MDB 39: Exodus 8

The plagues that God brought upon Egypt were designed to defeat the gods and goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon. For example, by turning the dust into bugs (Exod. 8:16-19), God was claiming his authority over the very soil of Egypt, and thus over Geb, the god of the ground.   

In displaying his power over the ground, God was demonstrating his rule over the cosmos.  Each plague disrupted the natural order. By bringing chaos into creation, God was making a direct assault on the Egyptians and their gods. The Egyptians believed that Pharaoh had the power to maintain the cosmos by controlling the climate, regulating the seasons, and generally preserving order in the world. 

The ten plagues attacked this faith at its very foundations. By striking the Egyptians with plague after plague, and thereby throwing their land into confusion, God was confronting their basic beliefs about order in the universe. Only the God of Israel had the power to control chaos in the cosmos.

One way to apply this spiritual lesson is to ask ourselves what our foundation is. What is the source of our equilibrium? Some people base their sense of security on their jobs or their investments. Others depend on their intelligence, charm, beauty, or physical stamina. 

But in the day of disaster, when chaos reigns, none of these things will be able to hold our world together. What happens when there is a correction in the market? Or when our department gets down-sized and we have to send out our résumés? What happens when we end up in the hospital? When our world gets turned upside down, we discover that our abilities and possessions cannot save us.

The Bible teaches that what brings true order and cohesion to the universe is the person and work of Jesus Christ: "For by him all things were created . . . and in him all things hold together" (Col. 1:16-17).  Jesus Christ is the one who holds everything together. This is true not only cosmically, but also personally. When your world seems to be out of control, the only stable foundation is faith in Jesus Christ.