One day two young men got into a bitter argument and neither one would listen to logic. The bigger of the two decided a show of force would change the smaller one’s mind so he picked him up with one hand and threw him hard against a wall. The smaller man slowly got to his feet, looked the stronger one in the eye and said, "You think you’re tough? Well watch this!" He walked back from the wall, then turned and charged full speed into it, knocking himself out. He finally rose again, barely able to stand and said to the other man, "Now who’s right!"
Pharaoh's behavior during the ten plagues is like the smaller man’s in the story. We see this clearly with the first two plagues. Pharaoh does not listen to reason so Hashem uses force by turning water into blood. But rather than conceding to Hashem, Pharaoh refuses to be intimidated. He sends his magicians to buy water and demonstrates that he can also turn it into blood. Next comes the plague of frogs and again Pharaoh scoffs at Moshe Rabbeinu. "You think you're special--watch this!" He then commands his magicians to make frogs from dirt.
Does creating even more blood and frogs make Pharaoh “right?” Weren’t the Egyptians suffering enough without more trouble from their own king? However, we see from the start that Pharaoh is willing to hurt himself and his people rather than accept Hashem as the Ultimate Ruler. Pharaoh is running full speed into a brick wall in order to prove his point.
There’s a well known saying, “If you do what you’ve always done you’re going to get what you’ve always gotten.” Pharaoh kept resisting the truth, so he kept getting hit. His desire to prove that there’s no God was so great that he was even willing to hurt himself in order to prove it. As a result Go took everything away from Pharaoh.
Conversely, when a person devotes his life to prove that Hashem runs the world he is rewarded with the blessings of a long life and the wherewithal to continue. May Hashem bless us all in such a way with abundance.
Over the years people have asked me if I would ever draw cartoons depicting some of the cases found in Yora Daya. Well, the answer is yes! I recently published a sefer called The Great Game of Kashrut. Click on the link to find out more: The Great Game of Kashrut
As for me, I don’t want to believe in a God that I understand. --
If you would like to dedicate a Davar Torah in honor of a special occasion or in memory of a beloved family member please contact Yisroel Simon at email@example.com.
Good Shabbos,R’ Channen