“Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.” (Exodus 4:8-9)
The miraculous and rather dramatic signs that were demonstrated for Moses were not just for Moses; they were intended to be signs to the Hebrew people and ones that, we presume, would convince them that the time of their deliverance had come. Even if everyone didn’t believe after witnessing the first sign (the rod becoming a serpent), they would hopefully believe after seeing the second (leprosy cleansed).
Unfortunately, there were some who still would not believe until water was turned into blood, the first of the ten plagues. Even then, some didn’t believe because no distinction was placed between Israel and Egypt until after the third plague hinting that many were still servants to the gods of Egypt (see Ezekiel 20). Suffice it to say that God’s people have a history of doubting that the Almighty will do what He said He would do. Furthermore, His people are quite unwilling, at times, to rid themselves of the familiar in favor of what He wishes to do in their lives.
It was no different when Messiah walked the earth. As He went about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,” though many believed, many more did not. Not even the announcement, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” moved them to believe their redemption was at hand. Several of the miracles that Messiah performed were done specifically as a sign to the leaders and the people that the promised Messiah was among them.
One such sign was the healing of a leper because, in the history of Israel, no Israeli man had ever been healed of leprosy and subsequently offered the gift that Moses prescribed. For a man to appear at the Temple in order to do this was considered to be a sign that the Messiah had come. Of course, this is exactly what happened according to Matthew 8:1-4; Messiah healed the leprous man and then told him to go to Jerusalem to offer the gift of one healed of leprosy. As would be expected, it triggered a lot of discussion and, very soon thereafter, leaders of the nation showed up to investigate the rabbi from Nazareth. Unfortunately, many still refused to believe He was the Messiah.
Yeshua addressed the people of His day and their lack of belief in spite of the signs given to them saying, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3). Because they could not — or would not — things that were supposed to happen didn’t and things that could have been avoided befell them. The point, then, let us not be so stubborn and unwilling to believe that God will do what He said He would do. Let us not be so dull of hearing that we can’t recognize His voice. Let us not be so blind that we cannot see what is happening beyond the day’s headlines. Let us be sensitive to His voice and quick to believe in all that the Scriptures have foretold. If we believe that our redemption is at hand, then it is imperative that we have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is doing in this time.
Blessings and Shalom,