Gotcha!

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Anyone remember this song?

Annie: Anything you can do I can do better
... I can do anything better than you
Frank: No, you can't
Annie: Yes, I can
Frank: No, you can't
Annie: Yes, I can
Frank: No, you can't
Annie: Yes, I can, yes, I can

Frank: Anything you can be I can be greater
... Sooner or later I'm greater than you
Annie: No, you're not
Frank: Yes, I am
Annie: No, you're not
Frank: Yes, I am
Annie: No, you're not
Frank: Yes, I am, yes I am


I had no idea it had so many verses, (there are many more) but where two people are trying to compete for supremacy, the “I can…no, I can do better” may go on for a long, long time.

When we get to Exodus 8 we find ourselves well into the story of the acts of judgment that God brought upon the people of Egypt. Up until now the Hebrews have suffered along with the Egyptians. That is about to change.

But something else is about to change as well. As the chapter opens we find ourselves in the midst of froggie heaven (or the opposite) as the Lord sends frogs to invade the land. They are in the closets, cupboards, croakpots (er, crockpots), baths and beds. Up until now Pharaoh’s magicians have used their black arts to produce the same miracles. Anything Moses can do they feel they also need to do to prove that the gods of Egypt are just as powerful as the God of the Hebrews who is demanding that His people be allowed to leave Egypt.

After the frogs came gnats (8:16-19). A gnat resembles a mosquito and often bites like one too! But now the story changes. “But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not. And the gnats were on men and animals. The magicians said to Pharaoh, ‘This is the finger of God’” (8:18).

Gotcha!

Sometimes the smartest thing we can do is to admit defeat. When it came to challenging God, the Egyptian magicians would have been wise to quit right from the get-go. That same advice would have proven good for Pharaoh as well. The magicians figured it out eventually. Pharaoh, at this point still able to make a wise choice, chose to ignore their conclusion.

This is the finger of God.

I love “finger.” It’s not even a hand, it’s a finger. When He acts, God never even has to “break a sweat” as the saying goes. The magicians realized they were dealing with Someone far greater than they could ever hope to be—and they wisely acknowledged that fact.

The “I can do it better than you” mentality turns up everywhere—from the highest authorities in the land to the lowliest kid in the sandbox.

And then God moves a finger and changes the game.

I don’t know about you, but I am very grateful that my God does that. I am grateful that He does everything better than anyone else. I sleep better at night knowing that what David says in Psalm 121 is true:

"I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."

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