Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 18 Number 12 December 2016
Page 6

The Egyptian Serpent

Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorterYou are probably familiar with the recording of Moses and the plagues on Egypt. God sent Moses to confront Pharaoh and bring Israel out of Egypt. Aaron was sent as Moses’ spokesman. In Exodus 7, God told Moses and Aaron that Aaron would perform a miracle in front of Pharaoh to prove that they were sent by God. Aaron was to throw his rod down and it was to become a serpent. When the time came, indeed, Aaron threw his rod on the ground and it became a serpent. Pharaoh called his wise men and sorcerers, and they did the same thing with their rods. Their rods became serpents. However, then, something marvelous happened. Aaron’s serpent ate up all of the Egyptians’ serpents. The Egyptian sorcerers were known for doing magic tricks with serpents. They could make serpents stiffen up and become like rods. It was not unusual for them to do such tricks as making a rod turn into a serpent. God knew this. Moses knew this because he had been reared as a Pharaoh’s grandson. Yet, it was not normal for a foreigner’s serpent to swallow up the Egyptian sorcerers’ serpents.

It should be understood that the serpent was a sacred symbol to the Egyptians. Pharaoh had a serpent on his crown. The Hebrew word used in Exodus 7:9-10, tannin, was the word for this serpent. This Hebrew word was not used in Exodus 7:15, in reference to when Moses threw his rod down in front of the burning bush, and it was turned into a serpent, nachash (Exodus 4:3). The fact that different Hebrew words were used for the two instances shows that God intended for us to know that the miracle in front of Pharaoh was expected to make a point against Egypt’s religious beliefs. God is the only God.

I am glad that God gave us the Bible so that we can read and study about His creation and His will for man. I know you want to learn all you can about our wonderful God. Keep reading and studying. Obey Him. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Disorders in Singing

Jack Gilchrist

Jack GilchristThe Christian is commanded to sing: “but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18b-20). Sometimes it is concerning how Christians sing. Many Christians think their singing is approved just because it is a cappella, but this is not the case. Singing a cappella is important, but if that is the only thing a Christian is doing to make sure he is singing correctly, he is not doing enough.

As with all acts of worship, it is a Christian’s duty to make sure that he is worshiping correctly. David was very conscientious of the way he worshiped. In Psalms, he spoke of his excitement to worship: “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’” (122:1). David worshiped in song, and the songs were focused on God, but David did not think just making sure the songs were focused on God was enough. He wanted to worship with enthusiasm as well as with reverent devotion.

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. (Psalm 95:1-6)

It has been a personal privilege to serve God by leading in the worship service. When leading a worship service, one is able to see things going on among the worshipers. While the majority of people do seem to be focusing on their worship to God, some do not. This is evident while leading singing. There are at least three disorders that affect the singing in Christian worship, and the hope is that identifying them will encourage all to focus more during worship to God.

First, some have Small Mouth Disease. It is interesting that this does not affect the conversational ability of those affected, but only the singing ability. When a song is started, the infected individual’s mouth shrinks so that it is hard for a sound of praise to escape. The remedy to this is realizing that we are singing for God. He is the audience of our worship, so we are obligated to sing out to Him.

Second, some have a Quietological Disorder. Again, this does not affect the conversational ability. Like Small Mouth Disease, hardly a sound of praise is heard from those infected, though they are opening up their mouths. One might guess they are self-conscious of the sounds that would come out of their mouths if they allowed themselves to be heard. Those who are afflicted with this disorder need to be reminded that God is not concerned with the quality of our singing, but He commands us to make a joyful noise to Him (Psalm 100:1).

Last, some have Uninteresteditis. These individuals look like they are being tortured at worship, if they are awake. Their actions seem to show that they are not putting God first. Upon viewing them in worship, one would be discouraged and hope that their pain would stop. The remedy to this is to come to worship excited and prepared to praise God.

I hope that we can take care of these disorders in our singing. It is a gift to have the ability to sing. Ask anyone who cannot speak. We have the ability to speak in song to God about how great He is. Let us take advantage of this by giving our best effort in worship.

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