- Sermon Notes
Moses and Aaron came before Pharaoh with a message from Jehovah, God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may worship me in the wilderness.”
Pharaoh answered, “Who is Jehovah that I should obey his voice? I don’t know Jehovah and besides, I won’t let the people go.” In other words, he was determined, and in fact became hard of heart, so God demonstrated his power and brought great plagues upon the land.
We pick up the story in the plagues that God is pouring out on the Egyptians. First, Moses struck the Nile and the fish in the river died and it became foul and they could not drink of the water.
Next, Aaron stretched out his hands over the waters and frogs came up and infested the land. There were frogs everywhere, but the magicians of Egypt did the same and Pharaoh was unimpressed. Although, to me this is interesting, If the magicians really wanted to show the power of their gods, they should have removed the frogs, but making more frogs? Me thinks somethings amiss. Right, and Pharaoh knows it, too. They have no power.
Finally, God brought gnats out of the dust of the ground. Then a swarm of biting insects that were so bad that Pharaoh was finally willing to let the people go, but he wanted Israel to compromise.
Egypt is a type of, or a picture of, the world. Bringing Israel out of Egypt is in many ways a picture of God saving us from the slavery and oppression of the world and giving us eternal life in Christ.
There are many lessons in this study because when we become a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the world and the god of this age will press you to compromise your faith.
Sometimes, in everyday things, compromise is acceptable and even helpful. If we go on vacation and I want to go fishing and the family wants to go swimming, surely we can compromise. In business, give and take is often needed to order to make a business deal.
But in your Christian faith, you will find that the god of this age will pressure you to compromise and the result will be devastating. There is a time to take a stand in your faith and not to compromise.
I. Go Farther in Your Faith
- The swarm of insects was too much, they had been bitten and bothered and now Pharaoh calls for Moses and Aaron and tells them they can worship their God, but… they must stay in the land.
- They can worship, but they must not leave Egypt. The comparisons to our faith are important to see.
A. Leave the world behind
- The moment you ask Jesus into your life, the enemy begins to work on getting you to compromise.
- Pharaoh finally came to the point where he would allow the people of Israel to worship their God, but they must stay in the land of Egypt.
- There’s the compromise.“Go ahead and believe in God if you want to, but don’t leave the world.” In other words, don’t change anything. Be the same kind of person you used to be when you were in the world.
App – The problem is that this causes people to live a double life.They have a Christian experience on Sundays, but then live just like they used to live during the week and nothing has changed at all.
Psalm 86:11-12, Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
- We, of course, still live in the world, but the question is whether we have come out of the world in our hearts.
- Jesus said, “be in the world, but not of the world.”
Illus – There is a downward pull from the world; much like gravity pulls us constantly downward. But the farther you are away from it, the less attraction and the less pull it has on you.
- There will always be some who try to see how close they can get to the world and still have a relationship to the Lord.
- But this is a dangerous. It’s usually the weaker believer that lives closest to the world and therefore the most vulnerable to the pull of the world.
- Yet God has called us to come out from the world and the separate.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?For we are the temple of the living God… “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.
- Moses explained that it would not be right for them to sacrifice to their God in the land of Egypt. They would offend the Egyptians in their sacrifice.
- Pharaoh responded, “I will let you go; only you shall not go very far.”
A.Be zealous in your faith
- Here’s the next compromise; go ahead and be a Christian, the world says, but don’t go overboard with this Jesus thing; don’t go too far with this being a Christian thing.
- In other words, don’t become fanatical.Don’t become one of those people who raise their hands in church, who actually reads their bible and desires to live the way it says you should live.
- What’s amazing is that if someone is sincere and genuine in their faith, the world calls this person a fanatic…
Ilus – But if someone goes to a football game, in the middle of winter, without a shirt on, with their bare chest painted blue and red, and wearing a bright orange wig, and a hat with horns on it, this apparently, is just being a loyal fan.
- One of the root problems is that people are more concerned with what other people think rather than what God thinks.
John 12:42-43, 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.
- We need to leave the world behind and be willing to go farther in our faith.
- This is the way to a genuine and effective life of faith before God.
James 5:16, The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. KJV
Illus – King Joash of Israel came to Elisha the prophet because he was facing the Aramean army and needed help from the Lord. “My father, my father,” the king said, “The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” In other words, I have heard of the great works of God and I need God’s power to help in this battle!
2 Kings 13:18, Then Elisha said, “Take the arrows,” and he took to them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times and stopped.
- Elisha became angry. “You should have struck the ground many times!” Now you will only strike the Arameans three times.
