NOTHING takes the heart out of a person quite like biting sarcasm from an authority figure. It can be hard enough just to get up the courage to approach a powerful leader, but if that figure responds with derision, even the bravest can lose hope.
Pharaoh used sarcasm with Moses and Aaron when they came to warn of the plague of locusts (Exodus 10:10). There is no clear indication that they were disheartened by the ruler’s taunts. But given Moses’ fears before returning to Egypt, perhaps he and his brother were not exactly rejoicing as they went out from Pharaoh’s presence.
There are at least three ways to handle biting sarcasm, especially when it is directed against one’s faith:
- Know who God is and why He has sent you. If people do not have much confidence in God to begin with, it won’t take much to knock their faith out of them. Likewise, if they do not know God’s purpose, it will be easy for a sarcastic comment to make them forget why they are doing what they are doing.
- Know yourself—your strengths and your weaknesses. What is the worst that someone could say to you, or about you? To what sort of comments would you be most sensitive and vulnerable?
- Know your enemy. What does your opponent stand to gain by turning you aside, or to lose if you prevail? Most importantly, do you know who your real enemy is?
However Moses and Aaron were affected by Pharaoh’s words here, they nevertheless did not let it take the heart of what God had called them to do.