Day 30: Nile Turned to Blood

Exodus 6:2-9 God’s covenants are not ordinary contracts in which both sides benefit in some way through the fulfillment of prescribed conditions; instead, God initiates the covenants in which only the people benefit and fidelity to his promises will be unfailing despite his people’s infidelity. (CCC 62, 2574-2575)

Ch 6:6 I will redeem you: This is the first mention of redemption in Scripture. In the Old Testament, a redeemer was a person who restored the rights of another who has been wronged in some way. Thus, as a sign of his unconditional love, God pledged to liberate his people from the injustices inflicted upon them. The whole purpose of the Incarnation and Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross was to redeem the human race from the oppression of sin. (CCC 44, 62, 580, 802)

Ch 7:1-25 This passage about the miraculous rod points to the power of God and his predilection for Moses and his Chosen People. In each instance, God gives Moses and Aaron instructions; they carry out his command, and the resulting plague causes much suffering. Pharaoh, although wavering at times, remains obstinate and refuses to let the people go. St. Paul gives two of the magicians’ names as Jannes and Jambres (cf. 2 Tm 3:8). Pharaoh’s heart was hardened: The expressions involving a “hardened heart” occur with some regularity in Scripture and indicate not a mere refusal but a STEADFAST REJECTION. The “heart” in this context is the very core of the human person, a place where a decision is not merely reasoned out or felt but is made firm and immutable. (CCC 30, 37, 2563)

Leviticus 5:1-19 For other sins and ritual impurities, particular offerings were applied. The act of the individual penitent expressing his or her contrition for sin is similar to the SACRAMENT OF PENANCE in the New Covenant. The allowances for the poor to offer pigeons instead of lambs shows that God was not seeking the most valuable sacrifice as much as a sacrifice done with the proper interior disposition of contrition. (CCC 1455-1460)

Psalm 47 This psalm alludes to God’s plan for the salvation of the world. The first verses acknowledge that God has made Israel victorious over all other nations, and then the psalm prophesies that ALL NATIONS will be gathered along with the people of Israel. This ancient prophecy becomes especially poignant in Christ’s parables about the Kingdom of God and in his Great Commision to spread the Gospel to ALL NATIONS. The Good News of salvation was to be preached first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles, who would be welcomed as “sons of Abraham” in the Church founded by Christ, who would exercise his full kingship over all nations of the world. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audience, September 5, 2001)

God has gone up with a shout: The early Church read this verse as a prophecy of Christ’s Ascension; for this reason, it is prayed at Mass on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 17: The Ten Plagues (Exodus 7:14-11:10)

After Pharaoh refuses to let the Israelites go, God sends the ten plagues as powerful strikes against the false gods of Egypt, aiming to teach the Egyptians and the Israelites that the Lord is the ONE TRUE GOD. This is an important lesson even for Israel, since after four hundred years of living in Egypt, the influence of polytheism has set in.

  • In Exodus 7:8-13, Pharaoh demands a miracle to prove that Moses and Aaron are emissaries of God.

  • Aaron throws down his staff, and it becomes a crocodile.

  • Many English translations say “serpent,” but the Hebrew word used here, TANNIN, is different from the one used for the serpent in the garden and the serpent into which Moses’ staff was earlier transformed.

  • The Egyptian god Sobek was often represented as a great crocodile that could swallow anything.

  • He patrolled the Nile and protected Pharaoh and Egypt. (I wonder who would win in a fight, Sobek VS Godzilla?)

  • Later in the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel will speak of the tannin as a beast that prowls along the Nile (Ez 29:3, where it is often translated “dragon”) ----->(where else have we seen a “dragon”?)

  • Pharaoh identified himself with this god because of its strength and power.

  • Pharaoh’s priestly magicians also conjure up tanninim (crocodiles) by their secret arts, but these are swallowed up by Aaron’s staff, leaving the magicians without their staffs and the authority they represent. (It’s too bad, Grima Wormtongue warned his minions to take the staff of Gandalf the White at Edoras, but they failed :-P)

  • The God of the Hebrews defeats the god Sobek, whom Pharaoh trusted to defend and protect him and Egypt.

  • This is more than special effects or a simple display of power; IT IS A JUDGMENT AGAINST THE GODS OF EGYPT.

  • That Pharaoh’s magicians are also able to conjure up power to transform their own staffs is a reminder of the reality that “we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12).

  • While Pharaoh’s priests are initially able to mimic Moses’ and Aaron’s mighty signs, soon they will be unable to imitate the omnipotent God of the Hebrews.

  • As a result of Pharaoh’s prideful refusal to allow Israel to serve (avad or WORSHIP, remember??) Yahweh, God sends the ten plagues.

  • The first plague turns the Nile to blood, a sign that recalls the drowning of Israel’s innocent children.

