By Richard Lodwick
Exodus 7:11-15 (KJV) Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river’s brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand.
Moses is arguing with God over his (Moses’) qualifications. God is telling Moses to get all those false gods out of his mind and then tells Moses who He (God) is! I AM the One Who IS! I was, and AM, and always will be, and I will do what I want, for there is no other like me! (See Ex. 9:14) I Am He Who causes to be and He Who brings into existence, and brings to pass. See the battle theme.. against all the false gods of Egypt AND what God is saying to His people, who were surrounded by all of that false worship? This is the eternal, ever existing, Living and True God, as opposed to those false, dead, demonic, gods of Egypt. This is Jehovah, Yahweh, the Almighty, SUPREME God. God is also telling Moses to tell this to His people. Now, let’ see WHY God said, WHAT He said!
Now, I want to shift to Pharaoh and the initial confrontation with Moses and the True God. Evidently no one up to that time had called God to Pharaoh’s attention. Pharaoh and the people were, up to this time, living in their idolatrous lifestyle, unopposed and unchallenged by any other than their own gods. They knew the names of THEIR gods, but now would be given the name of THE God. ALL of their worship, beliefs, and lifestyle would be challenged by this new God.
Note also, this was a God that would come to their attention through a slave people. This was REALLY a challenge to them. The ruling class were to have been descendants of THE gods! WHO is THIS God? WHO IS THIS God to challenge them. But, as we see, all the false beliefs in the world will not overcome the truth! Many think that if they only BELIEVE HARD ENOUGH, it will be true. It was a challenge to Prestige, Privilege, and Position. PRIDE!
Lastly, this would be a challenge to POWER and WHO would have the rule and final say. Can you just see it? God was going to set His people free and HE (God) would have the final say, & rule, and demonstrate HIS power! Do you see it? Wow! God said, Moses, IAM THAT I AM and you just go and tell the PEOPLE that and tell PHARAOH that, too, and do what I tell you, and watch what I do!
As we continue, I want us to see how God attacked their false gods, AND Pharaoh, and the belief system of NOT ONLY the Egyptian people, but all that Israel had become accustomed to. God would later give them the plans for the Tabernacle, where His Glory would come down, and HE would be worshiped, in total contradiction to all that fake, idolatrous, garbage in Egypt! Wow!