irreversible power

The book of Exodus has God’s power, His terrible, beautiful power, on display. But there is also another power on display.

Aaron threw down his staff and it became a snake.  “Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake.” (Exodus 7:11-12)

God turned the water of the Nile into blood. “But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts…” (7:22)

God brought frogs to cover the land. “But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.”  (8:7)

God brought gnats. And that’s where their power found its limit. “But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.” (8:18)

From these displays of power, I am impressed with two thoughts.

~ The power of the enemy has a limitation, but God’s power goes on, limitless. I love what God said to Pharaoh, after the plagues of blood, frogs, gnats, flies, death to livestock, and boils. “let My people go, so that they may worship me, or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you…” (9:13-14)

By the time the enemy’s power had reached it’s limit, God’s was just getting started!

~ The enemy can mimic God’s power, but he cannot counter His power. Notice that Pharoah’s magicians only did what God had already done…turned a staff into a snake, turned water into blood, brought frogs to cover the land. What they did not do was turn Aaron’s staff back into a staff, turn the blood back to water, or make the frogs go back where they came from.

They had no power to undo what God had done.  God affirms this truth in Isaiah.

“No one can deliver out of my hand. 
   When I act, who can reverse it?” Isaiah 43:13

And again…

“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27)

Today, I am struck once again by the beautiful, limitless, irreversible power of the God to whom I belong.

7 thoughts on “irreversible power

  1. I think you are attempting to know the big picture without having the whole story. And of course, we will never fully know the mind of God in all of it. For now, we can know that God did what He did, at least in part, so that both Israelites and Egyptians would know that He alone was God.


  2. sooo He did all of this to show Pharoah and the Egyptians who was the only God? He said He hardened Pharoahs heart 7:3, I don’t understand. If God had not hardened Pharoahs heart Himself, would Pharoah have believed ( it never said he believed, but he did ask to be blessed 12:32) sooner? Did even one Egyptian convert? 11:3…says The Lord Made the Egyptians favorably disposed towards the people and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaohs officials and by the people……, God softend the peoples hearts towards the Israelites, but it didn’t change their hearts towards Him? 12:38 it says many other people went up with them, but it doesn’t say that it was because their hearts were changed. It says in v44 Any slave they may have brought with them… and hired workers?…so, I get that some Egyptians may have followed Moses and the Israelites, or maybe they weren’t Egyptians or Israelites but others who were slaves as well?
    I am getting a ” Well I guess I showed them ..” moment. I must be thick headed because it just seemed the long way around a problem if the Egyptians didn’t come to worship Him in the end.
    I hate that I can’t get my thoughts around this. I see a ‘Big Picture’ for the Israelites, but I am not seeing the purpose for the Egyptians.


  3. Kim – read the following scriptures: Exodus 7:5, 7:17, 8:22, 14:4, and 14:18. Tell me what you see. And keep in mind, Egypt was an extremely idolotrous nation, worshipping many gods.


  4. question: why didn’t God soften Pharoahs heart from the start, like He did when the Jews wanted silver and gold to take with them? What do you suppose His purpose was for putting them through so many trials? Why do you think He used gnats, flies, frogs death of livestock, darkness ( 10 I think wasn’t it?) …etc? Why wouldn’t he just say, ok Pharoah, it’s time. Pack up folks you’re gonna be leaving now. I have never understood that. He certainly didn’t need to PROVE His power to a man whom He already knew had a hard heart and would never bow to Him or worship Him. What am I to learn from this? Is it just to understand God’s power?


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