Moses, The Plagues Exodus 7:14
When the ten plagues of Exodus are taken literally, as a history of external events, various troubling questions arise: If God is all-powerful, why did He not simply take the children of Israel out of Egypt in one swift stroke? Why did He make them endure so many years of pain? Why did He ‘harden’ Pharaoh’s heart, making it impossible for the poor king to comply even if he had wished to, and thus making sure that more suffering would ensue? What sort of cruel and immoral God would violently punish people, over and over again, for a situation which He Himself had deliberately caused?
But when taken internally and symbolically as a teaching device, the meaning of the story is much clearer. It is a necessary part of the divine plan for the soul to fully experience the depths of hell. After their many years of suffering, the children of Israel, who represent our soul, had been hypnotized by the material world. Like us, they had pretty much forgotten God and most of them were content with their meaningless lives. Up to this point, all attempts by Moses to arouse them from their passive sleep had only angered them. Similarly, his dealings with the ego had only made matters worse: Pharaoh was more enamored of Egyptian magic than ever, and clung ever more tightly to his material realm. This is hardly surprising. We are stubborn creatures who do not want to change. Moses must teach the Israelites and Egyptians – two parts of us – about God, and he must do it in a powerful and shocking way that awakens every corner of our Being, overcoming all our intellectual sluggishness and emotional inertia.
For instance, in the first plague, the first lesson, Moses meets Pharaoh in the morning by the Nile. Aaron held out his rod over the Nile, and all the waters of Egypt – rivers, streams, and ponds, and even the drinking water in clay jugs within the Egyptian houses – all turned into blood.
Pharaoh’s magicians were able to do the same thing with their spells, however, so Pharaoh returned to his palace and paid no heed. But for seven days his people had to dig to find enough water to survive.
Water is the symbol of spiritual truth, and the Egyptians had long revered the Nile River as a god, the source of Life. Blood, however, which symbolizes life when it is within the body, becomes a symbol of Death when it flows like a river. The Egyptians had long since turned away from the spirit and were worshiping the body, the realm of matter and mortality. The Plague of Blood underscores this: to turn away from divinity and worship the material world is to worship death. Now they must dig for truth.
Are there modern day Plagues today? If so, what are your thoughts as to what they are? We at ENCOURAGEYOURSELFCOM.BLOG would really love to hear from you.