Michael Wilcock

READ : John 15:18-21
John 16:33

Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:2)

One of the Bible people I learned about when I was little was a man called Pharaoh. He figured in the stories of Abraham and Joseph and Moses, and even Solomon, so he must have lived a very long time (so I thought!). Later it dawned on me that there must be several of him—like the eighteen kings of France who were all called Louis, perhaps? Eventually I realized that “Pharaoh” was not in fact a name, but simply the Egyptian word for “King.”

In one way the Pharaohs were all alike, and we don’t need to know the names that distinguish them from one another. All of them stood for a famous, historic, powerful empire, organized without any concern for God. Old Testament Egypt shows us what many New Testament Scriptures mean by the expression “the world.”

It’s the world we live in today. “Pharaoh” will admire and use men of God like Joseph when it suits him. But usually he ignores them, or suppresses them, or even persecutes them. We mustn’t be surprised when he rides roughshod over our Christian principles. “In the world you face persecution,” said Jesus. “But take courage; I have conquered the world!”


Lord, teach us how to live in a godless world.