"And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be gentle to all..." 2 Timothy 2:24
Text: Exodus 5 : 1-3
GENTLENESS OF TONE
Despite the fact that the Pharaoh displayed great arrogance, Moses and Aaron chose gentleness of tone. The following text well conveys how they conducted themselves before Pharaoh.
“So they said, ‘The God of the Hebrews has met with us.
Please, let us go three days’ journey into the desert
and sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest He fall upon us
with pestilence or with the sword.”
What gentleness was displayed in this word given to Pharaoh!
While we may appreciate the gentleness of spirit displayed, we are puzzled by what was actually uttered by Moses and Aaron.
“The God of the Hebrews has met with us”
These words are clear enough. This was an introduction of the LORD to Pharaoh. Since the latter said that he did not know the LORD (Cf. Exodus 5:2), Moses felt that it was proper to introduce the LORD formally as ‘The God of the Hebrews’.
“Three days’ journey”
This phrase is best understood if we were to read the original request made to the Pharaoh.
“Thus says the LORD God of Israel:
‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me
in the wilderness.'”
A vital sequence is established when we link the next word Moses said to Pharaoh.
“Please, let us go three days’ journey into the desert
and sacrifice to the LORD our God…”
The “feast” was a worship involving “sacrifices”. Surely Pharaoh would understand what worship meant, for Egypt owned many gods!
“Lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword”
This statement may sound strange to us. Why would Moses portray God in this light? Moses sought this line of explanation because Pharaoh would be able to comprehend how a Deity would be offended if His wishes are not obeyed. Egypt knew much the wrath of angry gods! His line of argument must not be taken to mean that he believed in vengeful and easily irritated God!