Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. Egypt was a polytheistic society – they worshipped over 80 gods. The Egyptians considered sacred the Lion, Ox, Ram, Wolf, Dog, Cat, Ibis, Vulture, Falcon. Hippopotamus, Crocodile, Cobra, Dolphin, Different varieties of fish, Different varieties of trees, Different varieties of small animals, Frog, Scarab, Locust, Other insects. Even Pharaoh was a god, always the son of Amon-Ra. On his head was the falcon, from his forehead rose the serpent. God was going to reveal Himself to Egypt by the plagues and judge the land and her gods.
Exodus 7:4 “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”
The plagues were not just against Pharaoh and his people, but against their gods.
Every one of the plagues was a direct insult to the gods of Egypt.
First Plague: Water Changed to Blood
The Nile was the heartbeat of Egypt – all trade, commerce, and crops depended upon the Nile. This plague was an affront to many of the greatest gods of Egypt.
Hapi – was the god of the annual Nile floods and was considered the “spirit of the Nile” and “its dynamic essence”.
Osiris, the god of the underworld; the Egyptians believed the Nile was his bloodstream.
Tauret – the hippopotamus goddess of the river
Nu – the god of life in the Nile
Second Plague: Frogs
The frog was considered the appearance of the goddess Heqt to man.
Heqt was the wife of the creator of the world and the goddess of birth.
Heqt was always shown with the head and body of a frog.
The fact that Pharaoh begged Moses to ask God to take away the frogs was a sign that he recognized the God of Israel was the author of the plague.
Third Plague: Lice
Exo 8:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
This would have been an embarrassment to Geb, the great god of the earth.
Fourth Plague: Swarms
“of flies” is italicized and not in the original. Just “swarms” is in the original text.
We do not know which insect was used but many believe it was the scarab beetle.
Amon-Ra, the creator and king of the gods, had the head of a beetle.
Whatever the insect was, it was a direct insult to Amon-Ra.
This is the 1st plague in which God made a distinction between His people and the Egyptians – the swarms stayed away from the land of Goshen.
Fifth Plague: Livestock Diseased
Exo 9:1-3 – “Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still, Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.”
Cattle – Horses – Asses – Camels – Oxen – Sheep = All sacred animals
The god Apis was represented as a bull.
The Apis bull was the living image of the god Ptah.
The god Re was also associated with cattle and oxen.
Hathor was the cow-headed goddess of the desert.
Khnum was the ram-god.
This plague would have also affected Bast, the cat goddess of love.
Sixth Plague: Boils
This was an open insult to Serapis, the deity in charge of healing.
And a slap to Imhotep, the god of medicine.
Thoth, the god of intelligence and medical learning.
Seventh Plague: Hail
Ex. 9:24 – “So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.”
This plague originated from the sky, the realm of Nut, the sky goddess.
Nut was the mother of five gods: Osiris, Hathor, Seti, Isis, and Nephthys.
Where was Shu, the wind god?
Where was Horus, the hawk-headed sky god of upper Egypt?
Isis and Seth protected the crops – but the burned fields testified of their impotence.
Eighth Plague: Locusts
Again the Egyptian gods were silent.
Where was Nepri, the god of grain?
Where was Ermutet, the goddess of childbirth and crops?
Isis is again silent.
Thermuthis, the goddess of fertility and the harvest was silent.
Seth, the god of crops, was also silent.
Ninth Plague: Darkness
A thick darkness that could be felt and would last for three days.
The Egyptians neither saw one another, nor rose from their place for 3 days
Children of Israel had light
The plague of darkness was an insult to Egypt’s religion and entire culture.
The sun god Amon-Ra could not pierce this darkness.
Horus, the god of light was powerless before the one true God.
Where was Ptah, the chief god who created the moon, the sun and the earth?
Where was Atum, another sun god?
Could not Tem, the god of the sunset bring light into the land?
Surely they could all team up with Shu, the god of sunlight and air?
Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn
Ex. 12:12 – “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite 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.”
This last plague would show the total inability of the Egyptian gods to protect them.
Meskhenet, the goddess who presided at the birth of children;
Hathor, who attended the birth of the children;
Min, the god of procreation;
Isis, the goddess of fertility;
Selket, the guardian of life;
And Renenutet, the guardian of Pharaoh – All powerless before the God of Heaven.
Pharaoh Would Let The Children Of Israel Go
3.5 – 4 million people left, with their cattle, sheep, all of their belongings.
Travel several days; God led them by pillar of cloud by day, pillar of fire by night.
But God did not take them through the land of the Philistines, which was the shortest route.
God would take them by the wilderness to the Red Sea.
God sometimes chooses to develop His people by taking them the long way.
Though God had brought all the plagues against Pharaoh, the people and against all the gods of Egypt, there was one last thing to do.
God would be honored upon Pharaoh and his army.
14:6 – Pharaoh took 600 chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt.
Israel appeared trapped. They couldn’t go to the north, the south, or the west.
14:10-12 – This is no game – chose if you are going back to Egypt or moving forward to the promise land.
When you have a flesh attack – the flesh will always look back – never forward.
We must grow to the point where we will never go back to Egypt.
14:13 – “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.”
God will fight for them. And He will fight for us.
Moses did not give heed to their complaints but turned their thoughts to Jehovah God. They had seen the hosts of Pharaoh with all his chariots, but there was something else for them to see – “the salvation of the Lord.” Enemies they “had seen”, they shall see them again no more forever.
This can and should be said for our enemies also. Not the people in our lives but:
Lack of hope
God can fight against all of these enemies, and if we would just rely upon Him, all these enemies will be defeated.
14:13 – Standing still – always temporary. Going Forward – Always Permanent
There are times in our lives when we must wait on God.
In the crisis in which the Israelites found themselves, it required as much faith to “stand still” as it did to “go forward.”
They had though they would be destroyed by Pharaoh’s hosts.
Their very last thought would have been to look to the sea as a means of escape!
Often the last place we would consider as a way of deliverance (escape) may be the very way God chooses to deliver.
He will be glorified and honored by the way He chooses!
God made a way of escape for them.
They had to WAIT on it.
They had to SEE it.
They had to TAKE it.
1Cor. 10:13 – “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
There may be a sea before us, and persecuting Pharaohs behind us.
There may be Egyptians pursuing us, with their Migdol fortresses on our right hand and on our left.
But “faith” will see only “the salvation of God” and hear only God’s Word.
Heb 11:29 – By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
After deliverance they sang the song of Moses. Exodus 15:1-2, 11, 13, 17-18
When we have WAITED on the promise of God;
When we have SEEN it;
When we have TAKEN it;
When we have BEEN DELIVERED by God,
Then we too can sing a song unto the Lord.
Our God, He Is Alive!
How Great Thou Art!