Passage: Exodus 8:1-15

Speaker: Steve Hands

Series: Coming Home – A Journey Through Exodus

That The Magicians Might Know

I find it ironic that the dollar bill has “In God we trust” inscribed on top. So often our fears for the future are alleviated by trust in the Almighty Dollar. We hedge our fears for the future by insurance policies and retirement policies, and we trust in God only if all else fails. Yet God loves to demonstrate the greatness of Himself so that we might trust in Him. In Exodus 7–9, God demonstrates his greatness over the gods of the Egypt that the world might know that He is God. He dislodges our trust in our gods that we might trust the One True God. Indeed, as we hear and obey His Word, God uses signs to demonstrate the smallness of our gods and the greatness of the LORD our God.

First God works in the world as we hear and obey God’s Word (Exod 8:1–6). God begins each of the plagues with instructions to Moses and Aaron. As they obey God’s Word, God works — turning a staff into a snake, the water of the Nile into blood, bringing frogs from the Nile, or unleashing gnats in all of the land. God could have worked his signs and wonders by Himself, but He works through Moses and Aaron. The scope of God’s work far exceeds the strength of their obedience, but God nonetheless works through their obedience. Similarly God continues to work through the obedience of His people. What does God do?

As we hear and obey God’s Word, God uses signs to demonstrate the smallness of our gods (Exod 8:7–10a). The plagues are not simply a demonstration of God’s power; they are a judgment on the gods of the Egyptians. The powers of these gods were channeled through magicians in Pharaoh’s court, but progressively the power of the living God is demonstrated over these gods. While the magicians could bring about the problem (of water turning to blood and frogs), they could not fix the problem (Exod 8:8), so Pharaoh must ask Moses and Aaron to plead with the LORD to take the frogs away. Similarly God often helps us see the smallness of our gods that cannot be trusted with the full weight of our lives. But that is not the end of the story.

God uses signs to demonstrate the smallness of our gods andthe greatness of our God(Exod 8:10b–15). The frogs are removed by God’s power through Moses and Aaron “that [he] may know that there is no one like the LORD our God” (Exod 8:10). As Moses cries out to the LORD about the frogs, “the LORD did according to the word of Moses” (8:13). While Moses had been doing “according to the word of the LORD” repeatedly, it is interesting to note that now the LORD does according to the word of Moses. God hears our prayer. And He demonstrates His greatness in answer to our prayer. Even when Pharaoh hardens his heart in resistance, God is still showing the greatness of who He is.

So what? God invites us to trust Him. Our hearts are prone to wander and prone to leave the God we love. Yet God often woos and draws our hearts back to Himself to trust in Him and not the gods of this world. Indeed, may we meditate on and obey His Word that we might realize the smallness of our gods and the greatness of the LORD our God.