When Moses first appeared before Pharaoh the first wonder GOD performed was turning the rod Aaron threw down into a serpent. Moses had been raised in the house of Pharaoh and is believed to have been taught the “magical arts” of the magicians in Pharaoh’s household. Knowing this, it is believed that Jannes and Jambres, the two main sorcerers (magicians) of Egypt were believed to have been prepared through their sorcery.
At that time, magicians were believed to be able to do enchantments on animals, particularly on reptiles. One of the enchantments was to charm serpents into a stiffened catatonic state where they would appear to be a staff or a rod. Some theologians believe that this is how Jannes and Jambres imitated GOD turning the rod Aaron cast down into a serpent. When the magicians did the same thing they cast an enchantment to awaken their serpents. This may have been the case here.
What troubles me about the above explanation is that so often modern people look for ways to explain away supernatural events, both of Almighty GOD, and of Satan. It may well have been as stated above concerning the magicians and their rods having been serpents charmed into a rigid (stiff) catatonic state. However, it may very well have also been by demonic power granted them by the gods they served. These gods would have been either the fallen Watchers, angels sent to watch over mankind before the Great Flood that taught mankind all sorts of hidden knowledge not intended for mankind to possess (at least not yet), or the disembodied spirits of the Watchers’ children, the Nephilim, which were destroyed in the Great Flood. These beings, along with the return of giants after the flood may have been the powerful beings which served as the gods of the pagan nations.
Either way, by demonic power actually turning rods into serpents or by enchanting serpents in order to deceitfully appear as rods and waking them up, the magicians did imitate the power of Almighty GOD, which would have been seen by Pharaoh as enough reason to not submit to the demand of Almighty GOD because of the perceived equality of Pharaoh’s gods and Almighty GOD. Notice however, that Almighty GOD had the last say in this encounter as the serpent that the rod Aaron cast down became swallowed up the other serpents. This was a sign that the power of Almighty GOD was greater than the power of the Egyptians’ gods; that the light of Almighty GOD would swallow up the darkness of the gods of the Egyptians, of those who would oppose Almighty GOD and oppress His people.
This sign was a rather gentle attempt by Almighty GOD to persuade the Egyptians to recognize that His Almighty Power was greater than the power of their gods. This initial sign was an act of mercy and grace toward the Egyptians, and a direct challenge to the spirits serving (ruling) as their gods.
Today, mankind often imitates the things of Almighty GOD, thinking their appearance of well doing can be enough to get them to heaven, but without actually submitting to Almighty GOD they are still serving Satan, the god of this world, and deceiving themselves; regardless of whether they realize it or intend it to be so.
Almighty GOD has thrown down the challenge to every person on this earth. Will each of us attempt to imitate His challenge, or will we recognize WHO HE IS and submit to Him? Each one of us must make that choice and act upon that choice for ourselves. What is your choice?