Exodus 5:2 (CSB) — 2 But Pharaoh responded, “Who is the LORD that I should obey him by letting Israel go? I don’t know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go.”
Pharaoh asks the question that is at the heart of all idolatry: “who is the LORD that I should obey him?“
Therefore, the LORD answered Pharaoh’s heart-question:
Exodus 7:16–17 (CSB) — 16 Tell [Pharoah]: The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness, but so far you have not listened. 17 This is what the LORD says: Here is how you will know that I am the LORD. Watch. I am about to strike the water in the Nile with the staff in my hand, and it will turn to blood…
Exodus 8:22 (CSB) — 22 But on that day I will give special treatment to the land of Goshen, where my people are living; no flies will be there. This way you will know that I, the LORD, am in the land.
The plagues were signs to demonstrate that the words of deliverance being proclaimed by Moses were, indeed, the very words of God. They should therefore pay attention to these words and live by them as by the words of life!
God answered Pharaoh that he alone is God Almighty, able to deliver his people from oppression and save even the weakest in this world from the oppression of the mighty.
Now, to us God has given this one last sign:
Matthew 12:39–40 (CSB) — 39 He answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
We know the resurrection is true because it was witnessed first by Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9), who would have been a terrible witness for the gospel writers to fabricate since female witnesses had no legal credibility in their day, then to the disciples (John 21:1), followed by showing himself to witnesses with many signs and wonders for forty days (Acts 1:3) during which time over 500 people saw him (1 Corinthians 15:6). Then, lastly, after he ascended to heaven, he revealed himself spiritually to the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:8). He gave his witnesses great power to do signs and wonders on this earth in order to confirm the witness of this gospel (Hebrews 2:1-4).
The testimony of this gospel spread across the whole known world under opposition from Jewish power, Roman authority, and pagan philosophy; it even reached parts of the unknown world, getting into India and Western China in the first generation of Christians. Followers of Christ were burned, fed to lions, and hunted down like wild animals, but still the gospel spread just like Jesus said it would the night before every disciple but one abandoned him at his crucifixion. The Church was completely crushed in some places, as historical evidence seems to indicate it reached China and flourished for some time before being completely eradicated by the emperor. Yet, despite unspeakable pressure, the gospel of Jesus Christ continues to spread all over the world for one reason only: Jesus Christ rose from the dead and showed himself to more than 500 people for 40 days before ascending into heaven to rule by the throne of God!
Jesus Christ answers Pharaoh’s question by showing us who God is: Yahweh is the source of all life and reigns above death, he speaks and establishes truth in the heavens above and the earth below; Yahweh is holy and distinct from all creation, there is none like him; Yahweh is full of mercy, love, and compassion, and cares for the poor and oppressed, but shows no prejudice against the rich and powerful if they will humble themselves before him.
Jesus has come to explain God:
John 1:18 (CSB) — 18 No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.
John 14:6 (CSB) — 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Will you listen to him?