Friday, September 5, 2008

Exodus 9 - Your Pharaoh

Has anyone ever told you who you are? Has anyone ever handed you a label you didn't want and said, "here, wear this. This is who you are, this is who you will always be."

It's a frustrating experience. It makes you feel small and stuck, as if your story is already finished. As if someone else has already read to the end of your book and they are ready to tell you how it all turns out.

That's what Pharaoh tried to do to the Israelites in Exodus. He tried to tell them they were slaves. He tried to tell them who they were and give them a label that felt impossible to shake.

It had to be frustrating to be the Israelites in that moment. To be under the thumb of a ruler that refused to release them. To be suffering at the hand of a man that kept telling them, "you are slaves, you are slaves."

And maybe that's where you are right now. Some Pharaoh is making your life miserable. A boss, a parent, a friend, a family member, a stranger. Someone is trying to tell you who you are. To make you smaller and stuck. And in that moment it's tempting to cry out to God, "Why is this person in my life? God do you not see them? Do you not see what they are doing to me? Why?"

And in Exodus 9:16, I think God answers those questions:

"But I have raised you (Pharaoh) up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

Maybe your Pharaoh is just a megaphone for God too. Maybe your Pharaoh is just a neon sign that ultimately, surprisingly, impossibly is going to point to God. Maybe that person that keeps trying to make you feel small is there so that God can show you how big He really is.

I'm not good at this, I don't have this idea down yet, but my hope is that the next a Pharaoh tries to tell me how small I am, my response will be "Whoa, this is going to be big."