(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 4)

I’ve been reading the book of Exodus in my morning devotions, a book that I have read on countless occasions. This morning though, as I read chapter 8 where God brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt, and thought back on the miracles he worked in the previous chapter, some points came to my mind that I will like to share here. I call them lessons from the showdown in Egypt.

The lessons are as follows:

LESSON 1 – The devil always tries to undermine the beauty, power, majesty and might of God.

When God caused Aaron’s rod which he cast down at God’s instruction, to become a serpent, Pharaoh called for the ‘wise’ men and sorcerers of Egypt and through the devil’s diabolical power, they did the same thing. (Exodus 7:10-12). When God operated through Aaron and caused all the waters of Egypt including the streams, rivers, ponds and pools to turn into blood, Pharoah summoned his magicians who, once again did the same thing through the devil’s power (Exodus 7:19-22). When God caused frogs to come up in abundance upon Egypt, so much so, that it went into the homes, bed chambers, beds, ovens and kneadingtroughs of the Egyptians, the magicians also brought up frogs by the devil’s enablement (Exodus 8:1-7).

It is important to note, that although the frogs were not something that Pharoah would have desired to have and that their existence would have been a provocation and nuisance to him and his people, he still had the magicians tap into the devil’s power, to also bring up frogs, just so he could prove a point. He was willing to make the problem worse by having more frogs brought up and he did this to send the message that the God of the Hebrews was nothing special and not all that great or powerful.

In short, he was trying to undermine the power of God. This is the devil’s work. It is what he always does. Wherever God moves, he tries to do something that looks the same, to send the message that God’s power is nothing special, as he can do it too. 

Whereas whatever God does is authentic, pure and the real deal, the devil still tries to create something similar to what God does, that looks like it on the surface and closely resembles it but is not the real deal.

God is love, the devil sends lust, which, on the surface, looks like love but is an ugly counterfeit. God has genuine Christian children (Believers), the devil has ungodly counterfeit men and women pretending to be genuine Christians or deceived into believing they are and planted right in the Church Assembly, to fulfill the devil’s diabolical purposes, while trying to frustrate the Lord’s. In particular, he often sends counterfeit men to try to fool God’s daughters into thinking they are Christians, so that they would marry them or they can mess up their lives and vice versa.

Today, he has set up a false gospel based on prosperity, relationships and everything else, other than the message of salvation. The message of salvation is the good news that God’s eternal life has been made available through the finished work of God’s Son and that all human beings need to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, confess with their mouth that he is Lord and submit their lives in surrender to his Lordship, in order to be saved from God’s wrath, eternal damnation and hell. The false gospel however, competes with and seeks to undermine the true gospel of God.

Courtesy of the devil, there is also a false spirit known as a spirit of error, which is not the Spirit of Christ which is the Spirit of truth. The devil’s followers (which are those that have rejected God’s Word and chosen instead to have a form of religion as they see fit), operate through this spirit, to lead people away from the truth and into error. Alas, the devil also presents a false jesus today, one that has no problem with mankind’s sin and does not expect obedience to his Word the Bible but who only exists to serve his followers, to make shows of ‘supernatural power’ and like a fictitious genie or santa claus, to give them whatever they want, like money, blessings, promotion, advancement, relationships, health all the time and breakthrough. This false jesus is nothing like the Jesus of the scriptures.

These counterfeits: The false gospel, false spirit, false jesus and false teachers are mentioned in 2 Corinthians 11:4 KJV.

LESSON 2 – The power of God is greater as the Creator, than the power of the devil, the mere creation.

This was evident where Aaron’s serpent which came from God’s miracle, ate the other serpents that came from the magician’s enchantments. Imagine that: One serpent, rose up and ate at least two or more serpents and the devil was powerless to prevent this. He was powerless to prevent his serpents from being eaten by God’s serpent and although God’s serpent was one, yet there was enough power in that one, to overpower the power of the other serpents.

We are not told how many magicians there were and how many serpents they brought up from their rods but God’s one serpent (singular), devoured their serpents (plural) and the devil was powerless to prevent it because God’s power trumps his.

When God is determined to do something and moves, the devil can’t do a thing to prevent it. He is powerless to stop it. For, God is the everlasting Creator, whereas the devil is merely one of his creations

This reminds me of the superiority of the power of God that operates within his children, when compared to the power of darkness that is in the world today.

In John 4:4, God’s children were reminded: Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because GREATER is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

It also reminds me of what transpired in 2 Kings 6:14-18 when the King of Syria sent a great army against Elisha, just one man but alas, a man of God. His servant, when he saw the large army was afraid and wondered what he and Elisha would do to escape such a great company of people.

