“Exposing the Exodus”
The Deliberate Defiance – (Chapter 9 Verses 8-12)
What about us, where do we fit into all this? The rottenness that is eating into the very foundations of our society today, even the liberals are worried. That in itself tells you something. The brutality and the ferocity we are faced with in the nation, there is no safety anywhere. All that’s worrying enough, but what’s even more worrying is that they are absolutely clear there is no place for God. No place for godliness, all God-consciousness has been eradicated from our nation. This is what we have been given over to (Romans 1:18ff). To bring God into the equation they would say would be a contradiction of their perceived freedom, they don’t want that. And that is the hardening that you see here in Egypt that led to the judgment of God. Not even a disease that affects their health and wealth shifts them one iota. God is speaking loudly and clearly but they are stone deaf to his voice. May God have mercy upon our own land in this generation. Now coming back to verses six and seven as I intended. See the continuing and deliberate defiance of Pharaoh (v6-7). The Jewish Rabbis of a later generation wrote about this Pharaoh, they described him as the greatest fool that ever lived. That’s quite an epitaph. It would suit our generation also. In an age when agnosticism has turned to ignosticism. The former is not sure, the latter is, he just simply ignores God. That’s what Pharaoh does in spite of the evidence of the reality of God’s acts of justice. This and other recorded acts of divine judgments are an assurance to us all of the coming day of judgment. The Day of the Lord, a terrible and awful day that will be for unbelievers. Added to all this Pharaoh is given a front-row seat before all the mighty signs and wonders that God performs. He even sends an investigative team to examine the matter of the cattle (v7). And it is just as Moses told him it would be, they return to their king amazed at what they had found (v7). And still he remains defiant. It’s not unusual for a skeptic to investigate God.
However, there is a definite alternative to Pharaoh’s attitude here. The attitude that belongs to God’s people, humble submission to God’s dealings with us. Think of the example of Job in the midst of all his sufferings? Or king David’s suffering as a result of his own sin in the affair with Bathsheba? He didn’t complain, he repented, but he also submitted to God’s pronouncement of nothing but family trouble the rest of his days. Whatever God brings upon us in this life beloved, it is always much, much less than we deserve. Sometimes it’s for reasons we don’t know, only God knows. But each and every occasion is a renewed occasion to repent and to know a renewed time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. There are times when we make the wrong choices but it’s how we deal with the fallout that matters. In humble submission to God. We are most surely forgiven but we have sometimes to live with the consequences of our sin. If we are truly dead to sin and self and alive to and in Christ then we have the victory. That’s the alternative to Pharaoh’s way. That’s the key to the victory over suffering however or why ever it comes to us. But for the believer the day is coming when the curse will be gone forever. Heaven is not a second best, why O why do we cling to this world, unwilling to part with it? Heaven is the best! “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:21, 23). Better, better! He says. But it is Christ alone who can take us there. “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:37-39).
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)