I was a bit surprised when I read the headline. After all, it isn’t every day I am commanded on the front page of the paper to, “Hail, Pharoah!” Was there a major coup while I slept?
Of course, it wasn’t that kind of Pharaoh. And by now, you have probably heard about “American Pharoah,” the horse with the misspelled name. Pharoah pulled off a rare feat – a Triple Crown win. He is the 12th horse to accomplish this honor (the first was in 1919 and the most recent was 1978).
So the headline was about a horse, not a dictator. Whew! But here’s a thought, what if “Hail, Pharaoh!” actually was the headline today?
You see, a few thousand years ago, back in Egypt, “Hail Pharaoh,” was a common headline. Tuesday’s paper read: “Hail, Pharaoh!” Wednesday’s? “Hail, Pharaoh!” Thursday’s…yeah, you get the point. Because, “Hail, Pharaoh” was the way of life.
And if you were an Israelite, you were a slave. You had no hope of a better life. Your parents and grandparents were slaves. Life was hostile. Egyptians even passed laws ordering the murder of babies in order to control the population.
But there was one hope to hold on to in that bleak world. God had made a promise to your ancestor, Abraham. He said that your people would be enslaved for a time in Egypt, but they would be delivered one day.
Of course, God fulfilled that promise through His servant Moses. But, sadly, many of the Israelites had given up hope. In fact, they had become so used to being slaves that some actually preferred slavery to God’s deliverance.
Fast-forward almost 1,500 years. God’s people were enslaved to sin, but He had promised to free them through a new covenant with an even greater deliverer. And He fulfilled that promise in Jesus. All those who follow Christ will enter the Promised Land of Heaven.
Fast-forward almost 2,000 years. The headlines today proclaim, “Hail, Money,” “Hail, Politics,” and “Hail, Fame.” Is your trust in slavery to this life or eternal freedom with God in Heaven?
Consider this: Some people bet on “American Pharaoh,” the winner, and others chose the losing horses. Betting on the “wrong horse” has come to mean putting your trust in a losing ticket.
The Triple Crown is impressive, but there is a crown that is far more impressive. Won’t you “hail the power of Jesus’ Name” to which “angels prostrate fall?” As Perronet’s 1780 hymn says, “Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all!” Trust in the Crown of Life, Christ Jesus.