Radiohead, "Fake Plastic Trees"
Darius Gilmont, Pharaoh’s Dream
He used to do surgery
For girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins
And it wears him out
It wears him out
It wears him out
Radiohead, “Fake Plastic Trees”
Note: Christian Formation at 9am
Sunday worship at 10:15 AM
In-person worship and live stream
Dear Grace Family,
If you’re on the bottom of an empire—either as a victim or as someone who has fallen through the cracks—you probably don't have a lot of desire for the regime to continue. No doubt Jews in the Nazi death camps and Tutsi people under the Hutu rule in Rwanda longed (and prayed) for these empires to collapse.
If you’re a leader or someone who benefits from the empire, it’s natural to hope that things don't change. Sure, the empire isn’t perfect, but life for you and a lot of people you know might actually be pretty good. And, it is also possible to point out all kinds of ways that the current form of empire is better than previous or competing ones.
This reality—one's assessment of an empire is often tied to whether one is on the top or the bottom of that empire—was experienced by many this week after Queen Elizabeth's passing. Her death brought about two very different reactions to the legacy of the British Empire.
Regardless of how we may view any particular political, economic, or military power, the Scriptures teach that every human empire has an expiration date. There is only one kingdom of God, and Jesus is its King.
In Genesis 41, God gives two troubling dreams to Pharaoh—the one sitting atop the Egyptian empire. For Pharaoh, life is good. He is rich; he is powerful; the harvest is plentiful; and he commands everyone’s respect and obedience. When he speaks, others become silent.
But with the intrusion of these dreams, Pharaoh now occupies the place of the one sitting in silence. He is no longer the man with the plan. He is the one confused. He no longer can guarantee his own survival or the flourishing of his empire. He is the one who feels his weakness.
No wonder he was so afraid. Life as he knew it was about to come to an end.
God was confronting Pharaoh—a man not used to being confronted.
Yet, even with this “shot across the bow” from the Lord, we must let the story shape our perception of God's heart towards Pharaoh.
Make no mistake, if Pharaoh decides to proudly cling to his empire, God will continue to oppose him. But God’s desire isn't to destroy Pharaoh or the Egyptians. Rather, he desires to bless both Pharaoh and his people through the rule of God’s man—Joseph.
You could even say that God's invitation to Pharaoh is the same as Peter’s words to a congregation just like ours:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that he may lift you up in due time. (I Peter 5:6)
I hope to worship with you on Sunday.
This Sunday: Genesis 41 (NIV)
Here is the Order of Worship.
Warmly in Christ,
PS We are making some changes to worship beginning this Sunday. Go here for more information.