August 14, 2021
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’”
19 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.”
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.
If you look on a map, Egypt is a very large country in land. But when you look at where the people live it is almost exclusively along the Nile River. There is little to no rain fall in Egypt. The flooding of the river makes areas around the river fertile. And farming is done by irrigation from the river. The Nile is the life of Egypt. In this first plague we see the life of Egypt cut off and the Egyptians searching for a new source of water along the river.
Sadly, they could have had life differently if they would have seen that God was acting in their midst right here. Instead of fighting with God to keep the people, what if they had recognized who God really is? But such speculation is useless for them. They fought and searched for their own way to sustain life. Their gods did not give them a new source of water. They were thirsty in a hot a dry country.
Our source of life is more than a river. Physically we are blessed to be in a place of abundant water. Rains that come often. Rivers and lakes that hold water and life. But we see that all of that is a blessing from God that we can have it. But we have even more with the source of life being given to us in the form of living water.
Jesus stood at the well with the Samaritan woman and spoke of living water. She wanted that living water and Jesus declared to her that he was the living water. The living water that came before her and that predated the well at which they stood. The living water that comes to us and brings us life each day, but even more promises us life forever.
Yet people are still digging along the banks and trying to find their own way to have life. Not seeing that life and living water is given to us already. Not accepting the free gift of life, but trying to find and earn their own. We have life in Jesus already. We give thanks for that gift of life as he comes to us as the living water. And may we also help others to see that the same water of life is brought to them, freely and forever.
Song – I’ve Got A River of Life
Faithful God, you work in us and for us, even when we do not know it. When our path has led us away from you, you guide us back to yourself. We thank you for calling us as, your people. Renew in us the covenant you made in our baptism. By the power of your Spirit, strengthen us in faith and love, that we may serve you with joy, to the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.