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A Tale of Two Men

One of the great values of the OT scriptures, apart from revealing God’s redemptive plan through the ages, is the spiritual lessons we can learn from history. We can derive one of those lessons by juxtaposing two men, two national leaders, whose diverse reactions to truth determined the future of their nations. Those two men are the Egyptian Pharaoh with whom Moses dealt and the king of Nineveh with whom Jonah dealt. 

The prophet Jonah, whom God had literally raised from the dead, walked through the streets of Nineveh with a message one could condense into three words: “Repent…or else!” God had set the deadline at forty days. The prophet Moses walked into Pharaoh’s palace with a message one could condense into four words: “Let my people go!” While no deadlines were given, a series of plagues ensued for the sin of non-compliance. 

The king of Nineveh recognized the ring of authenticity and authority in Jonah’s voice and set an example by first donning sackcloth and ashes and then commanding his people to do the same. His act of compliance saved his nation from destruction. Contrariwise, the Egyptian Pharaoh recognized no such authority in Moses, hardened his heart in a show of non-compliance. Ten plagues later, with his nation in mourning and its economy in total ruin, he relented. But within a handful of days he changed his mind, which resulted in his army (or what was left of it) perishing in the Red Sea. 

This tale of two men demonstrates the vital importance of national leadership in spiritual matters. It also establishes the role of the prophet, God’s spokesman, and the safety or jeopardy in which national leaders can put themselves and their nations by compliance or non-compliance to truth. The sad fact is there are still Pharaohs in the world who would rather subject their nations to total ruin than comply with a single divine edict. 

Questions: (1) “Is the COVID-19 virus a warning shot over America’s bow?” (2) “Which of these two men does President Trump most resemble?” 

I have no desire to create a false equivalency. But President Trump has declared a National Day of Prayer for America over the current COVID-19 pandemic. And I am FAR more comfortable with a leader who recognizes the need for heavenly help with an earthly problem than I am with a Pharaoh!


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