Face off in the fight of the 21st century.
Imagine if you will a world title fight we might see today. The contenders banter with each other for weeks before the fight, they might even get into a tussle at a press conference as they exchange insults. The fight is promoted as “Judgement Day” and the drama of the build-up serves to heighten the tension. At the weigh in there are more words as the contenders face off up close and personal, they nearly go at it right there in front of the cameras.
I remember seeing the size difference between Muhammad Ali and Jo Frazier at their weigh in 1971 in the fight of the Century billed as the Thriller from Manilla. How could he beat his bigger opponent I thought? That’s exactly what Smokin Jo did on March 8th 1971 at Maddison Square Garden in Philadelphia in the fifteenth round the bigger man hit the canvas, knock out!
Pharaoh and Moses Face off up close and personal.
In our fourth message from Moses today that is the stage we are up to. The scene is set in the fight for freedom; a punch has been thrown unfairly before the fight by the bigger man Pharaoh, arousing great tension and hardship for the people (the straw and the bricks incidentEx 5:18) who were no longer behind Moses. Let us see if he can turn the tide of support as the fight for freedom continues. The weigh in was a torrid affair with Moses getting the upper hand when his rod ate up all the serpents of Pharaohs.
Judgement Day began at the face off at the weigh in.
The serpent was one of the Egyptian gods, so in figurative terms Judgment day had begun at the weigh in. Moses and Pharaoh had faced off up close and personal when Pharaohs gods were eaten by Moses rod (From Moses Part three). If I was going to promote this fight it would be “Judgement Day” a ten round fight for the freedom of God’s people. Moses God had eaten Pharaoh’s gods at the weigh in and now it was personal, so the tension was building, the pressure was on. For Pharaoh now the tide had turned and we shall see what happens in the first round the next day.
Our text for the first round is from Ex 7: 14-25
- Round One in the fight for freedom: The taste of Blood.
14 So the Lord said to Moses: “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand. 16 And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness”; but indeed, until now you would not hear! 17 Thus says the Lord: “By this you shall know that I am the Lord. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood. 18 And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe to drink the water of the river.”’”
20 And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the Lord commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. 21 The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
22 Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them,
The first round goes to Moses and his God; imagine the scene with the water of the river and the pitchers and buckets where drinking water was stored all turning to blood at the same time.
The Massai tribe in Africa drink blood and a survival technique of the Mongolian horsemen was to drink a little blood from the main vein running down the neck of their horse but I think the people of Egypt did not have that in mind as their drink.
You can survive for three weeks without food but only three days without water. Bear Grills.
Survival expert Bear Grills tells us you can survive for three weeks without food but only three days without water, so they were all in deep trouble and Pharaoh knew it. In the spirit of the contest however he called his magicians and they did something like it with their enchantments but they couldn’t turn the blood river Nile back into water as he would have liked. This was enough for one day and Pharaoh hardened his heart and returned to his house. Here’s the point; we are told that seven days passed before they would meet again for round two of the fight for freedom; Judgement Day. Seven days that is four more than a person can survive without water. So every person in Egypt like a boxer punched in the mouth, every person would have to taste the blood in their mouth from this mighty blow delivered by the hand of God in the first round of the fight for freedom. According to Mike Tyson the infamous boxer, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” I wonder how Pharaoh’s plan changes after this punch in the mouth in the first round.
The stench of blood and rotting fish was everywhere.
After seven days the water returned but the stench of blood and rotting fish (the fish in the river died of course as the river turned to blood) the stench was everywhere as a reminder of the power of God. Aaron struck the waters in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants for this reason, so that all the people would know, so there would be no doubt in their minds of the power of God. “By this you shall know that I am the Lord”. (vs.17) God makes His name known in this statement; “I AM the Lord” and by the the taste and smell of the blood they remember and fear comes over them wondering; who is this God and what will happen next?
Round two: The Frogs of Fervor.
8 And the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. ..4 And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants.”’”
6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.
8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.”
9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honour of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.”
