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! 

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65 thoughts on "A Lament for Pharaoh"

  1. Terany Garnett says:

    So good

  2. Terany Garnett says:

    The supporting text clarify the confusion of what Ezekiel was being told by God. It’s helps when another passage within the Bible clarify another.

  3. Lori Lackey says:

    Oh didn’t mean to post yet…. Anyway fast forward and after a painful ending to a relationship, out of obedience…God has changed my life…. I wrote a charter for a sought after charter school in our area, and have been the superintendent for 11 years. I know that I could not do this on my own… this was a good reminder that God used me to to “shame the wise”, and if I am not careful, he can use the foolish to shame me as well.

  4. Lori Lackey says:

    I am late to this post, Ezekiel is hard. But oh my…. 1 Cor 1:26-31 got me. I was a teen mom. 2 children by the time I was 21. Attended trade school, but got pregnant before putting it to work. Became a believer shortly after my 2nd son was born. My now x convinced me that I was stupid … and had a face only a mother could love. (I no longer believe that to be true).

  5. Mary Stephens-Clark says:

    How true that we easily forget not where He brought us from, but that it was HE that brought us. Lord, help me to remember that I can only stand in righteousness because I stand in You!

  6. Heidi Larsen says:

    I feel all of that! I’ve tried the audio as well. It’s a tough chapter to slog through. Hang in there with me!

  7. Melanie ❣️ says:


  8. Kim Green says:

    I have been wallowing in the past, and downtrodden by the sin I see around me, but have forgotten that there is joy that I am forgiven. I have allowed the enemy’s lie to get to me. But I have been forgiven !

  9. Ashlee Hickson says:

    I am so grateful to have a God that is so forgiving. It is easy to forget that we are not the reason we have what we have, it is also easy to be prideful.

  10. Terri Baldwin says:

    Although their terror was once spread in the land of the living. They bear their disgrace with those who descend to the pit. They are placed amen by the slain. God’s wrath is mighty and so is His love! Gods word can lead us to humble, surrendered joy ! “Rejoice, we’ve been forgiven “!

  11. Ashley N says:

    Amen! I was convicted of my own sin and challenged by Scarlett to truly and wholeheartedly seek Christ!

  12. Jamie T says:

    We are so accustomed to believing in tangible things. But! We have to remember Faith not by sight… ✝️

  13. Sarah Ritchie says:

    I am beyond struggling with Ezekiel! For the first time in years of SRT studies I’m struggling to stay focused while reading. I’ve started listening to the Ezekiel portion in an audio bible while I follow along. Hope that helps someone else!

  14. Aimee D-R says:

    God I need you . Amen

  15. Katie Murphy says:

    Praying for your quick healing and peace in the rest that God gives you!!

  16. Mercy says:

    So thankful for Scarlet to emphasize that we tend to get judgemental when looking at the flaws and mistakes of our “Pharaoh”, forgetting we too once had those flaws, and still is a work in progress. Glory to God for starting the good work in us.
    @Allison Bierly: praying for your friend, this breaks my heart. Lifting her up to God, may God fight this battle for her (Psalm 35:1). When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight. May cancer and any other lurking enemies be destroyed and the baby and your friend are well protected.
    @Gramsiesue: praying for your husband’s successful treatment and more strength for you and family. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
    @Victoria E: praying for you and baby Elijah. May rest and sleep come, and breastfeeding will be easy. I too experienced breastfeeding issues within the first month. It hurt and there were many tears. We went to a breastfeeding clinic to check on the latching, and turned out there was a tongue tie, which hindered the baby to extend the tongue enough to latch properly, which hindered milk supply ( a loop). They clipped and it was solved. I was instructed on the position to hold baby, the angle, etc. and was given feedback what I did wrong and it helped a lot. Wishing you success on the breastfeeding journey. It is worth it!
    @Heidi: thank you for the update. You’re so good at telling stories. I enjoyed reading what you wrote daily ;), praying for evil thoughts to cease in your mind (2 Corinthians 10:5) and peaceful thoughts to come. Praise God for your niece’s action. Kudos to her!

  17. Victoria E says:

    Heidi praise God for how things turned out with your niece. I’m still horribly behind on this study, comments, etc. having a hard time recovering from the c section and baby isn’t sleeping. Please pray for peace of mind for me, ability to breastfeed our baby and sleep. Thank you.

  18. Victoria E says:

    Heidi praise God for how things turned out.

