They Did Jehovah’s Will
Moses and Aaron—Courageous Proclaimers of God’s Word
IMAGINE the scene: Eighty-year-old Moses and his brother, Aaron, are standing before the most powerful man on earth—Pharaoh of Egypt. To the Egyptians this man is more than a representative of the gods. They believe that he himself is a god. He is viewed as the very incarnation of Horus, a falcon-headed deity. Together with Isis and Osiris, Horus formed the principal trinity among Egypt’s gods and goddesses.
Anyone approaching Pharaoh could not help but notice the ominous figure of a cobra’s head projecting from the center of his crown. Supposedly, this serpent could spit out fire and destruction upon any of Pharaoh’s enemies. Now Moses and Aaron have come before this god-king with an unprecedented request—that he send the enslaved Israelites away so that they can hold a festival to their God, Jehovah.—Exodus 5:1.
Jehovah had already foretold that Pharaoh’s heart would be obstinate. Therefore, Moses and Aaron were not surprised at his defiant reply: “Who is Jehovah, so that I should obey his voice to send Israel away? I do not know Jehovah at all and, what is more, I am not going to send Israel away.” (Exodus 4:21; 5:2) Thus, the stage was set for a dramatic confrontation. During the next encounter, Moses and Aaron presented stunning evidence to Pharaoh that they represented the true and almighty God.
A Miracle Occurs
As instructed by Jehovah, Aaron performed a miracle that proved Jehovah’s supremacy over the gods of Egypt. He threw down his rod in front of Pharaoh, and immediately it became a big snake! Perplexed by this miracle, Pharaoh summoned his magic-practicing priests.* With the help of demon powers, these men were able to do something similar with their own rods.
If Pharaoh and his priests gloated, it was only for a moment. Picture their faces when Aaron’s snake swallowed up their snakes, one by one! All present could see that the Egyptian deities were no match for the true God, Jehovah.—Exodus 7:8-13.
Even after this, however, Pharaoh’s heart remained obstinate. Only after God brought ten devastating blows, or plagues, upon Egypt did Pharaoh finally tell Moses and Aaron: “Get up, get out from the midst of my people, both you and the other sons of Israel, and go, serve Jehovah, just as you have stated.”—Exodus 12:31.
Lessons for Us
What enabled Moses and Aaron to approach the powerful Pharaoh of Egypt? At first, Moses expressed a lack of confidence in his ability, claiming to be “slow of mouth and slow of tongue.” Even after being assured of Jehovah’s support, he begged: “Send, please, by the hand of the one whom you are going to send.” In other words, Moses pleaded that God send someone else. (Exodus 4:10, 13) Nevertheless, Jehovah used meek Moses, giving him the wisdom and the strength needed to carry out his assignment.—Numbers 12:3.
Today, servants of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ are carrying out the command to “make disciples of people of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:19, 20) To do our part in the fulfilling of this commission, we should make the best use of Scriptural knowledge and of any abilities we may possess. (1 Timothy 4:13-16) Instead of focusing on our inadequacies, let us accept with faith any assignment that God has given us. He can qualify and strengthen us to do his will.—2 Corinthians 3:5, 6; Philippians 4:13.
Since Moses was up against human and demonic opposition, he certainly needed superhuman help. Consequently, Jehovah assured him: “See, I have made you God to Pharaoh.” (Exodus 7:1) Yes, Moses had divine backing and authority. With Jehovah’s spirit upon him, Moses had no reason to fear Pharaoh or that proud ruler’s cohorts.
We too must rely on Jehovah’s holy spirit, or active force, to accomplish our ministry. (John 14:26; 15:26, 27) With divine backing we can echo the words of David, who sang: “In God I have put my trust. I shall not be afraid. What can earthling man do to me?”—Psalm 56:11.
In his compassion Jehovah did not leave Moses alone in his assignment. Rather, God said: “Aaron your own brother will become your prophet. You—you will speak all that I shall command you; and Aaron your brother will do the speaking to Pharaoh.” (Exodus 7:1, 2) How loving of Jehovah to work within the limits of what Moses could reasonably handle!
God provides us with an association of fellow Christians who accept the challenge of being Witnesses of Jehovah, the Most High. (1 Peter 5:9) Despite the obstacles we may encounter, therefore, let us be like Moses and Aaron—courageous proclaimers of God’s word.
The Hebrew word rendered “magic-practicing priests” refers to a group of sorcerers who claimed to possess supernatural powers beyond those of the demons. It was believed that these men could invoke the demons to obey and that the demons had no power over these sorcerers.
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Moses and Aaron courageously represented Jehovah before Pharaoh