10 So he said, “Tomorrow.” And he said, “Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God.
And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields. 14 They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the Lord had said.
I’ll thank God tomorrow but tomorrow never comes.
Round two came as did round one when Moses and Aaron were instructed to go to Pharaoh; but after the frogs had been in Pharaoh’s bed he called to Moses to get relief and having nothing to bargain with he lies and says he will let the people go. In his wisdom, knowing it was a lie Moses offers Pharaoh the honor to choose when to remove the frogs, “Tomorrow,” he says as he dismisses Moses and Aaron from his court; but it was a sad case of tomorrow never comes. When the frogs invaded Pharaoh’s house and he was in great distress he cried out to Moses and promised to let Gods people go; but when the frogs had gone he did not do what he had promised. In our lives from time to time we have hardship; it could be a natural disaster of something of our own doing. We find ourselves like Pharaoh distressed even desperate and we cry out to God to help us; we make promises to Him from our distress; but when He removes the trouble we go back to the way we were before. We could be hopelessly lost at sea and saved in the den of night just in the nick of time. We could walk away unscathed from a motorbike accident; or get a good job when we really need it. It is our response after the trouble that God is looking for. Pharaoh’s tomorrow never came; he did not keep his promise after the disaster had passed. What will you do after the trouble has passed? Moses said in vs. 10 “Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God”. When we call on Jesus to save us and he does according to our word; it is not a coincidence or good luck it is so that you will know there is no one like Him and possibly respond to Him. Pharaoh had proof that Moses took away the frogs at the exact time he had chosen; only he knew the truth but he did not heed the proof. Let us see what will happen in the third round of the fight for freedom; Judgement Day.
Round three in the fight for freedom: The Lice of Lust.
16 So the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.’” 17 And they did so and… All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
18 Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had said.
The finger of God.
So far in round 1 & 2 we have seen that the magicians could do tricks that mimic the miracles of the blood and the frogs but they couldn’t reverse the miracle or bring any relief. Now in round three of the fight for freedom we see a change; this time they could not produce lice from the dust. They realized that even the finger of God was more powerful that their magic. They told Pharaoh; “This is the finger of God.” No need for a mighty hand and an outstretched arm for God only needed His little finger to win this fight. Imaging the itching scratching Pharaoh as the lice of lust invaded his body, still refusing to let the people of God go. God doesn’t raise a sweat at all but uses His finger to point out Pharaoh’s sins. God had landed three blows; the taste of the blood still lingered from the first blow; the frogs of fervor were a body blow to soften them up; and now the finger of God is more powerful that their best Magicians as the lice of lust invade their bodies. What will happen next?
The fourth Round of the fight for freedom: The flies of filth.
20 And the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 21 Or else, if you will not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you …22 And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. 23 I will make a difference[a] between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.”’” 24 And the Lord did so and… The land was corrupted because of the swarms of flies.
28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Intercede for me.”29 Then Moses said, “Indeed I am going out from you, and I will entreat the Lord, that the swarms of flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh, But let Pharaoh not deal deceitfully But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.
There’s no flies on him!
This is very Australian saying isn’t it; “There’s no flies on him”. (This saying means there is something special about a person if the flies don’t land on him for the flies of filth land on everyone. It is often used sarcastically when someone thinks they are better that everyone else. ) “The Aussie salute,” (brushing the flies away from your face with your hand looks like a salute in the army) is common in our outback where the flies will carry you away if you’re not careful. I don’t know if the Egyptians were used to flies but they can be very annoying to the uninitiated. They get in your eyes and in your mouth; they lay their eggs on the meat and it is corrupted. (24) The land was corrupted by the swarms of flies; God was pointing out with His finger the corruption in Egypt. When flies land on food they cause corruption and there were millions upon millions of flies so the corruption was complete; everything and everyone in Egypt was corrupt and the finger of God is pointing this out here in round four.
No flies on God’s People.
