Exodus Era-Exodus 11

Exodus 11

11:1 The LORD said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely. Speak now in the hearing of the people, that they ask, every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, for silver and gold jewelry.” And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.

So Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ And after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.

(ESV)

Exodus Era-Exodus 10

Exodus 10

10:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.”

So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country, and they shall cover the face of the land, so that no one can see the land. And they shall eat what is left to you after the hail, and they shall eat every tree of yours that grows in the field, and they shall fill your houses and the houses of all your servants and of all the Egyptians, as neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from the day they came on earth to this day.’” Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh.

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 understand that Egypt is ruined?” So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. And he said to them, “Go, serve the LORD your God. But which ones are to go?” Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old. We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the LORD.” 10 But he said to them, “The LORD be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Look, you have some evil purpose in mind. 11 No! Go, the men among you, and serve the LORD, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.

12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, so that they may come upon the land of Egypt and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again. 15 They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh hastily called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore, forgive my sin, please, only this once, and plead with the LORD your God only to remove this death from me.” 18 So he went out from Pharaoh and pleaded with the LORD. 19 And the LORD turned the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt. 20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go.

21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch 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 people of Israel had light where they lived. 24 Then Pharaoh called Moses and said, “Go, serve the LORD; your little ones also may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind.” 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. 26 Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the LORD our God, and we do not know with what we must serve the LORD until we arrive there.” 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 care never to see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.” 29 Moses said, “As you say! I will not see your face again.”

(ESV)

Saturday Study

Saturday Study

Exodus 5-9 (4-14-18)

Grab your Bibles, and let’s go deeper into Exodus chapters 5-10!

Let’s do a little recap of the bigger picture here. God’s people have been in Egypt for quite some time now, and God has decided the time for their slavery to Egypt has come to an end. So God tells Moses and Aaron to inform Pharaoh that God wants His people to be allowed to travel into the wilderness and worship Him. Now at the very suggestion, Pharaoh immediately adds to the labor of the Israelite slaves and begins punishing them for not carrying out this new burden he requires. We see all of this play out in chapter 5. So how did the Israelites respond? Let’s look at the passage and see:

Exodus 5:15-16 Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this? No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.”

So the ones representing the Israelites, their “foremen,” come to Pharaoh and ask, “What’s going on? You demand the same work from us, but you’ve made the work ten times harder. How do you expect us to do this? If you are making this change, then why are your men beating our people when we aren’t able to do the required work?” Essentially, the foremen say, “We can’t do the work because of the changes you’ve made, but you are beating us for it. What gives?”

So Pharaoh answers them in verses 17-18:

But he said, “You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks.”

Pharaoh responds by saying the fault falls on the Israelites, because if they have time to go worship their God, then they must not be working hard enough. (This reminded me of a line my old boss used to say: “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”)

This isn’t really what Pharaoh was trying to communicate to the Israelites. What Pharaoh was really saying was, “I am your god (the one in charge of you), and you will do what I want. I have the power to change your life–not this so-called God that you worship.” Pharaoh wanted the Israelites to see his power and be angry with their God and Moses. If you can divide a people against themselves, it is not hard to conquer them! We see this in their response:

Exodus 5:19-21 The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, “You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day.” They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; and they said to them, “The LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

See how quickly the people turn against the very one sent to set them free. This was Pharaoh’s aim. It worked so well that even Moses blames God for the trouble.

Exodus 5:22-23 Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”

So Moses blames God for doing evil, because instead of delivering them from slavery, He has brought more burden to the people. Now God has an interesting answer for Moses, which we find in Exodus 6:1:

But the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”

God lets Moses know that he hasn’t seen anything yet. The Lord spends most of chapter six reminding Moses who He is and what He is going to do. He tells Moses to share this reminder with the people and let them know that God is going to free them and take them as His own. The people still won’t listen because their spirits have been crushed by the burden that Pharaoh has placed on them. I’m sure many of you can relate to a crushed spirit from the burdens of this world.

