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.
Of all the brother teams in the Old Testament, Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Hophni and Phinehas, etc., perhaps none was so outstanding as Moses and Aaron. Together they were called upon to undertake the impossible dream--the exodus of Israel from Egypt. Jehovah had made Moses a god to Pharaoh and brother Aaron was his prophet. As a team they stood before the Egyptian king and demanded the release of God's people Israel.
During the new kingdom period the power of Pharaoh was unsurpassed among contemporary nations. At times his kingdom extended as far as the Euphrates River. For Moses and Aaron to appear at the royal Egyptian court demanding that the people of Israel be set free was a challenge to Pharaoh's power. From the start the king's attitude was one of arrogant defiance. Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go"(Exodus 5:2).
But the Lord had forewarned Moses and Aaron of Pharaoh's attitude, informing them that when the king asked for a miracle to prove God's power they should cast Aaron's rod to the ground and it would become a serpent. When Pharaoh questioned them, Aaron obeyed God and, as God had promised, the rod miraculously became a serpent. However, much to the surprise of Moses and Aaron, the king of Egypt called upon his wise men sorcerers to do the same and their rods too became serpents.
Apparently these Egyptian magicians knew the secret of paralyzing a snake by applying pressure on the back of the neck. This would make the serpent become rigid and the pompous Egyptian sorcerers would stroll along the streets using the paralyzed snakes as walking sticks. When they cast the snake to the ground, releasing the pressure, the snake would begin to crawl. Capturing the snake was a simple matter of grabbing it by the back of the neck, renewing the pressure, and making the serpent rigid again.
Such was the case in the contest between Moses and Aaron and the magicians of Pharaoh's court. However, as the Egyptians imitated the miracle of God they did not have opportunity to grab the serpents by the back of the neck and reapply the pressure. Before they could do so Aaron's rod-serpent swallowed them up.
Rather than be stunned by the defeat of his magicians, Pharaoh's heart was hardened. Thus the Lord instructed Moses to "Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning" and to demand that the people of Israel be released (Exodus 7:15). Early the next morning the confrontation took place and as a result of Pharaoh's refusal the Nile River, long worshiped by the Egyptians, turned to blood. Thus began the great plagues of Egypt.
Although in the first two plagues God allowed the Egyptian magicians to imitate His miracles, by the third one they had run out of tricks. Candidly they had to admit to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God" (Exodus 8:19). This did not end imitations of God's power, however, for Satan is the great imitator of God. He has been imitating God through the centuries, and many have been deceived by some clever counterfeits which seem to be of God, but actually are of the devil.
Today the world is deluged with deception. Satan is on a rampage imitating the acts of God. This is why Christians are cautioned to "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). Moses and Aaron were not fooled or intimidated by the imitation miracles of the Egyptian magicians. Believers today must not be fooled or intimidated by the power of Satan, "because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, alone,
Can turn our hearts from sin;
His pow'r alone can sanctify,
And keep us pure within.