Exodus 11

This short chapter serves as a conclusion to the ten plagues and as an introduction to the final plague which will be described in more detail in chapter 12. So this gives us an opportunity to look back over all ten plagues and to note a couple of themes:

Firstly, a key purpose for God bringing about these signs and wonders was that people might know him as Yahweh - the name he had revealed to Moses at the burning bush and which is normally written as LORD (capital letters) in English bibles - see 6:7, 7:5, 7:17, 8:10, 8:22, 9:14, 10:2. The word know is a relational word - this is not just about being aware of facts about God, but knowing him as a person (it is the same Hebrew word which is often used as a euphemism for sexual relations).

Secondly, God repeatedly says that the reason Pharaoh is to release the Israelites is that they might worship him (7:16, 8:1, 8:20, 9:1, 9:13, 10:3, 10:7). This is a theme which is take up later in the book as his people learn how to worship God. In fact the word worship could also be translated serve - in Hebrew thinking the two things (worship and service) are the same - and God was not going to release his people from bondage just so that they could do whatever they felt like, but in order that they might worship/serve him.

Our circumstances are different from those in Egypt 3,500 years ago, but God's purposes for us are the same: more than anything else he wants us to know him personally and to worship/serve him wholeheartedly.