By Richard Lodwick
Exodus 10:21-29 (KJB) And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: 23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. 24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. 25 And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. 26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither. 27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. 28 And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die. 29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.
We need to maintain a look at what happened then, and use that example to view our day! Now, I know I say this often, but it must be repeated lest we fall into the trap of the wonderful smile and Utopian promises! Men, especially powerful men, and ungodly powerful men, never change. Power is an aphrodisiac & absolute power corrupts absolutely!
In the face of this frightening judgment, Pharaoh once again, and with the further harm of his people not considered, attempts to finagle another compromise with Moses and God. At this point, I want to say out loud, “Pharaoh, are you serious? Are you kidding me?” Are you seeing the pride here? Did you have any idea pride was so deep and so strong?
Pharaoh says leave your flocks and herds. What then will they sacrifice? What would they eat? What does he care? Also, it is clear that Pharaoh didn’t want them too FAR away… nor very LONG away! I see a hostage situation here. I also think of the word “control.” Know this: No despotic power, ever, just let a slave, labor producing people go, or lets them out of his control, apart from a rescue from another invading power, or the moving of God. I say again folks, nothing has changed in the hearts of men! And, ungodly men, in governments, are at the whim of the evil one! And, if you think this is an overreach, to insinuate that Satan has control over governments, read well Matthew 4 and Ezekiel 28, for starters. Add to this most of Revelation from chapter 4 on!
Now, can you see Pharaoh’s anger here, as Moses says, “No.” If you doubt it, look carefully at Pharaoh’s next statement. The calm firmness of Moses provoked the tyrant. Frantic with disappointment and rage, with offended and desperate malice, he ordered him from his presence and forbade him ever to return. Don’t let me see your face again! If I do, you’ll die. Be very careful threatening God’s man. It may be God’s will that His man DOES die, but O, the consequences God exacts on the one whom He lets kill him! God used numerous nations in the O.T. to judge His people, but O, what God did when He was done using them!
It must also be noted, that WE have the end of the story to read. WE know how it turned out. Moses was living it. HE was living and operating on faith… in the face of the most powerful despot in the world at that time. Look at Heb. 11:24-29 well; especially V26!!! I want to mention something else here… God put the words to answer Pharaoh in Moses’ mouth. See Ex. 4:11-16. By the way, Who gave man language in the first place? Who confounded it at Babel, and in so doing GAVE the various languages? What did God do in Acts2, also?
Finally, Moses did not relent on God’s command. Lesson to all heads of state… A Pharaoh is not above God, I don’t care how many snakeheads he wears.. Neither will God be bargained with! Let my people GO… or else!