"I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved." Psalm 16:8
Text: Exodus 7 : 11-13
UNIMPRESSED AND INDIFFERENT
The whole court of Pharaoh stood and watched the two Hebrew men perform what must be regarded as a sign-miracle! Who were Moses and Aaron whose ordinary shepherd’s staff could be transformed into a serpent? Some, if not many, were probably impressed! But not Pharaoh!
“But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers;
so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner
with their enchantments.”
How did the wise men, sorcerers and magicians replicate Moses’ deed. Two possibilities may be considered:-
1. It was nothing but a cheap trick
It has been discovered that in some species of snakes, it is possible to paralyse them till they look like walking staff. When the petrified snakes are thrown onto the floor, they resume normalcy.
2. The sorcerers were involved in occultic activities
Is it possible that demonic powers are involved? Do demons have the power to replicate some of God’s deeds? From our study of the Scriptures (Cf. Acts 8:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:9) and from recorded knowledge of occultic powers, it would be possible for the Egyptian sorcerers to turn their rods into serpents!
Of course Pharaoh was not impressed with Moses. Why should he be even remotely intrigued if his own servants could do exactly the same thing!
THE BATTLE OF THE SERPENTS
But wait, before Pharaoh could sneer further, a battle of the serpents commenced.
“For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents.
But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”
The seemingly powerful magicians of Pharaoh paled as they watched their snakes being swallowed up by Aaron’s rod-snake! This was unexpected! This had never occurred before!
VOLITIONAL HARDENING OF THE HEART
Pharaoh’s response to this episode is well recorded.
“And Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them,
as the LORD had said.”
Refusing to admit defeat, Pharaoh chose to harden his heart instead.