031 Pharaoh: Who is the Lord?

And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go’ Exodus 5:2

Key Verse:

‘Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts’ (Hebrews 3:15)

(Exodus 4-7)

In this lesson we are continuing in the second book of Moses called Exodus which tells the story of God’s prophet, Moses, and the people of Israel in Egypt. In past lessons, we saw how Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, persecuted the Israelites, making them his slaves. However, God had a plan to overturn the evil that Pharaoh was doing. God planned to use Moses, a man from among the children of Israel,

to deliver them from the hand of Pharaoh.

We learned that Moses was educated in all the knowledge of Egypt. When Moses was forty years old,

he attempted to deliver his people by his own methods.

Moses’ efforts, however, produced only problems, forcing him to flee from Pharaoh and hide in the wilderness. Moses had to learn that in himself, he was only a man and that he had no power to deliver the people of Israel unless God gave it to him. Thus, Moses lived in the wilderness for

forty years,

caring for his father-in-law’s flock.

One day, when Moses was eighty years old, God appeared to him on a mountain called Sinai, in the flames of a burning bush.

The bush was on fire, but it did not burn up.

When Moses saw it, he was amazed. As he drew near to investigate, he heard the voice of God saying, “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”. Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look. Then God said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for

I know their sorrows;

and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians. So now, go.

I am sending you to Egypt.”

Now, let us continue in Exodus to see how God concluded His talk with Moses and sent him to the king of Egypt. In chapter three, we heard how God promised to be with Moses, to give him wisdom and authority before Pharaoh and the people of Egypt. Yet in chapter four we will see that

Moses was afraid to go.

In the book of Exodus, the Scripture says: (4:1-5:2) “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. And the Lord said unto him,

what is that in thine hand?

And he said, a rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand; that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land; and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon dry land. And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant; but I am slow of speech, and of slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say.

And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron, the Levite, thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee; and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth; and

I will be with thy mouth,

and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and he shall be, even shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.

And Moses went and returned to Jethro, his father-in-law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are yet alive. And Jethro said unto Moses,

Go in peace.

And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt, for all the men are dead who sought thy life. And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt; and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand; but

I will harden his heart,

that he shall not let the people go. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn. And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision. And the Lord said unto Aaron,

Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.

And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him. And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him. And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel; And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.

And the people believed;

and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said,

Who is the Lord,

that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go”.

Pharaoh did not know the LORD {the Eternal One}. Pharaoh and all the people of Egypt had a religion, but

they did not know God.

They only cared about following the religion of their ancestors. They did not care about knowing the living and true God–the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Pharaoh and the Egyptians put their confidence in their customs, their idols, their charms and their religious leaders, but they did not put their confidence in the LORD and His Eternal Word.

Thus, in Exodus 6:1-8 we read: “Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him,

I am the Lord.

And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and

I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,

and with great judgements; and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, who bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord”.

(Exodus. 7:4-7)

But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you,

that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgements. And the Egyptians shall know that

I am the Lord,

when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. And Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded them, so did they. And Moses was 80 years old, and Aaron 83 years old, when they spoke unto Pharaoh”.

Thus, we see how the LORD planned to judge Pharaoh and the people of Egypt with mighty acts of judgment. God,

in His righteousness,

purposed to pay back the Egyptians for the hundreds of years of suffering which they had brought on the Israelites. Also, through the miracles that God planned to perform by the hand of Moses, the LORD wanted to display His glory and power. Thus, He would show the people of Egypt and the whole world, that the LORD God who spoke to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses is the living and true God!

As we have already learned,

God is the Merciful One

and does not want anyone to perish, but wants everyone to repent and to know and receive the truth. That was why He planned to perform miracles that would confirm the word He spoke through Moses. The LORD wanted everyone to know beyond any doubt that the God who was speaking through Moses is

the one true God!

We need to remember that in Egypt there were hundreds of idols which the Egyptians considered gods. However,

God wanted them to know that there is only one true God.

God wanted them to know that the one true God is the God who established His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—promising to make of them a nation through which God would bring the prophets, the Scriptures and the Savior of the world.


Pharaoh was not interested in knowing the one true God.

That is why, when God wanted to speak to Pharaoh through His prophets, Moses and Aaron, Pharaoh answered them, saying, Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go!” (Exod. 5:2)

Pharaoh spoke the truth when he said that he did not know the LORD! He did not know the God who established an eternal covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Pharaoh had a religion,

but he did not know God in his heart. Pharaoh’s heart was closed to the truth that came from the one true God. Thus, he ignored the message which God spoke to him through Moses and Aaron.

To this very day, most people in the world follow the way of Pharaoh. They talk about God, but they pay no attention to the Word of the LORD. Consequently,

they do not know God.

They know some things about God, but they do not know God Himself. They have a religion handed down to them by their ancestors, but they do not know the living God who revealed Himself to Moses.

How about you?

Do you know the LORD? Do you really know what He has said through His prophets? Have you ever sincerely looked into the Writings of God’s prophets? Do you really know the LORD God? Do you love Him with all your heart?

Do you want to obey Him?

Or are you, like Pharaoh, just following the religion of your ancestors?

Oh dear friends, I hope that not even one of us be like Pharaoh who refused to listen to and believe the Word of the Eternal God! Listen to this warning from the Word of God: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God!” (Heb. 3:12) Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as did Pharaoh who said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him?”

God willing, in our next lesson we will continue this very interesting story and see how God brought upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians ten plagues so that they might know that He is the LORD! . . .

God bless you as you pay attention to this solemn warning from His holy Word: 

“Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts!” (Heb. 3:15)

We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have

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