The Pharaoh in us
The story of the 10 plagues of Egypt can be read as one reads a novel or watches a movie as an simple external viewer having nothing to do with the story. Pharaoh’s rebellious behavior against the will of the Lord may even upset us as we read this passage from the Bible. However, it is useful to analyze this story from another angle as well, because very interesting things can be revealed to us concerning our own person. For me, this passage is always a warning as to whether there is still something Pharaonic in me or not. Is there anything in my soul and mind that prevents me from evolving on my path of disciple and advancing in spirit to serve the Lord out of Egypt? Because although I have already came out after my conversion and my rebirth, there are still things remaining that should be cleared away. It would be a shame to simply see Pharaoh as an ancient ruler having no effect in the present and in our lives. In this case, we would lose the possibility that the Lord would continue to unmask and judge the presence and actions of alien spirits still stuck inside of us.
The main characteristic of Pharaoh is that he panics and seems to submit himself at the sight of the plagues. Then, when the storm has passed, he harden his hearth again. This is a typically human trait and few of us are free from it. We often bow down before the Lord when problems come. Our humility and the number of our prayers increases with the number of plagues. As soon as the lull arrives, we return to our little jobs as if nothing had happened.
We experience these stages during our conversion. Everything is turning into blood in our lives, all sorts of parasites and diseases are surrounding and threatening us. We have the feeling that everything collapses around us and then comes the death of the firstborn. Our own person, our ego as the firstborn. This self-love that puts our own before and before everything, our main idol that must die to finally give way to our new man born again in Christ.
Nevertheless, this process continues and must continue, as sanctification goes on in our minds. As born again disciples in Christ, there is plenty of things to settle in us, so that all the current idols, the actual firstborn, continue to die in order to make room for Christ in all segments of our being.
The magicians of Egypt
It is remarkable to see that up to a certain point, the magicians of Egypt are able to reproduce the same miracles as those which the Lord accomplished through Moses and Aaron. They turn sticks into snakes, water into blood, produce frogs, all kinds of insects and parasites, and so on. Many theories and explanations have emerged about the methods they used to carry out their imitations. I do not want to dwell on these details, because there are indeed scientific and other less scientific explanations for these things. It is indeed possible to hypnotize snakes until they become straight and stiff as sticks then to throw them to the ground in order to wake them up. Aaron’s staff was not made of a hypnotized snake, but of dry wood. It still turned to be a snake, moreover a snake capable of swallowing others. Larger miracles, on the other hand, are more suspect and most certainly imply a spiritual intervention coming from a supernatural power. Of course, for some wonders, it is hardly thinkable that magic tricks or scientific phenomena are sufficient to generate them. Satan and his army have received some power that they use from time to time. This is most certainly what they did then, and they will do so soon to deceive many according to the end-time prophecies.
What is more interesting to us is to observe that Pharaoh hardens his heart when he sees his men doing the same feats as the Lord of Israel. Simple men seem to have the same power as the Almighty. Pharaoh witnesses the miracles of the Lord and is reassured when his men do the same.
We often hear men preaching on the subject of the 10 plagues of Egypt by giving scientific explanations to the phenomena described, for example how water is transformed into blood. There would be an algae or a bacteria that starts to swarm in the waters of the Nile from time to time, giving it a reddish color and exterminating any form of life around it. As a result, the remains of the river’s fauna raise massively to the surface of the water, favoring the proliferation of toads or frogs and other parasitic insects that spread diseases. They manage to explain the whole process of the 10 plagues with rational and scientific arguments that were certainly generated by the will of the Almighty, but that are certainly not that extraordinary. They emphasize that we must not take everything literally.
Bacteria, or algae may well arise, it is also one of the potential explanations of the “power” of the magicians, but the Bible tells us that all waters have turned into blood. … 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.” (Exodus 7:19). It is obvious that the Almighty is able of causing considerable damage just by swarming the bacteria in the waters of the river so that its color turns red, here it is however question of real blood, the bacteria however do not just appear like that in wooden or stone recipients. Elohim can use the forces of nature since everything is his creation. However, it is dangerous to want to convince unbelievers by bending to their rules in order to catch their attention. By wanting too much to involve human sciences in the teaching of the Word, we risk, unwittingly, to play the role of pharaoh’s magicians. Indeed Pharaohs are eager to get “rational” and palpable response emerge in order to neutralize and cancel the signs and judgments given by the Lord. For Pharaoh’s heart did not always harden at the sight of the disappearance of the wonders. If we read well, we see that in most cases it was indeed at the sight of the power of his own magicians to imitate or explain the wonders that he persisted in rejecting obedience to the Eternal.
Where and how to make our offerings to the Lord?
But Moses said, “That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the LORD our Elohim would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us? (Ex 8:26).
I have rarely had the peace of mind when seeing praises and preachings in public places, such as the street or the subway. I am always concerned at the sight of believers approaching strangers in the street like carpet traders trying to evangelize them. I was uncomfortable when I saw people acting such as I also used to act not long before. In the same way, it is painful for me to see Jews planting hanukkiahs in the four corners of the city, in the most soiled places as well in spirit as from the point of view of dog poop by turning our sacred objects into vulgar circus acts. This sentence pronounced by Moses sums up the problem very well. It also foreshadows the warning received later by our Master : Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Mt. 7:6). The name of Yeshua and the symbols of Judaism are hateful to many. A big question is actually where and when to preach His Word: in season and out of season as Paul said. Indeed, times are becoming more and more unfavorable to the Word of the Lord. But when the seeds of the Word become visible in someone’s heart, storms immediately rise in order to destroy it, because the enemy never sleeps. It is when we are closest to conversion, to reborn, or to make any positive turn spiritually, that the most virulent attacks are launched against the ongoing purification process. Paul’s warning is to be interpreted this way. Fight most fiercely for the lives of others when the heart of his pharaoh is the hardest and refuses more relentlessly than ever to let his prey escape.
However, it seems to me that there is a time absolutely unfavorable to the exhibition of what is Holy. When I do it before the eyes of those who do not have any seed in their hearts, who do not come to change and to humble themselves before the greatness of the One I represent. They are feeling good about themselves and have no desire to change. They want to continue their life as it was until then looking for other solutions to their problems. In these cases, there is no need to pronounce His name in vain, and to vainly display any holy symbols. Otherwise, I will have to rely on the ruthless revenge of the spiritual world and risk being defenseless in the face of evil powers on whose ground I would have gone irresponsibly and unconsciously. Never set foot on minefields where the Lord does not send us. Let us give up our “good ideas” and instead of starting false ministries, rather wait for our own complete deliverance so that the Lord can send us on the ground that He will have defined for us in order to present Him our offerings.
zeev shlomo 27/12/13