By Joseph Ametepe
"Then the LORD said to Moses, Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 11:9).
Just before God performed His last plague in Egypt, He took the time to instruct Moses and Aaron concerning an important spiritual lesson. The lesson has to do with how God wants His believing people to view the oppositions they face in life while doing His will. You see, God knows that as His obedient people, we will face opposition from the enemy. As such, He wants us to operate with His perspective. God is well aware that encountering enemy opposition without seeing things from His point of view is a recipe for doubt, discouragement, despair, despondency, depression, and defeat. So God, literally took a time out to impress on the hearts of Moses and Aaron this important spiritual lesson. That is, opposition of the enemies of God's people is simply an opportunity for God to display His power.
Moses and Aaron learned this lesson and lived it out in their lives. It is now our turn to learn it and live it out in our lives. God says to Moses, "Let this lesson be impressed upon your heart. When you are doing what I have called you to do but come under enemy opposition, I've got your back. The opposition you face is but an opportunity for Me to show My power and bring glory to Myself. Hold onto this perspective so that you may not fall into despair and discouragement."
Again and again, Pharaoh refused to obey God's direct command to let His people go and serve Him. as a result, God brought plague after another upon Egypt. But He has one more to perform to show that enemy opposition to His people is simply an opportunity to display His power and might. Please observe that God says, "so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt." The expression "so that" clearly shows that God considers Pharaoh's stubborn refusal as an opportunity to display His might. It's an opportunity to show Pharaoh that his stiff-neckedness and stubborn rebellion against His orders will only serve to advance His purpose of multiplying His wonders in the land of Egypt. In other words, God is saying, "the opposition of Pharaoh is not going to hinder Me. It will not hold Me back. It will not derail My plans and purposes for My people. It will not tie My hands from moving to act on behalf of My chosen people. It will not slow Me down. Rather, it will only spur Me to display My power in such a way as to bring glory to Myself."
The Hebrew word translated "wonders" comes from "mopheth." This masculine Hebrew noun occurs in the plural form. It means wonderful deed, miraculous sign, miracle, portent, omen, mighty act of God. The word also has a bad sense. For example, Israel became a spectacular demonstration, an object lesson, of disobeying God (see Deuteronomy 28:46; Psalm 71:7; Isaiah 8:18; 20:3; Ezekiel 12:6, 11; 24:24, 27; Zechariah 3:8). Sometimes it is an authenticating sign. The use of this word here in Exodus 11:9 has the bad sense meaning. God is saying He is going to act in such a way as to make Egypt a spectacular demonstration, or an object lesson of disobedience.
Actually, this is not the only time God taught Moses and Aaron this lesson. Exodus 7:3 was the first time God presented this lesson to them. There God says: "But I will harden Pharaoh's heart that I may multiply My signs and wonders in the land of Egypt." Please I want you to notice that this was before Moses and Aaron performed any sign in Egypt or before any of God's plagues came upon Egypt. How interesting is that! God first taught them before they faced the first enemy opposition. And just before His final plague, God repeated the lesson. You see, Moses and Aaron didn't quite get it the first time. You remember, how discouraged they were. Moses even expressed doubt in his call and mission to be used by God to deliver Israel from Egyptian slavery. So just before God ended His plagues on Egypt, He repeated the lesson. Opposition of the enemies of My people is simply an opportunity for Me to display My power and bring glory to Myself. How patient is our God! How persistent is our Lord! How persevering is our Shepherd in instructing us in His ways! Personally, I am very thankful that God doesn't give up on impressing His precious truths on our hearts.
This lesson is critical for every believer in Jesus Christ. When we are doing God's work God's way, we will certainly face opposition from the enemy. The Lord Jesus Himself said to His disciples in the upper room: "In this world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). His point is simply that opposition will come into the lives of His true followers. But they can be assured of this: they will overcome because He overcame all oppositions. Also, through the Holy Spirit, Paul said: "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). As believers in Christ who are obeying God, we will experience opposition. That's an established fact. But the question is: Do we have God's perspective on the oppositions we face in our Christian life? Opposition comes in all kinds of forms. Opposition will come from self-seekers and self-promoters in the church. These will be seeking to establish their own agenda in the church, not God's agenda. It's a real opposition for the godly leaders in the church. Opposition can also arise from your own family, your friends, your workplace, your school, your teammates, and of course, directly from the devil himself. How do you view such oppositions? A sign that God has abandoned you? A sign that God has withdrawn His assistance from you? Or as an opportunity for God to display His power on your behalf for the praise of His glory? Remember, encountering enemy opposition without this perspective is a recipe for doubt, despair, discouragement, despondency, depression, and defeat. Let the Holy Spirit impress upon your heart today, that, as a child of God, who is walking in obedience to God: opposition is simply is an opportunity for God to display His power on your behalf for the praise of His glory! If this lesson hasn't sunk in the first time for you, don't despair! God is incredibly patient. He will repeat the lesson for you until it is deeply impressed on your heart. Blessed be the name of the Lord!