Watching Aaron’s serpent swallow the magician’s serpents strengthened Moses’ resolve. His own eyes beheld how anemic magic was compared to God’s power. The chatter of complaints that had been nagging him receded.
This second visit to Pharaoh was almost amusing. No longer was Moses concerned about the whining Hebrews. No longer did he want to complain to God. He slid and then comfortably nestled into the function of, what the far future would invent, a radio. Moses tuned into God’s words as via a a radio wave. They were thoughts that were obviously being generated by Another mind, and then he relayed the messages for others to hear.
As unusual as it sounds to common man, God clearly communicated to Moses, and to Moses alone, like thunder, invisible and clear. God spoke words in the language that Moses understood. It never even occurred to Moses the phenomenon of it all, of how the invisible God could become audible only to him and to no one else. Their communication was wholly unique in its complexity and in its duration. Never before and never again would a flawed human being, enjoy this kind of communication with the Creator-God, the Lord of all.
It had been several weeks since Moses had first heard God speak to him from the burning bush. That event closed forever another chapter of Moses’ life. He thought back on those years before as a dream. He had been for a while a common man.
Walking away with Aaron from the scene of the hungry serpent, Moses had no idea of what could be in store for them. Nor did he try to imagine. Moses simply and calmly waited for instruction. Aaron was still pondering the bizarre walking stick that tapped the ground loudly with his every step, filled with serpents.
As he was walking back to Miriam’s home, deeply immersed in thoughts, the Lord spoke to Moses again. He said, “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. Go back to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water; stand at the riverbank to meet him, and take into your hand the staff. Say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews sent me to say, ‘Let My people go, so that they may worship Me in the wilderness.’ But until now you have not listened says the Lord. By this you shall know that I am [speaking for] the Lord. See with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn to blood. The fish in the river shall die, the river itself shall stink, and the Egyptians shall be unable to drink water from the Nile.”
Moses was surprised by the magnitude of this statement. There was a huge difference between watching a stick slither and turning the water of the great Nile to blood. This would be the act of no return. For the first time Moses would cause harm. No, it wasn't he, but God causing the harm through him.
Moses knew that God spoke and not his own thoughts. How could a man turn water into blood? Moses shuddered at the concept of a river of blood, and the notion of all those thirsty people with nothing to drink, and about the sea creatures that would die. How could they live without water? For the first time Moses was forced to accept and carry out a command that repulsed and frightened him.
God gave Moses time to process the request, to walk himself through this chain of thoughts.
Perambula hovered by Moses in silence. Curious and quiet.
(Reader: let’s stop here and take a moment to compare the first marvel of turning the water of the Nile to blood, to Christ's first miracle of turning water into wine at Cana. Moses made water undrinkable, useless, while Jesus made water pleasurable, and most useful to satisfy a need. God shut the door, and then Jesus opened it wide.
To tie the two first miracles together, in a full circle God later raised the glass of wine, and called it His blood. For a moment walk that back to the Nile. Water to blood, water to wine, wine to blood. Overlay these first miracles on each other. The first miracles, one lead to freedom, the other lead to eternal life, freedom from sin and death.
I don't believe Jesus, the man, made that connection in Cana, but that perfect God, the Father, did when He chose this transformation of water as His first marvel in Egypt. In both instances water initiated freedom.
Go ahead, drink this bloody Nile, see how it tastes as sweet as wine, for you will soon be released from the torment of slavery and sin and death. Now let's return to Moses.)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt-over its river, its canals, and its ponds, and all its pools of water-so that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout the whole land of Egypt, even in the vessels of wood and the vessels of stone.”
Moses was to bloody the Nile, then Aaron was to complete the deed when he bloodied all the other bodies of water.
The next morning Moses and Aaron awoke and confidently walked to the bank of the Nile. They spotted Pharaoh right away beginning to bathe and walked right up to him. They did just as the Lord commanded. Without a bit of doubt that it would work, in the sight of Pharaoh and of his officials Moses lifted up his staff and struck the water in the river, and all the water in the river was turned to blood, and the fish in the river died instantly. The river stank so the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood flowed throughout the whole land of Egypt. The substance of life instantly became the substance of death.
Pharaoh turned and nonchalantly went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart. His officials confused but silent followed close behind. Gracefeld smiled very satisfied by angelic success. Gracefeld had indeed been concerned that such widespread harm would distress all the people and come back to Pharaoh who could become violent. But Pharaoh, with Gracefeld’s influence, didn't care a whit about whether his people had water or not.
Moses and Aaron in awe of what just happened, turned and walked back to Miriam’s house. The Hebrews who were busy at brick-making were not immediately aware that blood instead of water flowed throughout the Nile, but laundering Hebrew and Egyptian womenfolk were in shock and started cackling to each other. “What happened? How did the Nile become so red? Now what are we gong to do? Fear overcame them as they ran back to their homes, some with arms full of dirty clothes, others with blood soaked wet clothes.
Once back in his dark cool palace Pharaoh called for his magicians. When they arrived Pharaoh said, “Did you see what Moses and Aaron did to our water? Can you do that?”
The head magician replied as the others nodded, “Oh I am sure we can.” They all walked over to Pharaoh's well, and pulled up some clear water, all the magicians together focused their minds and recited an incantation. The bucket of water turned red, to their relief who wanted to satisfy Pharaoh and remain in his employ.
Pharaoh’s was relieved. His heart stiffened in its resolve to hold on to the Hebrews, no matter what.
The Egyptians discovered that they could dig along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the river.
God looked on at the bloody river from the future as He always does and saw the bloodshed of thousands of Egyptians soldiers who perished in the Red Sea at the end of this period of loosening the Hebrews from the grip of Egypt, of Pharaoh and of their own attachment to their homes and their lives as slaves.