[CF Devotionals] 2018-03-24 - Exodus: The Signs

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  1. The Signs

    The first signs were actually the ones God had given to Moses to convince the Children of Israel that he had been sent by God. The signs will not convince the King, but before the judgments of God fell, Pharaoh was given the chance to obey the Lord. He chose not to, just as God had foretold.

    Often, even knowing the outcome, God gives men the chance to obey and not turn from Him. One of the best examples is found in John 13:27, as Jesus spoke to Judas.

    “Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”” (John 13:27).

    Christ warned Judas that he was to betray him, giving him the opportunity to repent of his actions. Even in the Garden, it appears the Lord gives Judas one more chance.

    “… But Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”” (Luke 22:48).

    But God knew that Judas would betray Christ.

    Often the Gospel is given to men by the Father, though they will reject it, because it is by this Truth that they stand condemned in their sin. But it is not necessary the Gospel be offered, for the Lord knows whether or not they will accept Him.

    “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”” (Jeremiah 17:9–10).

    And the Lord is the one who calls us to Salvation, who chooses us.

    “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13–14).

    Moses and Aaron now are obedient to the Lord. Again, they stand before the King. Moses notes, as an aside, the age of the two men, Moses 80, Aaron 83, a little old to be starting out on a new career. Anyway, they cast down the staff, causing it to change into a snake.

    Pharaoh sent for the court magicians and required them to do the same, and they did. Each magician’s staff turned into a snake, though Aaron’s snake ate theirs.

    It is important to note the magicians were not performing tricks. They were able to duplicate the sign, though God prevailed, of course. But the point here is in many cases, Satan is able to mimic the work of the Lord. One cannot assume because something miraculous has occurred, it is from God. Too often, people say something is of God because it seems to be supernatural in origin. They look for signs and wonders. And while the Lord may still do these miracles, our faith is to be grounded in the word, not in experience. When these things do occur, they must be tested by the word, as to both act and purpose.

    “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard” (Mark 13:22–23a).

    It also should be noted there is some debate over the Hebrew for serpent. I have been translating it snake, although large snake would be better. Others argue it should be crocodile, and therefore an attack on the crocodile god of Egypt. Others translate it as dragon. All are correct in the Hebrew, and therefore, I don’t think it is really important which you use. The main issue here is that God is in control and is victorious over the acts of the King’s magicians.

    Just as God had warned, the King wouldn't listen or recognize His hand. The Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he refused to even listen to Aaron.

    As the final point, the real battle is going on at a different level than what can be seen in the throne room of the Pharaoh. The battle was between God and Satan over the Children of Israel. The fact the court magicians could perform acts that were truly supernatural speaks to the Satan’s involvement. And while we have no problem accepting the working of Satan here, we have major problems recognizing we often are fighting the same war.

    “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:12–13).

Exodus study to be continued.

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

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CFD | April 2018 | Geoff's Devotions | Geoff's Studies | Devotional Topics