The First Plague

Ten Plagues | Devotion 1: The First Plague
John Hubbard

The life of Moses is a fascinating one. Today I want to take a look into a moment in his life. If you read Exodus 7:14-25, you will read the account of the first of the ten great plagues to hit Egypt. This was a huge moment for Moses. He met Pharaoh outside in a very public place and told him again that God commanded him to let His people leave. When Pharaoh refused, Aaron and Moses had faith and followed God’s direction, and the Lord turned the entire Nile River into blood.

I think that because I grew up in the church and have heard these stories all my life that I was desensitized to some of them. As I studied this passage of Scripture this week, it dawned on me what a horrific event this must have been for the Egyptians, and also how God sent a clear and terrifying message to them. The Egyptians at this time viewed the Nile River almost like a god. They worshipped it; it was the lifeblood of Egypt. It provided much of their food, and it was sacred to their god, Osiris. The God Almighty of the Hebrews wreaking havoc on this powerful river must have been a terrifying feat. All of the fish in it died. They could no longer drink from it. Imagine a river of this size flowing in the dark, striking color of blood and think about how much fear that would create in the heart of these people.

I also do not think it is a coincidence that earlier in Exodus (Exodus 1:22), Pharaoh had heartlessly murdered the male infants of Israel and threw them into the Nile. When the plagues hit, the very first one is a gross display of God showing that He has control of the Nile and all that is in it. If you do some research in the coming days and read some commentaries (which I strongly encourage you to do), you will find that when the plagues descend on Egypt, in a way it is God going to battle against the gods of Egypt and proving His power over them. Many of the plagues were direct attacks showing His power over specific Egyptian gods.

Let us never forget that we serve a powerful, holy God who will go to battle for His people and who will make His name great. There is no other like Him. Our God is the same God who turned the Nile River to blood in an instant. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We need to go into this week with a sense of awe and wonder that we serve and are loved by the Almighty God.

Jeremiah 10:6 says, “There is none like You, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great in might.”

Zephaniah 3:17 adds, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

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