“Exposing the Exodus”
The First Confrontation – (Chapter 5 Verses 1-9)
The previous chapter ended with a spirit of worship, excitement and expectation, and so it should have. Perhaps with Moses and Aaron there was more of a spirit of realism. The people had not as yet been instructed by or about God yet, his ways and the magnitude of the task that lay ahead of them. For example what it takes to change human nature, and the awful judgment that is to fall upon the Egyptians. Thus far everyone just seems to fall into line, Moses, Aaron, the elders and now the people. Did they think it would be the same with Pharaoh? Some see a blasphemous sarcasm in Pharaoh’s response. Maybe he is just making it in plain, simple sincere ignorance, stating his philosophy of religion? To begin with anyway. I mean he is a died-in-the-wool humanist, big time. I mean he really does believe that the State is it, the ultimate authority, the supreme law-maker and giver. And as the head the State he is in the place of God. So when he says “who is the Lord,” he means it. He doesn’t know it yet, nor is he ready to acknowledge that there is a higher being than he. There are many whose philosophy of religion is no different to Pharaoh’s in our world today, including the West. The situation worsens, Moses is shaken and seems to get lost in the shuffle, midst all the commands and counter-pleas. By the end of the chapter he seems lost and confused.
What was Moses thinking? Did he think that Pharaoh would just simply and immediately do the Lord’s bidding? Is he thinking, “this isn’t the way it is supposed to pan out.” It’s not until chapter six that Moses begins to get it together. When begins to gain the strength, the power, needed for this monumental work he has been caught up into, the redemptive and judgmental works of God. Both he and the people of Israel have a lot to learn, as we all do, and we need to learn fast, it’s God’s work, not ours. We are simply the instruments that God chooses to use. Men are ever seeking a god that they can use, not a God who uses them. The God of the Bible is an offence to Pharaoh, and to natural man today, human nature has not changed one degree, for the same reason. Of course many of us identify with Moses and Aaron here. When we first started into our Christian service or ministry, we had a somewhat romantic view of it all. We thought sinners would fall at our feet, or before the Lord, only to willing to hear, to repent and believe the gospel. It wasn’t long before we too realised just what it takes to bring a sinner to that place. More power than we’ve got, that’s for sure. Salvation is of the Lord.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)