God Rules over Kings (Part II)
The role of “King” is somewhat foreign to us, here in the US. We’re used to more of a checks and balances type of system, where one person doesn’t hold all of the rule and authority. But this wasn’t the case in Moses’ day. When Moses was called by God to go before Pharaoh, to speak to him the commands of God, there were no checks and balances. There was one ruler over the people and that was Pharaoh.
Years before Moses’ calling, the king saw the people of Israel, their numbers and their might. He feared the possibility of their rule and dominion over him so he took action while he had the chance. (Ex. 1:9-10) But the harder the king oppressed the people, the more they multiplied. So, he oppressed them even more, ruthlessly making them work as slaves. He went so far as to command the midwives to kill the newborn sons of the people (which, they refused by the way).
We see God’s blessing on the midwife’s families but also the continued fight from the king. “Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”” Thankfully, in God’s providence, Pharaoh’s daughter saved one little boy. And that boy grew up to be the one that God would use to deliver His people from slavery. That child was Moses.
The Faith it Would Take
I set the stage for you in this way so you can see what Moses was up against. When God called Moses to go before Pharaoh, this was no small task. He was not going up to his neighbor, city council, mayor, governor, or even president. He was called to go before a king that held the power to do what he willed (as long as God allowed it). This would take faith.
A faith that rightly understands that no authority is above God’s authority.
A faith the rests in the maker of the universe.
A faith that can stand boldly in the face of a king, because he knows he is held by the King of Kings.
And as we’re about to see, God showed Himself once again to be worthy of all faithfulness.
After some back and forth between God and Moses (because Moses didn’t want to go) and some preparation, Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh with the word of the Lord… and the plagues begin. Throughout the next few chapters, we see God using Moses and Aaron to proclaim to Pharaoh that if he did not let the people go, God would send horrible plagues to Pharaoh and his people. Over and over again we see the hardness of heart from Pharaoh, how he continually refused to let the people go, taking on the punishments that God sent them. What’s also shown is who is hardening his heart throughout; God.
It’s difficult to understand exactly how much of Pharaohs own doing was at play here with his refusal to let the people go, but what IS known is that God is not at fault here. If God chooses to harden the heart of a wicked King, so be it. God is ruler and judge and He Lord’s over kings however He wills…because He’s God.
The plagues continue until the culmination at the tenth plague for Pharaoh and His people. This time however, if there was no obedience from the people of Israel, they would suffer greatly as well. With the Passover soon to come, God instructed His people to wipe the blood of a lamb on their doors. This along with other commands were to be done so that when God passed through Egypt, the children of the people of Israel would be saved. For, God was going to pass through and strike all of the first born in the land of Egypt, who had not done as He commanded…and He did. (Ex. 12)
God’s Deliverance Recognized
After which, the people see God’s promise prevail and they escape the enslavement from Pharaoh. This however, did not come without a final climax, the parting and closing of the Red Sea. That which was opened by God for the people of Israel to pass through, was closed by the hand of God (shown through the hand of Moses), drowning Pharaoh and his army. What was once a seemingly inescapable situation by many, ended with God showing that HE is the one, true King and that no authority is above His own.
Church, I beg you to stand firm on and rest in the promises of God. All too easily we forget that what He says, goes, no matter who or what stands in our way. If God in His word has promised something, it will come to pass. Over and over, He has proved Himself, without fail… and He will do it again; ultimately with the return of Christ.
So, as we await to see Jesus face to face, let us stand firm in the face of anything or anyone who goes against the true King; knowing that their authority is but a veil in the wind in comparison to His.
Grace and Peace, Church