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War of the Gods
Moses the deliverer is God’s selected man to lead His people to freedom. He made every excuse he could think of, and finally surrendered to do God’s will.
Moses says, “Let my people go.” Pharaoh refuses, and this sets the stage for a mighty conflict. This showdown is not just between these 2 men, but between Jehovah God and the gods of Egypt. It’s a spiritual battle.
And on a daily basis there’s more going on that what meets the eye. Our lives aren’t just physical occurrences. There is a sinister battle going on. It’s between good and evil. If God were to pull back the veneer and allow us tonite to see w/ spiritual eyes we would see angels and demons right here in conflict!
Ill.—a servant in the days of Elisha had his eyes opened when Elisha prayed, ‘open his eyes that he may see’ and when he did he saw the hills filled with fiery chariots!
Spiritual warfare is everywhere. I see it in:
· Politics—issues like abortion, marriage, homosexuality, and war are not just political issues...they have a spiritual basis. There’s a battle going on for the hearts and minds of people.
· Entertainment—just turn your tv on and flip around and you’ll see it happening.
· Schools—my daughter asked me the other day how many millions of years it took the dinosaurs to die off. We had to have a little talk!
· Homes—Satan wants to destroy the home, the building block of God’s creation. He wants to end marriages, turn children against parents, and introduce poisons into our homes to destroy from inside out!
It must have been a dramatic scene. Moses grew up a prince in this kingdom, and now he’s returned as an adversary, an advocate for this group of slaves. Here stands Pharaoh w/ gold bands on his arms and his crown w/ a serpent on it. Moses makes his demand, and Pharaoh says no. Awkward!
“I don’t recognize your God”, he says. “You must need something to do.” He makes their tasks more burdensome, doubling their work load.
v. 21 The children of Israel didn’t care for Moses’ efforts on their behalf at this point. But leadership often requires you to make the hard decisions that aren’t very popular. You can’t please everyone at all times. And your efforts to help others the most are sometimes appreciated the least. A pat on the back, maybe, but sometimes it’s a kick in the pants you receive!
Ill.—I saw I had an email the other day from someone I did a lot for. Before I opened it I said to myself, that’s nice of them to write and thank me. I opened it and it was a criticism!
Leaders, parents, etc.: Expect to sometimes be unpopular, and don’t try to be a politician and operate based on polling numbers.
So, what does Moses do now? He does what we should do: He returns to the Lord!
v. 22 And the beginning of chapter 6 is God reminding Moses of His promises, and how he can count on them!
v. 9 At this point Israel still isn’t believing. God said it, but they don’t believe it...but that still should settle it, whether they believe it or not!
Rod becomes a serpent, but Pharaoh’s sorcerers are able to do the same thing, but then they are eaten by Aaron’s rod. A very interesting NT verse actually names 2 of these magicians, operating in the power of Satan.
2 Timothy 3:8
They could do miracles, but that doesn’t mean they were of God. All that glitters is not God! Satan is also powerful, but in the end God swallows him up in victory!
7:14 and following are the 10 plagues of Egypt, and they weren’t just pulled out of the air. There’s a very deliberate method and strategy to what God does now.
· He will demonstrate His power to His people.
· This is a preview of what God will do at the end of the world. The plagues of Revelation bear a striking resemblance to these from Exodus! This is a dress rehearsal for what it will be like...only in miniature.
· God is passing judgment on Egypt and its gods. [12:12] Pharaoh said, ‘who is the Lord’ and now he gets his question answered. God introduces Himself, hands him His card, and the plagues commence!
Let’s look at 9 of the 10 plagues now:
They are packaged in 3 groups of 3—
The first 3 illustrate life vs. death
The next 3 are liberty vs. defeat
The final 3 are light vs. darkness
*They are fought on three battlefields: water, land, and the sky.
God calls out His heavenly army, navy, and air force!
Each plague is an exposure of a false Egyptian god...
The personal touch!
