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Thursday, October 11, 2018

“There Will Be Blood”

Exodus 7:8-13

Moses and Aaron have come back into Pharaoh’s presence.  God knows what will happen.  Pharaoh will not be impressed unless he sees a sign or “wonder.”  The sign that will be given is the same one that was shown to Moses.  God had told Moses to throw his staff on the ground.  It became a snake.  God then tells Moses to grasp it by its tail which is the wrong way to try and pick up a snake because the snake could turn and bite you.  However the snake immediately turns back into a staff (Ex. 4:1-4).

Here in Pharaoh’s court Aaron throws his staff down at Moses’ command.  The staff turns into a snake.  But the Egyptian magicians do the same thing with their staffs.  However Aaron’s snake swallows up those of the Egyptians.  This is hardly decisive.  Pharaoh is not impressed.  He hardens his heart and refuses to listen to Moses and Aaron.  This is just what God said would happen.

Throughout history people have looked for “signs and wonders” to offer some kind of spiritual proof.  This text shows how problematic that can be.  The magicians of Egypt with their occult arts are able to duplicate the same “wonder” that Moses and Aaron demonstrate.  Jesus himself downplays the idea that some kind of miracle can validate the truth of God (Matt. 12:39).  The same crowds who witnessed Jesus’ miracles either abandoned him or cried out for him to be crucified.

No miracle or sign can take the place of faith.  God’s Word has its own power (Heb. 4:12). Miracles or demonstrations of power can underline the Biblical message but they cannot take the place of it.   It will take more than one or two miracles to convince Pharaoh.  In fact it will take ten.  Even so he will not remain convinced.

Our faith is grounded in God’s Word not in any miraculous displays of power.

Merciful and gracious God may I depend on your Word alone with all its promises and instructions.  Keep me from looking for false demonstrations of spiritual power.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.