Moses said Let My peoples go or else (vs.21). Or else, Pharaoh was answering back by his refusal or else what? Or else your people will suffer but mine will not (vs.23). God was pointing out with his finger that His people are special to Him and He makes a difference between them and the Egyptians who have corrupted themselves. It is the same today God’s people are special to Him and He sets us apart from the corrupt world this is where the saying comes from, “No flies on Him”, there should be no flies on God’s people; no corruption in the church; we should not live like the people of the world for we are God’s children and what we do reflects on Him. Pharaoh promised again to get relief from the flies and the corruption but his own soul was so corrupt that when the relief came he did not do what he promised and did not let God’s people go. He dealt deceitfully (vs.29) from his corrupt heart so that Moses would intercede for him to take the flies away. But God knew he was lying and this only served to highlight God’s point that the land was corrupted completely. Our world is like the land of Egypt, corruption has set in everywhere the flies of filth have landed; but we should not be like that for 1 Peter 2:9-10 says,
“you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people.”
This is what we are in Christ, God’s people and we should not let the flies of filth and sin land anywhere near us.
So what of the stubborn corrupted Pharaoh who opposes the Lord our God, what will become of him in the fifth round of the fight for freedom. He remembers the taste of the blood (Rnd.1); and the body blow of the frogs of fervor in his bedroom (Rnd.2); and the frustration of itching of the lice of lust all over his body from (Rnd.3); he remembers the corruption of the flies of filth in (Rnd.4) as God holds him back with his finger. Will he land another blow or will the knock out come in round five of the fight for the freedom of Gods people? Judgement Day.
Round Five in the fight for freedom: Livestock Diseased and dieing.
Ex 9: 1-7
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 For if you refuse to let them go, and still hold them, 3 behold, the hand of the Lord will be on your cattle in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the oxen, and on the sheep—a very severe pestilence. 4 And the Lord will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel.”’” 5 Then the Lord appointed a set time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.”
6 So the Lord did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died. 7 Then Pharaoh sent, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh became hard, and he did not let the people go.
God makes a difference in the life of the People of God.
Remember in round 2 of the fight for freedom Moses gave Pharaoh the honour of choosing when the frogs would be removed (Ex 8:9-10); tomorrow he said and God removed the frogs but tomorrow never came for releasing God’s people. Well it is not like that with God what He says He will do; the Lord appointed a set time (vs.5) for the livestock of Egypt to die and for the livestock of God to live; tomorrow he said and tomorrow He did. Pharaoh checked to see if the Lord made a difference for the livestock of Israel (vss.4,7) and indeed, not even one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead. The fifth round of the fight for freedom was not the knock out round but God using His open hand, slaps Pharaoh in the face saying I do make a difference for My people; He did not send the flies into the land of Goshen; He did not kill their livestock; God made a difference between the people of God and the world.
God still makes a difference between the people of God and the world today. If we keep the flies of sin away, there will be no corruption in the spiritual food we take in (be careful what you do, what you hear, what you see, what you say and where you go), and there will be no disease caused by eating the corrupted meat of sin within our souls. In this way we can live as God intended us to be, healthy and happy. We are the people of God today as we saw in 1Peter 2:9-10 and God makes a difference in our lives today.
This mighty blow with the open hand of God would have brought the nation of Egypt to its knees but it was not the knockout blow let us see what happens in round 6.
Round six in the fight for freedom: Boils of badness.
Ex 9: 8-12 So the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes from a furnace, and let Moses scatter it toward the heavens in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 And it will become fine dust in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.” 10 Then they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses scattered them toward heaven. And they caused boils that break out in sores on man and beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.
No one can stand against God.
