As with life today, being ‘sent’ was not the end of the story for Moses. He didn’t walk in to Pharaoh’s presence, tell him what God said and ‘presto’ it was done.
According to Josephus in “The New Complete Works of Josephus” Moses went and told Pharaoh who he was…
“and told him how much he had done for the good of the Egyptians, when they were despised by the Ethiopians…”
Moses also told him what had happened at Mount Sinai.
Picking it up from Josephus’ account …
“But when the king derided Moses, he made him in earnest see the signs that were done at Sinai, Yet the king was angry with him and called him an evil man, who had formerly run away from his Egyptian slavery.”
Turning to the Bible account…
“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: 2
I can almost hear an exclamation mark there. At the same time…being fair, Pharaoh was telling the truth. He did not know the Lord… and probably did not want to. The slaves were Egypt’s wealth. Free workers. Big building projects. Egypt had it easy.
But it is no small thing to defy the Sovereign God of the universe
As Pharaoh was about to find out.
For the Hebrew slaves though… it was about to get worse before they were able to leave their slavery behind.
The officers of the children of Israel went to Pharaoh but it was pointless. Pharaoh had made up his mind…
“You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. And you shall lay on them the quota of bricks which they made before. You shall not diminish it. For they are idle; therefore they cry out, saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God’. Exodus 5: 7,8
It seemed to ‘stick in Pharaoh’s craw’ that the Hebrews wanted to go and worship their God, because he accused them again of being idle in Ex 5: 17.
After all, Egypt had a host of gods to choose from. According to wiki answers there were 8,700 See the source here… http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_gods_did_the_Ancient_Egyptians_have
The Hebrew officers turned on Moses and Aaron “… you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants…” Exodus 5: 21
Moses had not wanted to go to Egypt, what must he be thinking now?
Maybe he and Aaron looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders. Perhaps Moses thought his brother was doubting him. Maybe Aaron was. But Moses did what he would continue to do through his life, and why he had such a special relationship with God. He went to God with the problem.
(Even if you think He caused them.)
“So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.” Exodus 5:22,23
See what Moses says…
- Why have You brought trouble…
- Why have You sent me
- Neither have you delivered Your people
In some, these could be angry accusations. For others ‘whingeing’ complaints.
Was it for Moses?
Look at the evidence of his life. He regularly ‘discussed’/argued with God. But he always submitted.
Being truthful, this was a big commission!
Till next time, tread softly – you may be stepping on someone’s dreams