My wife and I are currently reading through Exodus together. While we look at the symbolism once a year anyhow, it seems that the full impact doesn’t hit you unless you actually read the story.
The metaphor for Pharaoh being a type for Satan goes deeper than some would treat it.
13And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
14For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.
15For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
16And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
17As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? (Exodus 9:13-17, King James Version)
Of course, part of this is quoted by Paul in Romans:
17For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. (Romans 9:17, King James Version)
Some of course would charge that God is unfair in His dealings with Pharaoh, to which Paul replies:
19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Romans 9:19-24, King James Version)
I understand that some will still not buy it that God is a just God. Of course, most of them have been influenced as well by the doctrine of an eternal hellfire, which would justification to such a position.
However, when you compare and contrast Pharaoh and Satan, you begin to appreciate the theater of the exodus much more greatly. You also begin to appreciate how God deals even with His enemies.
Let me ask you a question: Why does God deal with Satan the way He does in the Book of Job? How much patience God has! God did not have to have a conversation with Satan, I’m sure, in order for Satan to strike out at Job. In fact, Satan’s answer to God tells us that it was on his mind in any event. Yet, God not only deals patiently with Job throughout the book, but we see a lot of patience in His dealings with Satan. The only ones we don’t see much patience with is Job’s 3 friends, and that is because their words are filled with lies and approach blasphemy.
Why did God deal with Pharaoh the way He did? If Pharaoh was a type for Satan, then God showed restraint by not wiping him off the face of the earth. He told Pharaoh that He could “smite thee” and “cut thee off”, but He chose not to at that time. Yet, Pharaoh had a lot to learn. He still carried the bulk of the responsibility because he “exaltest” himself.
Will Pharaoh arise in the 2nd resurrection? I have every reason to believe he will.
Could it be that in the end Satan will have had every chance to repent and will not be able to deny it? Could it be that if he were to repent this moment that everything would change? However, God, Who sees the future, knows this will not occur.
Yet, God, in order to exalt His name, chooses to still deal patiently with even the worst of His enemies.
Let’s fact it: He has to. If we are expected to hold God to the highest possible position in our minds and our hearts, then God Himself must set the example and do so as well. God is not a hypocrite. He will live up to His name. He will exalt Himself because there is no one else that can take His place. He has set the highest possible bar for Himself, but unlike us He will meet the standard.
OK, there’s a lot to let sink in, isn’t there?
I wish everyone a blessed Sabbath.