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Page One-Hundred and Fifty-Five


Who Is The God of Israel

After Pharaoh had heard this from Moses and Aaron, and judging by the type of response he gave, it would seem that Pharaoh had been taken back a bit by the request: "And Pharaoh said, 'Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.'" -- Exodus 5:2

(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Exodus 5:1,2)

Short Recap?

In the last article we learned that Moses and his brother Aaron had gathered and met with the elders of Israel.

God would speak through Moses, and Moses would speak through Aaron and together, they convinced the Israel elders that Moses had been commissioned by the God of their forefathers.

As we move forward, we now find that Moses and Aaron had been granted permission to come before and speak with Pharaoh:

"Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'" -- Exodus 5:1

After Pharaoh had heard this from Moses and Aaron, and judging by the type of response he gave, it would seem that Pharaoh had been taken back a bit by the request: "And Pharaoh said, 'Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.'" -- Exodus 5:2

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Pharaoh's Boldness?

Look at the boldness and pride that Pharaoh displays in his response: "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.'" -- You see, when it came to Pharaoh he had no respect for the Israelites. So when Moses and Aaron had the audacity to come before him and put forth a request such as this, one should be able to grasp the idea of Pharaoh's thinking:

"Who do they think they are? And this "God of Israel" that they speak of, what kind of God is this? I've seen His people; they're nothing but slaves, an oppressed people. If their God treats His people like this, then what can He do for me, or to me?"

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Can We Blame Him?

Now normally when people teach and preach this account, they tend to verbally beat up and lambaste Pharaoh for the type of attitude that he was displaying towards Moses' request. But I'm not going to follow down that same path, because I believe that Pharaoh really didn't know who the God of Israel was. So how can you verbally attack someone for their disregard of the Most High God, when that person knew of no such God to begin with?

Remember that this Pharaoh came from an entirely different family dynasty than the one that was in power back during the days of Joseph. As a matter of fact, this particular Pharaoh wasn't even born yet. And because of this, he wouldn't have known about the "seven years of abundance" and the "famine of seven years." He wouldn't have known about, how the God of Israel had worked through Joseph and his gift of dream interpretation. It was this gift of dream interpretation that God used, to speak through, and instruct Joseph.

It was this special relationship between God and Joseph, which had helped and allowed the country of Egypt to be able to survive the severe seven year famine that had crippled all the neighboring countries that had surrounded Egypt at that time. As a matter of fact, Egypt would emerge more powerful than they were, before the seven year famine had wreaked havoc upon the lands. Because of this new advantage, all of Egypt's neighboring countries would now be forced to go to the Egyptians in order to buy their food supply (grain).

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Pharaoh Should've Thanked the God of Israel?

No my friends, this Pharaoh didn't know about the God of Israel, who was responsible for allowing the Egyptians to be in a position of such power to begin with. For this Pharaoh was born into an Egypt that was once again already established, thriving, flourishing and prospering. He was a Pharaoh that was born into the "Eighteenth Family Dynasty" and it would be this family dynasty that would reap the benefits of a united country that was once fractured into three parts (Upper, Middle, and Lower).

But now, this country was once again made whole through the reclaiming of both the "Middle & Lower" parts of Egypt after the fall of the infamous Hyksos Egyptian kings. And because of this mighty achievement, Egypt had now declared themselves to be a "New Kingdom". And who do you think received the recognition for the position they were now in?

I'll tell you this; it wasn't the One who should have received the credit in the first place, which should have been the God of Israel. No, the Egyptians were already giving credit for their rise to power to the many other gods that they were serving; with most of the honor going to the very popular sun-gods: "Atum and Ra".

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Don't Get Me Wrong?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to give Pharaoh a pass here... no, not by a long shot. For you must also understand that this Pharaoh represented that element of humanity that had caused Adam and Eve, to think that they could do better than the paradise that God had placed them in. You must know that this Pharaoh was a product of that part of the human race, that had caused the "Sons of God" to intermarry with the "Daughters of Men."

Because of this, humankind was placed on a path that took it from following the ways of the Lord, which brought about the wrath of God through the "Great Flood of Judgment." This Pharaoh also represented that component of mankind that thought they could build their own gateway to the heavens, through the "Tower of Babel." No, I'm not giving Pharaoh a pass, I'm just not going to waste my time writing about the things that Pharaoh had done wrong, and the things he should have done right.

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Pharaoh Didn't Have A Clue?

You see, Pharaoh was incapable of knowing what "Real Truth" was; and he wasn't aware of the fatal mistake of the erroneous pagan religion that he was following either. It wasn't like he had the "Sacred Record" like we do today, which documents God's "Divine Testament" through a span of 1600 years. No, the divine events within this recorded account would take place for different reasons.

Don't allow yourself to be limited, by your natural process of thinking... break free and grasp the idea that this record goes beyond the two individuals that are at center stage, Moses and Pharaoh. Don't make the error of forgetting that there's an entire nation that dwelled within Egypt, a nation that God had been protecting, building and preparing for greatness. But in order for Israel to be truly great, they will need to know without a doubt; that the God of their forefathers is indeed the one true God.

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Some May Disagree?

Now some would challenge me on this viewpoint, but we must not overlook the fact that this generation of Israelites, never knew their God in a personal way. Sure, they knew about being oppressed and persecuted, they even knew about being in bondage. And to make matters worse, the Israelites could have even possibly believed, that they were perhaps seeing how the so-called Egyptian gods were raining blessings upon the kingdom of Egypt overall.

So to put it simply, the Israelites didn't know the God of their forefathers and they hadn't seen anything that would convince them that He even existed. Honestly, could it really be that hard to see how they might have possibly thought that the Lord had abandoned them, or that the Egyptians gods might be superior when it came to what the Israelites knew about their God, in some kind of way?

Keep in mind that up to this point, Israel somewhat knew about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They never had an opportunity to see just how real and powerful their God really was and continued to be. The stage is now set for the Lord to do just that, when it comes to showing His people that He's the one true God.

In the next Bible Study Online Article:

In the next article we will take a brief look at what's to come, in regards to the ten plagues that God brings upon Egypt. I will point out how each plague dealt with a certain Egyptian god, or set of gods. Set of gods...? Understand that the Egyptians had at times, multiple gods that represented a certain element. For example:

"Hapi the god of the Nile" was at times looked at, as being twin deities. These twin deities were known as Hap-Reset the god that represented "Upper Egypt" and Hap-Meht the god who represented "Lower Egypt." Be that as it may, this will be a brief glance, since the recording of the ten plagues stretches through, to the twelfth chapter of Exodus. So basically, we will have plenty of time to take a closer at each divine battle, as we journey through each recorded plague.

Related - Bible Study Online Articles - Links

Start Reading a Different Bible Study Online Series:

Joseph the Overseer of Egypt

Jacob Becomes Ill

The Prophecies of Jacob

Moses the Son of Levi


Continue Reading - Bible Study Online - Current Series:

145) The Call of Moses

146) The True Purpose of Moses

147) Identifying with Moses

148) The Systematic God

149) Moses the Self-Defeated

150) A Frustrated God

151) A Reality Check for Zipporah

152) Moses' Losing & Costly Position of Compromising

153) Moses Meets Aaron At The Mountain of God

154) Moses Gathers the Elders of Israel


156) Pharaoh Moves Against God

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