From Exodus 7-9
In today’s passage Moses confronts Pharaoh. The LORD is sending Moses to Pharaoh. Moses will pass on the LORD’s command to Pharaoh. That he must free his people and let them go so they may worship the LORD.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Moses’ initial attempt to get the Egyptian to free his people only made their hardship worse. They were commanded by the Egyptians to make bricks without straw. An impossible task (Ex 5.1-21). Afterward the LORD repeats his promise to rescue his people (Ex 6.1-13). At the end of chapter six we have a brief genealogy, which indicates something significant is about to happen.
7 And the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. 2 You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. (Ex 7:1–2)
The LORD has made Moses ‘like God to Pharaoh. He is the LORD’s representative and ambassador.
The LORD still uses people as his ambassadors.
They pass on the word of the LORD to people. Sometimes the message is one of command and judgement. Like Moses’ message to Pharaoh. At other times it is one of good news and peace.
Aaron is Moses’ mouthpiece. He will speak for him because Moses is insecure about his speech. How will Pharaoh respond?
3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, 4 Pharaoh will not listen to you. (Ex 7:3–4)
The LORD will harden Pharaoh’s heart and use this as an opportunity to perform many signs and wonders. The more Pharaoh is hardened and does not listen, the more the LORD will glorify his name. The LORD can harden Pharaoh’s heart because he is sovereign over all. He hardens some, he has mercy on others (cf. Rom 9.17-18).
Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. 5 The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” (Ex 7:4-5)
The LORD will ‘lay his hand’ on Egypt. The expression may sound nice, but it isn’t really. To find yourself in the hands of of the LORD is not always a good thing (cf. Heb 10.31). The LORD will judge Egypt. He will punish them. All nations will realise he is the sovereign LORD over all when he defeats the Egyptians in bringing his people out.
6 Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the LORD commanded them. 7 Now Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh. (Ex 7:6-7)
The LORD uses people in all stages in life. He can use you.
8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. (Ex 7:8-12)
The LORD defeats the Egyptian magic arts. Even against multiple opponents He is stronger. God’s people should never fear sorcery and the occult, because the LORD is stronger. Moses and Aaron used a staff which turned into a serpent. We pray and trust in our LORD.
13 Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said. (Ex 7:13)
And so it begins. Pharaoh’s heart is hardened. Whether at this point he hardened it himself or the LORD hardened it (perhaps a bit of both) the LORD is using it to perform more and more signs and wonders. The staff turning into a serpent and defeating the magic arts of the Egyptians is really a prelude to bigger things to come.
The LORD is about to send plagues which will affect all Egypt. They will all know of the LORD’s power and strength.
Story of Israel
Signs and wonders have accompanied most of the LORD’s prophets. Elijah and Elisha are prominent examples of the LORD displaying his power over creation. When the LORD is with his people they cannot be defeated. The LORD’s name is glorified when he performs wonders in front of people.
When they strayed from the LORD however they fell. Its because of this that the LORD promised a future prophet who would speak and perform wonders. Which the LORD used to glorify his name. Israel and Judah waited a long time for him to come.
Story of Jesus
Like Moses and Aaron before him he started with small wonders and signs. The greatest signs he saved for last. These were his death and resurrection.
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (Jn 20:30–31)
Our God works miracles in this world. Believe that Jesus is the promised Christ and King and receive eternal life.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2015. All Rights Reserved.