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Jul.27 Exodus Study

Categories: Exodus Study,News


 

Exodus

7:14-8:19

Who’s in Control?”

Outline:

I.) Intro.

II.) Vs. 7:14-25 Who is the Sustainer of life?

III.) Vs. 8:1-15 Who is the Creator of life?

IV.) Vs. 8:16-19 Who is in control of your life?

Intro.

exodus-2

We now come to the ten plagues that God brought upon Egypt. A careful look at them will reveal a pattern. They are brought in three segments of three, with the tenth standing by it’s self. The first of each of the three starts out with the words, “in the morning” then both it and the plague that follows it come with a warning from Moses, while the third comes with our warning.

  • The first three Aaron uses the staff and they produce discomfort.
  • The second three no staff is used and they produce damage.
  • The last three Moses uses the staff and they bring about despair.
  • The last one produces death.

The word plague means “blow or stroke”, and although the blow or stroke effected the Egyptians the blow was actually leveled against the gods they worshiped. God wanted to show all, that He is the one who is in control. Four times in two chapters Moses records for us the words, “as the Lord had said.” Ultimately the one that we trust the most is ourselves. It is only when plagues or blows come against this that what we have faith in is shaken enough for us to evaluate our spiritual lives. There are four groups in these chapters that were effected in some way by these plagues and we are often in one of these categories.

  1. Moses: Who in obedience, moves forward in his trust in the Lord in spite of outward success. Moses represents the believer who chooses to trust God at His word even if he does not see the results.

  2. Israelites: Who are moved from complacency by way of affliction and are in despair because they are not trusting in the Lord but looking at the results.

  3. Magicians: Who’s religion on paper looks powerful enough but in reality can only partially satisfy. There is enough ritual to convince them that they are good people, but no power to deliver or change their lives.

  4. Pharaoh: He is what I call a crises Christian who often turns to the Lord when there are some crises; only to go back to the former way of life when the crises is over.

You will find out looking at these plagues that God will be attacking the things that you have put your trust in if it is not Him.

II.) Vs. 7:14-25 Who is the Sustainer of life?

Vs. 14-18 We are clearly told here that God was doing this because the of the hardness of the heart of Pharaoh. The Nile River was the lifeblood of the nation of Egypt. In fact, Egypt is nothing more then a desert with the Nile running through it. Every year it would overflow its banks pushing out the silt which they would then use to grow their crops. With out the Nile Egypt would be uninhabitable. To the Egyptian with their multiple deities the Nile was the sustainer of life. The idols that were worshiped as god and goddess of the Nile was:

Hapi: The spirit of the Nile. A fat man with breasts of a woman indicating the powers of fertility and nourishment.

Isis: The goddess whose blood stream was thought to be the Nile.

Khnum: Who was the keeper or guardian of the Nile.

Vs. 17-18 God is going right after that which the Egyptians thought sustained life and He shows that instead of sustaining life if will bring about death, He says that it can not even quench their thirst. You may be thinking I’m not worshiping the gods of the Nile. Hey what are you trusting in to sustain your life? Is it your job, health, family and friends? If you are trusting in those thing’s, then you are worshiping the wrong God because only God is the one that sustains life.

Vs. 19-21 According to Gods word Moses and Aaron head towards the Nile. All the water even the water that was stored in vessels turned into blood. These vessels would have carved on them the image of an idol of worship. This was all done in the sight of Pharaoh. The fact that the water that was stored up also turned into blood shows us that even the things in our past that we’ve trusted in to sustain us will not produce life. God may use things but we are not to trust in them. Daily we are looking to all sorts of things to sustain our lives when we need to give thanks to the God who alone sustains us.

Vs. 22-25 We see the results of this attack against the false gods that they worshiped as the sustainers of life.

Magicians: These guys by way of their religious energy reproduce the effects of the judgment but can do nothing to reverse the judgment. Folks, this is nothing more then an attack against a relationship with God. “Hey I go to church and tithe, I’m a good person!” But all this shows is that they can produce death not life! These Magicians know religion but they don’t know God. Many in the world today settle for knowing religion and not knowing God. Wearing robes chanting, doing all sorts of religious secrets, but there is no power to effect change. These guys were perfectly satisfied to stay in their pride of religion, what they have done to produce death. Even though in the first two plagues they could duplicate the judgment they could never reverse its effects. All that religion does is worsen the effects of judgment!

Pharaoh: Clearly God is showing Pharaoh that he is not in control, but Pharaoh refuses to believe that. This all took place in the sight of Pharaoh but all of this just hardens his heart to the truth. There are opportunities in our lives that come up revealing to us that we are not in control. Notice that I said that they are opportunities, because it is then that we realize that we can not control the situation or circumstance, it is at this time that we can choose to trust the sustainer of life or not. The sad truth is that most will be like Pharaoh they will just harden their resolve to be god and seek all the more to control their lives.

Israelites: We are not told specifically how they responded, we are told that the effects of this plague was felt through our all the land of Egypt which would have included Goshen. It is a safe bet that they responded the same way they did in chapter five where they choose to look at the outcome instead of the Lord. All they see is that they are miserable, not only are they still slaves they have no water to drink. So many Christians today choose to interpret who God is based upon their circumstances instead of interpreting their circumstances on who God is!

