We read in these chapters of the plagues sent by God upon the Egyptians. I found some interesting thoughts in my Bible’s comments as I read through these chapters.
When God turned Moses’ staff into a snake, when he turned the Nile waters to blood & when he bought on the plague of frogs, Pharaoh’s magicians did the same thing with their sorcery.
It is really somewhat comical considering their magic really just added to the problem (I mean really, they brought in more frogs – as if they needed that!). Anyway, my point being, that if they really had been as powerful as God, they would have reversed the plagues, not added to them.
We cannot discount Satan’s power though. Satan can imitate parts of God’s work & lead people astray. We need to base our faith on the Word of God & not on miracles we see (& recognize that no miracle from God would endorse a message contrary to his teaching).
Praise God, though, that our God is bigger! “The magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God” (Ex 8:19). That gave me chills when I read it. For all the confidence placed in the magicians & sorcerers, they recognized that their power was limited (Satan will never overpower our God).
In 8:25-29, Pharaoh is willing to allow the Hebrews to sacrifice to God, but only if they would do it nearby. God had required, though, that the Hebrews leave Egypt. Moses could have compromised on this, thinking that it would be better to sacrifice to God in the wrong place than not at all. But Moses was committed to God & knew that this was not acceptable.
We are sometimes pushed to compromise & give only partial obedience (or maybe, convince ourselves that the Bible doesn't exactly say that I can’t do ______, or search it to find just the right verse to make what we’re doing okay). But, commitment & obedience to God can't be negotiated & half-way isn't good enough.
In chapter 9, Moses goes back to Pharaoh with the 5th, 6th, & 7th plagues. By this time, if Moses wasn't discouraged, I know I sure would have been! He was probably wondering how much longer this would have to go on, but he continued to obey.
When it feels like we are facing the same difficulty over & over again, we need to keep going & follow God through it.