The scripture reads of the king of Syria:

  • Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us ARE MORE than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.”

This also reminds me of what the Israelites were told by Moses in Deuteronomy 20:1-4. They were told:

  • “When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”

This is true of every genuine Christian today. The Lord is with us and greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world.

LESSON 3 – Whereas God’s power is limitless, the devil’s power is limited.

In a showdown therefore, although the devil is competitive because he wishes that he was God and wants to be like God, he may try for a while but his power has its limits.

This was demonstrated on mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18 with Elijah at the altar of the Lord before the people. On that occasion, although satan had some measure of power, he could not work to answer those who were serving him through Baal, by fire. His hands were tied, as he was merely a creation of God and therefore limited. However, the true and living God, the God of heaven and earth, the Creator whose throne is from everlasting to everlasting, answered Elijah when he had set up an altar in his name and prayed to him, by sending down fire from heaven.

1 Kings 18:38-39 states:

  • “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.”

When God shows up and shows off, the devil cannot begin to compare.

This was evident in Egypt, when, after God caused the dust to turn to lice, the magicians tried to do this in similar fashion to what they had done so far but could not. The devil could not imitate what God had done because his power could not go that far. It had reached its limit.

God was therefore beginning to differentiate himself from the devil in the mind of Pharoah and his people. He was letting them know that beside him there was none else. He was the I AM, the ultimate, the only true and living God. He set out to let Pharoah know (and he had only just begun), that he had no rivals when it came to his power. He was God alone.

It is a beautiful thing when the heathen, the world and the ungodly come to the conclusion, based on what they behold and based on them reaching the limits of their own inadequacy, that a work that has been done or that which has taken place is none other than the working of the true and living God.

This is the conclusion that the magicians came to, when, having tried and failed to do what God had done by turning the dust of the earth into lice, defeated, they acknowledged that this working had to be from God. For, no matter how they tried, they could not turn the dust into lice.

Exodus 8:19 states:

  • “…for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon men and upon beast. Then the magicians said unto Pharoah, This is the finger of God…”

Alas, they were right and God was just getting started.

There is no record after this point, of any other miracle that God did through Aaron and Moses, which was replicated in any manner by the magicians. Maybe they tried but there is no record of them succeeding. I am therefore of the view that they miserably failed.

God was demonstrating a level of power that was above that of the devil’s. He (the devil), could simply look on and sulk but embarrassingly, he could not do the same or anything that looked remotely similar.

When God sent the swarm of flies, we hear nothing of the magicians doing the same. When he caused the cattle of Egypt to die, we hear nothing of the magicians even attempting to do same.

In Chapter 9:11, we hear of them one final time, where, after God caused boils to break forth with blains upon the Egyptians and their animals, it reads that: “…….the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.”

Pathetically, in this showdown of God’s power, all of their enchantments could not prevent them from being touched by God’s hand, nor could they do anything to heal themselves.

Further, when hail, the plague of locusts and after that, the plague of darkness descended, no mention of any replication is made of the magicians, who, no doubt by that time were cowering with the rest of the people of Egypt, them beholding the demonstration of a power which was completely outside of their league and that of the devil, whose power they had tapped into in the past. This power was far superior to that to which they were used to and was like they had NEVER seen before, a power unlike any power they had ever experienced or would EVER again experience in their lifetime: A power that could only be that of the true and living God.

This power of God is so great, that when he caused all the firstborn in Egypt to die, the firstborn of even the magicians, also died! The Bible states in Exodus 12:29-30:

  • And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.”

This power of God that was demonstrated in that showdown in Egypt, reminds me of what Jesus said about his power, which, he knew, had no rival. Of the Church that he was building, he said in Matthew 16:18: upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

After he died and rose victoriously back up from the grave on the third day, thereby securing forgiveness for the sins of all who would believe on him and eternal life for them in heaven, the scriptures state of what he did for us and of how he was victorious over the devil’s principalities and powers:

  • “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a SHEW of them openly, TRIUMPHING over them in it.”

It is this sure power of God, which indwells every bona-fide Believer, that gives us, mere human beings, the assurance, so much so that we can say, come what may, “…we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37).

This brings me to my final point.

LESSON 4 – The devil may try to hold back God’s children, to make life difficult for them and to thwart what God has purposed to do in their lives for a time but he cannot do so indefinitely. Because God’s power trumps all, as a defeated foe, he HAS to let them go.

(Written on 23rd, 24th and 25th February, 2021)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be informative, edifying, beneficial or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following:

  • Note 143 – ‘God – Sometimes Silent But Ever Present’
  • Note 145 – ‘Our Difficulty Is God’s Opportunity’
  • Note 147 – ‘From Bad…To Worse…To Deliverance’

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