“Exposing the Exodus”
The Finger of God – (Chapter 8 Verses 16-19)
This is the first failure of Egypt’s magicians (v18). The rout is yet incomplete, though. Whatever the means be to produce these counterfeit works they are limited and most certainly divinely restrained. Behind their magic powers are the forces of darkness, Satanic influence. When God’s servants make and repeat the demand for God’s people to be loosed, doubtless invokes the wrath of Satan. When a person is awakened by God, stirred and drawn to the Saviour, who begins to read the Scriptures. Who begins to call upon the name of the Lord, we are not surprised that they begin to face opposition. Sooner or later. He does not willingly loose his captives. Any apparent success that the magicians have enjoyed until now, turning water into blood, producing frogs, has been by permission of God. Now that permission is withdrawn (v18). Satan is impotent before God. The bounds within which he operates are prescribed by the sovereign Lord. He is a junkyard dog, chained (Revelation 20:2). He cannot go beyond the limits set for him by God. By divine permission, he can inflict death. He can produce uncleanness, abundantly so. But the divine curse upon humanity for sin, i.e., this dust, he cannot tamper with. Jesus exposed Satan’s impotence (Luke 11:20). The believer must not live in fear of evil, even when it seems to be rampant. It is never free, it never has the initiative. God deals with evil in his own way and in his own time. God has declared war on evil, he defeated it fully and finally at Golgotha in the death of his Son (Colossians 2:15). Evil is going down, it is a spent force. The wealth and the health of Egypt have been removed. The first strike on the sacred Nile and now the sacred land is reduced to dust. God shatters the pride of this idolatrous nation not by the invasion of a foreign army, but with his invisible finger. There will be no consolation in their defeat, nothing but shame. That is the end of all unbelief, “as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame” (Romans 9:33).
Today’s moderns would not acknowledge the finger of God. Today’s world is no different to the ancient, unbelieving world of Egypt. It is easy in their worldly wisdom (1Corinthians 1:20-21), or so they think, to explain away the very concept of God. They are by far too clever. God is dead Nietzsche told the unbelieving world just over a hundred years ago. So the agenda since has been to live without God, man becomes his own god. Everything is explained in naturalistic terms, no divine intervention, no God at all. They live in a purely natural, material universe. Their claim is that man himself is the source of all knowledge, the measure of all things. That knowledge is gained through their senses, reasoning and memory. But man’s senses are not infallible, they often fail and are found to be unreliable. So the modern unbelieving man could be wrong about everything he knows? But of course, man does have knowledge, he does know things. Therefore, he is able to do things like science, and philosophy and hold to moral values. But such does not come from a natural, material universe. We have knowledge because it has been revealed to us by God, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). It is in “Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3). Men, whether ancient Egyptians or up to date modern ones, do not recognise the finger of God because they do not wish to. The truth of the knowledge of God is suppressed in wickedness (Romans 1:18-22). The means used by Egypt to suppress the knowledge of the true and living God is their idolatrous religion. With others, it may be secular humanism, evolutionism. But his evolutionary thinking cannot explain the mechanism, the appearance of matter or the eternity of matter. It cannot explain the emergence of life or self-intelligence or morality, it answers none of these questions. Evolution is a myth, a fairy tale and not even a good one. Because it has a very, very bad ending. It ends in death, eternal death. That’s the end of Egypt, that’s the end of all sin and unbelief.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)