Exodus 7:15–17: “Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand. And you shall say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness”; but indeed, until now you would not hear! Thus says the LORD: “By this you shall know that I am the LORD. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood.”

August 10th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

God sent Moses and Aaron back to Pharaoh to again demand that he release the children of Israel. God gave Pharaoh another chance to obey before any discipline was inflicted, clearly displaying His patience and mercy. Pharaoh was left without excuse. He couldn’t say, “But I didn’t understand.” All of this was leading to the release of the children of Abraham, but God was also concerned with every person in Egypt. Each of the 10 plagues God brought against Egypt was aimed at one of their false gods. God was displaying through these plagues that there was no other God but Him.

The first plague was directed at the Nile, as God turned the water into blood. Several Egyptian gods are associated with the Nile: Khnum, Hapi, and Osiris. The Egyptians took great pride in these gods since they thought of them as sources of life. God instructed Moses to confront Pharaoh “when he goes out to the water,” which was probably a daily act of worship to the water gods. The Jewish Targum of Jonathan says Pharaoh did this “to observe divinations upon the water, as a magician.” Through the plagues, God was showing Pharaoh and his people that all of their idolatrous gods were powerless before Him.

The chapter ends with the Egyptians digging beside the Nile River, trying to find fresh water to drink. They were desperately searching for life-giving water once their normal source became undrinkable. It is interesting that they did not go to Moses or God Almighty but still tried to use the old source. Sadly, many people who are trying to find life keep going back to dig in old places that only bring death. As Jesus said 1400 years later to the woman at the well, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). Jesus’ words were designed to lift her level of thinking from that of material, physical need to spiritual truth, which is what God was trying to reveal to the Egyptians through the plagues. God still gives spiritual truth to any who will humbly come to Him and ask.

“LORD, You are the source of life. Help us to stay away from the old water that doesn’t satisfy today.”