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
“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.