The Question I Refuse to Ask
But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice? . . .” Exodus 5:2
We often refuse to ask the one question we should: How must I obey you God? We don’t ask the question because we don’t really want to know the answer. We don’t ask God how to get sober, because we already hate His reply. We don’t ask God how to stop indulging in our anger, resentments, lust, or appetite, because we have a pretty good idea of what it will cost us if we truly obey God.
Pharaoh, in today’s passage, asked who the Israelite’s God was, that he should obey. Pharaoh’s was a mocking question though, as he had no intention of listening. The Egyptians paid the price in blood for his arrogance.
Pharaoh’s question is one that I must ask myself. It is one that I do not want to ask though, because I am afraid of the answer. Who is God, that I should obey Him? I may think that I know God, but if my knowledge of Him does not radically affect how I live, then I should revisit the question.
If I believe that God is the creator of the universe, that He loves me, that He sent His son to die for me and that He commands me to daily deny myself to follow Him, then my life should look like I believe those things. If God is God, then my faith should consume my life, invading every aspect of it. If my life looks no different than the one who does not believe, then my faith is an empty shell, not much different than Pharaoh’s mockery.
God allows us to deny his commands, in which case, we will, like Pharaoh, suffer some consequence. It may not be a plague of locusts or frogs, but when we turn from God, following ourselves, we pursue disaster.
When we follow God though, we grow life, peace and joy. Like Pharaoh, we can mock God, or, like the Israelites, we can follow Him to find freedom and life.