Do you remember the scene in The Avengers Assemble when Loki was growing tired of having to fight the Avengers and in particular the Hulk? He stopped fighting, held up his arms, and said, “Enough! You are, all of you are beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I will not be bullied by…” And at that moment the Hulk flattened Loki by repeatedly smashing him to the floor, after which the Hulk could be heard to mutter, “Puny god!”
This scene has been rated as one of the most humorous in that film. But doesn’t it make such a good point? If Loki truly was an all-powerful god, then the Hulk could have done nothing to him. As it was, Loki could not even stand up to one of the Avengers.
Isn’t this what we also see in the plagues of Egypt? The Egyptians worshipped a plethora of gods. Through the plagues, God showed that he was more powerful than any of the Egyptian gods. Several have shown that each plague was directed against one or more of the Egyptian gods.
1st plague – water of Nile to blood – Exodus 7:14-25 – against Khnum, Hapi (spirit of the Nile), Osiris (Nile was his bloodstream)
2nd plague – frogs – Exodus 8:1-15 – against Hapi, Heqt (frog goddess)
3rd plague – gnats – Exodus 8:16-19 – against Seb (earth god)
4th plague – flies – Exodus 8:20-32 – against Uatchit (fly god)
5th plague – cattle disease – Exodus 9:1-7 – against Ptah, Hathor, Mnevis, Amon (gods associated with bulls and cows)
6th plague – boils – Exodus 9:8-12 – against Sekhmet (goddess of epidemics), Serapis, Imhotep (gods of healing)
7th plague – hail – Exodus 9:13-35 – against Nut (sky goddess), Isis and Seth (agricultural deities), Shu (god of atmosphere)
8th plague – locusts – Exodus 10:1-20 – against Serapia (deity who protected from locust)
9th plague – darkness – Exodus 10:21-29 – against Re, Amon-Re, Aten, Atum, Horus (sun gods) and Thoth (moon god)
10th plague – death of firstborn – Exodus 12:29-36 – against all gods including the Pharaoh (from Barnes Bible Charts)
The purpose of these plague was explained by God before the 7th plague. “Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh, and tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews: ‘Release my people so that they may serve me! For this time I will send all my plagues on your very self and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with plague, and you would have been destroyed from the earth. But for this purpose I have caused you to stand: to show you my strength, and so that my name may be declared in all the earth.'” (Exodus 9:13-16 NET)
God wanted them to know that there was no one like him in all of the earth, so that they could see his strength and so that his name would be declared in all the earth. This was the God Israel served and he was all-powerful!
What God do we serve today? Is it the all-powerful God who led Israel out of slavery? Or is he a puny god? From observing many Christians, I am convinced that they are not sure God has much power. They don’t really believe he can heal some illnesses or overcome various situations.
The God we serve, as described in the Bible, is all-powerful and can do far more than we expect. The question is, why are we not taking our concerns to him in prayer?
Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NET)
Readings for next week:
23 November – Exodus 13
24 November – Exodus 14
25 November – Exodus 15
26 November – Exodus 16
27 November – Exodus 17