Finally, the magicians’ power reached its limit and could no longer match God’s. They confessed to their leader, Pharaoh, that surely “this is the finger of God” (Exodus 8:19). In other words, “Surely, Pharaoh, these acts we are witnessing are from the one true God. Surely, what we’re hearing from Aaron and Moses is from the one true God.” They probably felt convicted, and hoped for a turnaround by way of their leader.
However, Pharaoh’s heart was unyielding (Exodus 7:14; 9:7). Neither Pharaoh nor his people (the Egyptians) feared the Lord (Exodus 9:30). Certainly, they did not worship God or let the Israelites worship God.
By His power, God made a distinction between His people (the oppressed Israelites) and Pharaoh’s people (Exodus 8:23) and also between the people’s animals (Exodus 9:4).
The magicians could not stand before Moses because of their own physical suffering that God’s power had brought upon themselves, their leader Pharaoh and the Egyptian people (Exodus 9:11).
God has been consistently interested in showing His power. God wants us to know Him. There are real powers in this world. Only God’s power leads to salvation. Just as in all the other accounts, other real powers in this world are distracting from God’s amazing love, from His goodness, and from His grace which surrounds us as we swim in our sin.
Without God, we’re drowning. We need His rescue. We need our cries for help to go up to God. We need God to be concerned about us. We need to get back to fearing God, and we need to get back to worshiping Him only.
For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth (Exodus 9:15-16; 10:2).
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing (Psalm 34:7-10).