Torah reading: Exodus 6:2 – 9:35
Haftorah reading: Ezekiel 28:25 – 29:21
When Pharaoh shall speak to you, saying ‘Work a miracle, then, you shall say to Aaron, Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent. So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and they did just as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh, and his servants, and it became a serpent.” Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: and the magicians of Egypt did the same with their enchantments for they threw down their staffs, and they became serpents; but Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Exodus 7: 8-12
This is one of the most interesting passages in the Torah. It opens our eyes to several deep spiritual truths and exposes certain things to us that may not be very clear to the way we moderns think.
There are only two major sources of spiritual power: The power of God and the power of evil. Yes, my friends, there is Evil and it exists because of demonic forces at work in the world. From days of old, Satan has sought to mimic whatever God does. That agenda was born in him when as the prophet Isaiah tells us, Satan sought to make himself equal with God. The result was that he was thrown out of the heavens, out of God’s presence. (see Isaiah 14:12 – 20)
In this scripture passage we see two servants of the Holy One of Israel, a pagan ruler and his ‘magicians’. By tapping into evil power, the magicians mimicked what Aaron did. But realize this: the magicians’ power was severely limited. Their serpents were quickly swallowed up by Aaron’s! Pharaoh had several magicians so there were several snakes, but Aaron’s serpent did away with them in a moment. When a weaker power comes against a stronger power, the weaker power must of necessity bow to greater strength.
More than once in the Scriptures we see serpent against serpent: When serpents were biting the Israelites in the wilderness and Moses cried to the Lord, the solution was another serpent. God uses the coin of the enemy to pay back the enemy.
Spiritual warfare is not entertainment: It is real war. The contest of the serpents was a violent one, ending in utter destruction of the magicians’ serpents. Elijah dealings with the 850 prophets of Baal was no less violent. These two events among others in the Scriptures teach us that political correctness does not work with enemies of the most High God!
To accurately assess world conditions and international events we must be aware that there are spiritual forces at work in the world. A great war between good and evil was launched centuries ago and continues to this day. In the midst of this war we are too often ignorant of what the real issues are. Instead of recognizing the implications of the contest between Moses and Aaron versus the magicians of Pharaoh, we stand and watch as if it were entertainment instead of warfare.
Mankind was created for one purpose: to know God and to enjoy fellowship with Him eternally. Each of us has been given a span of years during which we are to learn about Him, come to know Him personally and live our days according to His principles and commandments. The ‘sons of light’ and the ‘sons of darkness’ perspective of the Essenes in the first century addresses this clearly.
Life is made up of varying experiences. We prefer the joys and blessings that come our way and if we could, would avoid life’s hardships, challenges and sorrows. However, a necessary part of life is its battles for it is through them that we gain maturity, wisdom and a closer relationship with our God, provided we make godly decisions in the midst of the battlefields of daily living.
In Tune with Torah this week = Thankfully, we know from the Torah and the Prophets that the Holy One of Israel triumphs. Knowing that the God we serve has secured the final triumph, it behooves us to live in such a way that our faith in His eternal victory is evident and guides our decision-making on a day to day basis.