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Great and Glorious

“And on that very day the LORD brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts” (Exodus 12:51).

When God sent Moses to Egypt to tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go, He didn’t quite prepare him for what was going to happen. Moses likely expected to say what God had told him, maybe turn his staff into a snake, and then lead the people out without further issue. But things happened a bit differently. When Moses appeared before Pharaoh, the powerful ruler of Egypt mocked him. He did not know the LORD, and he saw no reason to obey His commands. Just to prove how powerful he was, he made things even more difficult for the people.

Moses was ready to give up at this point. Not only had he not delivered the people; he had made things worse. The people hated him for the extra hardship he had brought on them. He complained to God, demanding to know why God had ever chosen him for this impossible task.

God, however, wasn’t fazed. This was all part of His plan. He was going to send ten devastating plagues on Egypt, and at the end of them, all the people would know that the God of Israel is the LORD, the Almighty God of all the earth. Each plague attacked one or more of the Egyptian deities, proving their futility. By the time the last terrible plague came—a plague that claimed the lives of all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both of man and of animal—the Egyptians were begging the Israelites to leave. They now feared God, and they dreaded what would happen if they continued to resist Him. So the people of Israel went out, leaving behind a destroyed Egypt.

In all of this, Moses did nothing. His task was simply to tell Pharaoh what was about to happen and then raise his staff to signal the oncoming plague. God was the one who acted. It was He who had destroyed Egypt by the power of His hand. It was He who brought the children of Israel out of captivity like a mighty army. It was He, and all the nations heard of and feared this great and glorious God.

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