Wisdom's Corner
God Against Ra

God now tells Moses to stretch his hand toward heaven. This would bring a great darkness on the land of Egypt. This darkness would even be felt. The word "felt" means "to grope." This could mean two different things about this plague.

It could mean that the darkness was so intense that a person would have to feel their way around their house. Have you ever been in a room when the light went out? You could not see anything and would have to feel your way along the wall or the floor to move around the room. There was no light of any kind to help you see. It is possible this is what the Egyptians were dealing with. They did not leave their homes for three days due to the thick darkness (Exodus 10:21-29). There was no light from the sun or the moon or the stars.

The other possible explanation of this groping or feeling is that this darkness was from a very, very bad sandstorm. Khamsin, Winds of the Desert, are not unusual in Egypt. These can come up suddenly and may last for up to three days. But Khamsin do not cover the entire country and they never block out all of the light. With the khamsin, sand is blown into everything, including homes. People have to stay in the inner parts of the house to get away from the sand. If God did use a khamsin, it was the worst that the world has ever known. It could be felt and it completely blocked out any light from the sun, moon and stars.

Whatever caused the blackness, Pharaoh knew it was from the One True God. God had demonstrated that he was more powerful than the sun god, Ra. Ra was the father of the gods. He made growth possible on the earth. He lived in a great heavenly boat that made a daily voyage across the sky. Ra could not show himself for three whole days.

Several other gods were also shown to be powerless before God. Khepera was the god of the rising sun. He rolled the sun along the sky. He could not perform his task in the complete darkness from God. Aten was the actual sun. He was depicted as a circle with his rays reaching down to earth. He was the nurturing spirit of the world. But he could do no nurturing and he could not send his rays of light and warmth. Aker was believed to guard the gates of the dawn. He kept the gates free and open so that the sun could rise each morning. He was pictured as two lions sitting back to back with the sun sitting in the sky between them. The Egyptians would place these lions at their doors to guard their homes, tombs, and palaces from evil spirits. They called these statues "sphinxes".

The Egyptian gods had once again been shown to be false gods. God was the ruler of all things. Pharaoh tried to get Moses to leave Egypt but to leave the animals in Egypt. Moses could not do this because he needed animals to sacrifice to God. Pharaoh still was not ready to let the Israelites leave. So he got mad at Moses and told him to leave his court. He never wants to see his face again. Moses tells him that he is correct. He will never see him again.

Do not be like Pharaoh. Do not send a teacher of the Bible away. Do not deny that God exists. Study the Bible. Learn about the One True God. Until next time, get God's wisdom. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Mark McWhorter

Copyright 1999

Published by The Old Paths Bible School