Have you ever imagined what the world looked, smelt and sounded like during the time of Moses? Have you imagined what it must have been like to witness the plagues that God sent on the land of Egypt…the splitting of the Red Sea, the colossal pillars of fire and cloud and the armies of locusts so vast that anything similar was never seen before or since?
I bet you have.
Read Exodus 7-11 quickly, refresh your memory and dive with me into the world of ancient Egypt.
One last question: Have you ever wondered why it was that Jannes and Jambres, (Pharaoh’s official ‘magicians’), were able to contend with Moses by mimicking God’s show of power?
I have always understood their ‘replica plagues’ to have happened by supernatural power in just the same way that I understood all the plagues of God Almighty to also be supernatural.
So what *on earth* was going on?
The supernatural world is good and it is evil and demonic power is as real (though not as glorious) as the angelic.
Demonic power (*any spiritual power other than the Spirit of God and His angelic armies*) is the fascination of all world cultures because every human being is an image-bearer of God and yet the majority of people on the planet are not (yet) saved. Doesn’t everyone gravitate toward the supernatural in some form? I think they do – either in fanatical ways, or atheistic ways, or nominally compromised ways, or dark, fearful ways, or in darkness-masquerading-as-light ways.
This is especially obvious in the movie industry….indeed, we have an imbalance in the Force, Luke.
Go and browse the Blu-rays in your local store and clock the sheer number of dark and twisted supernatural films that are available – they easily outweigh anything else, maybe by as much as 50%.
Satan on a Leash
But Jannes and Jambres were on a leash because Satan and the demonic power they operated in were also on a leash much like in the account of Job.
Notice that these magicians of dark, supernatural power (think Sauron rather than Gandalf), were only able to imitate God to a point. The extent of their supernatural power included turning water into blood, summoning plagues of frogs and even temporarily turning a wooden staff into a snake. Beyond this, Jannes and Jambres were totally stumped.
The Glory of a Gnat
OK – one more question: why was it that these men were able to perform other miracles but not the plague of gnats? This question smacked me about the chops this week.
This is what I think:
Unlike all of the other plagues that were mimicked, the transformation of the dust of the earth into a plague of gnats was a creative miracle. Turning water into blood was not the same, nor was the calling forth of frogs from the River Nile. (I’ll come back to the snake incident a moment).
When Moses performed the miracle with the gnats, it was the creative, supernatural power of God that was being displayed. There was no way that Satan was going to get to play with that – this is where his leash jerked him back.
Only God gets to create and speak life into nothing. Only God has all authority in heaven and on Earth. Can you imagine Satan being allowed to speak life into dust and create, God-glorifying, Adamic life? No chance. This is why the magicians, in Exodus 8:19 when they saw the power of God, said
“…This is the finger of God…”
I’ve asked myself why it was, then, that the Egyptians were able to first follow suit when Moses turned his staff into a snake.
Interestingly, in the ancient pagan world, snakes represented the creative life force. This would not have been lost on the magicians as their miscarriage of creation was literally swallowed up by the snake of Moses. The devil can’t even create one single gnat.
The only One with authority to create life, to breathe life, is God; the only man in this Exodus scene who had the glory of wielding prophetic creative power…was Moses.
This is why, among a thousand million of them, there is unfathomable glory in a single, minuscule gnat and why something as small as this can be used to demonstrate the infinite difference between the supernatural power of God and the supernatural power of Satan.
Shouldn’t there be more films reflecting this?
Don’t we need an awakening and a shift in the Force? [Star Wars metaphor….over]