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.” – Exodus 5:2
I became a Christian almost seven years ago. It was a Tuesday night in April at a gospel meeting not long after we had moved. If I can say this without sounding terribly conceited, I had never really been what the world would call a bad person, and that often makes it more difficult to see a need for salvation. I can know it, but it’s harder to feel it. But the preacher that night gave what I think is one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard on the subject. Somewhere during it I knew that I – I, not just people in general – needed to be baptized. I don’t want to try to reproduce it – my memory’s not that good – but I want to give you a brief sense of what in that sermon moved me. In my own words.
How many of you would go around proclaiming, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” It’s kind of hard to do a show of hands on the internet, but I would guess it’s a very small percentage.
It’s such an arrogant statement, isn’t it? It belongs to people like Pharaoh, who said it in Exodus 5:2 (and personally, I think Pharaoh is one of the most arrogant people in the Bible). Even among those who aren’t Christians but just consider themselves good people, who wants to be associated with Pharaoh? Nobody likes him – for good reason!
So most of us choose to leave this declaration out of our vocabulary.
But do we leave it out of our lives?
What about when we don’t do what he has told us to? What are our actions saying to him?
We ignore someone who could obviously use our help. “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?”
We lie to our boss. “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?”
We cheat on an exam. “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?”
We don’t follow his guidelines for salvation. “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want to live my whole life in rebellion to the one who not only created me, but loved me enough to send his son to die to rescue me from that rebellion. Shouldn’t a Lord like this have enough say in my life that I should obey his voice?