Even after the Lord had turned Egypt’s water to blood, Pharaoh refused to obey God. Moses came to him a third time and told him what God had said.
“Thus says the Lord, ‘Let my people go that they may serve me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs.’ “
The reason Pharaoh would not let God’s people go to serve him is because they were serving Pharaoh. Obeying God would mean denying himself their labor. In order to obey God, Pharaoh would have to sacrifice his own plans and submit to the authority of another.
Pharaoh was the authority. No one was higher than him in the entire land of Egypt. Pride and position had made him powerful and pompous. Why would he listen to a God he didn’t even believe in? He had no incentive to stop serving himself in order to serve God save another warning from a couple nobody Hebrews. Therefore, God brought another plague. The purpose of the plagues was that the Egyptians might know the Lord.
Moses and Aaron warned Pharaoh and when he refused to listen, the frogs came in droves. Again the magicians duplicated the onslaught compounding the problem, but were unable to remove it.
Afterward, Pharaoh pleaded with Moses to take them away. It is interesting that he would go to Moses and plead for mercy but not to God himself. It is also interesting that Pharaoh wanted to wait on God’s mercy until the next day. When Moses asked when to take the frogs away, Pharaoh said, “Tomorrow.”
Tomorrow. Why? Pharaoh was probably hoping he would come across anther out in the mean time. He’d rather let everyone, including himself and his own family, suffer longer than to have to admit that God was in control over him. He would rather put off his promised obedience one more day.
How easy it is to play the part of Pharaoh. We want to hold onto our own agenda; be our own boss; have the final say in our own lives. We want autonomy. We make ourselves the ultimate authority repeatedly disregarding the word of the Lord and his people. We fail to deny ourselves despite God’s clear commands and purposes for us in doing so. We refuse to submit to God and obey him because that often means sacrificing our own plans for his. We go to men for help rather than God. When God disciplines us for our stubborn disobedience, we do not rejoice and give thanks for his mercy and grace. Instead we stall and put off obedience to God until “tomorrow.” Usually, tomorrow never comes.
Pharaoh did not obey as he promised the next day when God mercifully removed the frogs. Pharaoh’s relief was enough to deceive him right back into complacency and disobedience once again. Even after the plague of frogs, Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go.