Who’s Really in Control?

Parashat Bo (Come)
Shemot (Exodus) 10:1 -13:16
Haftarah: Jeremiah 46:13-28

The first two verses of this week’s Parashah caught my attention:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, so that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, and that you may tell in the presence of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, so that you may know that I am the LORD.”
Exodus 10:1-2

As I read these verses, I thought about how throughout the encounters that Moses had with Pharaoh, Pharaoh thought that he was in control. Yet, as the above verses show, God was in control. Not only did He send Moses, but He also hardened Pharaoh’s heart and performed the acts of wonder in Egypt.

The Egyptians considered Pharaoh to be a god; he was powerful and mighty, and was thought to have control over everything, including the children of Israel. Could it be that the children of Israel also considered Pharaoh to be a kind of deity, one to whom they were slaves?

While we cannot say for sure, God absolutely makes it clear that He is THE Creator of the world who rules over everything! Through His incredible acts of wonders, He demonstrates that all things are subject to Him. We see that even Pharaoh’s servants began to understand this when they tell him:

Then Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is destroyed?”
Exodus 10:7

The key to understanding this entire story is that it is all about God. God’s desire was, and I believe still is, that we will know that He is God, in the personal way which will lead us to worshiping Him alone.

At times we tend to take our eyes off Him, and we forget that it is He who has the control over everything. He will allow a hardening of hearts of those around us and will allow certain realities to happen in our lives to fulfill His ultimate purpose.

As I write this and consider what’s happening not only in Israel, but around the world, I am encouraged by His words of encouragement to Israel:

“But as for you, Jacob My servant, do not fear, nor be dismayed, Israel! For, see, I am going to save you from far away, and your descendants from the land of their captivity; and Jacob will return and be undisturbed and secure, with no one making him afraid. Jacob My servant, do not fear,” declares the LORD, “For I am with you. For I will make a complete destruction of all the nations where I have driven you, yet I will not make a complete destruction of you; but I will correct you properly and by no means leave you unpunished.” 
Jeremiah 46:27-28

I would like to close with a final thought regarding the words from Exodus 10:2:

I made a mockery of the Egyptians…”

Often, when we see God’s judgment over our enemies, or anyone who has hurt us - family, co-workers, friends – it’s easy to respond with an arrogant attitude and even say in our hearts that  “they deserve it.” However, let me encourage you that instead of having this kind of heart’s attitude, let us respond with humility knowing that each of us will give an account to the Creator one day!

Shabbat Shalom,

Check out previous blogs on this parashah!

Did you know? — Lone Soldier

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