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Ralph's Daily Devotional - Tuesday, June 9

Exodus 8:1-13 is where the action begins.  There has been a great deal of debate regarding Moses and his turning the rod into a snake.  Even today, there are some who can take a cobra, and by exerting pressure on the snake's nerve located behind its neck, can render it stiff.  Then, upon casting it down, the snake regains its mobility.  Many say this is what we see here.

Against this is Exodus 4:1-5, where Moses has not a snake but a rod in his hand.  The rod he carried was basically a wooden staff to prod the sheep into obedience and guide them.  This account clearly reveals that a supernatural miracle was created that is inexplicable.  Then again, why would God imagine a cheap parlor trick could convince the Pharaoh?  Also, why would Pharaoh consult his secret magicians to emulate Moses' sign if it were simply a common trick performed routinely by many in front of entertained audiences?  No.  Something far more spectacular and sinister is at work here.

Moses, in bringing forth God's sign, is confronted with an equally powerful sign.  Just as Moses is an instrument of God, the Pharaoh now becomes an instrument of Satan.  Two entities of incredible power are at war here, and the words of Ephesians 6:12 reach their zenith in this exchange between Moses and Pharaoh, God and Satan.  If you miss this, then you miss the whole story of Exodus and of the Bible itself!

Pharaoh suddenly suffers a humiliating and unexpected defeat in that Moses' snake devours his own, thus revealing God's complete power and victory over evil.  If we were there, I am sure we would all give a huge cheer for God!   As they say, "Game over man!"  But this is no game, and the worst is yet to come.  Unflinching, Pharaoh will not budge in his decision.  But neither will God.  Time for round two!

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