- Sermon Notes
How to Defeat the Darkness
January 29-30, 2022
1. Darkness and Light are powerful themes in the Bible.
2. Through these themes God has been communicating a message to us all.
3. During our time in God’s Word, we will discover what God has been saying since the beginning about Darkness and Light because Darkness and Light are more than mere themes; each is a reality we must choose to reject or embrace daily.
4. Let me be clear at the outset, God has a plan for defeating the Darkness so we must pay careful attention to what God’s Word says so that we may know How to Defeat the Darkness and let God’s light shine through us.
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. First, to show Israel, Yahweh is God and without peer.
b. Second, to show Egypt, Yahweh is God and their gods are false.
c. Third, 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.
d. Plague 10 brought death and deliverance.
7. Each plague was preceded by a warning except the third, sixth, and ninth plagues.
8. It is important to note that as the plagues progressed, God made a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites, between the core beliefs of Egypt and the faith of Israel.
9. For our study, we will focus on the distinction that God made between Egypt and Israel during the ninth plague, the Plague of Darkness.
Transition – What was God communicating through the ninth plague, a plague that immersed Egypt into a terrifying, deep darkness?
• The answer to this question can be divided into two parts:
o First, God was asking a question.
o Second, God was giving a warning.
• What question was God asking?
I. Whose Side Are You On? (21-23)
• Like the first eight plagues, the Plague of Darkness was like the sounding of an alarm.
o “Are you for God?” or. . .
o “Are you against God?”
• If you are for God, then stand with God and walk in the Light.
• But, if you are against God, then. . .
A. Flee from the Darkness (21-23a)
1. Why flee from the darkness?
2. Because God’s wrath will be poured out on the Darkness.
3. Like the first eight plagues, the Plague of Darkness was also a call to action.
4. 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 – Hiking in the Ape Caves.
5. 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 – Some scholars claim the Plague of Darkness was just your run-of-the-mill sandstorm that darkened Egypt for three days.
6. 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 the Plague of 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 Plague of Darkness also forced the Egyptians to sit and think about what was happening and why.
• They could not busy themselves with work.
• They could not run into the arms of their loved ones for comfort.
• They were all alone with their thoughts.
• God was giving them time to reflect and to realize they were on the wrong side because they were serving the false gods of Egypt.
• In the Bible, God allows people to experience dark days so they may reflect and realize their need to repent and change their ways.
ILLUS – Saul of Tarsus
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 – Please note the parallels between what happened to Saul of Tarsus and the Egyptians.
• The Plague of Darkness was a divine invitation to the Egyptians to flee from the Darkness and walk with God in the Light.
• Here is the problem with 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.
ILLUS – Mankind’s response to the opening of the Sixth Seal in the Tribulation.
Revelation 6:12-17, I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
• Let me answer their question, “Who is able to stand?”
• Answer: Only those who have been forgiven of their sin because they have personally asked Jesus Christ to be their Savior.
Jude 1:24-25, Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
• Which leads us to a very personal question: “How much darkness are you comfortable with in your life?”
Transition – As you reflect on your life, if you find that you are tolerating any amount of darkness, then in the love of the Lord, I invite you to please. . .
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.
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:
• All that is Good
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 of Darkness.
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 belongs 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)
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.
Transition – When you let your light shine then you will. . .
A. Expose and 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 an extremist).
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 constantly schemes and searches for ways to bring us back into Darkness and out of the Lord’s Light.
• Sometimes Satan uses relationships.
John 12:42-43, Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
• Other times Satan uses 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 – How can we tell if we are walking as children of the 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. Ultimately, Light defeats the Darkness.
APPL – Whose side are you on? Light or Darkness?
• Please come to Jesus, the Light of the world.
• Walk in the Light.
• 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!”