Part 3: A Pharaoh in the Church

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Pharaoh identified with only one way to expand his kingdom: brick-by-brick.
Pharaoh identified with only one way to expand his kingdom: brick-by-brick. (Flickr )

So much of this story surrounds what seems to be a trivial object—a brick. As I shared previously, Pharaoh's identity was in the expansion of his kingdom, a kingdom built with bricks.

Further, the Israelite's identities were based on the bricks themselves. That's what they did. If they made a good brick, life was good, if they made a bad brick, life was bad. They were as good as the bricks they made with their hands.

In the confrontation with Pharaoh, Moses was declaring that there was no need for bricks where God was taking the Israelites. Yet, because the Israelite's security and livelihood were tied to the bricks, they couldn't see beyond that. The idea of a life void of the very thing that gave them their security and identity was too much to bear. The Egyptian system is very good at giving leaders and the people a measure of security, identity and community. However, it's a significantly flawed system, a self-serving system.

God, through Moses, was working overtime to communicate that they didn't need bricks to build a tent! Not only were they being called to drop their bricks, the very thing they were building was about to change! What an amazing opportunity to move from building a kingdom for Pharaoh to building the tent that would house the very presence of the Living God!

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Additionally, they didn't need bricks to make an offering—God won't accept a brick as an offering! In fact, in Isaiah he rebuked them for making a sacrifice on top of brick!

"I have spread out My hands all day to a rebellious people who walk in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; a people who provoke Me continually to My face, presenting sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick" (Is. 65:2-3).

God's plan was to remove their bricks and replace them with gold to take into the wilderness! The plunder of Egypt was theirs if they would only drop their bricks!

"Now the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses, and they requested of the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing. And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they gave them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians" (Ex. 12:35-36).

As in any transitional period, there will be a time of insecurity and struggle as both personal and corporate identity is threatened.

"I've made bricks my whole life. I make a great brick. I am helping build something greater than myself. I'm taking classes on how to make better bricks much faster. My leaders like me. I don't like change. Why are you making my life harder?"

This reformation requires a complete paradigm shift. It's a brand new wineskin for a brand new season of revolution. As we release our control over the people God placed under our care, we simultaneously put to death that spirit of Pharaoh and take on the prophetic and apostolic mantle of Moses.

As we do this, oh my! Are you ready for what is coming? God's chosen people, you and me and the people we are leading into the wilderness of encounter, will finally drop the heavy, dusty bricks of yesterday and take on the precious metals of God's Kingdom! It's time to drop the bricks! It's time to move out into a mysterious and fresh place full of wonder and promise.

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