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.

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

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."


The Nile turning to blood is a good time to share how each of the plagues were, in a way, God exercising his dominance over the different false Egyptian gods.

It can be distrubing hearing the language of God "hardening the heart of Pharoah," but St. Augustine of Hippo made a very enlightening commentary on what exactly that might mean.

How did the sorcerers and magicians of Pharoah manage to turn their rods into actual serpents without God's power behind them? St. Augustine of Hippo suggests their power came from demons and evil spirits, while also allowed by God in order to show he cannot be outdone.

Have you noticed how Moses' first plague of turning water into blood compares to Jesus' first miracle turning water into wine, which he would later turn into his blood?

Have you noticed any similarities between the characteristics of the Guilt Offering and the Sacrament of Reconciliation?