When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.” (Exodus 7:9 NIV)
When Moses and Aaron were sent by God to appear before Pharaoh to secure the release of the Israelites, the first miracle God performed through them was the turning of Aaron’s staff into a snake.
Pretty impressive don’t you think?
The trouble was
‘Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake…’ (Exodus 7:11)
Ah, not so impressive after all if Egyptian magicians could do exactly the same thing.
Why couldn’t God have done something so extraordinary that it couldn’t be replicated and thus clearly demonstrate his supreme power?
Perhaps this miracle wasn’t meant to impress Pharaoh but to send him an unmistakable message?
A snake, particularly a cobra, was one of the most potent and significant symbols of royalty and deity in ancient Egypt.
The Uraeus, a golden emblem worn by the Pharaoh on the forehead as a headdress or a sort of crown, was the symbol of a supreme ruler’s power. It was the symbol for the goddess Wadjet, one of the earliest Egyptian deities, who often was depicted as a cobra, as she spat poison at anyone who tried to vandalise or rob the royal tombs.
The image of Wadjet, and other such snake deities, represented her protection and claim over Egypt.
When God picked a snake as His first miracle he was sending Pharaoh a poignant message. As Aaron’s snake swallowed up the magician’s snakes God was saying to Pharaoh, neither you nor Wadjet are God; I am the only God. You don’t have the power to protect Egypt; I can swallow you and your gods up, and you would be gone.
Today we can have gods in our lives that we think are going to protect us. For instance we can place trust in our possessions and bank accounts and look to them for our security. But they can easily be swallowed up by an economic crash that leaves us with nothing. Don’t be fooled; only God is God, not our idols.
Today we can think that we can ‘replicate’ God’s miracles. God is the one that brings light out of darkness, and yet we can go into a dark room and switch on a light. Don’t be fooled; we are not God. Only God is God.
When God shows us that He alone is the source of all that we can do and all that we can be, let’s not harden our hearts like Pharaoh. Rather let’s acknowledge Him as the Lord and protector of our lives and love Him with all of our being.
Now that would be impressive.
Father, I acknowledge you as Lord; please direct every aspect of my life,
Have a good week following the Lord’s direction.