Ouch! Boils really? They are so painful and horrible I think even debilitating. Anyone who has had boils knows the state Pharaoh and his henchmen would have been in. (vs.11) Tells us that they could not stand before Moses because of the boils. Wow what a blow from God in the fight for freedom; now He has stopped using His finger to point out their sin and He has knocked them over and they could not stand. The boils represent the result of sin and corruption; if we allow the flies of sin to settle they will bring forth corruption and after that corruption untreated will bring forth disease and boils. Boils are a sign of uncleanliness and the ashes of the furnace which Moses used could have been the ashes of the sacrifices to their gods. So it is fitting that the magicians (the wise men and priests) could not stand before God because of the boils caused by the uncleanliness of their sinful sacrifices. The advisers of Pharaoh could not stand before God and so the fight for the freedom of God’s people continues. God has won the first six rounds but Pharaoh refuses to give up even though he cannot stand. He has been punched in the in the mouth in Rnd. 1; winded from a body blow of the frogs in Rnd. 2; brought to his knees by the finger of God in Rnd. 3; he had his corruption pointed out to him because of the flies of filth in round 4; and the result of corruption brought disease in round 5. Pharaoh was tough but he could not stand before Moses when the boils of uncleanliness took over his body in round 6. What tactics will The Lord I AM use in round seven in the next exciting adventure on Moses.
Think about Standing up for Jesus.
Pharaoh could not stand before Moses. If we stand up for Jesus in our lives as He stood up for us many years ago then no one will be able to stand against us either; Moses was only a shepherd when he stood up to Pharaoh but the might of Pharaoh was no match for Moses faith in God. So I encourage you to stand up for Jesus because He stood up for you. Matt 10:32-33 “If you confess Me before men I will confess you before My Father in Heaven,” that’s Jesus promise. This means that if you stand up for Jesus in this life He will stand up for you in the next life. Just as Moses stood up against Pharaoh so too we must stand up against the things of this world; it wasn’t easy for Moses but the Lord I AM was with him; it will not be easy for you either but you can do it because Jesus is with you always (Matt 28:18) So as we go remember to shoo the flies of filth away and don’t let them land in your life and don’t eat the meat of this world, contaminated by the flies of the sin of this world, what you see and hear, what you do and where you go all could be contaminated by the sin of this world. If you take corrupted things in through your eyes or your mouth or your ear, your mind will be corrupted leading to the boils of uncleanliness that will stop you from having the life God intended you to have. Rather let your mind dwell on good things like Philipians 4:8 says, [ Meditate on These Things ] Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Will God say well done to you?
In this way we will be able to stand before God on the last day and He will say well done; this after all is our goal to hear God say well done.
TAKE A TEA BREAK THEN READ ON FOR THE CONCLUSION TO OUR STORY…
REVISION SO FAR.
First six rounds of the fight for freedom.
So far we looked at the first 6 plagues of Egypt and likened it to the first 6 rounds of the world title fight for the freedom of God’s people. With the taste of blood in the mouths of every Egyptian from (round 1), the slimy frogs of fervor invading their bedrooms (round 2), the irritating lice of lust all over their bodies (round 3), the flies of filth landing on their food (round 4), after the corruption the flies left behind came the disease and death of their livestock (round 5), which in turn lead to the disease in the people, with a breakout of the boils of badness on man and beast. (round 6). This is like a progression or pattern from bad to worse for Egypt. Pharaoh started the fight by throwing the first punch unfairly before the bell but God had won every round since and Pharaoh wasn’t feeling too good. He had progressed from bad to worse and now could not stand before Moses because of the boils, all the livestock were dead; what were they to do? Even with all this destruction Pharaoh still refused to let God’s people go.
Shoo the flies of sin away.
We saw how this pattern is the same for us today, if we ignore God’s word and allow other practices to enter our bedrooms (private life) like the frogs of fervour did in Egypt; if we let the filthy flies of sin settle on our public lives it will lead to corruption of the mind and disease in the soul and debilitating boils of badness on our spirit; so we don’t want to do those things, we don’t want to follow that pattern in our lives. Shoo the flies of sin away before they can do their worst. Keep your life clean of blood and dead frogs that attract the flies of filth in the first place. (representing uncleanliness and corruption in our hearts and our minds) In this way you will never corrupt your mind with the things of the world; nor will disease be upon your soul and you will not suffer the boils of badness on your spirit. That is the message from rounds 1-6 in the fight for the freedom of God’s people.
The truth shall set you free.
