Blood in the Nile
The plague of blood is a powerful testimony to the truth of God’s ownership
and management of all creation. The Nile River is Egypt’s greatest natural
resource, serving as the source of the land’s natural fertility and prosperity
throughout history. By changing the waters of Egypt into blood, God demonstrated
his control over the source of Egypt’s economic vitality.
Pastor James E. Mead reflects that
[the very] air we breathe, the water we drink, the wonder of life itself, the
planet we live on, the universe—we brought none of these things into being. They
are gifts we enjoy out of the overflow of God’s love. The love of God, the gift
of Jesus Christ, forgiveness of our sins, the call into Christian community, the
comfort of the Holy Spirit, eternal life—none came from us, each is a gift to us
To remember that God owns everything prompts a remarkable shift in our view
of stewardship. Usually when we think of stewardship (of giving to charitable
causes, if you want), we define it as our giving to God or to the church
something that belongs to us. But in the Bible, stewardship is just the
reverse—our freely using, enjoying, and giving what already belongs to God.
In the words of Generous Giving’s Stewardship Bible Study Notes for this
Just before God gave Moses permission to perform the first plague which
turned all the water in Egypt into blood, God reemphasized that the reason he
had determined to bring such cataclysmic disaster and violent upheaval upon the
land of Egypt was that Pharaoh’s “unyielding” heart had caused him to refuse to
let God’s people go (Ex 7:14).
We should exercise caution in drawing too close a parallel between Pharaoh
and ourselves because God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Ex 10:1) while he
has promised to give us new hearts of flesh (Eze 36:26).
Still, it is important for us to recognize that an unyielding heart always
brings disaster. This truth applies whether it is Christians or non-Christians
who are being unyielding and withholding what belongs to God.
In the end, God cannot be robbed, “For from him and through him and for him
are all things” (Ro 11:36) … Everything in creation is at God’s disposal, so the
question is whether we will give willingly, with yielding hearts, or whether we
will harden our hearts and have our closed hands forced open by the Almighty
God. We will either experience the joy of giving generously or, like Pharaoh, be
smashed, having everything taken from us. In light of these ultimate ends,
everyone should give what he has decided in his heart to give, “not reluctantly
or under compulsion” from others but out of love for God’s Son, who became poor
so that we might become rich [2Co 9:7].
Think About It
- God wants you to use and enjoy his creation. How can you do that with a
- Is there anything in your life that may alert you that some part of your
heart is “unyielding”?
- How does God show us our heart attitudes?
Pray About It
God, reveal to me through your Holy Spirit any attitudes about my possessions
that might point to an improper view of what you have entrusted me to