- Sermon Notes
Defeating the Darkness
September 6, 2020
ILLUS – Fear of the dark.
1. Darkness and Light are powerful themes in the Bible.
2. Through these themes God is and has been communicating a message to us all.
3. Tonight, we are going to discover what God has been saying from the beginning about Darkness and Light.
4. Along the way, we will also learn God’s plan for Defeating the Darkness.
1. God was on the move. Israel had been enslaved in Egypt for 400 years.
2. It was the appointed time for God to bring His people into the Promised Land.
3. But there was a problem, Pharaoh would not let his slave-labor go.
4. So, God answered Pharaoh’s stubbornness with a series of plagues, ten in all, which decimated the Egyptian landscape and the lives of the Egyptians.
5. God’s purpose for the ten plagues against Egypt was three-fold:
a. To show Israel, Yahweh is God and without peer.
b. To show Egypt, Yahweh is God and their gods are false.
c. To show Pharaoh, Yahweh is God and he is not.
6. The plagues can be divided into three categories of three:
a. Plagues 1-3 brought discomfort.
b. Plagues 4-6 brought destruction.
c. Plagues 7-9 brought dread.
7. Each plague was preceded by a warning except the third, sixth, and ninth plagues.
8. As the plagues progressed, God makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites, between the core beliefs of Egypt and the faith of Israel.
9. This evening, we will focus our study on the distinction that God made between Egypt and Israel through the ninth plague, Darkness.
Transition – What was God communicating through the ninth plague, a plague that immersed Egypt into a terrifying, deep darkness?
• First, God was asking a question.
• Second, God was giving a warning.
I. Whose Side Are You On? (21-23)
• Like the first eight plagues, the plague of darkness was a wake-up call.
• Like the first eight plagues, the plague of darkness also a call to action.
A. Flee from the darkness (21-23a)
1. Why flee from the darkness?
2. Because God’s wrath was upon them.
3. Listen to the description of this plague.
a. Suddenly and without warning, the sun stopped shining.
b. A darkness fell upon Egypt that could be “felt.”
c. It was a “thick darkness” that lasted for three days.
ILLUS – A hike in the Ape Caves.
4. How did the plague of darkness impact the Egyptians?
a. “They did not see each other”
b. “. . . nor did anyone rise from his place for three days.”
ILLUS – Modern scholars say the plague of darkness was a sandstorm.
5. But the Bible is clear that this was not your typical sandstorm which coincidentally corresponds with Moses confronting Pharaoh.
a. This darkness was a supernatural plague that filled everyone’s heart with a dreadful fear.
b. In fact, though this was the ninth plague it is listed first in Psalm 105, revealing just how dreadful it was.
Psalm 105:28, He sent darkness and made it dark; and they did not rebel against His words.
APPL – Darkness, by definition, is the absence of light. In the Bible, darkness is symbolic of:
Matthew 6:23, But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
• The demonic realm
Ephesians 6:12, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
• The eternal judgment of the lost
Matthew 25:30, And cast out the worthless slave into outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
APPL – What did darkness mean to the Egyptians?
• It meant their false gods had been judged and defeated. (Ra – the chief god; sun god)
• It meant Pharaoh was also defeated since he was revered as the physical manifestation of Ra.
• It meant the God of all creation; the God of Israel was declaring that Egypt had been judged and was condemned.
APPL – The darkness also forced the Egyptians to sit and think.
• They could not busy themselves with work.
• They could not run into the arms of their loved ones for comfort.
• They were alone with their thoughts.
• God gave them a time to reflect and realize they were on the wrong side because they were serving the false gods of Egypt.
• In the Bible, God allows people to experience darkness so they may reflect and realize their need to repent, to change their ways.
Acts 9:8-9, And Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
APPL – Here is the problem with the darkness, people love it.
John 3:19, And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.
APPL – How much darkness are you comfortable with in your life?
B. Come into the Light (23b)
1. As I mentioned earlier, God made a distinction between the Egyptians and His people, Israel.
a. All of Egypt was in darkness. . .
b. “But all the sons of Israel had light in
2. Israel had light. (Natural or Supernatural?)
a. Israel stayed indoors and enjoyed fellowship, a three-day weekend.
b. Israel stayed indoors and enjoyed rest from their painful slave labors.
APPL – In the Bible, light is symbolic of:
Genesis 1:3-4, Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
• God’s holy character
1 John 1:5, And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
• God’s Word
Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.
• God’s Son, Jesus Christ
John 8:12, I am the light of the world he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.
3. Why did Israel have light in their dwellings?
4. Because God was with His people in the midst of the plague.
Psalm 23:4, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
APPL – If God can speak and light up creation then He knows who belong to Him and is able to light their homes while the rest of Egypt was in darkness.
Transition – Since God sees us as being distinctly different from the world because of our faith in Christ, then we must be distinctly different in how we live our lives.
II. Let Your Light Shine (24-29)
ILLUS – One Sunday after church, Malina could not stop talking about Jesus.
Matthew 5:14-16, You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone
light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
APPL – Is there light in your life?
A. Expose, do not negotiate with darkness (24)
1. The darkness lasted three days before Pharaoh said a word.
a. Pride was the root cause for the delay.
b. Pharaoh did not repent, he tried to negotiate instead.
2. “Go, but leave the animals.”
a. Pharaoh wanted Israel to come back to Egypt after their worship service in the wilderness to be his slaves again.
b. And if Israel did not return, then Egypt would keep the animals.
3. This is the fourth time Pharaoh tried to negotiate a deal.
a. Worship God in the land (8:25-27), but God requires separation from the world.
b. Do not go too far away (8:28), get the best of both worlds. (Be lukewarm, not a fanatic)
c. Only the men can go (10:7-11), but faith involves the whole family.
d. Leave your possessions in Egypt. (10:24)
APPL – Satan continually schemes and searches for ways to bring us back into darkness and out of the Lord’s light.
• Sometimes he uses relationships or earthly treasures.
Matthew 6:19-21, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
• Like Moses, we must recognize the enemy’s scheme and reject the offer.
• Like Moses, we must expose the darkness and never negotiate with it.
Ephesians 5:11-13, Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even
expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
B. Walk as children of Light (25-29)
1. Moses declared that Israel must have sacrifices to worship the Lord, “Not a hoof will be left behind!”
2. Moses add, “And until we arrive there, we ourselves do not know with what we shall serve the Lord.”
a. All that we have comes from the Lord.
b. Therefore, all we have must be available to the Lord.
c. No compromise!
APPL – What will be true of our lives when we walk as children of Light? Paul said we will bear the fruit of the Light: Goodness, Righteousness, and Truth.
Ephesians 5:6-9, Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists
in all goodness and righteousness and truth)
APPL – Goodness wins. Righteousness wins. Truth wins. Light defeats the Darkness.
APPL – Whose side are you on? Light or Darkness?
• Tonight, I am inviting you to come to Jesus, the Light of the world.
• To walk in the Light.
• To let your light shine.
Joshua 24:15, As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Exodus 10:21-29 NASB
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons 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 detained. Even your little ones may go with you.” 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice them to the Lord our God. 26 Therefore, our livestock too shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we shall take some of them to serve the Lord our God. And until we arrive there, we ourselves do not know with what we shall serve the Lord.” 27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Beware, do not see my face again, for in the day you see my face you shall die!” 29 Moses said, “You are right; I shall never see your face again!”