Exodus 5:2 (HCSB)
2 But Pharaoh responded, “Who is Yahweh that I should obey Him by letting Israel go? I do not know anything about Yahweh, and besides, I will not let Israel go.”
Moses and Aaron confront Pharaoh. Scripture is silent on how they even gained an audience with Pharaoh, but the point is not how, but what happens when they do. The message God had given Moses to convey back in Exodus 3:18 is delivered. And Pharaoh’s response is key.
Pharaoh conveys his lack of “knowing” God. And when we do not know God, we tend to place someone, or something, often ourselves, in that spot that God is designed to be in: the head of our lives. It is obvious Pharaoh has bought into the idea that he is god, whether that be of his own delusion, or the culture that he was in. And this seems clear by his response. Why should Pharaoh the god obey the Israelite God? He doesn’t “know” God, he’ unfamiliar with Him, and Pharaoh does not care what God wants, he will not let his slaves go free.
When we do not know God there is a defiance against God’s ways, and a disconnect from His concerns. The word of God certainly carries no weight when He is unknown to us. Just look at the fact that what is asked for in Exodus 5:3 is a three day trip to sacrifice to God, else the Israelites might suffer from His wrath. But Pharaoh has no concern for God’s people, nor God’s desires. His concern is his own agenda, his construction projects. Forget three days away from work, and Moses and Aaron are nothing more than deterrents to the enslaved continuing to do god Pharaoh’s bidding.
We need to be careful to keep God first in our lives, as King. It is easy to be consumed with work, both professional and family and friends related tasks, but we should never place our desires over that of God. Not just in our own lives, causing distance between us and God, but in others as well, lest we become more like Pharaoh serving ourselves rather than God.
Lord, thank You for being God! We make crappy gods, despite our continual efforts to be them. I pray for the clarity and humbleness to follow You alone, not myself. Amen.