Convincing Imitations

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic.

Exodus 7:11

When Moses and Aaron once again approached Pharaoh in order to seek release for the Israelites, Pharaoh asked for a miraculous sign. So Aaron threw his staff down on the ground and it turned into a serpent. But Pharaoh was not impressed, because his own “magicians did the same thing with their magic” (7:11).

We can’t be sure exactly how the Egyptian magicians accomplished their feat. The most common explanation notes that a type of Egyptian cobra can be made completely rigid if it is held in a certain way. Thus the magicians’ “staffs” may have been actual snakes in disguise. Others account for the Egyptian imitations with reference to miraculous demonic powers.

No matter how the magicians managed to pull off their imitations, this scene reminds us of something we regularly face in today’s world. I’m thinking of the imitations that are offered up as alternatives to a genuine relationship with God through Christ. When we talk about finding peace with God through faith in Jesus, others will claim to have found similar peace through other means. We mustn’t be surprised when this happens. It’s a normal part of the battle in which we find ourselves.

Our calling is to bear witness faithfully to God and his saving power. We do this most persuasively, not by turning our staffs into snakes, but by living each day as a reflection of God’s love and grace.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How does your life demonstrate the presence and power of God? Without being showy or drawing attention to yourself, what might you do today to bear witness to the Gospel through your actions?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, though I haven’t found myself in exactly the same situation as Moses and Aaron, I do know what it’s like to confront “convincing imitations” of genuine relationships with you. In these situations, help me not to lose heart or to become defensive. Rather, may I continue to bear witness to you with my words and my deeds. As people see the miracle you have done in my life, may they be drawn to a genuine relationship with you.

Today I pray for your church, that we might live in this world as a powerful demonstration of the Gospel. Help us to be people of mercy, forgiveness, and love. May our behavior each day in every part of life point people to you. Amen.