(God has a sense of humor / He’s jealous / takes challenges from other gods seriously / puts them in their place w/ a vengeance!)
Egyptians served many false gods:
Hapi & Isis—god and goddess of the Nile (they believe life began there) Also Osiris, believed to BE the Nile out of which all life came to be.
1st plague—water of Nile turned to blood (these gods are powerless to help!) [Pharoah was in de-nile!] They even tried to dig wells but all they struck was blood.
Heqt—1/2 frog and ½ woman (reminds me of a girl I once dated!)
2nd plague—frogs. Frogs and toads were very sacred to the Egyptians. If someone killed a frog, even unintentionally, it was punishable by death. Now frogs are everywhere, in the bed, the oven, underfoot. Like a blanket of filth these slimy, wet monstrosities covered the land until man sickened at the squashing crush of each step on this new green pavement they walked upon!
(heqt was powerless to help…don’t know what the heqt they were thinking!)
[frog in my throat!]
Incredibly, when Moses asked when Pharaoh would like the frogs to go back to the river he answered: tomorrow! “One more night with the frogs” – just 1 more pack of cigarettes and I’ll quit tomorrow / 1 more drink / 1 more night out...and I’ll get right with God tomorrow!
Geb—earth god…god of the dust
3rd plague—dust to lice or gnats (geb is not alive…he bit the dust a long time ago!)
These 3 plagues illustrate the difference between life and death. Sin brings death as a natural consequence. But Christ brings life!
The fourth plague was flies. This was an attack on Khepfi, who was the “god” of insects. And v. 22 shows that God separated His people from the following plagues...an invisible screen was put up! On one side was liberty and the other side, defeat.
The fifth plague was livestock. This was an attack on Apis, who was the bull “god.” —sacred bull--murrain on the cattle (remember the golden calf Israel asked Aaron to fashion?) [apis?…that’s bull!]
6th plague—was boils. Bloody, running sores. Now their bodies are afflicted. This was an attack on Thoth (Imhotep), who was the “god” of medicine. The Egyptians had several medical deities, to whom, on special occasions, they sacrificed humans. They were burnt alive on a high altar, and their ashes were cast into the air, that with every scattered ash a blessing might descend upon the people. Moses took ashes from the furnace and cast them into the air. The ashes were scattered by the wind descending upon all the priests, people, and beasts as boils, thus shaming the god Imhotep.
These middle 3 plagues showed the liberty of God vs. the defeat that the devil gives.
Now we move from the water and land to the sky:
The seventh plague was hail. This was an attack on Nut, who was the sky “goddess,” for this was harvest time, the time of plenty. [Revelation says 120 lb. hailstones will fall in the last days!]
The eighth plague was locust. This was an attack on Anubis, who was the “god” of the fields. This plague finishes up the work that was done by the hail. They devoured every herb of the land and fruit of the trees. Thousands of miles in diameter, and several inches deep when they land. And in the last days they’ll be bigger and bolder, and bite man, and not just vegetation.
The ninth plague was darkness. This was an attack on Ra, the sun “god.” At the same time that the Egyptians had darkness, the Israelites had light. God says, you wanna worship the sun? I’ll turn it off! It was a thick blackness you could feel. I wonder how many snapped during those long, night like days.
He’s a personal God! He handled these false gods in a personal way w/ a personal touch…His divine signature was on it all!
11 times these chapters show Pharaoh’s heart being hardened. 7 times he hardened it himself. 4 times God hardened it. The Apostle Paul addresses this very thing in Rom. 9:17-18 and says, it’s none of our business what God does in His sovereignty.
The word ‘hardened’ means to squeeze or wring out like a rag. When God squeezed Pharaoh’s heart, what came out was what was already inside! God gave Pharaoh what he demanded. And our God will allow people to go to hell if they insist!
Next time we’ll see the 10th plague—the death of the firstborn, and the wonderful truths of the Passover Lamb!
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