Do you ever read the Bible and find it amusing? There is a story in the book of Exodus that just cracks me up. It goes something like this. Pharaoh is the leader of the Egyptians. He is not a nice guy and, in my humble opinion, not the sharpest tack in the box either. The Israelites are being held captive by Pharaoh but God has called Moses to lead them out of Egypt to the Promised Land. The problem is that Pharaoh doesn’t want to let them go. So, God tells Moses to mosey on over and speak with Pharaoh and warn him that things won’t be so pretty around Egypt if he refuses to let the Israelites go. But Pharaoh, in his stubbornness, allows the Egyptians to live through numerous plagues until eventually they basically beg the Israelites to leave.
My favorite event of the plague saga is the Plague of the Frogs. In Exodus 8, Moses tells Pharaoh that frogs will cover the land if he refuses to let the Israelites go. And, sure enough, the next there was a lot of hopping going on. The Israelites couldn’t take a step without landing on a frog! As Pharaoh had done before (and would do again) he calls Moses for a meeting, repents, and asks Moses to please beg God to call off the plague. To this request Moses says in verse 9, “You set the time! Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.”
And then comes the part which prompts my comment on Pharaoh’s intelligence. Exodus 8:10 reads, ‘“Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.’
TOMORROW? Are you kidding me? The man is surrounded by frogs, he gets to choose the time of their departure, and he says tomorrow? That’s insane. Why not right now? Were Moses to ask me a question like that my response would be “ten minutes ago would be perfect!”
On a recent mission trip to Africa, my husband and I checked into our accommodations at the hostel where we’d be staying for the week. We’d driven for most of the day to get there. We were tired and hungry by the time we got to our room and let’s just say, it was not the Ritz Carlton. It wasn’t even as nice as a bad Super 8. I was in the midst of surveying the accommodations, wondering how in the world I’d make it through the week, when a frog hopped into our room. That’s when I lost it. My husband tells me it was a toad, but it matters not. It was green and hoppy. Now, I’ve dealt with frogs before, and it’s not like I’m afraid of them, but that particular frog, or toad, tipped the scale of my emotions and turned me into a sobbing mess. And it was just ONE frog! One, little bitty, yet unpredictably hoppy, frog. I didn’t look at my husband and say, “oh by the way honey, if you could get that frog out of my room tomorrow sometime that would be great.” I was quite emphatic actually, yelling (in my very softest missionary voice) “GET IT OUT, GET IT OUT NOW!”
There is only one conclusion that can be made based on my experience and the story of the frog plague. Pharaoh was not a married man.