Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice…?

“Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice…?” This was the question asked by Pharaoh, king of Egypt, when Moses, God’s chosen leader, approached Pharaoh with the command to let the people of Israel leave Egypt to worship God as He had commanded. This exchange is recorded in Exodus 5:1-2:

1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ” 2 And Pharaoh said, “Who [is] the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.” [Exodus 5:1-2 NKJV]

This situation provides an interesting opportunity to look at how God expects men to believe in Him. Many seem to think that He expects people to have a “blind” faith with no proof or evidence. This is just one example that such is not the case. God knew that Pharaoh would not be willing to let the people go and told Moses, “I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go.” (Exodus 3:19-20). But God’s intent was was actually twofold. It is interesting to note that God points out that the events that would follow were not only for convincing Pharaoh and the Egyptians, but also the people of Israel:

And the Egyptians shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them. [Exodus 7:5 NKJV] 6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: “I [am] the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 “I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I [am] the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” [Exodus 6:6-7 NKJV]

God wanted to clearly demonstrate to both the Egyptians and the Israelites that He was indeed the one, true living God. Let’s look at some of the things He proved through the plagues:

What was the result of God’s demonstration of His power? Pharaoh’s initial reaction was, “Who [is] the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.” [Exodus 5:2 NKJV] Then, after the final plague, Pharaoh’s attitude had changed:

Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said. [Exodus 12:31 NKJV]

Just as God provided evidence to Pharaoh and the nation of Israel, He has provided evidence from the beginning of time of not only his existence, but His power and knowledge. In another article we we examine in more detail some of the evidences of God in His creation, but for now, consider the following verses:

1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 [There is] no speech nor language [Where] their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, [Psalms 19:1-4 NKJV] 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown [it] to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible [attributes] are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify [Him] as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. [Romans 1:18-21 NKJV]

God expects all people to have faith in Him, not based on blind acceptance, but because He has demonstrated is power, love and wisdom over and over again since the beginning of time.  Do you believe?

Dan Fontenot

(editor’s note: Verse references are clickable links that will open the verses in context in BlueLetterBible.org)

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