What seemed like an uprising against despotic slavers was actually a war of deities. It was a battle between the monotheistic Yahweh of the Hebrews and the polytheistic gods of the Egyptians.
After four hundred years of oppression, there was a revolution inspired by heaven that clamoured for the Hebrews to be released. Yahweh had decreed to the ruling house of Egypt, “Let my people go!!!” Pharaoh would not hear of it! Who was going to keep the work in the Valley of Kings going? How was the building of the pyramids going to continue? The Jews cry for freedom was a joke that had been unheard of since Osiris and Ra made Egypt a super power. The grunt and sweat of the slaves was the alchemy behind the economic power of Egypt.
Pharaoh raged and could not believe their impunity. For that, he commanded that they should make bricks without straw. The injunction broke the spirit of the Hebrew slaves. The taskmasters’ whips cracked more viciously and faster. Their condition got worse when the God of heaven decided to visit their case (funny, it usually seems to get harder when deliverance is harder). How could freedom be so near and yet so far? Surely, Moses was a phoney and all that talk about seeing God in a burning bush was pure baloney! The poor man’s fevered mind had been tortured relentlessly by the desert sun.
The One delivered out of water found Pharaoh’s intolerable arrogance choking! The Egyptian ruler had forgotten history. It was the God of the Hebrews that had sustained the power of the Nile nation when he sent Joseph to preserve them in famine. Pharaoh had gotten too big for his breeches.
In bondage, the potential of Israel would never be realized. Dreams would drown and be buried in the depths of the Nile. Hope would languish in the hot desert sands. Their new born sons would keep being thrown to crocodiles, their small bones mangled and picked clean between the massive and implacable jaws of the amphibians. The battle line had being drawn. Israel would have to be delivered by an iron hand.
The onslaught started. Initially, it seemed like a circus trick to Ramses and his magicians. They imitated the power of the Moses’ rod. There was no big deal if they could do same but there was a difference. Moses’ trumped their antics. His rod bested the best of the magicians. His cobra swallowed Pharaoh’s.
The difference was clear. Yahweh’s power resided in the rod! The Egyptians soon realized this. Going forward, the disasters that they prayed to their gods to avert started raining down upon them. Nine awful plagues that they usually sacrificed and prayed year after year to their gods about. Darkness thicker than walls, swarms of locusts, clouds of flies, teeming frogs, dusts of lice, extirpation of livestock, storms of falling hailstone, eruption of boils and Nile, their life stream was turned to blood.
However, Pharaoh remained adamant. The King would not budge. He took everything on the chin and remained standing.
God then moved in his consuming wrath by introducing a wild card, a master stroke that would bring the super power to its knees. Yahweh brought in the blood of lambs. The Israelites painted their doorways with it for protection, while on the other side, the angel of death moved and wiped out the firstborn of every living thing.
In Egypt, sorrow and lamentation roared like a thunderous waterfall. Pharaoh who was considered divine crumbled before Yahweh. The Egyptians showered their former slaves with gold and the best of their finery until their economy went bankrupt. Four hundred years of slavery ended in one night. All that was owed over four centuries paid off in hours. An unprecedented status reversal took place; slaves became masters and dictated what they wanted. Former masters cowered and groveled before those that had served them.
All because of the blood of lambs! The gods of Egypt were judged, rendered useless. They were shown up to be mere inventions of man’s imagination.
The deliverance was not yet complete though. It had to be total and absolute. Egypt’s spiritual power, economic clout and human resources had been plundered, reduced to nought. However, they believed in one more ace, their military might. That too was wasted. At the red sea, the former tormentors were drowned. Egypt’s finest was swallowed by walls of water. Their elite soldiers became fish meal.
As Pharaoh and his men languished in a watery grave, Moses with the visionary gift with which he saw events unfold in Genesis, thousands of years in the past (he wrote Genesis) saw the future. He saw a lamb battered on a cross, blood, a fount of deliverance gushing from its side to form an endless river. He could visualize a new breed of gentiles who had become a new nation of Hebrews as they washed in the river.
These people lived in an age where chariots flew and entertainment was watching the antics of humans captured in talking boxes. Amazingly, he saw that it was a world filled with Pharaohs too, both spiritual and physical. Powers that stand in the way of freedom, blood sucking monsters that sacrificed the future of others to the crocodiles of wickedness. A rain of pain followed the reign of terror of these diabolic tyrants. He could see the scars of the whips of punishment that dotted the backs of the covenanted ones. The taskmaster of the new Pharaohs had monikers like cancer, terrorism and so on. Just like it was in the past, the new Hebrews fainted and lost hope sometimes. Moses saw that deliverance had been made available, it was so within reach. If the blood of ordinary lambs could cripple the mightiest nation of his day, it had not yet entered the mind of the new ones what the blood of the Lamb of God could do. They needed revelation so that they could believe and appropriate the blood, then evil would pass over them. Nothing can stand before the power of the blood of the lamb! Nothing!!!
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
© 2014 Ekpo Ezechinyere