When we continue in the story, God tells Moses, “Go and tell Pharaoh to let my people go.” Moses says, “But my own people wouldn’t listen to me; how in the world is Pharaoh going to listen?” Then God reminds Moses that Pharaoh won’t listen! Look at Chapter 7:

Exodus 7:1-5 And the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.”

God responds by telling Moses that this is just the beginning! How defeating it must have felt to Moses to hear God say, “Oh you’re going to do even more than this, and I (God) will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will not listen to you!” Many times in life, we see the commands of God, and they just don’t make sense to us. Moses must have felt discouraged to know that he was right that Pharaoh wasn’t going to listen and that God was going to ensure that Pharaoh wouldn’t listen. Like Moses, I believe many times we can’t see what God is going to do, but also like Moses, that is not our job. We like to be in control, but what is glaringly obvious throughout these chapters is that no matter how much man wants to be in charge or in control of things, God is the only sovereign being.

So Moses goes to Pharaoh and he doesn’t listen. Then God bring plagues through Moses, beginning with turning the Nile to blood. The passages say that the land stunk, the fish died, and the Egyptians had to dig to find water to drink. However, Pharaoh did not let God’s people go. So God bring frogs. I remember thinking when I was younger that frogs don’t seem like that big of a deal. As I grew older, I realized that if frogs were covering the land, it would certainly cause some issues. Can you imagine so many frogs that they cover the ground and you literally are walking on them? When the frogs died, they were piled up and causing the land to stink as well. At this point, any reasonable human would have listened and realized they were not in charge; however, this was not the case for Pharaoh, so God brought gnats. I truly can’t think of something more annoying than being covered in gnats and not having relief. It would have been hard to breathe without sucking these little bugs in. In fact, though this was the smallest animal plague that God brings, it sure causes the Egyptians to respond. We see this in the magicians’ response in chapter eight, after being unable to reproduce this event:

Exodus 8:19a Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”

So even when the people tell Pharaoh, “This is God; we should listen here,” Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, and he would not listen. This may have surprised you if it’s the first time you’ve read through this story. I remember when I had first read through this asking why was it so hard for Pharaoh to get that he was not going to win this battle. I was surprised because I didn’t see or understand what the rest of the verse had said, though.

Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

What we must see is that this is not a surprise to God. The passage ends with this phrase “as the LORD had said.” So when did the LORD say this would happen? This clarity was actually given to us back in chapter 4:

Exodus 4:21-23 And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”

I have heard this taught so many times with a focus on Pharaoh’s hardening of his own heart, which does happen according to the Scriptures. What we need to see, though, was that this was God’s plan. Even before we hear of Pharaoh hardening his own heart, God declares that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart and do so until He brings Moses to the final plague. That’s what God is mentioning when He says He will kill Pharaoh’s first born. Now we will study this more in next week’s passages, but we really can’t begin to see the bigger picture of what God is doing if we don’t see this clarity now.

When God brings the next plague, we see some more distinctions being made; namely, we see the difference between God’s people and the Egyptians. The land where God’s people lived would no longer be affected by the plagues he was bringing so that Pharaoh would have no doubt that it was God who was doing this work. So God brings flies, then pestilence upon Egypt’s livestock, then boils upon the people of Egypt, and then we see Pharaoh’s people begin to do to Pharaoh what Gods people did to Moses when Pharaoh had increased the burden upon them:

Exodus 10:7 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 understand that Egypt is ruined?”

Here’s where God turns the tables. In chapter five, Pharaoh had meant to display his power to the Israelites and make them submit to his authority by increasing their burdens and “flexing his muscles,” so to speak. Well God returns the favor through these plagues, and now it’s Pharaoh’s people who are realizing the trouble that’s brewing for them if their leader doesn’t submit to the far greater power of God. Pharaoh’s servants are now saying to him, “Your hard-heartedness is killing your land and your people”. We see this very clearly in the last part of verse 7: “Do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?” Pharaoh’s own people are pleading for Pharaoh to see with a clear mind what everyone else has already realized. However, Pharaoh would not listen because GOD had hardened Pharaohs heart! God said that was what He was going to do way back in chapter four, and God keeps His word! To be clear, Pharaoh is guilty for his own sin; God has not sinned in any way, and Pharaoh is not innocent. But see that all throughout these chapters, God has declared something, and He will bring it to pass. God could have ended all of this already. He says so quite plainly in chapter nine verse fifteen:

