Exodus 7:5 (HCSB)
5 The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh when I stretch out My hand against Egypt, and bring out the Israelites from among them.”
Following the genealogy, which further legitimized Aaron’s role alongside Moses, this pericope returns us to the scene of Moses and Aaron confronting Pharaoh at God’s request. God again gives Moses an overview of His plan, in response again to Moses’ feelings of inadequacy for the task. It is interesting how God uses what seems to be a hitch that man throws in His plans to further show Himself to the world: Moses’ need for Aaron ends up being a mirror of God’s interaction through His prophets (Exodus 7:1).
I find Exodus 7:5 an interesting thought. God says that Egypt “will know that I am Yahweh.” He does not say that the will know God is Yahweh and they will repent. Or that they will come to believe He is God. Or that they will be added to the ranks of God’s people. No, they will know it when God performs acts of judgement, and frees His people, the Israelites, from the Egyptians. So they will know He is God, but they will not know God. And I think the following demonstration, what happens when the first sign is performed, is an illustration of where the Egyptians, and Pharaoh are in relation to God. See, when the sign of the staff turning to a snake is performed, by God, on Aaron’s staff, Pharaoh’s reaction is not that of coming to God, instead he bucks against God. Rather than acknowledge the power and of God, he seeks to produce the same power from man, hence the calling of his sorcerers and magicians.
And it still happens today! We continually try to explain and replicate the power and might of God. We could roll through a list of “scientific” agendas and advances that do just that, that just might be the equivalent of Pharaoh’s sorcerers. But it even can happen at a more personal level, where we take God’s hand out of the events of our lives. Maybe the raise we got was not god’s mercy, but our hard work. Maybe the awesome relationship we are in is not God’s favor, but us being so personable and likable. We can remove God from our lives so easily, and slip ourselves into His throne. But we need to take care not to, and instead recognize God’s fingerprints all over us, and our lives, lest our sorceries be swallowed up just as they were before Pharaoh, and we are too hardened and blind to see.
Lord, thank You for being in our lives, for working all the time, not just for our good, but for Your glory, which pours out all over us. I pray that we would not be deceived by the world, by sorcery, and by ourselves, our own pride, and instead recognize Your world in the world all around us, and in us, and give you the credit and glory. Amen.