This morning I was reading Exodus 5 as part of my devotional time. That passage tells the story of how Moses and Aaron went to the King of Egypt to ask him to let God's people go worship for three days in the desert. In verse two, Pharaoh responded, "Who is the Lord that I should obey Him by letting Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and what's more, I will not let Israel go." I was struck by both the honesty and the bluntness of Pharaoh's response. I could not help but relate his response to similar responses I have heard from young adults in post-Christian America.
At first glance one might want to commend Pharaoh for his honesty regarding his thoughts about God. He did not follow God. He did not pretend to know the Lord. Nor did he give lip service to a faith that had no meaning to him. Knowing what one believes about God is important for a variety of practical and spiritual reasons. Many non-religious young adults in America today have formed very strong opinions about God. Like Pharaoh, they are quite blunt in sharing their opinions with others. They do not believe in God. They have no intention of "obeying" Him. They refuse to give lip service to a faith that means nothing to them. They are to be commended for not being fake in their approach to faith.
However, upon deeper contemplation, one wonders why Pharaoh did not want to know something about this God that Moses and Aaron followed. After all, Pharaoh's people had cruelly enslaved the Israelites and attempted to crush them as a people, yet God had blessed the Israelites anyway. Every effort the Egyptians made to crush the Israelites only resulted in the Israelites become stronger and more populous. The miracles and provision of God for the Israelites had been ongoing for over 400 years at the time this scripture was written. Such things were accepted historical facts in that era. Moses himself was a testament of how God used circumstances and people to change the course of a person's life. One would think that Pharaoh would see all those clear signs of God's existence and perhaps at least ask Moses and Aaron some questions about this God that he did not follow.
Just as Pharaoh failed to see clear signs from God, many non-religious young Americans have likewise missed what God is doing in the world around them. They have become so narrow minded in their efforts to remove God from their lives, that they can no longer think rationally about the many "God-moments" that happen around them all the time. They want to explain them away as coincidence, or psychosis, or some other human explanation. But the supernatural cannot be explained using human reasoning. That is why it is called supernatural.
Pharaoh's refusal to even consider the facts led to his heart becoming hard. His hard heart led to a significant downfall in his own life and in his nation. Non-religious young adults in America might want to take note of that. They should attempt to be more broad minded in their thinking and consider the possibility that all the "God-moments" happening around them may actually be from God. And if God exists, perhaps they should take time to get to know Him.