Sunday, October 16, 2011

Exodus 5:1-5 Who is the Lord, that I should obey him?

"Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said,
'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:
"Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert." '

Pharaoh said, 'Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go?
I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.'

Then they said, 'The God of the Hebrews has met with us.
Now let us take a three day journey into the desert
to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God,
or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.'

But the king of Egypt said,
'Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor?
Get back to your work!'
Then Pharaoh said, 'Look, the people of the land are now numerous,
and you are keeping them from working.'

Exodus 5:1-5 (NIV)

After meeting with the Israelites, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh to make their request.  Pharaoh is not familiar with the LORD, the God of Israel -- and he is certainly not willing to submit to Him.  Even when Moses and Aaron explain that they have met with this God of the Hebrews, and that the Israelites wish to offer sacrifices to Him lest He strike them with plagues or the sword, Pharaoh is unimpressed.  As we will see later (Exodus 5:9), he regards their words as lies designed to interrupt his workforce.

Even in Pharaoh's first words to Moses and Aaron, we get a fairly distinct picture of his heart attitude.  His pride and confidence in his own self is evident, and his focus is on the gain that may be gotten from his enslaved workers.

Pharaoh also mentions that these workers are numerous.  No doubt somewhere in this equation is the fact that he figures it might be dangerous to allow this multitude of Hebrews too much free time, lest they turn against him.

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