Now we shall see the remaining rounds of the ten round fight for freedom. What will happen when judgement day comes for Pharaoh? What is the application for us today from these remaining 4 rounds and indeed the fight for freedom itself. We all want to be free and Jesus said I have come to set the captives free. What are we captive to and how can Jesus set us free? You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free as Jesus said in (John 8:31-34), if you abide in My word. So it is knowledge of Gods word that will set us free but what are we set free from? Vs 34 gives us the answer, (“Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.) So when we sin and everyone does we become a slave to that sin; sin owns us like a slave. Think about it, 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. The Son of God makes us free from the slavery of sin.
You must … Fight for your freedom.
You got to fight for your freedom as the children of Israel did, by reading God’s word, not just reading it but abiding in it, living the words, doing them, if you find it hard to read then listening to the preaching of God’s word is important for you. So let us together look into Gods word today and together we shall fight for that that freedom you have been looking for all these years.
Round Seven of the fight for freedom: Hail and balls of fire.
13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go…. 16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up,1/ that I may show My power in you, and 2/ that My name may be declared in all the earth. 17 As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. 18 Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Egypt since its founding until now. 19 Therefore send now and gather your livestock and all that you have in the field, for the hail shall come down on every man and every animal which is found in the field and is not brought home; and they shall die.”’”
24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, … 25 And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, …. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.
27 And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time. The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked. 28 Entreat the Lord, that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.”
Moses said there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the Lord God.”
When Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses.
Facts from National geographic about lightning.
vs.(24) “So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail”, sounds scary to me, goodness gracious great balls of fire. A moving thunderstorm also gathers positively charged particles along the ground that travel with the storm. As the differences in charges continue to increase, positively charged particles rise up tall objects such as trees, houses, and telephone poles—and people.
• The negatively charged bottom part of the storm sends out an invisible charge toward the ground. When the charge gets close to the ground, it is attracted by all the positively charged objects, and a channel develops. The subsequent electrical transfer in the channel is lightning.
• If your hair stands up on end in a storm, it could be a bad sign that positive charges are rising through you, reaching toward the negatively charged part of the storm. That’s not a good sign! Your best bet is to get yourself indoors immediately.
Get inside, take shelter from the storm.
So from a scientific point of view, it was important to heed God’s warning (vs.19) to get the livestock and the people home to safety before the storm. That’s like all the people in this world, it is our job as God’s people to bring them home to Jesus before the lightning strikes across the sky in the twinkling of an eye when Jesus returns at the end of this age (Matt 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. ). Is your hair standing up on the back of your neck now, indicating it will not be long before the lightning comes? Maybe you know someone who needs to come home to Jesus before it strikes or maybe you need to come home yourself to be saved.
Pharaoh finds out the reason He was born in round seven of the fight for freedom.
Like Moses who did not know his life purpose until he met The Lord I AM at the burning bush at 80 yrs of age; Pharaoh too had been living his life his own way until he met the great I AM in the storm of his life. He was climbing the mountain of God in the storm of the fight for freedom and he was on his knees before Moses, with the lightning all about, I think his hair might have stood on end so close to death, he was begging “I have sinned this time. The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked. (vs.28) Entreat the Lord, that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough”. Moses didn’t believe him for a moment but he did make the hail cease to end round seven saying, there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. The earth is the Lords and Pharaoh was finding out he just who The Lord is and in (vs. 16) he finds out the reason he was born; “But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, 1/ that I may show My power in your destruction, and 2/ that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Pharaoh was to be used as an example for all the world pf God’s power; not even the mighty Pharaoh could stand against The Lord of all the Earth.
When the storm passes what will you do?
It was a painful experience meeting The Lord, but still Pharaoh forgot his promise and his confession and slipped back into his old ways as soon as the hail and the fire was gone. As soon as he felt safe, he fell back into sin and this is what it is like for all people. We may not have slaves or power over people like Pharaoh but we all need to realize that we are sinners like him. When things are tough when we are in the storm of life we confess our sins and promise to let them go if God delivers us; but often as soon as the storm is passed we slip back into our old ways and forget about our promises to God.
