Foolish Pharoah

Scripture Reading — Exodus 5:1-2

Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.” — Exodus 5:2

Moses has had a first-class education in the ways of God. He spent his earliest years in the home of his biological family, learning about hardship and about God’s providence. He then grew up in Pharaoh’s household, learning the ways of Egypt and of power. The transition to exile in Midian taught Moses patience and humility. There were also some leadership lessons for Moses during his forty years of tending his father-in-law’s sheep. There are some similarities between sheep and people, after all.

Pharaoh could use a few lessons. The foolish man thinks he’s in charge! This is a fundamental mistake that is so deeply woven into Pharaoh’s soul that it will take ten plagues and much distress to unravel it.

What must Moses have thought when he heard Pharaoh’s foolish reply to the words of God? Did Moses leave Pharaoh’s presence shaking his head, remembering what had happened when he himself had acted as if he were in charge (see Exodus 2:11-15)? Did Moses feel sorry for foolish Pharaoh? 

Hopefully Moses thought, “Thank you, God, for teaching me. I would be where Pharaoh is today if it were not for the education you gave me.” 

God is educating you too, teaching you about himself, his world, and your place in it. Are you listening?

Prayer

Lord, help me to learn the lessons you have for me. Fill my soul with your truth that sets me free to listen and to serve you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.