It’s dawn and the ESV Literary Study Bible awaits. This morning I begin in Exodus with the Exodus. God has just finished hammering the nation of Egypt with “10 mighty blows” which the ESVLB says is the meaning of the original Latin for “plague”.
From the opening salvo of the passage on through the end of the Pentateuch (heck include the rest of the Bible) the major theme present is the glory of God in delivering his people. This is the penultimate old testament moment of salvation. It is met with worship first because people love to see God work but soon afterward the cycle of murmuring and judgment sets in.
A key moment for me was actually the salvation of Jethro, Moses’ father in law.
Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.” -Exodus 18:11 ESV
For me it’s a significant quote for a couple of reasons. First it is the salvation moment of a human being who turns and recognizes that there is no God above YHWH. Second, thanks to Michael Heiser I’ve been thinking allot lately about the gods of the nations surrounding Israel. I’m not going to replicate his work you can read it for yourself. Many of the gods which the nations worshiped are what we would recognize as demons – that is, fallen angels. Jethro’s comment opens up a world of cultural understanding when we combine it with God saying that he executed judgment on the gods of Egypt through the plagues. (Exodus 12:12, Numbers 33:4) God wasn’t merely attacking the mentality of the Egyptians in the plagues, he was rendering judgment on the spirit beings behind the idols which Egypt worshiped.