I have to admit that one of the things I get frustrated by is people making ridiculously stupid decisions. And I am doubly frustrated when these stupid decisions directly impact me – such as costing me time or money or well-being. If I had been living in Egypt back in the time of Exodus 8, I would have been VERY frustrated, yay even angry with the leader of my country. In verses 1-15 he makes four bonehead decisions that in my humble yet accurate opinion were nothing short of stupid.
- Verses 1-6 – Pharaoh had already seen the devastating effect that the first plague (water turned to blood) had on his country but he seemed willing to roll the dice again with the threat of an ubiquitous frog infestation if he did not let the people of God go. The price he paid was frogs everywhere. Now I am not a frog hater but I would not have been happy to find a family of frogs in my bed and in my cupboard and in my drinking water that I worked so hard to get since I could no longer get it from the Nile. From where I sit, Pharaoh is a stupid man and a stupid leader. But he gets stupider!
- Verse 7 – Pharaoh decides to show Moses and Aaron that they aren’t such hot stuff so he calls his magicians in to prove a point. So if I am Pharaoh I would have my magicians use their magic to GET RID of all the frogs. But to demonstrate to everyone that he is a stupid man and a stupid leader he has his magicians produce even more frogs. As a loyal Egyptian I would at this point seriously consider switching teams because all those folks up in the land of Goshen were living the frog free good life. But wait, Pharaoh gets even stupider.
- Verse 8-11 – Pharaoh decides that he is finally sick of stepping on frogs so he calls the brothers in for a conference to let them know that he is finally willing to negotiate. Moses says OK, sounds good, just let us know when you want the frog supply to be cut off and it shall be done. Now again, if I am in Pharaoh’s sandals, I am sick of frogs and I would tell Moses that there is no time like the present time to send all those froggies back where they came from. But nooooooooo! Pharaoh says, “Let’s wait until TOMORROW.” I can picture the servants in Pharaoh’s court looking at one another at this point, rolling their eyes and thinking, “This is a stupid man. What’s wrong with TODAY!”
- Verses 12-15 – So when tomorrow rolls around, the Lord fulfills His part of the bargain and all the frogs drop dead. Now there are mounds and mounds of frogs everywhere and they stinketh. A clear reminder of a stupid decision that had disastrous results that effected millions of people. So what does Pharaoh do? He makes yet another stupid decision. He reneges on his promise to let the Hebrew people go. Result: Gnats. Flies. Dead livestock. Boils. Hail. Locusts. Darkness. Death of the firstborn. Some people just never learn. Or as Forrest Gump says, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
It’s easy for me to sit where I sit and poke fun at Pharaoh’s stupidity. Until I think about how I can be just as stupid.
- I too make bad decisions and in my pride am unwilling to admit that I am wrong.
- I too think more about my own little kingdom than the people around me that are effected by my bad decisions.
- I too put off until tomorrow things that I know I should be doing today. And then tomorrow never comes.
- I too make promises that I do not keep and then pay the price for it.
So hopefully my pondering on this passage will teach me a thing or two. I don’t want my legacy to be “He was a stupid man.” Unfortunately for Pharaoh that is a legacy that is recorded in the best selling book of all time.