May 5, 2017, 10:01 AM
It is not difficult to see through Pharaoh's smoke screen and insincerity for he was neither willing nor ready to succumb. He had determined to resist Jehovah, the Lord God Almighty, even to the very end. Unfortunately, this would cost him the life of all of
We observe that whilst Moses did not accuse him directly of sin, Pharaoh himself had realised he had transgressed God's commands. Moses had challenged him speaking on God's behalf: "How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?" (Exodus 10:3) The second time he confessed he had sinned against God was after locusts had completely devoured everything that was green in the land during the eighth plague. "I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me." (Exodus 10:17)
Pharaoh had no intention to believe in the Lord. He had referred to Him as Moses' Lord, 'your Lord'; 'the Lord your God' with a tongue-in-the-cheek kind of attitude. He was just bidding time because he would later dismiss Moses and Aaron from his presence, when he could no longer stand the humiliation. "Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again!" (Exodus 10:28).
It became clear, beyond any shadow of doubt, that Pharaoh would not give in to pressure from Moses and Aaron. After all he considered himself as god in his own right, one of
The word repentance is derived from a Roman military term which meant to make a U-turn. When we truly repent of our sins, we must make a U-turn, depart or turn away from them. Pharaoh's repentance was far from genuine; it was intended to buy time. When we say we have repented of our sins, we need to look in the opposite direction, return to where we were before committing a particular sin.
We meet another Old Testament character who confessed to sinning before God but declined to admit full responsibility. King Saul, the first king of
These instructions were clear and unambiguous - to bring down, to annihilate, decimate and raze to the ground every moving thing in the Amelekite nation because they had "waylaid the Children of Israel as they came up from
You will recall that the instructions were given to King Saul and not to his men. In the face of this blatant disregard of God's orders, King Saul sought to justify his actions by blaming this act of disobedience on his men. He did not just stop at that, he further underlined that it was for a good purpose - to offer a sacrifice to God.
Despite our good intentions, God's instructions are supreme and we have no say in the matter. We are required to comply and not have to justify our disobedience. For acting in this manner, Saul lost his kingdom. Samuel addressed him thus: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams." (1 Samuel 15:22)
"Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king." (1 Samuel 15:23b) The reasons given by King Saul for behaving otherwise were very flimsy. In confessing his fault before the prophet Samuel, King Saul admitted: "I have sinned. I violated the Lord's command and your instructions." (1 Samuel 15:24)