Monday, March 22, 2010
**In This Issue**
- The Lessons of
- What Does the Bible Say About...?
Welcome to the
Reflections Newsletter from Reflect His Glory. RHG is a co-ministry
with Creation Science Ministries. Feel free to send this to your relatives
The Lessons of Passover
next Monday, March 29th,
at sunset. The feast of Passover is a
celebration, a time when Jewish people remember how God used Moses to free
Israel from bondage and slavery in Egypt. There
have been few dramas that can equal the story of the Exodus.
Yet while most Christians are familiar
with the events of the Passover as
told to us in Exodus 12:12, few are aware of the significance behind the other
nine plagues. Each of the nine plagues targeted specific ancient Egyptian
gods. They were part of an invisible war
against the demons of darkness. The
plagues were a powerful and dramatic demonstration of the supremacy of the true
and living God of Abraham and Moses.
Waters Turned to Blood
The first of the judgments was upon the waters of Egypt.
The Nile was the highway of this ancient
land, as it is today. Not only was
the Nile turned to blood, but the other waters of the land were as well,
including the water drawn for use in the houses that was
stored in wooden and stone jars
(Exodus 7:19). For seven days the whole
land was in horror, with dead fish and a stench from the river.
To better appreciate what was going on, we must examine the numerous gods of the
river: Osiris, one of the
several gods of Egypt, was the
chief of all the gods of the Nile. He,
with his companion, the mother god, Isis, and their child, Horus, were
human-headed gods (in contrast to the many that had heads of birds, beasts, and
reptiles). There were other gods of the
Nile, too: Hapimon in the north, and Tauret at Thebes, and the hippopotamus
goddess of the river. There was also Nu
, the god of life in the Nile. The
supernatural pollution of the waters of the land were a humiliation to these gods
whom the Egyptians worshiped.
The second of the plagues further proved the powerlessness of the gods of Egypt.
The land was covered with a plague of frogs in such abundance that they infested
the Egyptians' houses and beds. One of
the principal goddesses of the land was Hekt, the wife of the creator of the
world, who was always shown with the head and the body of a frog.
The frogs came out of the sacred
Nile and Egypt's devotion to frogs prevented
the Egyptians from hopping into
action: they soon
had decaying carcasses throughout the land, resulting in a stinking horror.
It is interesting that the climactic war
against God in Revelation is assembled by three frog-like spirits.
The Sand Flies
The third of the judgments on Egypt came out of the soil in Egypt.
The Hebrew word
is translated "lice" in our English translation, with "sand flies" or "fleas" in
some marginal notes. The Hebrew word
comes from a root meaning to dig; it is probable that the insect was one which
digs under the skin of men. This was an
embarrassment to their great god of the earth, Geb, to whom they gave offerings
for the bounty of the soil. Also, the
presence of the fleas or lice was a barrier to their officiating in their
The fourth of the plagues were "swarms of flies."
The word is `arob, a swarm,
possibly suggesting never-ending motion. The
adoration of the scarab beetle is still conspicuous,
even today, in the jewelry and artifacts celebrating ancient Egypt. Amon-Ra,
the king of the gods, had the head of a beetle.
Some of the giant scarabs were even accorded the honor of mummification
and entombment with the Pharaohs.
This is particularly bizarre since the scarab is actually a dung beetle.
The insect is about the size of a nickel
and feeds on dung in the fields or the side of the road. When animals defecate,
these insects swarm from their holes in the ground and collect their provisions
for future meals by forming it into round balls about the size of golf balls,
which they roll across the ground to their underground dwellings.
Since they seemed to "come from
nowhere," and perhaps because these perfectly round balls were possibly
associated with the sun, these beetles became associated with creation.
The plague of swarming scarabs, with mandibles that could saw through wood, and
destructive qualities worse than termites, must have caused extreme
consternation since they were so venerated and thus were not to be interfered
with! Pharaoh called Moses, pleaded for
a cessation, hinted at the possibility of compromise, and even asked to be
prayed for. But God does not compromise;
the judgments continued.
The Plague of Pestalence
The fifth plague was against the domestic animals of Egypt, and thus Apis, the
bull god, and the cow-headed Hathor, goddess of the deserts.
These were so widespread that even the
children of Israel had become tainted by their worship, which led to the fiasco
of the golden calf in the image of Apis.
The plague was “a murrain," a contagious disease among the cattle, and even the
sacred bulls in the temple died. Other
domestic animals were sacred also, and their images adorned many of the idols,
such as Bubastis, the cat goddess of love, feminine matters and fashion, etc.
The veneration of cows still creates a sight in India, when cows appear
on the streets and even in stores and shops.
The cattle of the Hebrews were not touched.
The sixth plague was manifested against the bodies of men.
The plague of
"boils", may indicate something more terrible. The
root means "burning," and the same word can be translated as leprosy, and as the
Egyptian botch, which was declared to be incurable.
Among the gods to which cures would have been ascribed were Thoth, the
ibis-headed god of intelligence and medical learning, and Apis, Serapis and
Imhotep. Here even the magicians did not escape and could not carry on their
priestly functions. It was their custom
to take the ashes of human sacrifices and cast them into the air.
Borne by the wind over the milling
populace, they were viewed as a blessing. Moses
launched this plague, and may even have had access to the very furnaces used in
the sacred precincts of the royal temple.
