Pharaoh’s continued stubbornness resulted in the ruin of Egypt. Even his officers understood as much. They asked him in disbelief, “Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?” (Exodus 10:7) Sitting there amid the wreckage caused by his rebellion, Pharaoh still thumbed his nose at God. “Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice,” was his attitude.
The final plague of Egypt was the Death Angel that killed the firstborn of man and beast. This final plague is a sobering reminder that rebellion not only leads to ruin and destruction, but ultimately death.
Timothy McVeigh was an American terrorist who set off a bomb in front of a federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people and injured over 600. McVeigh chose the poem Invictus, which means “Unconquerable” in Latin, to be his final statement prior to execution. The poem was written by the English atheist, William Earnest Henley. The last statement of the poem could very well have been spoken by Pharaoh:
“I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul”
It’s the spirit of rebellion exhibited by Pharaoh that says, “No one is going to tell me what to do! Not even God! I am in charge of my life!” To fail to recognize the ultimate authority of God and the delegated authority He has vested in parents and other leaders is to place oneself in a position of rebellion. And as we learn from the story of the plagues of Egypt, rebellion results in ruin and death.
Interestingly, people who rebel often justify their actions by accusing others of seeking control. In reality, rebellion is the refusal to give up control. But the Christian life is all about surrender. We submit to God first, and then to the delegated authorities He has placed over us. Surrender is the way to blessing for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).
Learn a lesson from Pharaoh. Rebellion always leads to disaster. Surrender always leads to blessing. So, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).
Pastor Todd Weston