- Moses tells Pharoah that all of the people and all of their flocks must leave Egypt to go to the wilderness in order to hold a feast to the LORD, the God of Israel, because God commanded them to do so. Pharoah retaliates by saying, "Who is this God? I don't know the LORD!" (5:1-2)
- After the 4th plague Pharoah is a bit worried but thinks he can bargain by allowing them the option of offering their sacrifices as long as they do so without leaving Egypt. In other words, he felt he was being magnanimous by giving them a holiday off of work to partake of a mere religious display. Everything would then resume an air of normality.
- Prior to the 7th plague is the warning from in chapter 9 mentioned above. Those who refused to listen lost livestock and workers in a terrible hailstorm that is the plague #7. Pharoah stubbornly refuses to yield.
- After the 8th plague, Pharoah's servants try to reason with him, fearing the total destruction of Egypt. They beg Pharoah to allow the Israelites to leave. Pharoah tries to broker another bargain. What if he allows only the men to leave but not the children? By holding the children as bargaining chips (hostages) he can guarantee that the adult workers will return.
- After the 9th plague Pharoah agrees that the children can go, too, but the Israelites must leave behind all of their livestock. In other words, the people can go through their superstitious religious rituals if they must but no way this God person should have any claim upon possessions!
Only after the most drastic means necessary does God get Pharoah's attention. God has the authority over everything including life itself. How silly we humans are to think we can hold anything back from him, and yet, in some way, I think I do so every day of my life. Has God ever commanded you to do something that you didn't want to do? Maybe we're a lot more like Pharoah than we want to believe. Next time you find yourself hearing God tell you to do something that you don't want to do pay attention to the ways you try to bargain with Him. See if you follow the steps of Pharoah:
- Who are you, God? What right do you have to ask this of me?
- How about I just attend Sunday church services even if I don't really put my heart into it? I'm pretty comfortable right where I am thankyouverymuch.
- I know you're God and all, but really, shouldn't you just stay in the church where you belong? No need for you to concern yourself with the things I do on my own time.
- Well, okay, I'll teach my children about you, Lord. After all, I want them to know enough about you to get a ticket to heaven, but I sure don't want them to be weird or something. What would the neighbors think?
- You want my finances, too? Seriously, God. Don't you think you're going just a bit too far?
Who is the king of your life? Okay, I'm done preaching at us. Hope you have a wonderful week with the Lord and His word.
Schedule for February 1-7, 2010