Egypt is a sunny land with virtually no rain. The
seventh of the plagues was a tempest of hail and fire. Where
were Shu, the wind god, and Nut, the sky
goddess? Where was Horus, the
hawk-headed sky god of Upper Egypt? When
Pharaoh confessed his sin and the sin of his people, he even used the Hebrew
names for God:
"And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses
and Aaron, and said to them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and
I and my people are wicked. Entreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no
more mighty thundering and hail…”
Exodus 9:27-28 KJV ER
Some of the earlier plagues may have been separated by extended intervals, but
the eighth plague followed immediately on the heels of the seventh:
locusts came upon the land.
Every twig and leaf that had somehow
escaped the hail and fire was now taken by the locusts.
Where were Nepri, the grain god, or
Ermutet, goddess of childbirth and crops? Where
was Anubis , the jackal-headed guardian of the fields, or Osiris, great head of
their senior trinity who was also their agricultural god? Having lost faith in
their gods, rebellion was now in the air.
The ninth plague was a darkness that could be felt!
"But when Moses said that what he desired was unjust, since
they were obliged to offer sacrifices to God of those cattle, and the time being
prolonged on this account, a thick darkness, without the least light, spread
itself over the Egyptians, whereby their sight being obstructed, and their
breathing hindered by the thickness of the air, they were under terror lest they
be swallowed up by the thick cloud. This
darkness, after three days and as many nights was dissipated."
Antiquities of the Jews, Book Two, Chapter
14, Number 5.
So, where was Ra, god of the sun?
In the school of On, or Heliopolis, city
of the sun, the worship of Ra was virtually almost monotheistic.
He and Aten, the sun's disc, were
worshiped with the ankh, symbol of life from the sun, as almost a sort of
trinity. Where was Horus, the god of the
sunrise, or Tem, the god of the sunset, and Shu , the god of light, or the
deities of the moon and planets?
And, of course, the well-known tenth and final plague was the death of the
firstborn, on those homes not covered by the lamb's blood on the doorposts or
lintels. We all know the story of the
Passover in Egypt, remembered by Jewish people all over the world to this day.
We know that Jesus is our Passover, the
Lamb of God. John the Baptist introduced
Christ Jesus twice as "The Lamb of God."
And Lessons for Today?
The invisible war goes on. These same
demons are worshiped today. The
Scriptures tell us that we become like the gods we worship.
Visit Egypt today and when you leave
Cairo you will see villages living on dung hills.
And this is not a typical "third world"
country. Egypt once ruled the known
Are idols of stone cold,
unresponsive, and immovable? If you
worship idols of stone, you, too, will become cold, unresponsive, and immovable.
Is the world materialistic, harsh, and
unforgiving? If you worship the world,
you, too, will become materialistic, harsh, and unforgiving.
You will become like the gods you
worship. But, if you worship Christ
Jesus, who loved us and gave Himself for us, you will become more like Him.
What Does the Bible Say About...?
In this section of the
Reflections Newsletter we answer questions that have been asked.
If you have a question that you would like ask, and do not mind having
it printed in the newsletter, (your name will not be mentioned), feel free to
send your question in an email to me at
email@example.com. Of course, you may call me
anytime by phone at 801.302 -1111.
The question for this issue is, "How
could God love Jacob, but hate Esau?"
The Scripture that prompted this
question is found in the Book of Romans, where Paul
is reminding us that God has not forsaken Israel.
As it is written, Jacob have
I loved, but Esau have I hated. Romans
9:13 KJV ER
Here, Paul is referring to the
Book of Malachi, which says:
And I hated Esau, and laid
his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons
of the wilderness. Malachi 1:3 KJV
Jacob and Esau were twin sons of
Isaac. The posterity of both developed into
tribes and nations. Even before their births,
Jacob was the one chosen by God to be the forefather
for the tribes of Israel. Speaking to Rebekah,
the boys' mother, shortly before their birth, God
...Two nations are in your
womb, and two manner of people shall be separated
from your bowels; and the one people shall be
stronger than the other people; and the elder shall
serve the younger. Genesis 25:23
God showed HIs love for Jacob by
giving him twelve sons and preserving the nation
Israel to this very day, and He will continue to do
so in the future. On the other hand, Esau,
whom it is said that God "hated," had his land,
Edom, brought to desolation. The reasons for
this are discussed in the Book of Obadiah.
Esau's rejection by God was because he "despised his
birthright." This is found in Genesis 25:34.
A parallel can be found in the
words of Jesus when He set down a requirement for
being His disciple:
If any man come to Me, and
hate not his father, and wife, and children, and
brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also,
he cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:26
Jesus did not really expect us to
hate our parents, for this would be a violation of
the fifth commandment (Exodus 20:12). But He
was illustrating the fact that one must love Him so
intensely, that the feelings that one shows towards
one's family members, whom we love so much, must
seem like hate in comparison.
Likewise, the words "love" and
"hate" in discussing Jacob and Esau are relative
rather than absolute. The love and hate spoken
of here are related more to the exercise of God's
will rather than His emotions. God, by the act
of His sovereign will, chose Jacob, rather than
Esau, to carry on the line of the people Israel.
**MEMORY VERSE OF THE
O Lord our Lord, how
excellent is Your name above the earth! who have set Your glory above the
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