Exodus 8-9

God’s power on display

“I could have killed you all by now. I could have attacked you with a plague that would have wiped you from the face of the earth. But I have let you live for this reason – that you might see my power and that my fame might spread throughout the earth. Exodus 9:15-16 NLT

Every plague God brought against the nation of Egypt was a display of His power. There were an open attack on the gods of Egypt and a powerful argument for the superiority of God. Chapters eight and nine include the frogs, gnats, flies, pestilence, boils, and hail. Each one was representative of a different Egyptian god or goddess. And Pharaoh and his sorcerers were powerless to stop the attacks. In fact, all they could do was replicate a few of them. Which, when you think about it, is a bit humorous. Here is the nation overrun by frogs, and the best the sorcerers could do was make even more! They even tried to make more gnats (Exodus 8:18), but were unsuccessful. God’s power was on display. One plague at a time.

At any time God could have wiped out the entire nation of Egypt. He could have brought a single plague and ended the whole thing. He even said so. “I could have killed you all by now. I could have attacked you with a plague that would have wiped you from the face of the earth” (Exodus 9:15 NLT). God wasn’t impotent or at a loss as to what to do. No, He knew exactly what He was doing. God had no desire to wipe out the nation of Egypt. He wanted to display His power. He wanted His reputation to spread throughout all the earth. “But I have let you live for this reason – that you might see my power and that my fame might spread throughout the earth” (Exodus 9:16 NLT). Word was going to get out about this whole affair. Visitors who happened to be in Egypt at the time of these events would eventually return home and tell what they had seen. News of God’s attacks on Egypt would spread. Word that He had spared the people of Israel would get around. It wouldn’t take long for other nations to hear that this God was a powerful god and He had a chosen people.

Beginning with the fourth plague, God began to exempt His people from the effects of the plagues. The land of Goshen, in which they lived, was spared and their livestock and crops were not impacted by the devastation God brought down on the people of Egypt. God was making a point to the people of Egypt and the children of Israel. There is no god like the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Step by step, plague by plague, He was revealing His power and His authority. Each time Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused to give in to the demands of Moses, God had another opportunity to display His power. Not out of anger or vengeance, but as a means to convince men that He was truly God. Over and over again, you read the phrase, “Then you will know that no one is as powerful as the LORD our God” (Exodus 8:10 NLT). That is what God has been out to convince men of since the beginning. There is no one or nothing as powerful as the Lord. He is incomparable, unstoppable, and all-powerful. And today He wants to reveal His power and spread the fame of His name through the lives of His people – the church. He wants His reputation to get around as He works in and through the lives of His children. Yet we refuse to let Him work. We do it all ourselves. Instead of allowing God to display His power in our lives, we live as if there is no God – leaning on our own understanding, depending on our own strength, relying on out own abilities, and turning to the gods of this world to meet our needs and provide us with hope. We are His people. We are His children. He wants to provide for us. He wants to work through us. He wants to reveal His power in us.

Father, I have made You into a weak and impotent God. I claim You are powerful, but I live as though You are not. I don’t allow You to display Your power in my life. I tend to try to do it all myself. When You do work, I tend to take the credit. The reputation of Your name should be spreading like wildfire as You work among Your people. But we are a self-sufficient lot. We tend to want to do it all ourselves. And in doing so, we turn up our nose at Your power and settle for lives of mediocrity and weakness. I want to see Your power on display in my life each and every day. I want to recognize Your power already at work in and around my life. I want to spread Your fame throughout the nations as You display Your power on my behalf. Amen.

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org