I read of a nine-year-old kid who was doing dishes and was bored. The sprayer all of a sudden became interesting. He wondered if the water was running through it the whole time or only when you press the trigger. So he took a knife and cut a slice in the tubing. Well, he soon found out that water is always running through the tube. He stuffed the tubing back in the sink and began to finish up his job. He then however noticed that water was pouring onto his feet from under the sink. How was that happening? He soon learned the workings of plumbing pretty well.
Do you remember some of the stupid things you may have done as a kid? There are all kinds of dumb stories we could tell, but the stupidest thing we do is resist God. Pharaoh tried to resist God and God took this hardened person and snapped him in half. You can acknowledge God’s authority and willingly obey His command or you can harden your heart and resist God. Either way, you will be used of God.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 11:9).
Charles Swindoll said, “Our greatest struggle is not in the realm of understanding the will of God; it’s in the realm of obeying the God whose will it is.” God has been breaking Moses down ten different times here. He has been taking baby steps toward being a dominant figure in Israel but also in Egypt. “Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people” (Exodus 11:3). Do remember this man back a few chapters? He was the one who said, “I can’t do it, Lord. You really need to get another guy.”
Every time he obeyed God, he was broken. Each time God says throw down your staff and Moses does, he is broken and strengthened. Each time God says raise your staff and God’s power is displayed, Moses is humbled by the God he serves. And the way Moses was broken meant that he could be restored to a stronger and more useful tool for God’s purpose.
Only through obedience will you not be broken in a damaging way, but in a productive way. The choice is yours. Pharaoh is mentioned again in the New Testament as a glaring reminder to us: “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth” (Romans 9:17).
Let obedience work in your life and you will find “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: And he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23).