What’s the most physical discomfort you have endured? How did that affect your relationship with God?
Read // Exodus 7:14-25
“He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.” (Exodus 7:20-21)
In this section of the book of Exodus, God is punishing Pharoah in order to compel him to release the Israelites to go and worship Him. These acts of punishment simultaneously symbolize God’s judgement of and authority over the many gods of Egypt. Each plague shows God’s authority over a specific aspect of nature usually thought of as the realm of a specific Egyptian god. For example, Hapi was thought of as the Spirit of the Nile. When Moses and Aaron turn the Nile into blood, this is also a way of asserting the one true God’s power over everything.
Even though we don’t worship other gods like the Egyptians did, our lives are filled with idols. Tim Keller says, “an idol is something more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, a counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living” (Keller, Counterfeit Gods, xviii).
What may be some idols in your own life?
What have you put on the throne of your life in place of the one true God?
People often think God in this section of Exodus to be mean and overly angry. God’s jealousy is a corollary to His love: God loves you way too much to let you settle for petty idols when He has so much more in store for you in relationship to Him.
Ask the Lord to give you the grace to see what you are holding as an idol in your own life and the strength to tear it down.
Talk with your family or small group about these questions:
The Egyptians worshiped counterfeit gods, or idols. They worshiped the things created by God rather than God Himself. What do you love so much that it is hard for you to love God more than it?
Check out a summary of the plagues and the corresponding Egyptian gods here: http://www.biblecharts.org/oldtestament/thetenplagues.pdf