Imagine that you work in a factory and one day your boss comes up to you and says, “I’m not going to give you the supplies you need anymore to make the products you are required to make. But, I’m still going to expect you to produce the same amount every day.” You are then forced to outsource what used to be provided for you. Obviously this would take a lot longer.
Now, to make matters even worse, when you don’t meet your quota, your boss then comes to you and says, “You are just lazy! There’s no reason you should not be producing the same amount as you did before. The only explanation here is that you are cheating the company.”
This sounds crazy, right? Well, this is exactly what happened to Moses and the Israelites when they were dealing with a master gaslighter – Pharaoh. Which leads us to point 1.
1. God Will Deal with a Gaslighter By Taking Away What They Care About Most
When God wanted to set his people free, he gave Pharaoh a chance to act reasonable; but Pharaoh was a gaslighter and could not play by the rules. Instead of submitting to God’s words, he accused Moses and Israel of just being lazy (Exodus 5:3-4).
Pharaoh then did something that made no logical sense, which is how gaslighters act. He took away their straw but required them to make the same number of bricks. Exodus 5:14 states, “Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?” The Egyptians changed the rules of the game and then acted like there was no reason for the drop off in production. They were trying to make the Israelites look and feel crazy.
So what did God do? In kindness, God gave the Egyptians nine plagues. Why was it a kindness? Because God could have just wiped them out instantly. But each plague was actually a chance to repent (Exodus 9:15). Slowly but surely, Pharaoh’s continued rebellion caused God to remove everything from him, including what he held most dear.
I’m not saying God will send biblical plagues on a gaslighter; but I am saying these biblical plagues are an example of what happens to everyone who refuse to repent of their sins. Eventually, the consequence of sin reaches everyone who does not turn to Jesus in repentance (Galatians 6:7-9).
2. God Will Deal with a Gaslighter By Exposing Them and Ruining Their Reputation
Unfortunately for Moses, he was not done dealing with gaslighters. Sadly, this time it hit even closer to home – it was his own brother. When Moses was on the mountain talking with God, Exodus 32:4 states of Aaron, “And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf.”
Notice, however, what Exodus 32:24 recounts of Aaron’s response to Moses, “So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.” This is gaslighting 101. He kept some of the story true but changed the parts that were most incriminating. Gaslighters don’t just lie or deny everything. They keep hints of truth to make their lies more believable.
When you keep reading, it’s actually rather surprising to see how Moses responds. In a way, he just ignores Aaron and doesn’t engage with the lies. How did God deal with Aaron? For one, God exposed his lies for all to see. Look at us now. We are still talking about Aaron’s failures. And in Exodus 32:25 and 35, Aaron is directly linked to this blemish in Israeli’s past.
Likewise, it’s important for us to remember that gaslighters can only gaslight so long without getting exposed for the liars they are. Overtime, they gaslight enough people where everyone knows exactly who they are.
You don’t need to spend your life counteracting their lies, trying to convince everyone that this person is a gaslighter. Ignore them, move on, and their own continued rebellion will eventually ruin their own reputation.
3. God Will Deal with Gaslighters By Giving Them What They Ask for: To Be Lied to
As soon as the people were free from Pharaoh, they started gaslighting themselves.
Things were hard in the desert, and they imagined their past through a lie, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:3).
What did God do? Numbers 11:18-20 states:
Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before him, saying, ‘Why did we come out of Egypt?’”
In other words, God gave them what they wanted. Likewise, gaslighters want to be lied to, and in the end, God gives them what they want (Romans 1:24, 2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Perhaps the worst thing that happens to gaslighters is that they start believing themselves and start living the lie so deeply that they lose their own grip on reality. Slowly, they drift deeper and deeper into the madness of their own deceptions.
They end up alone, the only one left who is willing to believe their own lies. It’s truly sad.