Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Biblical Plagues, part 2

In the part 1 we looked at the first three plagues (Blood in the Nile, Frogs, Gnats). The next three plagues get a little more severe. We have three destructive plagues. The land was ruined by flies. Then the livestock all died. Then men and animals alike were struck with festering boils. Yuck. The Egyptian gods that the Lord was opposing in this way were Uatchit, represented by a fly, Apis and Hathor, the bull god and the goddess with the head of a cow, and Sekhmet, goddess over disease and Sunu, god of pestilence.
Plagues seven, eight and nine were dreadful and alarming. God showed his superiority over Nut, the sky goddess, Osiris, god of crops and fertility and Set, god of storms, by sending a plague of hail. Hail fell and lightning flashed and it was the worst storm ever. Take that. And if that wasn't enough for them it was followed with the plague of locusts which totally invaded the country, covering the ground until it was black. The ninth plague was a plague of darkness which challenged the Egyptian sun god, Re, as well as the sky goddess, Nut.
The final plague was the most horrible, but its result was that Moses and his people could finally leave Egypt. The plague on the firstborn meant that the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt – from the firstborn of Pharaoh to the firstborn of the prisoner – and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Can you imagine the crying, the grief, the horror? The Israelites, however, were saved from this plague by a Passover lamb. By putting some of the blood of the lamb on their doorframes the Lord would “pass over” their houses and not permit the destroyer to enter and strike them down. This whole sacrificial idea is a foreshadowing of Christ, the Lamb of God, as our ultimate stand-in. The Lord will “pass over” us on Judgment Day because Jesus has already paid our debt – His blood saves us.

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