What you bow down to worship is of ultimate importance


The power struggle between Moses and Pharaoh was centred on what they were willing to bow down to and worship

When Moses was brought up by Pharaoh’s daughter, he learned to worship the gods of Egypt. The way in which worship was carried out was to bow down with the forehead touching the ground. Pharaoh was seen to be a god and was the living representative of their gods and bowed down to as such. Moses would have been brought up to do this from childhood.

After trying to defend his people, he ended up killing an Egyptian and fleeing to the wilderness. 40 years later Moses turned aside to meet God in the burning bush and was told:

““Therefore come now. And I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you; when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”” Ex 3:12

I believe this set the standard for Moses. He was to bow down to worship no other god but Yahweh (the redemptive name of God) - the name by which God revealed himself to Moses.

Ex 6:3 “I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty (El Shaddi), but by My name, Lord (Yahweh) (the redemptive name of God) I did not make Myself known to them (in acts and great miracles).” Amplified

The Israelites who were slaves in Egypt were used to worshipping in the same way the Egyptians did, by bowing down.
We see this in Exodus 4:30-31 “He (Moses) then performed the signs in the sight of the people. So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then, they bowed low and worshiped.”


Yahweh is shown to be superior to the Egyptian gods

The Egyptians worshipped many gods who they believed controlled the world. Herodotus (5th century BC) called the Egyptians “Religious to excess, far beyond any other race of men.”

Growing up in Pharaoh’s household, Moses was familiar with all the Egyptian gods. The signs he did each showed Yahweh to be superior to the main gods of Egypt.
The showdown between Yahweh and the gods of Egypt commences with the turning of the staff into a snake. This prophetic act foretells what is to come. The staff of Aaron becomes a snake which swallows up those of the Egyptian magicians Ex 7:12.
In the same way, Yahweh will swallow up the gods of Egypt one by one.

In the first plague the Nile is turned to blood Ex 7:14-24. The Egyptians believed the Nile River to be the lifeblood of Egypt. The gods associated with the river were Hapti, Gatmehyt and Osiris. Their power was broken as Yahweh turned the Nile into blood, making it undrinkable.

The second plague involves frogs. These were associated with the birth/fertility goddess Hekat, who had the body of a woman and the head of a frog. Pharaoh had to ask Moses to pray to Yahweh for the frogs to be removed back to the Nile. Hekat was shown to be unable to control them.

The third plague was lice, mosquitoes or gnats. One of their chief gods was Geb, the god of the earth. The lice/mosquitoes/gnats were produced when Aaron struck his staff on the ground. As Geb was unable to prevent this, yet another of their gods was shown to be powerless.

The fourth plague was insects, which the amplified Bible calls “blood sucking gadflies” (Ex 8:29). Utachit and Khepra were their gods of flies and beetles. The Egyptians believed that they had to worship these gods in order to protect them from such insects. However Utachit and Khepra were shown to have no control over this plague. For the first time Pharaoh’s confidence is shaken and he asks Moses to pray to Yahweh on his behalf (Ex 8:28).

The fifth plague was the death of livestock. Hathor was a cow-headed god and Apis was a bull god. The Egyptians worshipped cattle and it was only acceptable to sacrifice livestock to these gods. When Yahweh killed all the Egyptian cattle He was declaring Himself to be superior to these gods.

The sixth plague was boils. When they worshipped the god Typhon, the Egyptian priests would scatter ashes from the altar of their sacrifices into the air as an offering to him and the sky gods Horis, Shu, Isis and Nut. It was believed that any ash landing on an Egyptian would be a sign of blessing, keeping them safe from illness. Moses and Aaron mimicked this using the ashes from the brick kiln the Hebrew slaves used. However, instead of blessing, boils arrived.
Ex 9:11 points out that the Egyptian priests were also infected with boils and were thus unable appear before Moses. The ashes from a slave kiln were shown to have greater power than those from sacrifice to the Egyptian gods.

The seventh plague was thunder and hail. In Egypt the temperature hardly ever dips below 10 degrees and there is little rain. Such extreme weather must have been a shock. In order to kill people and animals the hail would have been the size of golf balls. Again the sky gods had failed them!
For the first time Pharaoh admits, “I have sinned this time. Yahweh is righteous, and my people and I are wicked. Entreat the Lord, that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough.” Ex 9:27-28.

The eighth plague was that of locusts. Serapia was the god for these and Nepri was the god who looked after the grain harvest. They both failed as the whole of the first part of the season’s crop was eaten.

The ninth plague was thick darkness over the land of Egypt. Ra was the sun god and one of the chief deities, Pharaoh was considered his son. Darkness over the land for 3 days showed that Yahweh was superior to the both of them.

The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn. During the warning Moses gave to Pharaoh and the people he said Ex 11:8 “All these your servants will come down to me and bow (7812 shachar) themselves before me, saying, “Go out, you and all the people who follow you,” and after that I will go out.”

Throughout all these plagues the Egyptians were affected but the Hebrew people were protected.


Moses would only bow to worship God

We know the end result. Moses was a man who by faith refused to bow down except to Yahweh the one true God, and the people were redeemed and delivered from slavery.

When they had gained their freedom, God warned that they should not go back to worshiping other gods.

Ex 20:3+5 “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not worship (7812 Shachar) them or serve them.”

The Hebrew for worship is Shachar (7812) which means to bow down.

Lev 26:1 “You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor hall you place a figured stone in your land to bow (7812) down to it; for I am the LORD your God.”


The desire to worship is in the heart of mankind

Adam and Eve were created to have fellowship with God and the desire to worship is a natural one.
If we do not worship the one true God we will be inclined to worship false gods or something else such as fashion, sport, sex, food etc.
The Devil, who longed to be higher than God, wants everyone to bow and worship him. He tried to get Jesus to do this but failed.

Mt 4:8+9 “Again the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You bow down and worship me.””


Other things can cause us to bow down

Problems such as money troubles and illness can cause us to bow down to something instead of God in our lives.

Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs (7812 Shachar) it down.”

Instead of trusting God in a situation, anxiety makes our hearts bow down.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6


1. Introduction.
2. God's nature as creator and communicator.
3. The role of the Bible.
4. Turn aside when you notice something.
5. Be careful what you worship.
6. The Holy Spirit quickens things.
7. Hide and seek using parables.
8. Ask the Holy Spirit.
9. The inner room is where we meet with God.
10. The importance of peace and stillness.
11. Don't hurry God will speak.
12. Waiting and longing takes us higher to a place where God acts.
13. What price do we have to pay?
14. Holding a word for a time and part of the whole picture.
15. How do we know it's from God/Act in faith?
16. Jesus is open to persuasion!
17. The Language God uses to communicate.
18. God communicates through our sensory organs.
19. God communicates primarily to the heart.
20. God offends our mind to change our heart.
21. Listening depends on your heart attitude.
22. Circumcision is the cure to a hard heart!
23. Listen to your heart
24. Eyes.
25. Lift up your eyes.
26. Make sure your vision is clear.
27. Ears/hearing the voice of the Lord.
28. Reach for higher levels.
29. How God communicates - impressions.
30. Seeing with the eyes of your heart.
31. Visions.
32. Open visions.
33. Trances.
34. Signs.
35. Dreams.
36. Conclusion.
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