Day 8

Pharaoh’s Resistance to God

from the reading plan

Exodus 9:13-35, Exodus 10:1-20, Romans 9:14-24

It was clear to everyone around him, except for “Josh,” that he was in outright rebellion against the one true God and His Word. His life was being unraveled, blow-by-blow, in chaos and destruction. So many people in his life prayed and wondered, is there any hope? Will he ever take God seriously and bow the knee to King Jesus?

His story is not uncommon. In fact, it resembles one of the most notorious incidents of rebellion against God’s Word in the Old Testament. In Exodus, we are told that when Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, refused to let the Israelites out of slavery, God sent His mediator Moses to speak on His behalf: “This is what the LORD says: Let my people go…” (Exodus 8:1).

However, at every turn Pharaoh refused God’s Word. In response, Exodus 7–8 narrates a divine war, a blow-for-blow account between the king of Egypt and the God of Israel. As Pharaoh raged his fists at the one true God, God unleashed plagues that systematically unraveled creation order in Egypt—from the sky to the water, to the land, to mankind, to animals, and even to plant life.

The creation order of life established in Genesis 1 was being unraveled, namely to demonstrate that the Lord is great and mighty, above all gods and kings. With each plague, Pharaoh had the opportunity to heed God’s Word and allow the chaos and destruction to cease. In the end, Pharaoh continued his rebellion unto defeat, while the God of Israel remained standing, as the true sovereign God over all.

As we journey through this Lenten season, it is important to remember that there is hope for “Josh,” and everyone else living in rebellion against God. We must allow our hope to be bolstered in Jesus Christ, a far greater mediator and deliverer than Moses could ever be (Acts 3:22,7:37, Hebrews 3:3). As the resurrected Christ, He has defeated a rule of slavery far greater than Pharoah’s—He has defeated sin and death. 

One of God’s great mercies is that He uses great unravelings in our own lives to bring us to a place of humility and repentance. Some people do not take God seriously until they see how serious their sin is. It is strange to think that God can, and sometimes does, use the destruction brought about by sin as a wake-up call. But each blow could be an invitation to bow to the true King. The choice is simple: continue unraveling into the chaos and destruction of rebellion, or repent and bow our knee to the one true God.

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