“You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go.”
These are strong words from God to Pharaoh. He has just said that my name will be proclaimed in all the earth. God said that to Pharaoh, that I am worthy of worship in all the earth. That’s the whole point of why God is bringing his people out of Egypt. We see it over and over and over again, so that they may worship him. That’s what Moses has said to Pharaoh over and over again, “Let this people go that they may worship God.” And that’s what God is saying to Pharaoh right here. “I’m showing my power against you because my name will be proclaimed in all the earth. My name will be worshiped. God is worthy of worship.”
So then he says in verse 17, “You are exalting yourself against my people.” The sin of pride. Living for the exaltation of self over the exaltation of God. Living for our name over God’s name, living to see our name look a certain way instead of living to see God’s name look a certain way. Now, it may not always be a situation like Pharaoh here, but this is one of the constant temptations in every one of our lives. In your life, in my life today, to live for our name instead of God’s name. To live for our purposes instead of God’s praise. To live for worldly possessions instead of God’s fame. To live for worldly pleasure instead of God’s glory.
In each of our lives, we are tempted to live for our purposes instead of God’s praise.
We are tempted to substitute all sorts of selfish, worldly pursuits before living ultimately and with overriding priority on making the praise of God known in our lives. Think about it, why are we so tempted each day not to evangelize? Not to share the gospel? Is it not in part because we love our own name, our own comfort? We don’t want to be that guy or that woman who’s awkwardly bringing up Jesus in a conversation. What will that make us look like? How will that make us feel? And we end up prioritizing our name, our comfort, over God’s name, over God’s praise.
If we are driven with zeal for the praise of God, we will share the gospel. We’ll share the gospel here and we’ll share the gospel around the world. And think about the Boniyar people in India. Almost a million of them, there are little to no Christians there. Why has the gospel, with all the resources, all the technology we have available to us, why have we not gotten the gospel to the Boniyar people in India? Is it not because we have prioritized our own pursuits, our own pleasures, our own possessions? We have spent our money, our time, our resources in our Christian lives, in our families, and in the church on ourselves and not on getting the gospel to them. We have not prioritized the praise of God among the Boniyar people in India.
So God, on all these levels, change our hearts. We pray, we confess today we are too much like Pharaoh. We are too prone to live for ourselves, for the things of this world, instead of living to see your name proclaimed in all the earth. God, we pray, change our hearts so that every one of us as followers of Jesus is driven with zeal to see the name of Jesus proclaimed in all the earth, to see the name of Jesus praised right around us. God, give us zeal today, right where we live, in our workplace, in our neighborhood, with people we meet, to see Jesus’s name known and loved and enjoyed. Help us to live for the name of Jesus today, and not just here, around the world. God, help us to live for the name of Jesus to be known among the Boniyar people in India, and cause it to be made known there.
God, we pray right now, cause your name to be made known there. Cause your praise to be proclaimed in all the earth, among the Boniyar people in India and all kinds of other people and groups like them. God, please lead our churches toward that end. Lead our families and our lives toward that end. Deliver us from the desire for the exaltation of our name, the comfort, the priorities of this world. Help us to be driven with zeal for the praise of your name, knowing this is where all of history is headed, your name being praised. Help us to live for that. Deliver us from pride, give us humility to live like this. We pray in Jesus’s name. Amen.
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