What are you going to do today, pay your vows to God or go away from here and forget about the promises you made to Him in the storm? Think about it, will you harden your heart like Pharaoh or come home to Jesus and shelter from the storm.
Round 8 in the fight for freedom: Locusts devour what the hail left.
Now the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, 2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.”
3 So Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 4 Or else, if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. 5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, and they shall eat the residue of what is left, which remains to you from the hail and they shall fill your houses,
7 Then Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?”
When it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt.
16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste, and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and entreat the Lord your God, that He may take away from me this death only.” …20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.
D O S O M E T H I N G ! ! !
Use what you have to find Jesus He will do the rest.
First point in the eighth round of the fight for freedom; The locusts came to devour what was left of the crops leaving the land of Egypt without food, without livestock and in dire straits. This reminds me of when Jesus said the person who has not used his talents wisely; the little he does have will be taken away from him and given to the one who has used their talents wisely (Matthew 25: 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.)
By this we know we need to make an effort to serve God if we don’t do something, even what we do have will be taken away and given to someone who does try. Will you try to find God today, use what you do have; use your ears to hear the word; use your heart to believe it; use your mind to decide to follow it; use your strength to rise up and obey it? This is what we need to do with what we have to find God; don’t just sit there and wait, do something or risk losing even what you have.
How hard is your heart?
Second point, we see the reason in round 8 that we are still telling this story of the fight for freedom; in (vs.2) we see this ten round match between The great I AM and the mighty Pharaoh was held so that people would talk about it for a long time. That is what we are doing now some 3500 years on; so that we and our children will know I AM the Lord Jesus… personally. By this time Pharaoh knew God by name but because of his hard heart he did not know Him personally. How hard is your heart? Do you continue to refuse to let your sin go? Do you still refuse to get to know the great I AM the Lord Jesus Christ on a first name basis? This is the reason I am telling the message from Moses today so that you will know Him. In vs.3 the Lord says to us as well as to Pharaoh, “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me?” Let your sin go, that you may serve Me. 4 Or else, if you refuse to let your sin go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory.” Locusts to devour even the little you have left. Will you let your sin go today for tomorrow the locusts are coming?
Blood, fish, frogs, Disease, boils, hail and locusts.
Wow that’s quite a line up so far you would think Pharaoh would give in after all that. Round 8 goes to Moses, and Pharaoh asks for forgiveness after taking advice from his advisers saying do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed; the blood had killed all the fish; the slimy frogs of fervor had got into their personal life; the lice of lust had bitten their bodies; the flies of filth had corrupted their land; the disease had killed; the boils of badness had brought them to their knees; the hail had destroyed the crops and now the locusts had eaten what was left; what more could God do to convince Pharaoh to let his people go? Still the knockout blow had not been delivered and we shall see just how desperate a person can get in round 9 of the fight for freedom.
Round 9 in the fight for freedom: Thick darkness.
Ex 10: 21-29
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
24 Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you.”…
Moses said this was not acceptable we must take all that is ours.
27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Take heed to yourself and see my face no more! For in the day you see my face you shall die!”
29 So Moses said, “You have spoken well. I will never see your face again.”
Reach out in the darkness and grope for God.
Round 9. Darkness which may be felt; thick darkness, darkness where everyone was alone with his thoughts; this is the worst of the blows the Lord landed so far. You can do a lot of thinking in three days of darkness and I think this was to give Pharaoh and the people of Egypt time to think before the knockout blow has to be delivered. Time to repent maybe; but more likely time to stew on their own behavior; the way they treated the People of God; the pain and the anguish they put them through; the injury they caused; the separation of children from their parents; the execution of the babies before they had a chance to see the light of day; such behavior was depraved but it had become normal to the Egyptians, so they needed time to think. This great darkness provided a time when nothing else could be done except think and so the 9th round of the fight for the freedom of God’s people was won in three days of darkness. Pharaoh thought but still he could not soften his heart towards God but threatened Moses with his life if he ever saw him again which wasn’t likely given the thick darkness.
Think about your life.
