Those are the words used in Exodus 7 to explain how the Pharaoh’s magicians did the same ‘tricks’ as God did through Moses.
Do you know who the power is behind these ‘secret arts’? Satan. And he doesn’t like the fact that I’m pointing him out today. He loves to lurk in the shadows, creating havoc while speaking lies into our minds.
The battle of good versus evil has raged across our planet ever since the Garden of Eden. Most of the activity is in the spiritual realm. This altercation between Satan and God is unusual because it was very visible on earth.
It started when Aaron, Moses’ brother, threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and it became a snake. With Satan’s help, Pharaoh’s magicians did the same thing with their staffs.
But here’s a twist – Aaron’s snake swallowed up the other snakes. In the writing world, we would call this foreshadowing – this is how the whole battle is going to go. God is all-powerful, Satan is not.
Even after his snakes are eaten right in front of him, Pharaoh remained stubborn and unmoved. No surprise there – that’s who he was.
Next, God changed the Nile into blood. (Yuck!) But then Pharaoh’s magicians did the same thing – again with Satan’s help.
Of course, Pharaoh’s heart remained hard and stubborn.
So God sent a plague of frogs which covered the ground as well as the insides of their houses. Once again, Satan helped Pharaoh’s magicians do the same thing.
Pharaoh’s stubborn refusal to let the Israelites go continued, so God sent a plague of gnats. But – get this. Pharaoh’s magicians were unable to produce gnats.
What happened, Satan? Run out of steam?
Or did the Creator of the Universe get tired of playing your games and shut you down?
Suddenly, Satan no longer replies but we read the deadly result of his continued whispers into Pharaoh’s ear. Pharaoh’s heart becomes more and more stubborn so God ups his response with the next plague of flies.
Do you notice? Now the plagues start to only affect the Egyptians, not God’s people. The 9th plague of darkness is truly amazing to me. The land was in total darkness – they couldn’t see their hands in front of their faces – except God’s people. The light still shone down on the people of Israel.
I feel that is true today. Our world can be such a dark and confusing place – full of disappointment and heartbreak. Only God brings true light into the darkness.
We can fool ourselves into thinking that money or recognition or a relationship with the right person brings light. But all of those will eventually feel empty – ‘is this all there is?’ – without God.
Have we figured this out yet? Our lives will be ‘plagued’ by darkness until we put God in the center.
Thank you for being the Light of the World, Jesus.