Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. Exodus 7:8-13 ESV
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them. Psalm 34:1-7 ESV
Have you ever seen a magic show? Some of the tricks magicians can do are amazing. They can pull rabbits out of empty hats, make an assistant float in the air and then disappear, and pull coins out of thin air. How do they do these things? They are all tricks. No one can really pull a rabbit out of an empty hat, but a skillful magician can make it seem that way. The trick is to make people look in the wrong place and miss what really happens.
Satan is good at making people look in the wrong place. He can’t make a living creature out of nothing the way God can, but Pharaoh’s magicians could make it look as if they could. That made Pharaoh look away from God’s messengers, Moses and Aaron, and look at his own magicians. He didn’t think the God of Israel was any more powerful than his own magicians, so he didn’t listen to him. Even when God showed that his power was greater than the magicians’ power, and Aaron’s serpent swallowed all the others, Pharaoh still didn’t believe.
God is more powerful than any of the devil’s tricks. He sent Jesus to save us from the power of Satan, sin, and death. Satan sometimes tries to get us to look away from Jesus. He might make us think there are other saviors besides Jesus who are just as good, or he might make us thing we really don’t need God’s forgiveness. We don’t ever have to worry about the devil’s tricks, though. God the Holy Spirit helps us keep our eyes in the right place, on Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your great power and love. Please help us keep our eyes on Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.