The story of the slavery of the Jewish people climaxes this week as they leave Egypt. Rabbeinu Bachya (mid-13th century - 1340; noted for his kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, into the study of the Torah) points out that there seems to have been an emphasis on Pharaoh and his palace. Why?
He explains that it is clear from the story that Pharaoh was most arrogant. When in his palace, he was at his "best." He needed to keep this attitude to maintain his position of preventing the Jewish people from leaving.
Rabbi Henoch Leibowitz points out that we see from this that when a person surrounds himself with external things that are too showy and frivolous, it can affect him, and it can even turn catastrophic, as was the case with Pharaoh.
This is a very timely message, as today in society so much is judged and based on material acquisitions. Nice and comfortable possessions are great, but we need to keep in mind not to let things go too far.
Have an enjoyable Shabbos!