Not Every Miracle is Holy

Not Every Miracle is Holy

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. Exodus 7:11-13


If you were a kid growing up in the early 2000’s, you probably saw this scene play out in the movie The Prince of Egypt. There is a song in the movie called “Playing With the Big Boys” where the magicians and sorcerers of Egypt go head to head with Aaron and Moses. In reality, it was a match up between the Egyptian gods and Yahweh, the God of Israel—unholy vs. holy.

Aaron’s staff turning into a serpent was nothing special to these magicians. They were able to do the same thing by appealing to their occult practices. Recently, I have heard similar testimonies from my Thai Christian friends. One friend said that he knew someone who had severely broken his arm in an accident. Instead of going to the hospital, this man visited the local witch doctor. According to my friend’s testimony, the man’s arm was at least visibly, if not completely, healed.

As we read through the 10 plagues in Exodus, we see that the magicians were able to duplicate several miracles that Aaron and Moses did. They were able to turn water into blood and bring frogs up onto the land. However, once the third plague (gnats) came, the magicians were no longer able to recreate the miracles. In Exodus 8:19, they tell Pharaoh that “this is the finger of God.” The magicians realized that they were outmatched. But, they should have realized it when their serpents were swallowed up before.

Satan has some power and lots of tricks. He is able to do some miraculous things, but he never does them with good or holy intentions. So, why does he do them exactly? Because this is what people want to see (Matthew 16:1). They want the miracles without Jesus. They want healing without having to call Jesus, “Lord Luke 17:12-18).” They want power to carry out their own sinful will and desires (Acts 8:18-19); whereas, the Holy Spirit gives us power to do the will of God. Satan will try do whatever he can to deceive people all the way to their destruction. And the miraculous things the devil is doing in the world shouldn’t be thought of as counterfeits. They are so real and believable that even the elect will be led astray by them, according to Jesus (Matthew 24:24).

As pastor David Guzik has said: “Miracles can prove that something is supernatural, but they cannot prove that something is true.” The only thing we can trust is the goodness and truthfulness of God’s Word. Everything he does is holy and righteous (Psalm 145:17). Trust Him in everything. Seek His face more than His hand. Test every miracle against the Word of God because even our senses are affected by our fallen nature. Today as you reflect on the wonder-working power of our holy God, remember the words of the psalmist, Asaph:

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

Psalm 77:11-15

Will We Serve God or Pharaoh?

Will We Serve God or Pharaoh?

During my quiet time with the Lord this morning, I was reading from Exodus chapter 1. After Joseph, along with his brothers and their generation died, a new pharaoh came into power in Egypt. Unlike His predecessor, He did not know about Joseph or the agreement that was made between the Egyptians and Hebrew people. Fearing that they would one day side with his enemies because of their growing numbers, this new pharaoh decided to oppress the Israelites.

The Egyptians treated them cruelly, forcing the Israelites to do hard labor. But, it seemed as if every time the taskmasters cracked their whips, another Hebrew child was born. God continued to bless His people in the midst of great persecution. Truly, He was keeping His promise to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob that He would make them into a great nation. Of course, this apparent blessing incensed Pharaoh at the time. So, he ordered the midwives to the Hebrews to kill every boy they help deliver. The ones who were the first to greet babies from the womb would now meet them with death.

Now, the story could have ended here. The midwives could have carried out Pharaoh’s orders like they were instructed, but they didn’t. Instead, they kept on delivering and sparing both the girls and boys. Why did they do this? Did they not fear the wrath of Pharaoh? I am sure they did to some extent. But, the Bible says they also feared God. And who is Pharaoh compared to God? These midwives knew that killing these newborn baby boys was wrong. God, then, confirmed that the midwives had done the right thing by blessing them with families of their own. It is said that if you were a midwife in Egypt at this time, it usually meant that you were not able to have children of your own. God showed them the good that comes from fearing Him.

The Bible makes it clear that we are to honor and obey the governing authorities because they have been established by God for His purposes (Romans 13:1). However, if the government passes a law or makes a decree that defies God and His Word, we must obey Him first. We see in the last verse of chapter one that Pharaoh did not give up on his plan. He ordered every Hebrew male son to be thrown into the crocodile infested waters of the Nile.

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself: “Couldn’t this all have been avoided? Why didn’t the midwives just do what Pharaoh asked? Surely, God would understand.”

If we learned anything from Joseph’s life it’s that God can use what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good (Genesis 50:20). And if you simply turn the page of your Bible to Exodus chapter 2, you see that He was doing that again. We can’t let the threats or even horrific actions of “pharaohs” dictate our personal obedience towards God. Like the midwives, we must do what’s right. We must serve God and Him alone. While God may have used Pharaoh’s evil actions for His purposes, He would not let Pharaoh’s sin go unpunished. This is the book of Exodus, after all…