Magic Tricks and Where the Action is in Scripture

Magic Tricks
Magic Tricks

Why did God send Moses to perform “magic tricks” for Pharaoh?

I often wonder how moviemakers, who have endeavored to create a script from the text of Exodus, dealt with the repetition of God’s plan given to Moses. God announces it several times before it actually happens, and then it happens almost exactly as He described it.

What is different about this magic trick?

If we look for differences between this passage and the previous passages describing the staff to snake magic trick, we won’t find much. It follows almost line for line up until Aaron’s staff becomes a snake. It might be different because it was Moses performing this miracle on the mountain with God. Other than that, everything goes as planned.

The surprise is that Pharaoh has a group of wisemen and magicians that are able to replicate this miracle. They throw down their own staffs and watch them become serpents. Well, that makes the miracle less convincing. However, that is only one half of the magic trick. Can they turn the serpents back into staves again?

They do not get a chance. Aaron’s staff swallows them up, leaving the Egyptian magicians disarmed and vulnerable.

What was the same about this event and God’s plan?

The beginning of this magic trick happened just as God had told Moses to do. The middle reproduction of the staves turning to snakes by the Egyptians was a detail God left out when He spoke to Moses. However, the end result was still exactly what God had promised. Pharaoh’ heart was hardened and he would not let the Hebrew people go.

Looking at those similarities shows that even when the middle details felt off-course, God still landed everyone exactly where He promised. On the way, God showed his superiority over the Egyptians when Aaron’s staff/snake ate the staff/snakes of the Egyptian magicians. The magic trick became a miracle that showed God’s power. To Moses though, it showed that God does what He says He will do.

What do you see here?

I’d love to hear what you see in this passage. You can comment below or send a text to 859-636-6965 for a faster response. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on God’s promises.

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