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Who is the LORD?

Exodus 5:2 (ESV) -- But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

Every industry has important people in that industry that everyone knows. But outside of that industry they might not be known at all. If you get involved in a new industry, you’ll quickly hear about or learn about all the big players in that world. It is funny that outside that bubble, people have no clue who those folks are at all. It is strange to imagine it, but there are people in the world today who do not possess the knowledge we have about God. They don’t know He is the Triune God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. They don’t know Jesus and the saving impact of His life, death, and resurrection. This knowledge is so known by us that we can’t imagine there are people without it. But there are.

Our passage today reflects this reality and the consequence of it. We see Pharaoh respond to Moses’ plea for him to let the Hebrews free from their captivity and slavery to go serve the LORD. Pharaoh responds, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

Moses comes talking about the demands of God to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh doesn’t know who this God is. Egypt had their own deities they worshipped, including the Pharaoh himself. The God of the Hebrews is demanding for the release of His people. This man named Moses is speaking on His behalf, but Pharaoh doesn’t know the LORD. So as a result, he doesn’t feel any obligation to listen to Moses. This leads to what we read as the plagues unfold and the LORD shows His power to Pharaoh and all of Egypt.

But this passage is a good lesson for us on connecting knowing the LORD and obedience. Pharaoh is not going to obey, because he doesn’t know who is commanding him. If he did, he’d obey His words. The same is true today. The world doesn’t obey God because they don’t know Him. This is one reason why we are to make disciples of the nations and teach them to obey (Matthew 28:18-20). This is also why John stresses in his first letter about the connection between loving the Lord and obeying His commands. We demonstrate that we know Him by doing what He says. This shows us that regardless of what a person says about their faith, if they do not seek to actively obey God, it is because they don’t know Him. To know Him is to obey Him.

Reflection & Journal:
- Why doesn’t Pharaoh obey the LORD and Moses’ words?
- What is the connection from this story/passage to our world today?
- How does this passage speak to you and challenge you?

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