The High Cost of Pharaoh's Pride

By Royce Frederick

      Moses told Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness’”  (Ex. 5:1). This first demand was certainly reasonable. But Pharaoh was on the throne. He would not let the God of those slaves give him orders! Pharaoh arrogantly replied, “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” (Ex. 5:2).

      Through devastating plagues, the Lord broke Pharaoh’s stubborn pride — but only after terrible misery and loss. Pharaoh and his people paid a very high cost before he finally acknowledged the Lord’s right to rule.

      When sin is on the throne of your heart, it keeps you from obeying the Lord. By your actions, if not by words, your heart says, “Who does the Lord think He is, telling me what to do? It is my life, and I will live it as I please.” Yes, it is your life. But it is not merely your life. Your decisions and actions help or hurt many other lives. And the lives you effect the most are usually those you love the most.

      The Lord does not immediately punish every sin. He delays punishment to give us time to repent (2 Peter 3:9). He would much rather bless than punish. Those plagues in Exodus 5-12 are examples to teach us the high cost of sin (see 1 Cor. 10:11; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 3:23; 6:23). A wise person learns from the mistakes of others. There is no sense in following the example of Pharaoh. 

      The day of opportunity will eventually be replaced by the day of reckoning (2 Pet. 3:10-13). Whether we like it or not, every knee will bow to the Lord, and every tongue will confess (Rom. 14:10-12). Will you and others pay a high price for your delay? How much better it is — for you and those you love — to obey the Lord now!