As Exodus 6 draws to a close, we leave Moses in a great deal of uncertainty. He’s discouraged that God’s intervention in Israel’s slavery only seems to have made things worse, and he is also discouraged by what he perceives as his own ineptitude. “The people of Israel have not listened to me,” he laments; “How then shall Pharaoh listen to me?” Beginning in chapter 7, God gives His response.
Over the next three chapters, we witness God unleash a devastating series of plagues on the land of Egypt. Some scholars have pointed out that these plagues seem to deliberately target key Egyptian deities (for example, turning the Nile to blood demonstrated God’s power over the domain of Hapi, the Egyptian God of the Nile). God single-handedly decimates the credibility of the Egyptian pantheon and demonstrates the scope of His authority over creation.
Despite this, Pharaoh stubbornly refuses Moses’ plea to release the Israelites, even as his kingdom descends into chaos around him. In 9:15-16, God tells Pharaoh something remarkable. God reminds Pharaoh that He could have destroyed Egypt with a wave of His hand, but “…for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”
In light of deep fears and misgivings over our nation’s future, it’s worth remembering that there is no authority in this world that God has not established (Rom. 13:1). God’s plan for redemption is not frustrated by the rise and fall of any human powers. To the contrary, God is fully capable of using them for his own purpose. No matter what happens around us, we can find both peace and confidence in that truth.