Moses First Confrontation With Pharaoh

The sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was born in a log cabin in Kentucky. When Abe was twenty-one the Lincoln family moved to Illinois. Admitted to the state bar in 1837, he was a member of the House of Representatives from 1846 to 1849. He won … More


After Moses and Aaron (both in their eighties) had talked with the Jewish leaders, they went to Pharaoh and asked him to let the people go (v. 1). In those days Pharaoh was the most powerful king on earth. He must have been very surprised that anyone would dare to speak to him this way. He questioned the God of Israel as having any authority and refused to let the people go (v. 2). They said the Lord God of Israel has appeared to us (v. 3). Please let us go three days into the desert where we can offer sacrifices to Him, and if you don’t He may strike us down with terrible troubles.

The king asked Moses and Aaron why they were keeping the people from working and told them that everyone must get back to work (vv. 4-5). That same day the King gave orders to his slave bosses not to give any more straw to put in their bricks but for them to find their own straw wherever they can (vv. 6-7). The straw made the mud bricks stronger and kept them from shrinking, cracking or losing their shape. However they are to make the same number of bricks as before (v. 8). He accused them of being lazy because they begged him to let them go and sacrifice to their God. He told the slave bosses to make them work so hard that they won’t have time to listen to these lies (v. 9).

Seven times in these chapters, God says to Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” This command shows that Israel was in bondage; God wanted them to be free that they might serve Him. This is the condition of every lost sinner that is enslaved to the world, the flesh and the devil.


Am I willing to speak up for the Lord even when this world lacks respect for God’s Word and will often make fun of me?

Exodus 5:1-9 (English Standard Version)

Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.'" 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." Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword." But the king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens." And Pharaoh said, "Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!" The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, "You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, 'Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.' Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words."

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