  19. Bailey Bumgardner says:

    Hi ladies,

  20. Stephanie G says:

    I let myself believe that pride isn’t really an issue for me. I never really thought of myself that highly and prefer to avoid notice in most circumstances. But this journey through Ezekiel is helping to open my eyes to so much sin in my heart. I act like I’ve got this- I don’t need/want help. Like I can take care of myself. But EVERYTHING i have and EVERYTHING that I am is because of God. His provision and His grace and mercy are the reason I’m even alive. Thank you God. Show me more. Draw me close to you and open my eyes.

  21. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I don’t usually think of myself as a prideful person, but as I was driving home, earlier today, I was being prideful about something that was a gift from God. I pray that I can live a thankful life, instead of prideful.

  22. K Swenson says:

    Hey SRT sisters! I don’t comment much, but I do read through and pray for the requests. It’s a honor to do this study with you. It’s been a hard one for me, as I’m already uncomfortable most of the time with PTSD, but watching the Bible Project Videos on YouTube today really helped me think of the overall message and meaning of the book. There are 2 videos and they are both about 6 min long. Well worth it! I thought I would throw it out there as a resource again. Especially for this struggling with Ezekiel. Thanks for your insights, requests, and encouragement. Keep putting one step in front of the other as we journey towards Him.

  23. Donna Wolcott says:

    But for Jesus, very thankful! Prayers lifted for all concerns mentioned and not. Wishing a peace filled weekend.

  24. Heidi says:

    Missed out yesterday and had to catch up… today hit hard with the remembering to give recognition to God, as He is the one who is doing the great thing that we often get to live in the result of.

    Update: My niece and her friend are still well and still in rehab and we are all so grateful. She has been attending her classes and participating in activities and, as far as we know and believe, she’s still clean and not using at all. A couple of days ago, we were texting but she was being kind of short with her responses and finally said “I’m actually pretty upset right now and not in the mindset for a conversation”- to which I replied No worries- I’m here if you need me for anything.
    I felt the nudge to pray for her, and asked God what He knows she needs, how should I pray for her. I began praying that He would protect her from the sins of her past trying to haunt and lure her back.. Well a few hours later my brother (her dad) called to say that some guy from her past called her. She believed that he was currently in a sober living facility and so she answered. As it turns out he left sober living because he got a new supply contact and is now out “selling drugs and making more off of it than I ever have.“. He made the offer for her to come and live with him for as long as she wants for “free” and she can have all of the “free” drugs she wants. “Free” meaning no financial exchange needed, however she’d be expected to “pay” in other ways (and for those who know addicts- sadly that’s not asking too much as a means to get the drugs they want). If this call had come a week or so ago, it terrifies my heart what her response would’ve been. However this time she told him no. Then she reached out and called her dad to bring him into it/share what was happening. Then she blocked him on Snap and his number on her phone. THEN she told a therapist at the facility immediately. THEN the therapist reached out to the original person who had, against all odds and rules, allowed my niece back into the facility. She was so proud that she then reached out to about 10 other departments in the facility letting them know what it happened and what my nieces response to all of it had been. Everyone was so proud, she was getting emails and calls all afternoon from random people praising her and encouraging her and expressing how proud they were that she would respond like this. My niece’s love language is words of affirmation so you can only imagine what that kind of response did for her heart. Not to mention, the reason everyone was so blown away was because they have experienced her a couple of times in this facility and they were pretty aware that she was most likely back just in order to get the detox drugs, not to actually recover. I know this story is still unfolding and we are still living through it so I can’t say what is going to happen at the end. However, all I see from beginning to end is God‘s handiwork… The handiwork of bringing her together with this other girl who now has some support outside the facility, he is providing her with sober living for free in a really great place when the rehab stent is over, it’s like He’s slowly giving her a new mindset that we just keep praying continues to change. She has a big road ahead of her, especially considering some family things that are going to have to be told to her that we have been protecting her from up to this point, but it is becoming inevitable that we’re going to have to share and it’s definitely potential to be a huge trigger.
    Please please continue praying for her and her friend, and also my brother who is trying to work out with a therapist a way to share the unfortunate things he’s going to have to tell her. Pray for her mind and her heart to be wrapped in such wisdom to be able to process the information and not allow it to push her back into a place of familiar pain.
    Following the incident with the guy calling her to try to get her to leave rehab, the scripture that came screaming in my head was
    “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis‬ ‭50:20‬
    Literally. The enemy reached out with a planned attack and it’s not like he just got refused and she was still in the same place, God took that attack and actually used it as fuel to the fire of her motivation towards sobriety. If I think about it, she is in a better place because of that attack and that is so backwards and upside down to even say!
    Thank you for this community. Please don’t forget about her or her friend as you pray during your days.. He’s using those prayers…

    KATHY- I’m so so sorry about Andrew. I will be praying for Wade and Lisa as they process, as well as the brothers and their response/healing.

