“Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.”’ But Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.’ Then they said, ‘The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.’ But the king of Egypt said to them, ‘Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens. Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!’ The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, ‘You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, “Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.” Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.’
“Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD,.. why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.’” Exodus 5:1-9,22-23
“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’” John 4:10
All of life- how we see it and live it- hinges on whether we know the God who orchestrates it. Pharaoh knew only himself as god, so hearing the request attributed to the LORD, the God of Israel, was both a threat to his authority and a bother to his plans. Why on earth would he stop his building industry to allow his slaves to go perform some religious rite with a deity in which he did not believe? His perspective was as temporal as his domain. If only he knew… that this God was eternal, a God of His word and all power, that this God was LORD of kingdoms and history, that He would bring destructive plagues and great ruin on Pharaoh and Egypt, and indeed deliver His people.
Moses knew this God, so when Pharaoh turned cruel and unreasonable, Moses cried out to his LORD with his desperate complaint. He knew the One who issued the warning was the One who would fulfill His promise.
Do we really know God? If so, what evidence is there in the way we react to His promises, His commands, and life’s hardships?
LORD of all, tie my will, emotion, obedience, even complaint, securely to You, to Your greatness, authority, and glory. May the way I live prove I know You.