“For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.” (Exodus 7:12)
Like the future image of the beast, which will seem to have life, these magician-induced serpents can only have been “lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Neither men nor demons can really create life; this is a prerogative of God alone, who “created every living creature” (Genesis 1:21). However, both human magicians and demons can generate hypnotic mental states and occult hallucinations which ungodly people like Pharaoh may be deceived into seeing as real physical entities. When their demonstration was over, however, nothing was left. Even their rods (not “serpents”) were gone, for Aaron’s genuine serpent had made a meal of them. In a true miracle of creation, Aaron’s God had transmuted the dead atoms of a wooden stick (just as He later made it to produce blossoms and almonds, Numbers 17:8) into a living serpent, capable of consuming other sticks which only appeared to be serpents.
The deception of the magicians was revealed when they were unable later to imitate Moses’ miracle of turning dust into lice throughout the land of Egypt (Exodus 8:18). Interestingly, many people believed for many centuries that similar phenomena—which they called “spontaneous generation”—occurred naturalistically, but this notion was scientifically demolished by Pasteur over a hundred years ago. Only the living God can create life!
The miracle of Aaron’s rod is also a parable. Aaron’s rod of life took on the nature of the serpent, just as Christ was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). But then it swallowed up the other serpent-rods, and the sting of “that old serpent” was put away. Thus, “death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). HMM