Power Shift

from Andrew Stewart, New Life Church Derby

“Let My people go…”

“Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?”

See Exodus 5:1-4

In the first encounter between Moses and Pharaoh all the power is seemingly with Pharaoh. He is established, secure in his position. This request from Moses seems ridiculous. Pharaoh can easily dismiss Moses and Aaron, and he makes the Israelites work harder. It appears Pharaoh is firmly in charge. 

However by the time of the fourth encounter with Moses, we see the first chink in Pharaoh’s armour, “Entreat the LORD that He may take away the frogs” Ex 8:8.

By the sixth encounter Pharaoh is wavering, saying in effect, “Go, sacrifice to your God, but don’t go too far”. See Exodus 8:25-28.

By the tenth encounter (plague of locusts) Pharaoh’s servants speak up. “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, don’t you know Egypt is destroyed?” Exodus 10:7. It would have been unthinkable for them to speak this way to Pharaoh in the beginning. They risked their lives saying this. Notice power has shifted a lot. Pharaoh is weakened, undermined, not in control. He says the Israelite men can go.

All Pharaoh’s power is finally broken with the death of his firstborn. He calls Moses and Aaron in the night, and says to them, “Rise, go out from among my people..” Exodus 12:31-32. This time no strings are attached. He even asks Moses and Aaron to bless him.

What can we learn from this ‘power shift’?

God is with us, as He was with Moses.

It might seem at times like we are up against immovable forces.

For example you might have a friend who is an atheist. They dismiss the claims of Jesus, and seem confident and secure in their position. Don’t lose heart, over time things can change, chinks may appear in their armour, a wavering may begin.

There are big issues in our Nation that seem to stand established, powerful. Like the abortion industry, or the wrong definition of marriage. However, all of these things can crumble.

Notice too there is sometimes a time gap between what God says, and the reality we experience. God said to Moses in Exodus 7:1 “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh” It certainly didn’t seem like it then. But by the time of the tenth plague those words were fulfilled.

So let’s continue to persevere in prayer, believing for a ‘power shift’.

Andrew Stewart