So, I was reading a few chapters from the Book of Exodus, and I began to wonder about a few things. I pondered why God instructed Moses and Aaron to do things that could be copied. For example, Aaron threw down his staff and it turned into a snake. Then Pharaoh’s magicians threw down their staffs and their staffs turned into snakes.
Moses struck the Nile River and turned the water into blood, then the Egyptian magicians turned their water into blood. Aaron stretched out his hand and frogs covered the land, and well… you get my drift. It appeared that whatever Moses could do, the Egyptians could do. And well, I didn’t initially know how to feel about that.
Of course, I am aware that eventually God showed Himself all-powerful through Moses and Aaron. Even before the parting of the Red Sea, God showed Himself strong.
But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not. Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”
(Exodus 8:18-19 NIV)
But it wasn't God’s power and authority that I pondered. I pondered why God instructed Moses and Aaron to perform signs that could be copied in the first place. These signs were meant to prove that Moses was sent by the one and true living God, the Great I AM. So, why did God have Moses and Aaron perform signs that could be copied? It appeared that God’s servant and the servant of the enemy were on the same level… what gives?
When I stepped back and reread the text, I understood it was all part of God’s plan. I know that sounds cliché but honestly, that’s what it boils down to. If you recall, from the very beginning God told Moses that Pharaoh’s heart would be hardened (Exodus 4:21). By Moses and Aaron performing signs that could be initially copied, it made it easier for Pharaoh’s heart to harden. It made it easy for Pharaoh to question if Moses’s God was really superior if his magicians could pull off the same thing.
But honestly, sometimes it’s not for us to understand God’s plan, it’s just for us to trust His plan. For example, when Moses initially asked Pharaoh to let his people go, Pharaoh not only refused, but he also made their labor much worse. Moses questioned God. He asked God why He sent him to Pharaoh to only produce more trouble for Israelites. And you know what? God didn’t answer Moses’s question in the way one would think He would answer. Instead, God said this:
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord.
(Exodus 6:1-2 NIV)
You see, our problem is we only see the problems that are in front of us, but God sees the solutions that are ahead of us. God didn’t bother to answer Moses about their added trouble because He knew it didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
It didn’t matter that the magicians could initially do what Moses did, because eventually God made the distinction between the two. This reminds me of the wheat and tare parable found in Matthew 13. The parable states a man sowed wheat in the ground, but then at night, the enemy came and sowed tares or weeds among the wheat. Matthew 13:26 states “when the wheat sprouted and formed heads, the weeds also appeared”. Sounds familiar right? Wheat and weeds both sprouting… Moses and magicians both producing signs…
When the harvester asked the sower did he want the weeds pulled up, the sower said no. He also said the following:
Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
(Matthew 13:30 NIV)
In this parable, God was saying that eventually, there would be a distinction made. Just as the wheat and weeds will eventually be separated when this world has come to end, the power behind the Egyptian magicians and the power behind Moses was eventually made known.
We don’t have to worry about God showing Himself powerful amongst His children. When the time is right, the distinction will be made clear. And this does not only apply to when this world ends…it applies to us today.
As followers of Christ, we are the salt of the earth, a light set upon a hill. Like candlesticks, we are to shine brightly in this dark world. We are not to be hidden. We are to standout from the crowd. We are in this world, but not of it. There should be a distinction. If you were to look at me and see no difference between me and people of the world, I have lost my savory and should be thrown out and trampled upon (Matthew 5:13).
But we cannot shine and be savory on our own. God is the one who illuminates us and gives us our flavor. There are people in the world who will initially appear to also illuminate and have flavor. But counterfeits will be exposed, and eventually God will show Himself powerful and unmatched on behalf of His people.
So, go ahead. Don’t be ashamed to standout in the name of the Lord. Don’t be afraid to show people that there is a distinction between you and your God and others and their gods. Others may imitate you, but they are not you. False gods may imitate the power of God, but they do not and never will have the true power of God. Often imitated, never duplicated honey!
Let’s let the world see that there is a distinction when they see us. As the duet Mary Mary sang “What is it that you think you see when you see me? … It’s the God in me!” They may have trouble figuring out what that distinction is initially but eventually, they should clearly see that you are a child of the one and true God.
That’s all for today you guys. Have a blessed day and week! And remember to make a distinction.
Quin Arrington's debut book "And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way" is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. Link to book listed below.