Moses: Lastly we come to poor old Moses who steps out in faith does what God has told Him to do but with no signs of change. But the key to Moses resolve is found right here, “Just as the Lord had said.” This plague was showing who the sustainer of life is and God through His word had said what would happen before it happened. He is the sustainer of life, He knows the beginning form the end, thus He is in control even if things aren’t working out as you want, they are working out as He wants! We are told here that this plague lasted some seven days, with the results of those in need of water digging around the river so they could drink. How much is that like us, still trying to hang on to our old ways rather then turning to God.

III.) Vs. 8:1-15 Who is the Creator of life?

Vs. 1-6 To the Egyptian’s, frogs were sacred and you were not allowed to kill a frog. They had made an idol named Hequet which had the form of a woman with the head of a frog. It was believed that from her nostrils came the breath of life. Simply put Hequet was the creator of life. The Psalmist in 105:30 describes the extent of this plague by saying, “Their land abounded with frogs, Even in the chambers of their kings.” These frogs went every where including the bed. They thought of the frog as a sign of fertility so God makes sure that the frog goes into the bed of Pharaoh. Even more humorous is the fact that they would not kill the frog because they worshiped it. In the first plague God destroyed what they worshiped, here he increases it until they see the frog not as a blessing but as a curse.

Vs. 7-10 Again let’s turn our attention to how the different groups respond to this plague.

Magicians: Here our religious folks duplicating the judgment, but reversing its effects. Now just what Egypt needed at this time was more frogs. They go through all the religious stuff and all it does is produce judgment. Religion and being religious does not create anything. We are not saved by works but by grace through faith, and all the religious hype won’t do anything but create a big sink.

Pharaoh: Here you will see a difference between the religious Magicians and Pharaoh. Old Pharaoh knew that religion was just adding to the problem so calls for Moses do pray to the Lord. Right here Pharaoh sees that God is in control. And he makes a deal that if Moses will ask God to get rid of the frogs then they can go worship. Here we see our first case of crisis faith. Notice that it is conditional! God does not make deals with us. Moses puts him to the test in verse 9-10 by allowing him to pick the time in which he will ask God to remove the frogs. Pharaoh chooses the next day, which shows us that he is not all that serious and is still holding out for some other hope other then turning to God. Many won’t turn to God until they have no other choice and when they do it is in some sort of deal. God makes no deals; you surrender as you are now and he delivers!

Israelites: This no doubt was the same as the frogs covered the land of Egypt. So all they see is that they have gone with out water, now they got these dumb frogs everywhere and they are still in the same situation as before.

Moses: Vs. 10-13 Moses is growing in grace here as he follows the Lord. He is allowing the Lord to do all the work and he is not concerned with the outcome, only obeying His Word. Notice the heart here praying for his enemy, just wanting what God wants. He has come along ways by just obeying the Word and not being concerned about the outcome.

Vs. 14-15 Here we are told the results; religion stunk for it only creates death not life. Further more it’s stench was over all the land, yet it was enough relief for Pharaoh to turn back to his old ways, not heeding the word of the Lord. God knows this to for He alone is the creator. Many people today are looking for something to give them life, so they turn to entertainment, drugs, anything that brings life to them. But what happens is the very thing that they needed to have meaning ends up hopping all over their lives and making a mess out of it! Hey, Christian do you realize that the only One that can bring meaning and purpose in life is a relationship with God and it’s free! So why turn to frogs?

IV.) Vs. 8:16-19 Who is in control of your life?

Vs. 16-17 Now this plague comes without warning upon Egypt and so to in our lives some times God goes right after the areas that we have set up to worship. There is some question as to what this plague was, some say gnats, others lice, and a few say mosquitoes. The root word here means to “cover, pinch, or nip”, so most likely this would be either lice or mosquitoes. The earth God was Geb or Set who was the god of the desert. To the Egyptian there was no life in the desert so here we see God giving life to the desert and doing so to judge Egypt. We have God showing that He gives life to that which is dead. In the first two plagues the Magicians duplicate destruction but can not reverse its effects but here God shows that he can take that which is devoid of life and give it life. Notice the effects this upon the four different groups:

Magicians: Vs. 18 They still tried to duplicate this but were unable to do so. Religion is unable able to bring life or control life no matter how much it attempts to do so. That’s the farce about religion a lot of effort but no change. Finally, these guys realize that religion is not working this must be the hand or finger of God. They witness in effect to the power of God over all their secret arts of religion, yet we are not told if they repented. We do know that according to 12:38 that a mixed multitude went out of Egypt.

Pharaoh: Pharaoh just stiffens at his resolve to be his own god. It is not the lack of evidence that causes people to reject the truth about God instead it is the truth of that evidence and their desire not to yield to the truth. Like trying to walk a dog on a leash all the dog does is pull the opposite direction.

Israelites: Still no difference as to how the plague effected the Israelites. If only they could see that this plague was causing them to want to be separate form the world and untied to God, but all they could see was the discomfort of change.

Moses: He just continues, no matter what the circumstances show, to obey the word of the Lord.

God will always be revealing what we are trusting in and if it is not Him then be ready to have those things stripped away, but remember that what He wants to replace the false worship with is Himself. My prayer is that you will see these things in life as the finger of God making Himself known to you!

 

 

 

 

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