    REBECCA- praying for you and your boy and his walk in sobriety as well as the recovering of his heart to Jesus.

    RHONDA- praying for your extended family and yours.

    AMY PARK- praying for your girl to come home soon and Gods hand on her while she is away. And wisdom, truth, justice to be experienced quickly!

    ALLISON B- praying for Kelly and her baby. Praying that God would bring protection and peace in this trial. That the baby girl is born healthy and safely and that Kelly is fully healed of the cancer.

    Can I ask continued prayers against the enemy who is continuing with his attacks on my mind through fears and anxiety over a specific issue. It’s exhausting… :(

    I know there are a million more requests and I remember and pray throughout the day for you. Hope everyone has a beautiful weekend!!!

  25. Leslie Gray says:

    Praying for all the request today! Katherine M, Congratulations! Praying for a healthy and safe pregnancy. Grammie Sue- Praying for Steve’s healing and for strength for you both, daily. GAYLE-prayers for your marriage! So glad you are seeing signs of hope. Ariana praying for confidence in your interview! You’ll do great! And Angie praying that you find moments of rest through the weekend and this coming week. Have a blessed weekend, Shes!

  26. Gwineth52 says:

    What a powerful devotional reading! Thank you, Miss Hiltibidal for calling it out. With bowed head, I call forth my wrongdoings. I spot my sinfulness. Sneaky pride. Judgmental nature. Self righteousness. Boastful in “big words & big thoughts”. Failing to credit & praise the Lord for EVERYTHING! The takeaway question; the task ahead; the issue laid bare. I can open my Bible everyday. I can participate in each SRT community read. I can listen to The Bible Project podcasts. I can attend church every Sunday. BUT, What am I TRULY learning that means the most to me in my faith life?”Despite all my busy-ness, what am I REALLY doing on the inside to pursue & praise that “new heart of flesh”? As Ezekiel implores: I confess, knowing “God is faithful, and lamenting gently & persistently reminds me to trust Him”. Lord Father, hear my prayer.

  27. Leslie Gray says:

    Praying for all the request today!

  28. Cindy Hanna says:

    @ Kristen. Thanks for the Tim Keller “Haughty Eyes “ recommendation. Just listened to it. Good advice/instruction.

  29. Sheryl Gunderson says:

    Gayle, praying for your marriage.

  30. Cindy Hanna says:

    @Churchmouse. Loved your post. That God’s pursuit of us is accomplished uniquely for each person warms my heart.

  31. Cindy Hanna says:

    Amen and amen Scarlett. “Sometimes, in the Christian life, the things the Spirit of the Lord has done for you start to feel like things you’ve done for yourself.” Why are we so short sighted with no ability to remember where our deliverance really came from? Prone to wander indeed. Where would I be without the abundant forgiveness found in Christ. Happy Friday sisters. Praying for you all. Be blessed.

  32. Allison Bierly says:

    So grateful for this study of Ezekiel and this virtual community. I don’t usually post but always read what you all have to share. Today, I would like to ask that you lift my friend Kelly up in prayer. She is pregnant and has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will likely need to undergo chemo. She’s a strong believer, but it’s scary and she’s mourning. Prayers that scans show it has not spread to other parts of her body, that her baby girl is born healthy, and that she feels God’s love and mercy.

  33. Traci Gendron says:

    Pride is the refusal to let God be God…says so much.

  34. J M says:


  35. Nancy Singleton says:

    Praying for your marriage Gayle. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on your circumstances. Trust in the Lord…

  36. Jordan Mullins says:

    Praising God for that sweet abundance of grace and forgiveness that He continues to pour out onto me. Happy Friday Sisters! ✝️

  37. Clarisse Martin says:

    Praying for you your husband and your marriage ❤️

  38. Sarah Raymer says:

    “We have been forgiven.” Amen to that!

  39. Heidi V says:

    Praying for all the concerns lifted today and yesterday! May everyone’s week wind down with no fuss or muss!

