Everyone has one – the one person in your life who must always have the last word. Whatever your great exploits, they have climbed higher, caught more, gone faster. No story is complete until they have added the exclamation point of their own last word. Though perhaps otherwise unremarkable, they are grand-masters of one-upsmanship. Yet their quest for notoriety has gained only infamy.
No one likes a know-it-all. No one enjoys the one-upsmans’ self-agrandizing sagas. Far from inviting admiration, the know-it-all only invites scorn. We all have this person in our lives. You are not that person are you? Let this be a lesson. Don’t seek the last word. Learn the art of humility. As Solomon wisely cautioned.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;Proverbs 27:2
a stranger, and not your own lips.
You never know as much as you think. You are not the smartest or most accomplished person in every gathering. Praise others and you will be thought praiseworthy. Learn to exalt others and you will be exalted. Let another speak the last word. Exercise restraint against the temptation to focus the lens on yourself. Discipline in this area helps us to remember that God always has the last word.
No one likes a know-it-all. But what if the know-it-all in your life really did know it all. What if He knew how everything would turn out. One who not only knew the future, but determined it. One who knew you better than you knew yourself. Who knew how to love you and knew what you loved better than yourself. One who knew exactly what trials and triumphs were best for you. One who, despite knowing your heart, your failings, your rejections, still loved you better than you loved yourself? Would you give that know-it-all the last word? Would you prefer that know-it-all’s last word to your own?
Pharaoh was a know-it-all. He always got the last word. But when he tried to have the last word with Moses the Lord had one more word for him. And it was a terrible word.
Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’Exodus 11:4-8
Nine times Pharaoh said no. But God would force his hand with the worst plague imaginable. Pharaoh’s own son would die. And the Egyptian god of death and dying, Osiris, could not stop it. God would have the last word – a word of judgement. But it did not have to be. For in God’s judgement was also a word of grace.
What about you? When the Lord speaks the best, last word, the word of grace, will you let that be the last word? Or must you speak the last word yourself, following your own plans according to the stubbornness of your heart. Even in His wrath against pharaoh, his gods, and his people, the Lord remembered mercy.
What is the last word in your life? What last word will define life now and forever? Join us as we examine God’s last word to Pharaoh from Exodus 11 and consider the importance of giving God’s word the last word in our lives.
We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock for worship. Get directions here or contact us for more info. You can also join us on Facebook Live @RiverCityARP or on YouTube.