A Lament for Pharaoh
Open Your Bible
Ezekiel 31:1-18, Ezekiel 32:1-32, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
I sat at a table with some people at church the other night. My husband was teaching a theology class and giving logical arguments for the existence of God. After teaching us a lot of big words, he talked about how none of it hits our hearts without experiential evidence. If we don’t experience a relationship with God, we’re just putting big words and big thoughts into our brains.
Afterward, there was a time of discussion, and most of us at the table shared which of the terms we’d just learned meant the most to us in our walks of faith.
I thought back and told the group that experiencing God’s mercy is what changed everything for me.
The woman next to me said, “I’ve never had an experience with God. I want that. I want to see His physical body. I want to hear His voice.”
Her honest and beautiful desire to know God opened up a conversation at our table that convicted me. Walking through the basics of our faith with a seeking woman caused me to remember just how little I had to do with my salvation and with any of the good things God has done in my life.
Everyone at that table remembered and shared how broken we were and how hopeless we felt before knowing Jesus Christ. We remembered what it felt like to be stuck in sin, believing there was no way out. We told this woman what Jesus Christ promised about seeking and finding Him.
The thing about humbling yourself before a holy God and being rescued by His amazing grace, is that as time passes, you sometimes forget. You find yourself at church functions thinking you have all the right answers to the table questions. You find yourself reading Ezekiel 31 and 32 and judging the pharaoh for being so arrogant rather than lamenting over the sin in your own heart that you still battle. Sometimes, in the Christian life, the things the spirit of the Lord has done in your life can start to feel like things you made happen.
Reading through today’s passages, and being confronted with verse after verse about Pharaoh’s arrogance and God’s wrath toward it, reminded me how sneaky pride can be. It is easier to look at the actions and flaws of others and get judgemental. It is tempting to take credit for what Jesus Christ has done in our lives.
But, “It is from him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom from God for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption—in order that, as it is written: Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1Corinthians 1:30–31).
There’s nothing like sitting at a table with a truth seeker and being reminded of when you were a truth seeker. There’s nothing like opening the pages of the Bible, looking for answers, and then remembering your Rescuer. God’s Word can take us right back to that place of dependence, adoration, and awe. God’s Word can lead us to humble, surrendered joy. During this Lenten season we are reminded that we can lament over our sin and the sin we see around us, but all the while rejoicing, because friends, we’ve been forgiven!