There was a man who was a tradie living in the suburbs an average man, he married and had three children and life went on. Every day the same, more taps to fix and Hot Water systems to install, as he sat down for a cup of tea each day he couldn’t help but think there was something more out there somewhere for him. He didn’t know what it was but he knew his destiny was more than fixing taps and plumbing sinks.
As with most young men he looked for satisfaction, he searched high and low for what was missing in his life, he even found religion… but still there was an empty void a thick blackness in his life. This void started eating away at him and the dark side began to take away even the things he did have. He got in trouble with the law, he had trouble with his wife and she left him and the downward spiral had begun into darkness. After a few years he was diagnosed with clinical depression which actually confined him the bed much of the time. His head felt heavy as lead when he tried to get up and when he turned on the light his eyes hurt; so there he sat for a year, alone in the darkness barely even feeding himself. He knew he had to do something but what was it and where was the man of yesterday who felt that he was meant for something greater? Does this sound like anyone you know? It is a common occurrence and many just slip away unnoticed into the blackness and never return.
Let’s call him Dave because that’s a common name and he could be any of us who are sick of the life we have and can’t seem to find the way out of the dark. Dave took time in the dark to think and something he had in the back of his mind from years ago came to the surface; it was a new thing, a revolutionary power saving invention. There in the darkness of his life Dave found time to develop his idea. The darkness gave him the solitude to think and develop the idea and from there he found out he had the energy after all to go on. He contacted an engineer and designed the prototype and won a government grant to research his product.
This is based on a true story and it shows us that the dark times in our lives can be our saviour as it was for Dave.
How often have you taken time to think about your life; even at night the lights are on so there is never time to think in the darkness; if you listen to God and grope for Him in the darkness he will reveal Himself to you for he is not far away. As Romans 10:8-10 says, But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” So the word is near you today but don’t be like Pharaoh who hardened his heart.
Round 10 the final round in the fight for freedom, Judgement day.
Ex 11 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether…
4 Then Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, … After that I will go out.” Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger.
The Gloves were off.
God’s anger was aroused, the gloves were now off, the announcement was made for the tenth round of the fight for freedom; all the firstborn of Egypt would now die because Pharaoh would not let God’s firstborn Israel go. This was God’s message to Pharaoh back at the burning bush in 4:22-23 “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’” Pharaoh was a defeated shell of the man he was when he threw the first punch in this fight. Don’t start a fight if you can’t finish it I always say, and Pharaoh had started something that had destroyed the entire country. He had been given fair warning of judgement day; given time in the dark to think and now he had to wait for the knockout blow while Moses prepared his people to depart. We too are given fair warning that the Lord Jesus will return one day to judgement day. Will you prepare like the People of God prepared or will you harden your heart like Pharaoh?
The people of God were told on the fourteenth day of the first month each household was kill a lamb and to paint the blood on the doorpost and lintel of their homes so that the angel of death when he came at midnight for all the firstborn, would pass over their homes and not enter in. They were also to roast the lamb and eat it as a feast that night in their protected homes, they were to eat it with their sandals on ready to depart the land of Egypt. This feast was to be a memorial feast every year from that time forward, the feast of the passover. They were prepared for judgement day and protected by the blood of the lamb. The Egyptians did not know this and therefore when the angel of death came at midnight to their homes he did not pass over but entered in and took the life of all the firstborn of Pharaoh down to the maids, judgement day had come and they were unprepared.
The knockout blow was delivered; the fight for freedom had been won and the distraught Pharaoh let the people go. They left with riches for all the Egyptians gave to them gold and jewellery as gifts for fear of the Great I AM the Lord.
The perfect Passover lamb.
The Passover lamb was a sacrifice to save the people of God from the angel of death but down through time the perfect lamb of God was Jesus, whose blood applied to the doorposts and lintel of the door of our hearts can save us from our sins even today. If you are not prepared; if you have not availed yourself of that sacrifice; if you have not met Jesus face to face; if you do not know Him on a first name basis; it is high time you did. Ask yourself am I prepared to face off, up close and personal with the great I AM on Judgement Day? The message of Moses continues to be told as God expected it to be so that you can know I AM the Lord Jesus personally even today.
