Exodus 3:19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.
20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.
21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:
22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.
The devil is a liar and a murderer. He is a fighter, but his fight is a futile effort. All people are born lost sinners and as such are heavily influenced by the devil. Wars and fighting are the result of following the devil. It is interesting how many people will follow the devil’s lies and will fight over foolish things, and yet when it comes to choosing to follow God, they are complete pacifists. They think there is nothing they can do about life’s choices and they like to sound very spiritual and suggest that God is in charge and we will leave it at that.
As we look at our text today we see that God told Moses that He knew how Pharaoh would respond to His demand. He was sure that Pharaoh would not let them go. He was sure that even though God would do mighty deeds in the land, yet Pharaoh would not let them go. The people we have described in the opening paragraph of this devotional will look at this and use it to support their ungodly pacifist and careless attitude toward God. It is that “se la vie” “what will be will be” attitude. God teaches us throughout His Word to trust Him. He tells us as well that He is in charge. He also tells us to put on the whole armour of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
What God was telling Moses in verse 19 and what He wants us to know today, is that He knows us better then we know ourselves. The proud arrogance that we are born with needs to be crushed. We need to come to understand that we are nothing without knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
In that very same passage where Jesus declares that we can do nothing without Him, He also declares that His children need to bear much fruit. True Christians cannot have that careless “what will be will be” attitude. True Christians need to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. True Christians understand that with all their efforts, God is in charge of the increase.
What Moses needed to learn is that Pharaoh was a stubborn, wicked man who would put up a real fight. God knew that because He sees the heart of man. I have heart trouble. I have had cat scans and angiograms and EKG’s. The doctors are trying to address the issues I have. With the best equipment they have, they cannot fix my heart. They think they are addressing some of the trouble. They have given me stents and they have prescribed pills for me. They have proven to me that they cannot fix my problem. I am content to live with the new limitations I have. I pray and ask God for strength and for wisdom for the doctors. I also ask for healing. God is the “great physician”. He knows all about my situation. He knows all about your situation as well. God is far more concerned about our spiritual heart. That is the real need of man.
God cleansed my spiritual heart a number of years ago. Since that time He has been working on me to help me to see the importance of behaving more and more like I should with a new heart. I cannot just sit back and expect that He is going to change me without my effort. Salvation is 100% a gift of God. I did nothing to save myself. God saved me. I simply believed Him and turned to Him in repentance and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ to save me. He forgave my sin. He gave me eternal life. He gave me the Holy Spirit to indwell me. He has given me the power to become a son of God. All the changes that are of any value in my life have come because He enabled me to make them. I need to be willing to listen to Him and make the changes He is telling me to make. If I don’t He will chasten me. He does that because He loves me and He wants me to know His blessings.
God knows the heart of every lost person as well. He knows just how stubborn that person is. He knows every minute detail of every person. He has given every person a free will. He gave Adam a free will. Adam was made without a sin nature. Adam knew nothing about sin. He knew he was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He knew that the day he would eat of that fruit, he would die. He had all he needed to choose to listen to God’s wise counsel. However, Adam chose to reject God’s wise counsel and He chose to listen to a lie.
Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
God knows the nature of every person from their youth. That does not mean that we have no choice in our destination. That does not mean we cannot be saved and we cannot glorify God by submitting to Him and knowing His blessings.
In our text, Pharaoh had every opportunity he needed to repent toward God and be saved. He would soon witness the mighty hand of God in various ways. He would learn that his false gods were no match for the true God. He would witness all that, and yet he would stubbornly insist that he was wiser than the all knowing and all powerful God. Pharaoh was a fool. He was not forced into his position. He chose to develop a philosophy of life that was in complete rejection of the true God. He would try to play a game with God and eventually he would lose his life over his foolishness. Many others would also lose their lives by following his foolishness.
I am thankful that God saved me. He gave me all I needed to know to be saved. He showed me that my life was a train-wreck. He showed me I was headed for hell. When I finally was broken, He saved me by His mercy and grace. I am thankful that He knows all about me. He knows what I can do. After He saved me He has never given up on working on me to make me more like He designed me to be.
That is what God was doing in Moses’ life. That is what He wanted Pharaoh to see as a lost man. Moses chose to listen to God and he was changed over time. Pharaoh chose to reject God and He was also changed over time. He grew harder and harder against God and he is suffering in hell this very day and he will continue to suffer there until the day of the great white throne judgment and then he will be brought before that mighty throne and he will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ. The books will be opened and Pharaoh will be reminded of all the opportunities he was given to repent and be saved. He will be reminded of all the foolish rejection he chose against God. Having been reminded of all that, he will be sentenced to eternity in the lake of fire.
In today’s passage God shows us that He knows everything and even though Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt would not listen to Him, God would use them to bless Israel with things. These blessings were minor in comparison with the great blessings that God wanted to give Israel. He also wanted to bless Egypt. Keep in mind that He sent Joseph into Egypt some 400 years prior to this to show that Pharaoh and all the people that He is the true God. Joseph testified very clearly that it was the true God that gave Pharaoh the interpretation of his dream. It was the true God that gave Joseph the wisdom to gather the right amount of food over a seven year period and then distribute that food properly over the next seven year period of severe drought. That Pharaoh and all the people of Egypt knew there was a God in heaven they needed to know. We also know that the next Pharaoh was a lazy and careless man. He did not review the history of his own nation. He rejected all the good that Joseph had brought to his land. He governed as if there were no true God. Obviously the people also chose to reject the true God. They chose to follow their foolish leader. That was the pattern over the past 400 years. Sadly, even the majority of the nation of Israel chose to reject the true God. They knew they should cry to Him when they were oppressed. It is so common that when great trouble comes, it is classified as “an act of God”. Yet most people never realize the need to humble themselves and to turn to the true God and be saved and then serve Him.
I trust that those who read this devotional will let God show them His glory and His power and that each person would know His forgiveness and peace in their heart. Don’t be stubborn and foolish like this Pharaoh in our text. Listen to the God of the Bible. This Pharaoh had his magicians. There are many “magicians” today who stand in pulpits and they write books and they want to influence people’s lives. They try to duplicate what only the true God can do. Sometimes God allows them to duplicate a form of some of His acts. However, He always shows them that His real acts are superior to their fakes. Even Pharaoh’s magicians would come to see that they were no match for the true God. Yet they did not turn to the true God. Pharaoh did not turn to the true God. Many within the nation of Egypt did not turn to the true God. What a tragedy.
God tells us that stubbornness is as the sin of witchcraft. He can break it, but it is powerful. Listen to God today and don’t play around with Him. You will be the loser if you do.