Exodus 5:1 “…Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh…”
Did as they were instructed. Without Moses excuses it would have been just him. Makes you wonder if he would have been more effective on his own before Pharaoh, would God have used him alone more effectively.
2 “…Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice…”
He was about to find out. Why do I always get the impression that people who worship false gods don’t really believe in them? They tend to treat all gods the same. And when they run into God Himself, they are very surprised. Also usually costs them a lot.
3 “…lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword”
They make it sound like God would do something to them if they don’t go instead of something happening to the Egyptians. Perhaps Moses stated it that way to show respect for God. Our God is all powerful, and He may fall on us if we don’t obey Him. Commentaries had the same idea. Moses hasn’t jumped into a battle with Pharaoh yet. He doesn’t contradict Pharaoh’s question about God’s sovereignty over all, but just the Hebrews. He basically appeals to Pharaoh to not let the Hebrews fail to obey their God.
4 “…why do you take the people from their work…”
Pharaoh doesn’t listen. I think it really shows his disdain for anything God related, even his false gods. He doesn’t believe any of it.
8 “…you shall lay on them the quota of bricks which they made before. You shall not reduce it…”
At this point, it’s obvious the work isn’t that important. Regardless of what you thought of your work force, to make it harder for them to do the work and still demand certain quotas is totally illogical if you want the work finished and of good quality. He’s moved from working them to simply abusing and bullying. Tyrants never learn. This is the behavior that causes rebellion. People will go along with just about any form of mistreatment as long as they can function and complete the tasks. But once you make it dysfunctional and unfeasible, people have no choice except to rebel to reach a conclusion.
14 “…officers of the children of Israel…”
Hebrews working for the Egyptians. They took the initial brunt of the punishment.
15 “…officers of the children of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh…”
At least they complained to the right person. Stood up for the inconsistency.
20 “…they met Moses and Aaron…”
They won’t blame Pharaoh even though he is the cause of their problem. They’ve accepted that he’s in charge and no one is greater than him. And they certainly don’t go to God over it. Don’t know who He is other than a name and old stories from their ancestors.
22 “…why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me?”
Good questions. Moses has done all God said. God did tell him Pharaoh wouldn’t let the people go, but Moses didn’t expect to make things more difficult for those he was trying to rescue. God’s silence after we’ve tried to do what we think He wants us to do is always hard. It is easy to assume we didn’t hear His voice or perhaps we misinterpreted what He said. Henry Blackaby suggests this is the time to ask God for His perspective on the situation. We won’t know the truth about any situation until we see it as God does, from His point of view. Moses may have an accusatorial tone, but in a sense, he’s asking for God perspective, what is God doing. And God is about to tell him.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.