God encourages Moses by promising him deliverance for the Israelites. Though Moses still protests, he and Aaron go to warn Pharaoh with a miraculous sign.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet. Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country. . . .”
Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Pharaoh will demand, ‘Show me a miracle.’ When he does this, say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a serpent.’”
So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent! Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic. They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted.
(Exodus 7:1-2, 8-13)
God made Moses “like God to Pharaoh”—in other words, a powerful person who deserved to be listened to. Pharaoh himself was considered a god, so he recognized Moses as one of his peers. His refusal to give in to Moses shows, however, that he did not feel inferior to Moses.
How were these sorcerers and magicians able to duplicate Moses’ miracles? Some of their feats involved trickery or illusion; others may have used satanic power, since worshiping gods of the underworld was part of their religion. Ironically, whenever the sorcerers duplicated one of Moses’ plagues, it only made matters worse. If the magicians had been as powerful as God, they would have reversed the plagues, not added to them.
God performed a miracle by turning Aaron’s staff into a snake, and Pharaoh’s magicians did the same through trickery or sorcery. Although miracles can help us believe, it is dangerous to rely on them alone. Satan can imitate some parts of God’s work and lead people astray. Pharaoh focused on the miracle rather than the message. We can avoid this error by letting the Word of God be the basis of our faith. No miracle from God would endorse any message that is contrary to the teachings of his Word.
Thank God for the miracle he has done in your life, choosing you and transforming you from lost sinner to heaven-bound saint.