  40. Dorothy says:

    Scarlet’s last paragraph really “hit home” and made me think. I really need to watch what I say and do.
    I found my study Bible and found an interesting item in it: In regards to Ezekiel 32:32 it says, “After reading Ezekiel’s prophecies against all these foreign nations, we may wonder if he was blindly loyal to his own nation. But Ezekiel spoke only when God gave him a message (3:27). Besides, God’s prophets pronounced judgement on God’s sinful people just as much as on God’s enemies: But if Babylon was God’s enemy, why isn’t it mentioned in Ezekiel’s judgements? Perhaps because (1) God wanted to foster a spirit of cooperation between the exiles and Babylon in order to preserve His people; (2) God was still using Babylon to refine His own people; (3) God wanted to use Daniel, a powerful official in Babylon, to draw the Babylonians to Him.” I found this very interesting and thought-provoking.
    I’m commenting and doing my devotion early this morning because after waking up I couldn’t go back to sleep. All I could see in my mind was a scene from a TV show the mom of the new little girl I’m caring for part-time was watching — it was kind of gruesome.
    Sisters, be blessed and have ADORATION, JOY AND AWE for OUR LORD AND OUR SAVIOR.

  41. Heidi V says:

    @GramsiSue praying for you and your husband for continued stamina and peace. It’s wonderful that you’re seeing a naturopathic oncologist. They look at the whole body mind and spirit in their treatment. I pray the break from chemo treatment restores both the body and the mind through the much needed and deserved break!

  42. Katherine M says:

    Ladies, I have joyful news to share — after almost two years, I got my first positive pregnancy test yesterday. Will you pray for this child and all that is ahead for us? These studies and this community has been such a stalwart support throughout this season of waiting.

  43. GramsieSue . says:

    Yes, pride…a big downfall for all of us. This season has certainly changed my attitude. I had always thought being humble would be hard. Sad even. But I have learned it’s more of a leaning in, leaning on the strength of the Lord. I cannot do this on my own strength. And He is more than ready to lift me and hold me and carry me. You ladies, my sisters, have been so faithful in praying for Steve and I. So much appreciation for each of you. Next week is Steve’s last week of radiation and chemo for this round. Next Friday we can travel back home for a month long break. Please pray that Steve can rest and recover from these toxic treatments. We have an appointment with a Naturopathic Oncologist during April and our hope is that with diet and supplements Steve can overcome this awful brain cancer. God knows the days of our lives. They were determined before we were born. So my prayer is that we enjoy the days we have left and God blesses us with many more days together. Angie, how is your husband? Praying for his healing and your strength in caring for him. Heidi, praying for you, your brother, and your nieces. Praying for so many of you who are struggling in your marriages…Ronda J, Karrie, Melanie, Sissy, Gayle…and any others i have missed. Sandi, I pray for your husband with cancer and you, that you are led to the treatment option that will best heal him. And sweet Victoria, lifting you up and Elijah ❤️ I know the stress of caring for a newborn…had 4 of my own and now 7 grandchildren…just try to rest and relax and enjoy the peacefulness. Hold your son, cuddle and snuggle him, ask for help where you need it. There is no perfect “book baby”. They each require different care so take each day as it comes. Love to you! Blessings to all of you. ❤️

  44. Churchmouse says:

    I attended a spiritual retreat a few years back. An older man sitting at our dinner table was writing a book. He was compiling testimonies of faith and he shared some wonderful stories. As we individually shared ours, I was impressed with how uniquely God introduces us to Himself. There was no one-size-fits-all encounter. The One Who created us knows us best and He reaches out to us in very personal ways. By the time we were done sharing around the table, all were in tears. They were tears of gratitude for God’s grace and intimacy. He created us fearfully and wonderfully and He pursued each of us fearfully and wonderfully. It was the very best dinner of the retreat.

  45. Gretchen Odonnell says:

    I sure appreciate how you can take a passage that doesn’t mean a lot to me and pull out truth!

  46. Morgan Latham says:

    I’m forgiven all because of Jesus. I’ll be rejoicing in that today.

  47. GramsieSue . says:

    Oh dear Gayle, praying for you, your husband, and your marriage. ❤️

  48. Terri says:

    Jennifer loves Jesus,

    Your words touched me this morning. When I was convicted as a teenager, I wanted to be saved because I did not want to go to hell. Great is the mercy of our Father who loved sinners like me enough to send His Blessed Son to die for us.

  49. Rebecca says:

    I’m grateful for your word, Lord, that always reminds me to seek You, love You and find You in this crumbling world of ours. You are the only way to find that elusive joy we long for in a fallen world. Help me to be humble and keep my heart and mind focused on You.
    Thank you so so much for your prayers for my son. This is why God led me to this community. I am praying for all your requests today ❤️ You’ll knock it out of the park today Arina!

  50. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    Deep calls to deep- this feels so true. …”because your loyal love is great toward me, and you will have delivered me from Sheol below.” (Ps 86:13) “The path of life leads upward for the one who has insight, in order to turn away from Sheol below.” (Prov 15:24). Learning to live and move within the deepest cries of my soul, held fast in Christ, has been the key to unlocking peace. This earthly realm holds both good and evil. Life here will not be without pain. I am learning to live with it. With God. Beauty helps. I see Spring coming- re-birth, new growth, promise of restored and new Eden. “Consider your calling…” (1 Cor 1:26) Thank you Jesus. Maranatha.

  51. Lauren Ruhe says:

    Praying for you, Gayle. ♥️

  52. Kristen says:

    Thank you for the comments that help bring more clarity. I heard a sermon called: Haughty Eyes by Tim Keller. I’ve shared this with many.
    Pride is a dangerous thing. Here is a link in case you want to check it out. There may be things you didn’t even think were prideful, but actually are. https://podcast.gospelinlife.com/e/haughty-eyes/
    In agreement with the prayers. Have a great day!

  53. Linnea Constant says:

    praying for you Gayle ❤️

  54. Ally M says:

    Reading Ezekiel has really convicted me of my pride. I feel like that’s an overwhelming theme in all of these idolatrous and arrogant nations that we are reading about, and I just want that pride out of me! Continuing to pray for your requests and for us all to be humble and to live so that we give all the glory to God!

  55. Eileen Dowd says:


  56. Michelle Sundman says:

    My pride can cause many problems in my life. This weeks podcast has really awakened me to it. Sometimes I can think I am better than others because I get up early to spend time reading the Bible. But then I hear this weeks podcast and think, so I do it out of a sense of works or because I of my love for Jesus and his word?? God help me to fall in love with your word and let it not become a checklist of something I should do.

  57. Michelle Sundman says:

    My pride can cause many problems in my life.

  58. Angie says:

    As I try to work and care for my husband, I am tired. Yet, it causes me to think about so many of you whose prayer requests I lift up to God. Grammiesue and Lynne my thoughts are for you and your husbands. Also for our dear friends Delbie and Frances in similar situations. Victoria, praying the nursing is going better and that you are able to enjoy all the precious moments without fear or stress. Arina – I wish you God’s best at your interview today.

    My page would not load yesterday so, I have not read the devotional or prayer requests but I will try to get to them and pray this weekend.

    Thank you Father for today and that You are with me. Amen.

  59. Stormi Messmer says:


  60. Ellen says:

    @Arina-bless you on this interview. May God calm your nerves and allow your God-given gifts and talents to shine.

  61. Kelly (NEO) says:

    ARINA – praying for your interview! May you have peace. Keep in mind that this is a first for your interviewer too. He or she has never interviewed YOU before ☺

  62. Kelly (NEO) says:

    The repetition of “uncircumcised” in these passages highlighted that these nations did not have a covenant relationship with God. (Circumcision being the sign of the Abrahamic covenant.) Sadly Israel’s mission of showing who God was to their neighbors failed and the nations continued in their sin.

    Pharaoh’s pride was his downfall. As it is with most people. Humility acknowledges that God is Lord of all. One day every tongue will confess this truth.

    Thanks be to God that He sent Jesus so that all who humbly place their trust in His finished work on the cross may have circumcised hearts and enter an eternal covenant relationship with Him.

    KATHY – praying for Lisa and Wade and their other children as they moarn the loss of Andrew.

  63. Searching says:

    Painful to read about the consequences Pharoah and others faced, all resulting from their choices to shun God and their feeble attempts to elevate themselves above Him.

    Thank you, DOROTHY, for your closing comment yesterday … it was something like Be blessed and listen to God!

    KATHY – praying for Andrew’s family, especially the brothers still addicted.

    AMY PARK – praying for your foster daughter

    GRAMSIESUE & LYNNE FROM AL – praying for you and your husbands

  64. Arina says:

    Egypt wasn’t wrong in saying they were the highest tree, the greatest among the nations. God Hinself says they were the most beautiful. But they were wrong in thinking that was something to boast about. Who gave them abundant water? Who made them grow high? They were nothing better than any of the other trees. In Sheol, they were all the same. Just as we all will be the same in heaven, all living from the same grace. No reason to boast or feel better or worse than anyone else.

    Praying for all the requests. I also have a prayer request. I have a job interview this afternoon, my first one ever, and I’m having lots of anxiety about it, and also being nervous. I just want it to be over. Praying for courage and peace.

  65. Grace Hayes says:

    Thank you!