Water Turned to Blood – Exodus 7:14-25
So far in Exodus Moses has returned to Egypt and has been calling Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Chapter 7 starts with a reference to Pharaoh’s heart. The Lord says “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go.” Moses confronts Pharaoh as he is going out to the Nile. There he tells him since he won’t obey God’s call to let his people go all the water in Egypt will be turned into blood. It happens just as Moses said. But after Pharaoh saw some of the magicians do the same thing, his heart remained hard and he would not listen to what Moses said.
This passage is instructive in two ways, it shows us what it means to have a hard heart, and it shows us the result of having one.
To have a hard heart means you refuse to listen to God’s call. Pharaoh had said ‘no’ continually to God’s call to let his people go. The result of this is now that all the water in Egypt has turned to blood. When our hearts become hard it often happens that the simple things, even good things, become very difficult for us. I do not mean that we can not do them, but I mean rather that we dislike doing them and have an aversion to them. Drinking water has changed to drinking blood.
In terms of vocation, when we lose sight of God’s calling to ‘serve our masters as serving him’ how quickly the task becomes unbearable to us. Our hearts will find all the many reasons why our job is terrible and our boss is mean. God’s calling remains but we refuse to listen to it. The result is our situation becomes more and more unbearable.
In the New Testament, at the wedding of Cana, Jesus turned the water into wine. Jesus redeems what our hearts have turned to blood. In the Garden he prayed ‘not my will but yours be done’. He willingly laid down his life in obedience to the father’s will and God raised him up on the third day. As we dwell upon his obedience to death, his sacrifice and resurrection, our hearts change and soften. We are able to see God’s calling in our vocation once again. And to our surprise, what was once blood and death to us, in serving the Lord, becomes as wine and joy to us.