GOD loves to speak in real life pictures … I love that He does. He really does speak a language that we each understand and this is one that speaks particularly to me . He will use the everyday things around me to provoke dialog and thought patterns. I just have to be ready to hear His voice.
It is also exciting to think that we don’t have to be a Christian to hear GOD. He chooses to speak to us before we ever decided that we would contemplate speaking to Him. GOD does this with Pharaoh in Exodus and still does it today.
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. Exodus 7:1
GOD speaks the language of Pharaoh and sets up Moses as a representative of Himself. Pharaoh will see Moses as a god and Aaron like his prophet, a familiar and comfortable concept for the Pharaoh as he is Ra of Egyptian gods. The language that GOD is speaking will strip away the false god system that was at work in Egypt. This Moses ‘god’ would prove to be a much more powerful god than Ra himself.
Moses is the first representative on this page. The second is the staff held in Moses’ hand.
8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 ‘When Pharaoh says to you, “Perform a miracle,” then say to Aaron, “Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,” and it will become a snake.’
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned the wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said. Exodus 7:8-13
The staff represents authority, the snake it turns into – the god of death, the snakes it eats – the false gods Pharaoh believes will protect him.
Let me explain a little. In Egypt, there were many gods who each had different roles … some good and some bad. One god, Apep was the god who embodied chaos and darkness, he was often drawn as a snake. He was thought to be the eater of souls and the Egyptians feared that Apep would swallow them into non-existance. He was so powerful as a god that the dead would even be protected. The Egyptians would cast spells and have another deity present to subdue this god. Apep was also the enemy of Ra … and Pharaoh was the representative or was Ra.
Ra, or Pharaoh would often be pictured with a cobra circling his head as a crown. This was the goddess Wadjet. She was the godess protector of the king.
I don’t know what happened in the throne room with the Pharaoh, magicians, Moses and Aaron, but I can imagine the staff becoming a snake like that of Apep. I can then see the magicians then “creating” models of the goddess Wadjet, that should have protected their Ra Pharaoh. It is at this point that, what happened in that throne room, becomes significant on a whole other level. GOD spoke the language that Pharaoh would understand. Pharaoh’s biggest fear was of the god Apep. The magicians create the god that should protect Pharaoh from death and being swallowed into non-existence, yet it is they that are swallowed up. Pharaoh’s faith in the false gods and in himself would be swallowed up. The prophet, Aaron, showed Pharaoh what GOD would do.
God continues to show Himself. Again, the staff in the hand of Aaron was used to speak to Pharaoh.
19 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron, “Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt – over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs – and they will turn to blood.” Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.’
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt. Exodus 7:19-21
The Nile was the third representative. It was the means of life to all of Egypt, and it is turned to blood and becomes a place of destruction and death. GOD used the physical to represent what He would do and what He was saying. This physical river would not sustain and produce life. Putting their trust in this river was no good, they needed to put their faith in the GOD that created it. It really is possible to see Him in everything, to hear His voice everywhere.
My question to you is what has GOD placed in your hand that is representing Him? You could be in business, the workplace, at school, college or university, you might be raising a family or running in politics, you might be artistic or practical, you could have particular skills in hospitality and encouragement, these are all things that we hold in our hands. GOD puts things in our hands and wants us to hold them out for Him. Is there a way in which the ‘staff’ He has placed in your hand can be used for His glory?
Draw Close Blog has been running for just over a year and it has been one way in which both Rachel and I are holding out our ‘staff’ for GOD. I am amazed at the breadth of influence and distance that this blog travels day by day. The opportunities it has presented and the doors it continues to open. It teaches me that what I hold out for GOD, and not hold onto tightly, He is able and wants to use. This blog is an obvious representation of GOD since it is full of scripture, but it has helped me to look for where else GOD wants me to hold out what He has put in my hands. It makes me wonder, where else does He want to be represented? What other gods need to be put under His feet? What part does He want me to play in that?
Of course, the staff is also representative of us. We are like the staff in His hand. He has called us to be His representative wherever we are. How are you, and I doing with that? When people look at you and me do they see Him? When the time comes for Him to hold you out, will you be ready?