that Moses’ God was doing.
Over and over again Pharaoh called his magicians out to try and duplicate the miraculous signs that Moses did, but over and over again God proved that He alone is sovereign.
The plagues are recorded in Exodus 7:14-11:10. Let’s look at a couple of them.
Water into Blood
The first plague is turning the Nile river into blood. The Nile river was sacred to the Egyptians and was literally a source of life for them. They depended on it.
The Egyptians believed that the Nile was the bloodstream of Osiris, the god of the dead. Turning their water (source of life) into blood (death itself) was a clear statement that God was superior to Osiris.
In Egypt, frogs were considered sacred. In fact, many of their gods are depicted as frog-like creatures and many goddesses as snakes.
So for frogs to cover their land, to be in their houses and even their beds, meant that some frogs were getting stepped on and killed inadvertently. Intentionally killing frogs was very taboo for Egyptians.
By flooding the land with frogs, God was saying, “Your gods are everywhere but are insignificant. They do not compare to me.”
The ninth plague was darkness that was only located in Egypt and lasted three days. It was “darkness that can be felt.” This one almost broke Pharaoh.
The god of the sun was Ra. Ra was usually considered to be the highest, most powerful god. God displayed his dominion over Ra by keeping light from reaching the Egyptians while the Israelites had light where they lived.
With all of these plagues God gave Moses the power to bring them about and cause them to stop. The Egyptian magicians could imitate some things, but they did not have that same kind of power. God clearly showed how lifeless and worthless the Egyptian gods were, and proved that there is none like Him.
Yet Pharaoh continued to doubt God’s power and harden his heart against God… in spite of everything going on around him.
To Think About…
Do you realize that Pharaoh’s question for Moses in Exodus 5:2 is the same one that most people have today? Pharaoh wanted to know what made God different from the Egyptian gods. Was He the real deal?
The world is still asking Christians that same question. What is it that we have that is different than what they have? What kind of difference does Jesus make in our lives?
And if there is no difference, then no wonder no one’s interested!
So what kind of difference does Jesus make in your life?