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Ralph's Daily Devotional - Wednesday, June 13

Exodus 3:20-4:9 refers to signs and wonders.  Moses questioned his credibility as God's representative before pharaoh.  How could he possibly assure pharaoh that his words came from God?  God assured Moses that He will supply that.  As an emissary of God, the Lord would authenticate his legitimacy through powerful signs.

Magic permeated Egypt.  Its very religion played a central role in dealing with charms, spells and tricks. There were over 500 gods, many of whom were believed to have power over various places and objects.  Human destiny laid in the hands of these gods, and beyond death there was a great void of unknown.

Since many of the gods were anything but benevolent in nature, appeasing these gods through incantations and sacrifice was hoped to stave off their hostility and neutralize their power.  Magicians were in demand to manipulate the dark forces.  In light of this, God's use of signs and wonders through Moses would have an amply suitable place in His plan.

It's important to note that Moses was not a magician but God's instrument.  Moses had no power in himself.  His rod was an ordinary rod.  He had no technique and offered no spells.  He could not manipulate God in any way, as he was simply a servant.

The rod stood for royalty, power and authority.  It was used as a scepter, emblematic of kingship.  God would show Himself as the true King over Egypt despite pharaoh's hardness of heart.  God revealed to Moses these signs to encourage and silence him from further excuses and resistance.  But Moses was not so easily accepting of God's plan.  His continued resistance to go to pharaoh began to anger God, as we will soon see.

Signs and wonders are also promised in the gospels and in the book of Acts, and serve God's people in their witnessing to Christ.  They are never meant to replace the words of God, but, as we see here in Exodus, to confirm them.

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