During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.’
When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, ‘What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!’ So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him.
The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen – the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. Exodus 12:31-32; 14:5-6; 14:28 (NIV)
Pharaoh finally got the message and decided to let the Israelites leave Egypt. Having seen the signs and wonders performed through Moses and Aaron there was finally no point in denying who the Lord was. Or did he!
Looking over the account of God’s dealings with Pharaoh we see a God who could have destroyed Egypt at any time, but chose instead to offer Pharaoh the chance to acknowledge God’s authority over him.
Yet despite God’s dealings with Pharaoh, the king of Egypt regretted having let the Israelites go and decided to pursue them, with the idea of bringing them back into slavery in Egypt. The result was tragedy for Pharaoh and his army.
Pharaoh could have changed his mind at any point during his interactions with Moses and Aaron. He could have stuck to his word when he decided to let the Israelites leave Egypt. As a powerful man Pharaoh allowed his pride to get in the way of his decisions. He also was swayed by what he perceived as an economic loss to Egypt. He couldn’t look beyond the physical to perceive the spiritual. If he had done he would have seen God at work.
The lessons for us are:
- not to let our pride get in the way of rational decision-making;
- to stick to our word;
- not to be swayed by economic reasons;
- to look beyond the physical to the spiritual dimension to life.
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