Thursday, August 9, 2012


Chapters 5  -  Stubborn Pharaoh

Due to time restraints, this will be a relatively short posting.

Chapter 5 shows us the true character of Pharaoh.  It is widely accepted that this pharaoh is Rameses II.  He is drunk with power.  He has a sinful level of pride that leads him to make foolish decisions that negatively effect the very people he is commissioned to protect.  {Herein lies the problem with a government system that places a royal king as the absolute authority.  The king (or Pharaoh in this particular instance) is the ruler simply by virtue of the fact that he was born into royalty.  He has done nothing to earn it or deserve it.  Not only was he born into royalty, but he was raised in a king's palace where the only thing he knows about anybody is that they are servants to him.  He is absolutely unprepared to lead a nation.  I don't have a problem with England's royal hierarchy because the Queen's authority is very limited.  The authority lies with the pariament which is elected by the people and the Prime Minister, whom I believe is elected by the Parliament.}

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh asking to leave Egypt for a while to hold a religious feast.  {It's important to note that this is the same pharaoh who, enslaved all the Hebrews and had all their boy
babies killed.  The main reason he did this was because he feared the Israelites because of their huge numbers and their success with everything they've done in Egypt}  In verse 2 Pharaoh thumbed his nose at the God of Israel and said "No".  Note that in Egypt, everything was what we would call today "nationalized".  That simply meant that everything in Egypt belonged to the Pharaoh.  Everything, which included all the slaves, which included the Israelites.  In addition to saying no to their request, Pharaoh's comments and tone disrespected the God of Israel.  Pharaoh surely didn't realize the level of disaster he was flirting with.  Vs 3 - Moses and Aaron issue fair warning to Pharaoh.  Then Pharaoh spoke of how all the slaves were being disrupted from their work because of these two men. 
You need to read vss 6-14.  This reveals the character of Pharaoh.  He considered the answer to any problem related to slaves was simply to work them harder.  {Reminds me of the cartoon that shows a military commander at the podium, addressing his troops and says "The beatings will continue until morale improves".  Funny little cartoon, but isn't that exactly how Pharaoh Ramses II thinks?}  The Egyptians were providing the straw needed for the slaves to make the bricks used in building.  Pharoah told his captains to stop the practice of providing them with straw.  From that point
forward the slaves were to gather their own straw, and (vs 8) they were to make the same number of bricks as before, when the straw was provided for them.  The only way this could be accomplished was if they worked harder, faster, and for more hours each day.  Also, note in vs 12 that they ended up gathering "stubble" instead of straw.  This would mean an inferior brick, for which they were sure to be punished.  Vs 15 tells how the overseers tried to appeal to Pharaoh's common sense, but cruelty of a corrupt mind trumps common sense. Pharaoh responded to this appeal with another "No".  And Pharaoh added insult to injury by saying it was the people's fault because they were simply lazy, which was the reason they wanted to take three days off to worship God anyway.

After their appeal was denied.  Then the Israelite overseers did the right thing:  They went to find Moses and Aaron.  Check out the human nature revealing itself as so many times before:  In vss 21 they blamed their problems on Moses and Aaron.  Vss 22 and 23 - Moses felt "maybe they're right".  He went back to God with the problem.  Things just weren't going the way it was supposed to.  The people doubted Moses and Moses was beginning to doubt God.  Not a good situation.  Moses was
a mere human and could not help feeling as he did.  So Moses shared his feelings with God.  Not only did Moses talk to God, but he listened for God to answer. 

Next post  -  Chapter 6

No comments:

Post a Comment