Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

I do not Know the Lord



Genesis 50:20  But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go."


Joseph vs. Pharaoh

Joseph was a Savior.  Pharaoh was a destroyer.  Joseph feared and worshiped God.  Pharaoh thought he was a god.  Joseph suffered himself.  Pharaoh caused everyone he ruled to suffer.  The Pharaoh who was the destroyer was not the same Pharaoh that Joseph had served during the famine that occurred in the land of Egypt (and the rest of the Middle East).  The Pharaoh who destroyed his own people not only did not know the Lord, he didn’t know or remember Joseph who had been a great blessing to Egypt.  Years had passed and apparently, the Pharaoh who was the destroyer did not know the history of Egypt.  He apparently did not know that the Lord had blessed Egypt because of a man named Joseph who came out of a prison to serve as an appointed second in command to Pharaoh. 


Egypt had been a sanctuary for the Israelite’s as long as Joseph was ruling.  But ultimately Egypt became a place where the Israelite’s were enslaved.  They were forced into hard labor building structures for Pharaoh.  While pyramids are not specifically mentioned as the structures that were built, it does appear that the Israelite’s worked on some of the pyramids.  Thus, this place that was a safe haven under Joseph became a hostile environment under a Pharaoh that did not know Joseph nor did he know the Lord.


Lessons to be Learned

First, Egypt in many ways is a picture of the world society that is organized by Satan in opposition to the Living and True God.  Christians today live in the world but they are not of the world (John 17:11-14).  When Israelite’s were being sheltered in Egypt they maintained their distinct character.  The lived in Goshen and pastured flocks.  The Egyptians found shepherds to be an abomination.  So by being shepherds they maintained their distinct culture and character.  When Christians lose their distinctive character, they end up being enslaved.  Instead of being salt which makes food (Christianity) tasty and light that illuminates (shows people the way to heaven) they become enslaved by the culture that rebels against God and that serves a Pharaoh that doesn’t know the Lord. A  Christian’s strength lies in being different from the world while living in the world. I suspect this is what had happened to many of the Israelites because when they were delivered from Egypt a mixed multitude went out with them.  Likely these were Egyptians who had married Jews.


Second, we find that while Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, it was after he had publicly said that he didn’t know the Lord. There is no doubt that God raises up some unbelievers to display His power and glory.  But in spite of what many people believe, he never creates some people to be unbelievers.  The worship of the living and true God involves a personal decision on the part of each person who comes into this world.  God, who knows the end from the beginning, does predestinate believers to be conformed to the image of His Son and He does predestinate unbelievers to eternal damnation.  But He does not predestinate some to believe and some not to believe.  When we consider the matter of predestination, we must distinguish between predestination for service and predestination for salvation.  We must also recognize that God does predestinate nations for his purposes.  But every person who like Pharaoh says, “I do not know the Lord” will only have themselves to blame when they end up separated from God eternally. 


Third, we need to ask ourselves, “Are we acting like little gods?”  Do we want to be the ones who determine what is good and what is evil like Eve wanted to do in the garden?  Do we want to be like Pharaoh who thought that in this contest between him and the LORD, he could ultimately win?  Apparently, Pharaoh had really bought into the idea that He was a god.  Most emperors and monarchs down through the years have in some way claimed to be divinely appointed if not divine themselves.  But in my mind they usually use that doctrine to control people.  But in this Pharaoh’s case, I think he had really bought into the fact that he was a god and that he was more powerful than Moses’ God. 



Surely, being a Joseph should be more desirable than being a Pharaoh.  There may be trials along the way, but at the end of the road, the Joseph’s win.  It is much better to submit to the Lord than to reject Him by proudly saying, "I do not know the Lord."


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of January 28, 2018

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