So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 4 If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. 5 They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields. 6 They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians—something neither your parents nor your ancestors have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.’” Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.

7 Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”

Pharaoh’s officials remind me of the unjust judge in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:1-8) who gave in to the persistent widow because she kept ‘bothering’ him. They were thoroughly fed up with Moses (7a). But it seems they were more willing to face reality than Pharaoh was. Spiritual blindness is a sad, but interesting phenomenon. We might well ask, ‘How could he not see the truth?’

‘Denial of reality accounts for our perpetual blindness to the obvious. Human affairs at every level are affected by it. Denial alone explains why “the rulers of this age” do the things they do – up to the crucifixion of “the Lord of glory” himself (1 Corinthians 2:8, NRSV). Denial of reality is inseparable from our fallen human heart, and its great power comes from not being recognised for what it is. The fact is, in a world apart from God, the power of denial is essential if life is to proceed. The human heart cannot – psychologically cannot – sustain itself for any length of time in the face of reality. We can’t ponder our own death, we can’t examine the conflicted nature of our motives and actions, we can’t face our fears about other people – nor can we live with our own past or face our future – without profound denial.’‘Revolution of character’, pp.47, 48.

As Mark Twain quipped: ‘Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.’