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Let it go Pharaoh!

January 16, 2012

I was thinking about the deliverance of Israel from Egypt the other day and was struck with a pretty tough question.  Am I more like Moses or the Pharaoh in the story?   Let me explain what I mean.

So, I was thinking about the Pharaoh and the passage referring to his hardened heart.  I began wondering to myself why he just didn’t let the Israelites go, what was he so afraid to let go of?  Then it occurred to me, I’m more like him than I care to admit.

Have you ever found yourself locked in on something like an iPad or car?  Even further, have you found yourself in a habitual sin because you have married yourself to another god rather than the real God?  If so, you might want to consider you are more like the Pharaoh.

Researchers who were studying some monkeys in their habitat put a plexi glass box with fruit in it within the monkey’s community.  There was a hole cut into the box that would allow the monkey’s hand to get into it, but not pull out the fruit.  If the monkey tried holding onto the fruit and pull their hands out, they would find themselves unable to do both.  The ultimate choice was to let go of the fruit and be free or continue to try to pull out the fruit to no avail.  Throughout the study, they found more often than not, the monkey could not bear to let go of their prized fruit.  You know, we all struggle with the same.

Pharaoh had an enormous internal struggle.  At the time, Pharaoh’s were worshiped as gods in their realm.  See God posed a threat to the identity held by Pharaoh, thus a portion of his power throughout the land.  If Pharaoh readily submitted to the call to “Let my people go,”  he would be admitting he was not God and that there was someone higher, with more authority than he had.  As you can imagine, this not only caused a major issue with his psyche, but it also created some pretty tough political ramifications as well.  In a sense, in order to keep his iron grip (or the grip on his fruit), he could not relent and submit to the Most High God.

As God normally does with all of us, he sent ten plagues, or as I like to see them, wake up calls.  Each of the plagues struck at various “gods” within the Egyptian culture, ultimately bringing the Pharaoh to his knees when he lost his first born.  At times, Christ will allow various trials within life to draw us closer to him to see him for who He truly is, the Most High God.  He does not play second to any of our lesser gods like money, pride, vanity, status, etc.  Instead, for those who believe in Him and lose their way, as a loving Father would, he chastens them to come back to him.    In the case of the Pharaoh, he was of course a nonbeliever, but I truly believe God used his hardened heart to teach all of us about the potential for our hearts to be given to some other god.

So, will it take ten plagues for you to let go of whatever is in that metaphoric plexi glass box in your life?  If not, you might want to brace yourself for the loving actions of your heavenly father.  Some call them plagues, others call them signs of a relentless God who will stop at nothing to manifest Himself to those who will believe.
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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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