Exodus 9:15 “For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. “

So why didn’t God just wipe them out? Let’s read on:

Exodus 9:16 “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”

God had a plan for Pharaoh and for his very existence. He raised Pharaoh up for this purpose: to do with Pharaoh what He (God) willed to do. He used Pharaoh to show His power so that His name may be proclaimed in all the earth.

Exodus 10:1-2 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.”

God used all of this to display His power and to make known to His people that He is LORD! Let me show you this in a way that might be more helpful:

Exodus 10:1-2 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you [Moses] may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you [Moses and his offspring] may know that I am the LORD.”

God has given us plenty of reasons why He is hardening Pharaoh and carrying out all of these plagues. One of those reasons He gives here is so Moses and those who learn these truths from Moses may know that He is indeed LORD!

We see this same cycle continue through the end of chapter 10:

Exodus 10:14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again.

Exodus 10:20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go.

Exodus 10:21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”

Exodus 10:27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go.

How many times in your life personally have you wondered what God was doing when things seemed out of control? Rest assured and see through this story that God is never out of control, and in all His working, He has a purpose. You and I may not always understand what that purpose is, but God is never confused. This is why it takes a real faith to trust God, and since God is sovereign over the hearts of man (just look at Pharaoh), it is God who must give you faith to trust Him!

*Special thanks to Steven Obert for his help in writing this week’s study.

Pastor Joshua Kirstine

Disciples Church

Exodus Era-Exodus 9

Exodus 9

9:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, behold, the hand of the LORD will fall with a very severe plague upon your livestock that are in the field, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die.”’” And the LORD set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land.” And the next day the LORD did this thing. All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one of the livestock of the people of Israel died. And Pharaoh sent, and behold, not one of the livestock of Israel was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.

And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw them in the air in the sight of Pharaoh. It shall become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and become boils breaking out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from the kiln and stood before Pharaoh. And Moses threw it in the air, and it became boils breaking out in sores on man and beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils came upon the magicians and upon all the Egyptians. 12 But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

13 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14 For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. 17 You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go. 18 Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 Now therefore send, get your livestock and all that you have in the field into safe shelter, for every man and beast that is in the field and is not brought home will die when the hail falls on them.”’” 20 Then whoever feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses, 21 but whoever did not pay attention to the word of the LORD left his slaves and his livestock in the field.

22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on man and beast and every plant of the field, in the land of Egypt.” 23 Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24 There was hail and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail, such as had never been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 The hail struck down everything that was in the field in all the land of Egypt, both man and beast. And the hail struck down every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, was there no hail.

27 Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, “This time I have sinned; the LORD is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. 28 Plead with the LORD, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.” 29 Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the LORD. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the LORD’s. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the LORD God.” 31 (The flax and the barley were struck down, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the emmer were not struck down, for they are late in coming up.) 33 So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and stretched out his hands to the LORD, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured upon the earth. 34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go, just as the LORD had spoken through Moses.

(ESV)

Exodus Era-Exodus 8

Exodus 8

8:1  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs. The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.”’” And the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt!’” So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the LORD to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.” 10 And he said, “Tomorrow.” Moses said, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 The frogs shall go away from you and your houses and your servants and your people. They shall be left only in the Nile.” 12 So Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the LORD about the frogs, as he had agreed with Pharaoh. 13 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses. The frogs died out in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. 14 And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.’” 17 And they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

20 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and 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 and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. 22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. 23 Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.”’” 24 And the LORD did so. There came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and into his servants’ houses. Throughout all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by the swarms of flies.

25 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the LORD our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as he tells us.” 28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you and I will plead with the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow. Only let not Pharaoh cheat again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. 31 And the LORD did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.

(ESV)