Now, I’m sure you remember all ten plagues, so feel free to shout them out now.[pause]
Church geeks and those good at reading, good for you. Now everyone else, here’s a recap.
First, water is turned to blood and the fish die.
Frogs. Cute, but also smelly and slimy.
Lice, not just in their hair, but everywhere. *cough* STD
Flies. Doesn’t sound scary, but it worked… until God hardened Pharaoh’s heart again.
Diseased livestock, probably from germs on the flies.
Boils that never heal *cough* STD
Hail, fire and thunder rained down from the sky. This works too until God again hardens Pharaoh’s heart. Whose side is God on anyway? [video of Locusts plague on screen]
Darkness. So dark you could feel it. Pharaoh says that the Israelites can go, but he wants to keep their stuff. Moses says “no.”
Death of the firstborn humans and animals. Pharaoh finally lets the Israelites go, because he’s afraid he may be killed next.
And now back to our story…
On their way out of Egypt, the Israelites turn back (like Lot’s wife in Sodom) and in their fear they cry out to God, which in this story means, they grumbled to Moses.
They said, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, “Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians”? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’
Which was essentially the Israelites snarky way of mocking Moses by saying: Did we really have to go on such a long hot trecherous walk if we were just going to suffer the same fate as everyone we watched die in those plagues? This guy he never listens, we tell him over and over and he never listens. I’d rather be a slave than be dead.
Moses responds to them saying: “Do not be afraid” and “peace be still.” These words will later be plagiarized by another prophet when his 12 forgetful, ungrateful grumpy disciples become scared of the sea, but that’s another story.
Moses tells the Israelites the Egyptians will all be killed by God if they can manage to stand completely still and get out of God’s way.
Then God responds to the Israelites, which in this story means he talks to Moses, and says why are they grumbling to me? Keep them moving. Then you will lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, say hocus-pocus, divide the sea, and have the Israelites walk through it on the dry ground. Well, maybe God didn’t say the bit about hocus-pocus. But God did say that God would harden the hearts of the Egyptians so they will chase the Israelites and God will show the Egyptians, the Pharaoh, the chariots and the chariot drivers who is boss. There was an angel of God walking in front and behind the Israelites. Did I forget to mention that before? Well there was. And, it was super dark. And there was a pillar of cloud, which then moved both in front and behind them and lit up the night and kept the Israelites and the Egyptians separated all night long.
Then Moses stretched his hand over the sea and God divided the water all night long with a strong East wind. The Israelites walked across the sea, on dry land, with walls of water on both sides of them. The Egyptians went into the sea after them.
Then, either on the last military watch of the night, or the first watch of the morning, God in a pillar of fire looked at the Egyptians and it freaked them out and they began to panic and try to run away from the Israelites. But God clogged the wheels of their chariots. It does say how, but I think it was really muddy. Never the less it was really heard for the chariots to turn around and they were heard screaming “Run away, run away God is fighting for the Israelites against Egypt.
Then God told Moses to stretch out his hand in order to dump the water back on the Egyptians. So, he did and by dawn the water had returned to normal. As the Egyptians ran away from the water, God tossed the Egyptians into the sea and the water returned to its normal depth and covered them completely. Every single Egyptian died. But the Israelites were saved because they had walked on the dry ground with the water on either side of them. And that’s how God saved the Israelites and the Israelites saw the Egyptians dead on the shore.
Israel saw what God did to the Egyptians, so like the Pharaoh who had been afraid God would kill him, the people saw God’s great works and were very afraid. But it also caused them believed in God and God’s slave Moses.
And so this episode ends with Moses and the Israelites singing this song to God: I will sing God, for he has triumphed gloriously, horse and rider he’s thrown in the sea.
Or perhaps it was it bit more like: Nanner, nanner, nanner our God is cooler than yours.