Things were going well so far, but to go according to plan, Pharaoh had to not let them go. Hopefully, that’s the expectation that Moses and Aaron went in with, that what God had said would prove true. I’m not sure, though. It’s almost like they are trying to convince Pharoah. They seem to embellish on what God told them.
In Exodus 3 we read the speech God gives them. Maybe He tells Moses more than what we’re told, but God tells them to say to Pharaoh to let them go and worship. After Pharaoh says no, they don’t accept it as God’s plan. They add that if they don’t go and worship, God might kill them with “pestilence or the sword.”
Pharaoh’s response was, “Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.”
So, who is the Lord?
John 17:3 says, “…this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” It would seem that knowing who this Lord is would be the most important thing in the world. Eternal life or death is wrapped up in knowing or not knowing Him.
Pharaoh, when presented with the opportunity to seek knowledge of Him, scoffs and rejects those who had knowledge of the Lord to share with Him. He didn’t want to know. He wasn’t a seeker.
Then Moses and Aaron present Pharaoh with this picture of God, someone who will kill the Israelites if they don’t go right then and obey by traveling three days and worshiping Him by feasting.
Who is the Lord?
He is the Lord who prepared them for such a time as this. He is the Lord who had known to the day hundreds of years before when they would be leaving Egypt. He is the Lord that called a people to Himself and made a covenant promise with them that He could not break. He is the Lord who appeared in the unburning, burning bush. He is the Lord that gave them the words and signs. He is the Lord that sent them.
He wasn’t going to send sword and pestilence if they didn’t go right then and obey the feast command! Their obedience was in going to Pharaoh and speaking God’s word, which they messed up to a degree, and there was no sword or pestilence.
He is a God who would keep His word and show Himself faithful to save His people.