IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: PHARAOH WAS RAISED FOR THE PURPOSE OF GOD’S POWER SHOW
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
God is able to bring good out of evil. In our own time God used the atrocities of Hitler to bring the nation of Israel back into possession of their promised land. Hitler was faced with a choice the same as Pharaoh, but it is evident in his tyrannical reign that he chose to reject God and hardened his heart towards him. He walked further and further away from God’s mercy and because of his choice to reject God and walk in such evil, God used his choices in life to display his power in the end and bring about good from it. God did not cause Hitler to massacre the Jews, nor was it His will to do so. But God’s power was evident in the outcome of the horrible event by them coming into possession of their land. God could have brought the Israelites back to the land in thousands of ways but in is infinite power he was able to work through an agent of the devil to accomplish his will and ultimate plan, even though Hitler had free will in the matter but he didn’t follow the right path.
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
This is the point: salvation is selective, salvation is elective, it is not universal. You say, “Pastor, are you sure?” Yes, look at the life of Abraham and that’s what Paul went on to explain. God said to Abraham, “I will give you a child and from your seed, all nations will be blessed.” So, Abraham waited and waited and waited and waited but there is no movement in the tummy of Sarah. And so one day, Sarah and Abraham hatched a deceitful plan. They wanted to help God, they say, “God, I don’t think you can give me a son, so maybe I should do something about it now” and so they found themselves Hagar the handmaid, the Egyptian woman, and they said to each other, “Abraham, I know this is very painful for me, but you go, because we got to help God here, otherwise we will not have a son.” And that’s what they foolishly did. Abraham went into Hagar the handmaid and as a result, Hagar gave birth to Ishmael and Abraham was convinced that Ishmael would be the one God will use to bless the nations. This would be the child of promise. But you know what God said? “No, it will not be Ishmael, I am not accepting Ishmael. He is not the one. Sarah, you will have a child. I know you’re 90 years old, I know your factory is closed, humanly speaking, I know you have died to that hope that you would ever have a child, but let me tell you, this is the child of promise, I will do it” and God did it.
Isaac was born of Sarah and God said, “It will be Isaac.” God said it would be Isaac even before Isaac existed. Even before Sarah was pregnant, God said, “It will be this child and you call him Isaac. Ishmael I have rejected.”
Christians don’t like to admit this but there is a hard truth revealed in today’s Scripture. The hard truth is that when God intervenes in our lives our situation often worsens.
That’s exactly what happened when God sent Moses and Aaron to tell Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” Instead of getting better, the condition of the Israelites worsened. Rather than providing the straw necessary for their brick making, now Pharaoh ordered that the Israelites had to gather their own straw but still produce the same amount of bricks.
With every whip lash inflicted on their backs by their Egyptian taskmasters the Israelites’ criticism grew against Moses and Aaron and so did their doubts about the promises of God.
One reason we read the story of Exodus is because we need to be reminded of this uncomfortable truth: when we live by faith in God our lives often become not easier, but more difficult.
THE EXODUS ACCOUNT of the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt is very challenging indeed. God had made great promises to Israel, called the fugitive 80-year-old Moses from the land of Midian and sent him back to Egypt to lead the people out of their slavery (we’re never too old for God!). Together with Aaron he set about fulfilling the call of God on his life – a call he had carried for more than 40 years.
But there was a Pharaoh in the way! Pharaoh was an ungodly and proud man in a position of authority that made him ruler over the Egyptians, as well as the Israelites (who were reduced to slaves).
Pharaoh represented the “stumbling block” to the release of the children of God. When Moses and Aaron petitioned him to let the Israelites go “to sacrifice to God,” he thought it was a big joke. He reckoned they had too much time on their hands and needed more work to do. He ordered they make the same tally of bricks per day but also to gather their own straw, which before was supplied (Exodus 6). Pharaoh had no reason to grant Moses’ request. He had seen no evidence of a living God amongst the Israelites. They were religious, but powerless. They believed in the Living God, but lived in slavery. In reality Pharaoh was their “god,” for he had the authority to control their daily life-styles and their future destinies. And he was not about to give up that power to a “returned fugitive quoting a few sayings from God.”
As the story in Exodus unfolds it becomes apparent that the battle is one of “Who is in authority?” God (in Moses) or Pharaoh? The existing authority was Pharaoh, but God had declared, “Set My people free. Bring them out of Egypt to the place where Moses had encountered Me at the burning bush” (Exodus 3:1-12). Moses had received divine revelation on God’s desire for Israel. He knew God’s heart on the matter. He then put that knowledge into action by his obedience to God’s word of revelation. It was then he discovered there was a Pharaoh in the way! Someone with authority stood against him. Someone who wanted to keep God’s people slaves in the slime pits of Egypt!
How humiliating for Pharaoh! The very thing he tried the hardest to resist, God took and used it to demonstrate how superior He is to puny man’s positional authority. I mean, Who ever outsmarted God? It is good to know that God has a good laugh at times like that!
As Moses continued to declare the purposes of God and not be intimidated by Pharaoh, he saw the break through come. As he continued to release the miraculous (at God’s command) he saw the authority of Pharaoh being broken down. The word of the Lord in Moses mouth kept undermining Pharaoh’s authority until the time came when Israel marched out of their slime pits, out of their slavery, out of Egyptian bondage, through the miracle of the Red Sea, to the place where God told Moses to bring them – to Himself! That’s authority! God’s authority! That’s seeing the promises of God worked through into practical reality! That’s when God is glorified – when people see the evidence of our believing that God is in the midst of His people!
This is a day when the authority of Pharaoh is being brought down. He has ruled for too long. He has kept us down for too long. He has robbed us of our Godly inheritance and it’s time for change. Whoever your Pharaoh is, don’t let him bluff you any longer into believing you have no rights to rise up, that you cannot be any different to what has always been. Jesus Christ is our true authority. He lives in the hearts of all true believers and He has told us to use the authority of His All-Powerful name! Even Pharaoh has to bow to the mighty name of Jesus as it is genuinely and sincerely exercised by you!
WHO IS YOUR PHARAOH?
Whoever he is, his time is limited, his “number” is up!
Jesus came to release us all from the tyranny of Pharaoh and to give us power and authority in His name to release others from their Pharaoh-produced bondages.
He has already given us that power and authority. It’s yours – NOW!
Rise up, speak out, walk on into His more complete victory for you!
Pharaoh is finished!
We’re free in Jesus Christ the Lord!
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