I was flipping through the channels and came across this TV show, in progress. I could only stand 3 minutes of it, literally. My wife, in the other room, heard me repeatedly yelling out loud phrases like, "you've got to be kidding", "this is ridiculous", "what?!!!", "give me a break", "I can't believe what I'm hearing!"
When she came into the room to see what was going on, I reversed my DVR to show her the 3 minute segment I had just watched. The show was called "Secrets Of The Bible - The Staff Of Moses", on AHCTV, originally aired 12/14/14. It was obviously a rerun, but it was the first time I saw it. I don't usually watch TV documentaries concerning the Bible because they drive me crazy on how inaccurate and misleading most of them are. Oh, they look good with nice visual effects. And they sound good with dramatic music. But don't let that fool you. They usually totally misrepresent the Bible. As far as this show, it didn't take me long to see the problem.
I'm going to give you direct quotes from the short 3-minute segment I saw. When I tuned in, the narrator was talking about the staff of Moses. Describing the staff, he said, "it becomes Moses' supernatural weapon." Supernatural weapon? You've got to be kidding. Then right after that he said, "if we are to believe what we're told in the Old Testament, the staff of Moses became the most powerful artifact in History." Then, talking about Moses' confrontation with Pharaoh, the narrator said, "time and time again, Moses uses his staff to threaten him."
Do you see what is being implied here? Do you see the problem with this show's narrative? God is taken right out of the picture. It's not God performing the miracles through Moses, but this show is attributing everything to the physical staff of Moses!
I wasn't just imagining that. It wasn't because I was over critical. It really became clear in the next clip I saw. It was a brief commentary by Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulo, of the University of Exeter. Her credentials sound really impressive, don't they? Here is her direct quote, "Moses is a ritual(?) specialist. He pulls out all sorts of magical tricks to try to intimidate Pharaoh."
What!? Magical tricks? Give me a break! The plagues aren't magical tricks - they are miracles by the power of God. Moses is not a magician. God is displaying His power and will through Moses. The truth is, for every plague, God tells Moses ahead of time exactly what He is going to do. For each miracle, God commands Moses what to do and say. It's not Moses who's in control. It's not Moses who has the power. And it's certainly not the staff that is some sort of magical wand. But that's exactly what this show's narrative implies.
Then the narrator continued, "but then Moses says, 'I can do far more with this staff'". Stop! Wait a minute! Did you catch that quote? "I can do far more with this staff." Where does he get this? Let me know if you can find this quote from Moses in the Bible. You can't! For one thing, Moses would never say that. It would be blasphemy against God - against acknowledging the sovereignty of God. And to usurp such power from God, and attribute it to himself would have dire consequences for Moses. Moses, as well as the staff, could do absolutely nothing without God. Moses would never boast those words.
I could hardly stand it, but I let the show run another minute or so. Here's what I heard the narrator say next, "Moses unleashed plagues of hail and darkness." Let me ask you, who unleashed the plagues? Moses or God?
About 3 minutes into the clip came the coup de gras - the grand finale - the finishing blow as far as I was concerned. I could stand it no more after I heard this statement from the narrator when he described the splitting of the Red Sea. "Once again Moses' staff comes to the rescue. It's the most amazing display of power in the Old Testament."
Hold it!!! Moses' staff comes to the rescue? Really? Wow. I'm in awe of his staff. Think of what it could do if we had this magical staff today! Think of it's power. The wizardry of Moses is amazing! Not!!!!!!!!!!
Remember, this all occurred in just a 3 minute segment!!! I wouldn't dare guess how the show went after that, but I can imagine.
Here's my advice to you, and to the narrators of this show. Read Exodus chapters 7 through 11 for yourself!!! And see what conclusions you make about God, about Moses, and about the staff. And here's another piece of advice if you watch any of these TV Bible shows. Be skeptical of what they are portraying as truth.
I feel better now. I got this one off my chest. This show segment drove me nuts. I hope it would do the same for you too.