Image source: VancouverAssociatedPresbyterianChurch
In the first message last week of the Exodus series, we saw that God declared he had come down to deliver Israel. Moses, who grew up in Pharaoh’s palace and knew the extent of Pharaoh’s power, agreed to lead the mission. Why? Moses, was confident that “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2Cor. 10:4 NIV).
Thus in Exodus 5:1-2 (Holman Christian Standard Bible) we read: “Later, Moses and Aaron… said to Pharaoh, “This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: Let My people go, so that they may hold a festival for Me in the wilderness.” But Pharaoh responded, “Who is Yahweh that I should obey Him by letting Israel go? I do not know anything about Yahweh… I will not let Israel go.”
“Who is Yahweh that I should obey…” – said Pharaoh. Egypt had about 2000 gods and goddesses with different ranks and powers, but Yahweh was not one of them. This why Pharaoh could say ‘who is Yahweh’; he felt he had the most powerful gods; if he has not heard of Yahweh, then Yahweh must be unimportant.
Yahweh answered Pharaoh by knocking out Egypt’s most powerful gods. This is what the ten plagues from Exodus Chapters 7 to 12 were about; khnum and hapi were gods of the nile; heket was a goddess with frog head; geb was a god of dust; khepri was a god with fly head; on and on to the tenth plague the death of the firstborn in Egypt – an attack on gods serket, meshkenet, sobek, renenutet, and osiris. The Egyptian gods could neither protect Egypt nor Pharaoh, so he was forced to let Israel go.
As a result of the tenth plague, Exodus 12:30-32 (Holman Bible) says: “During the night Pharaoh got up, he along with all his officials and all the Egyptians… He summoned Moses and Aaron during the night and said, “Get up, leave my people, both you and the Israelites, and go, worship Yahweh as you have asked. Take even your flocks and your herds as you asked and leave, and also bless me.”
Yahweh, you are the most high God, and we walk humbly before you; we know you are mighty, bless us too, Amen!