In this section of the Bible we have the account of the ultimate judgment of Egypt which led to the exodus of Israel from Egypt. God demonstrated that He was able to deliver His people from the strongest world power of that day. In the process, God executed judgment of the gods of Egypt in order to demonstrate His power.
“For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments – I am the Lord.” (Exodus 12:12)
As we consider the plagues which were brought upon Egypt, we realize that each plague was aimed at one of the Egyptian deities. For example, one of the prominent gods worshipped by the Egyptians was the sun. The plague of darkness for three full days revealed the impotency of the sun as a god. Also, the Pharaoh was seen as a god. The death of the first-born of Pharaoh demonstrated the dominance of the God of the Bible over the supposed god, Pharaoh.
I maintain that one of the most important revelations given to us through Biblical revelation is that God intends to deliver the entire human community from the bondage of satanic domination. I believe that this will be accomplished at the coming of Messiah Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. The exodus account is most likely prophetic of this greater deliverance.
An awesome archaeological discovery illustrates the completeness of the humiliation of the Egyptian deities. The story of Pharaoh Akhenaten has been unveiled in the past 50 or so years. Biblical Archeological Review published an intriguing article on this subject in its May/June 1987 issue. Even though I disagree with the most significant conclusion of the scholars, the article is extremely enlightening. I believe that Akhenaten was an eye-witness of the Exodus. He is known as the heretic Pharaoh because he was a monotheist, the only one in Egypt’s long history. When he became Pharaoh, he closed down all the temples of the array of Egyptian deities and built a new city dedicated to his “one god” who he referred to as “aten”. He declared that all of the Egyptian gods had ceased to be operative. He was the second born son of the ruling Pharaoh, the first-born died mysteriously. After Akhenaten died, all of his building were destroyed and used as fill material for new buildings and Egypt returned to the worship of the traditional gods. Only in the modern era were the fragments of the destroyed buildings recovered and deciphered. Hence, the story of Akhenaten was hidden for almost 3500 years but now has been revealed.
The book of Revelation reveals a series of judgments which are predicted to come upon the human community leading ultimately to the return of Messiah Jesus and the establishment of His Kingdom. This kind of intervention in the human community is very much like God’s intervention in Egypt which led to the exodus of Israel. Is it possible that these judgments are or will be focused on the gods which people worship today? Most today do not make molten images and bow down to them. Today gods are mostly intellectual in nature. A god is an individual, a group or an entity that a person depends on for his sense of security or well-being. Can we name some of the more common gods that people deify today? Let me suggest a few. Americans place confidence in power and materialistic wealth. Moslems place confidence in Allah. Many today worship “mother earth”. I believe these “gods” are or will be judged in the last days. Most of the judgments cited in Revelation chapter 8 impact the natural environment. Revelation 9 outlines what I believe is a nuclear war where 1/3 of mankind is destroyed. Revelation 18 describes the demise of the global economic system which drives the modern world. Are you prepared to witness such judgments? Are you confident that God will keep you in the midst of such judgments? Make sure that your sense of well-being and security are based on faith in the God of the Bible.