  • Justice is coming to Egypt for its infanticide.

  • But the ultimate purpose of the plagues is to teach a powerful message: THE GOD OF ISRAEL IS THE ONE TRUE GOD OF ALL.

  • God’s instructions to Moses bear this out: “By this you shall know that I am the Lord” (Ex 7:17).

  • The Egyptians, who were both very religious and very conscious of symbols, would see the Nile’s transformation into blood as an ominous portent.

  • The Nile, the linchpin of Egyptian economy and life, was worshiped as the god Hapi.

  • To see the Nile, a constant source of life, now running with blood would signify death, and the conclusion drawn would be that the God of the Hebrews had struck a mortal blow to the Egyptians’ beloved god Hapi.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

  • God continually reveals important things to us as we read His Word

  • God continually has to remind Moses WHO HE IS



  • God revealed Himself to them, but the name YHWH was not made known to them, BUT TO MOSES

  • Because God reveals himself INTIMATELY to Moses, He commissions him to go to the people of Israel and TELL THEM that God is doing something NEW

  • This is the case in our lives as well

  • There are so many things of Himself that God has revealed to us

  • As we read Scripture, one of the things God reveals to us are what He has done IN THE PAST so we MUST REMEMBER THEM

  • One of the themes for this ENTIRE YEAR is:



  • We are so tempted to have a short term memory

  • We forget the past because of the present

  • We forget the past because of our anxiety over the future

  • So God constantly gives us (and Moses) reminders

  • The most important reminder is that GOD IS WITH YOU

  • God is revealing Himself to us in NEW WAYS

  • Remembering the past not just to learn stuff, but to be REMINDED of things that are so easy to forget

  • God can reveal Himself to us NOW so that we can KNOW Him even more deeply

  • God can reveal Himself to us NOW so that we can FOLLOW Him even more closely

  • In LEVITICUS God reveals to us through SIN OFFERINGS

  • If you the leader of the people

  • If you are one of the people

  • If you are a common person etc

  • Then different sacrifices are being offered

  • If you are a leader of the people and you sin, that is SCANDALOUS and you have a heavier responsibility

  • We all know this when it comes to the leaders of The Catholic Church

  • When our leaders fail, it not only hurts them

  • It hurts their family

  • It hurts the people in their lives


  • If the common person sins there is a seriousness there as well

  • As we read through Leviticus today one of the most powerful things to realize is that GOD IS SO GRACIOUS EVEN IN HIS MERCY

  • Even when the sin offering is being presented, God is so gracious and merciful

  • Even if you couldn’t afford a goat or a bull, you could offer two pigeons or two turtledoves

  • Even if you couldn’t afford that, you could offer fine flour

  • God is saying, “What I want for you is I want to be able to GIVE YOU MY MERCY.”

  • “If there is any sort of obstacle to you receiving my mercy, I am willing to go down in price.”

  • “What you are able to offer you need to offer that.”

  • “If you can’t offer something, then offer WHAT YOU CAN.”

  • It’s not about being technical or unnecessarily nuanced

  • It is about the fact that this is a SIGN of God’s graciousness and love

  • What do you have to offer? OFFER THAT

  • If you don’t have the big thing to offer then offer the small thing THAT YOU DO HAVE

  • This is what we give to the Lord every single day

  • So many of us have so little

  • So many of us have not great hearts

  • So give God the heart you DO have

  • So many of us have not so great incredible deeds

  • So give God the small deeds you DO have

  • So many of us do not have the ability to do big great things for God

  • So do small things for God

  • God will take ANYTHING from your life for His Plan

  • You are God’s son

  • You are God’s daughter

  • He is your Dad

  • Whatever you have to offer, OFFER IT


  • Because that’s how good God is

  • Keep praying for each other

  • As we keep going on our journey, lift each other up in prayer

  • We don’t know the battles we are all facing

  • Keep on interceding on behalf of each other and for Fr Mike

Prayer by Fr. Mike: "God, you are exalted. And you are exalted above all ages. You are exalted above all names. And you have revealed your name to us. So we cry out your name. We cry out the name of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. You are our Lord and you are the God of the universe. You are the King over all and you reign on your Holy Throne. We ask that you please, you are the God who reigns, we ask that you also reign in our hearts. You are the King of Creation. We also ask that you are the King of our lives. O God, we give you permission this day, not that you need our permission, but you are so humble, that you choose to allow us to refuse your love or to receive your love. Lord God, this day help us to receive your love. Help us to let ourselves be loved by you. Help us to give you permission to redeem us once again, to save us once again, to give us your Grace once again, and to love us once again. Lord God, every day is new with you. Your love is new every morning. Please give us your love today as we receive it from you with gratitude. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen."