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. Victoria E says:

    Heidi praise God for how things turned out.

  2. Bailey Bumgardner says:

    Hi ladies,

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Donna Wolcott says:

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

  7. 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!!!

  8. 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!