- King Joash’s heart wasn’t committed; he wasn’t fervent in his faith. In other words, you can almost hear the prophet say, “Where’s your zeal, man?!”
II.“All That I Have is Yours, Lord”
- When we come to Exodus chapter 10, we’ll see other compromises Pharaoh wanted from Israel.
- The first is seen in Exodus 10:8-11, “You may go,” said Pharaoh, “but you must leave your sons and daughters in Egypt!”
A.Don’t leave your family behind
- If you want to be a Christian and a genuine sincere believer, then please just keep your convictions to yourself, the god of this age would say.
- In other words, the world pressures you to compromise, saying, “Look, just because you have godly convictions doesn’t mean you should impose those on your children and deprive them of the pleasures of the world.
- There are many ways some will justify letting their children experience the world.
App – some terrible logic goes like this; if you deprive your children of the movies and Internet and programs that have strong worldly content, then when they get older and out on their own, they will take all that pent-up worldly desire and destroy their lives. Therefore, you should you expose your children to worldly things and let them get used to it.
- The wisdom from God is quite different…
Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Illus – We have found a lot of help by Christian organizations that screen movies for you so you know what’s in the movie before you rent it, or allow your children to see it.Sometimes that makes for some disagreements from your children, but it’s worth it.
- One thing is for certain, if you let your children determine what’s right and what’s wrong, they lack the wisdom and maturity to make wise decisions. That’s why God gave them parents.
Illus – What would happen if you let your children eat whatever they wanted? One of my kids once said, “When I become a parent, I’m going to let my kids eat whatever they want!” My response, “That’s why you need a parent. I guarantee you won’t say that when you do become a parent.”
By the way, now that our kids are grown and have kids of their own, I love it when I hear them say, “We’ll that’s not how I was raised!”
- “You go and worship the Lord,” the enemy would say, “but leave your children with me.” Our response should be as Joshua…
Joshua 24:15, “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
B. Trust God with your stuff
- In Exodus 10:24 Pharaoh finally came to the point where he said, “Go, and serve the LORD, only let your flocks and your herds be detained.”
- Pharaoh was looking for a way to hold them back, to keep them tethered to Egypt, so they wouldn’t go far. He wanted them back.
- Moses’ response can be summarized, “We’re leaving Egypt to worship God and we’re taking everything with us!”
- God wants us to come to the point of maturity in our faith where we say, “Here I am, Lord. All my relationships and everything I have are part of who I am; and I am yours.”
- The enemy and the world would want you to keep your faith in a little box; to not apply it to anything. “Worship God out there; but leave your heart here in Egypt along with your stuff!”
- But we must apply our faith to our relationships and to our stuff; so that God has our heart first and foremost.
- The truth is that you really can’t afford not to entrust all these things to God.
- Don’t let your heart follow your treasures, let your treasures follow your heart.
Luke 12:33-34, “Make money belts for yourselves which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- The purses of this world have holes in them, but there is an unfailing treasure in heaven.
Illus – There is a wonderful quote by Calvin Miller in his book, The Finale, “The world is poor because her fortune is buried in heaven, but all her treasure maps are of the earth…”
Illus – Pastor George Muguro drives 1 ½ hours one way to get to the bible college in Nairobi. “Why don’t you move closer?” I asked him. “I use what I have to support the orphanage,” he responded. That, my friends, is sacrifice. That is putting your treasure where your heart is.
God wants us to come to the place where we say in the maturity of our faith, “Here I am, Lord. All my relationships and everything I have is part of who I am; and I am yours.”
Exodus 8:16-32 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become [a]gnats through all the land of Egypt.’” 17 They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were [b]gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became [c]gnats through all the land of Egypt. 18 The [d]magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth [e]gnats, but they could not; so there were [f]gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the [g]magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was [h]hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
20 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, [i]as he comes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 21 For if you do not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and on your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they dwell. 22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are [j]living, so that no swarms of flies will be there, in order that you may know that [k]I, the Lord, am in the midst of the land. 23 I will [l]put a division between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign will occur.”’” 24 Then the Lord did so. And there came [m]great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and the houses of his servants and the land was laid waste because of the swarms of flies in all the land of Egypt.
25 Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It is not right to do so, for we will sacrifice to the Lord our God [n]what is an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice [o]what is an abomination to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not then stone us? 27 We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He [p]commands us.” 28 Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Make supplication for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you, and I shall make supplication to the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow; only do not let Pharaoh deal deceitfully again in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”
30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and made supplication to the Lord. 31 The Lord did [q]as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh [r]hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go.