After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went and spoke to Pharaoh. They told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go so they may hold a festival in my honor in the wilderness.” “Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh. “And who is the Lord? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.”—Exodus 5:1-2 NLT
The Lord’s decree that proclaimed the migration of God’s people from Egypt ran into official opposition. Some ugly head will always rise to oppose any movement from oppression to freedom. When a country turns into a prison for certain members of its population, the government tends to oppose their escape.
Perhaps governing authorities like Pharaoh do not realize that when they lower themselves to the role of slavemasters, they lose all their legitimacy as leaders. If a government has to block migration to keep its population inside its borders, it offers undeniable evidence of the need for a regime change.
Pharaoh explained the basis of his resistence to the migration of the Hebrews: he did not know the Lord. He did not understand the divine purposes of migration, neither for the Israelites nor for the Egyptians nor for humanity.
On the other side of the coin, all the nations of the world would do well to know the Lord, understand God’s purposes for immigration, and craft immigration policies that defend the cause of the oppressed—both inside their borders as well as at their gates.
Dr. Joseph Castleberry is President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington. He is the author of Your Deepest Dream: Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net: Learning to Network Like Jesus. Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.