Just as the Passover feast was remembered by the children of Israel to commemorate the day the angel of death passed over their houses and did not enter; so to the communion feast today commemorates the day Jesus took our angel of death away. If we apply the blood of the sacrificial Lamb (Jesus) to the door posts and lintel of our hearts then we shall be saved; Jesus was that sacrificial lamb and we remember what He did in this feast.
Summary and conclusion:
The fight for freedom was ten rounds:
The weigh in was a face off, up close and personal, between a lowly shepherd and the great king of all Egypt; but the shepherd got the upper hand when his rod ate the gods of Pharaoh. He had talked big at the weigh in but could he win the fight for freedom?
Round one God throws His first punch by turning the water into blood. Like a boxer who has been punched in the mouth; so too all the Egyptians tasted the blood of the first blow for freedom on their tongues.
Round two Pharaoh reels from the body blow of the frogs coming into his bedroom all sticky and uncomfortable; he chooses the time for them to be removed in return for letting the people go, Tomorrow he chose but tomorrow never came for his promise to let them go.
Round three God shows his power in turning the dust of the ground into lice that bite but the magicians could not mimic this miracle therefore they declared it is the finger of God that destroys us. God only need his little finger to upset the might of Pharaoh.
Round four still using His finger God points out the corruption of Egypt by sending flies by the number. They landed on the meat and corrupted everything but they didn’t go into the people of God. So to let the flies of sin land in the heart of Egypt has brought forth corruption on a grand scale.
Round five was an open hand blow to the back of the head as God tries to knock some sense into Pharaoh the corruption of sin brought disease on the livestock and so their food supply died because of their own corruption and sin.
Round 6 God gets serious this time with a backhander to the face for not only did the corruption affect the livestock but it affected the people as well with boils appearing on everyone. Boils are a result of uncleanliness and the people of Egypt had been unclean in their ways and their thoughts.
Round seven the real fighting begins with a mighty hail storm; Pharaoh’s hair stood up on end as the fiery lightning of God’s anger threatened to burn him up as the crops were destroyed by the hail and the lightening.
Round eight what the hail stones left the swarms of locusts ate so the whole land was left without food and without future. The staggering Pharaoh was left with nothing in the tank for round nine.
Round Nine after having their sin pointed out and exposed and with the taste of their own blood still in their mouth the Lord caused a thick blackness to descend on the land, so thick you could feel it. He left them in darkness unable to go anywhere or do anything, to think about their condition for three days before delivering the knockout blow in round ten.
Round ten God delivers the knockout blow in the fight for freedom the taking of the firstborn son. Israel was His firstborn nation and Pharaoh had refused to let them go so God took Pharaoh’s son in the knockout punch which sent all Egypt sprawling flat out on the canvas.
What will you do?
So God’s people were let go at the cost of the entire wealth of Egypt; it cost Pharaoh everything not to let the people go. What will you pay if you do not let your sin go; if you continue to promise to let it go one day; if you say I will change tomorrow and tomorrow never comes then it could cost you everything you have, even your soul. What will you do when the locust comes to devour even what holiness you have left in your life; if you don’t use what you have been given to seek Him while He may be found? Or will you wait till the thick darkness takes over before judgement day when the Lord shall return like lightning flashing across the sky and you realize it is too late? Will you stand beside Him on that day and hear Him say well done? Or will he say to you depart from Me for I never knew you? These questions only you can answer as you come up close and personal with I AM the Lord Jesus. Will you face up to Jesus today while He is near or wait until He cannot be found to start your search for Him? Will you stand up for Jesus in this world of sin as He stood up for you many years ago against all odds? Will you let your sin go or hold on to it? I know it’s hard but you can do it for Jesus is with you; He is not far away from any of us; all we have to do is turn around and there He is. Will you turn around and meet Jesus face to face today?
This has been the Fourth Message from Moses; see episodes 1,2&3 on seedsmission.org website.
[Type text]0Page 1