14 October 2014

BSF 2014-2015: Exodus 6:28-10:29

Until now, God has been preparing Moses to meet Pharaoh, to trust in God alone and to walk in faith. God once again commands Moses to speak the same message. Pharaoh still has a hard heart, but now God intensifies His judgment, especially on Egypt’s gods.

Again, Moses is discouraged and asks God why He is sending Moses to talk to Pharaoh again. God reassures Moses that His plan hasn’t changed. He has chosen Moses to lead His people out of Egypt.

Moses and Aaron obey what God commands them to do. They approach Pharaoh. To prove that God sent them, Aaron throws down his staff, and it becomes a snake. But Pharaoh’s magicians replicate this miracle. Then Aaron’s staff swallows up the magicians’ staffs. This shows Pharaoh that God is more powerful than the Egyptians’ gods.

After seeing this sign from God, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, and he doesn’t listen to God’s command through Moses and Aaron to let the Israelites leave Egypt. So God determines that He will send 10 plagues to demonstrate His power and authority. We’ll discuss the first nine plagues now. Next week’s lesson will cover the final one.

Through the plagues, God shows both the Egyptians and the Israelites that He is the one true God. There is none like Him. He also demonstrates His wrath. Here are the first nine plagues:

1. All water in Egypt turns to blood and all fish die
2. Frogs fill the land
3. Gnats
4. Flies (with this plague and the following ones, the Israelites are not affected)
5. Livestock in the fields die
6. Boils on people and animals
7. Hail (some people begin to heed the warnings)
8. Locusts devour remaining plants (Pharaoh’s officials beg him to let the Israelites go)
9. Darkness for three days

After some of the plagues, Pharaoh recognizes and confesses his sin. Sometimes he even offers to let the Israelites leave but it’s never on God’s terms...only on Pharaoh’s terms. Pharaoh continues to harden his heart and refuses to let the Israelites leave Egypt.

Pharaoh tried to get Moses to compromise. He wanted the Israelites to worship in Egypt, he didn’t want them to go as far as God commanded them, he wanted them to take only the men and he told them the Israelites cannot take their flocks. But Moses stood firm and refused to compromise. He was bold, courageous and powerful in speech and action.

Through all of this, Pharaoh has a hard heart. A hard heart refuses to accept God’s Word and to submit to God’s will even with clear evidence that God is at work. A hard heart is a result of stubbornness. Stubbornness toward God is rebellion against Him. God pursued Pharaoh and gave evidence that He is the true God. But Pharaoh rejected Him. Then God allowed Pharaoh to go his own way and harden his heart.

Next week we’ll see that after the final, terrible, tenth plague, Pharaoh finally relents and releases the Israelites.

Things to Think About

  • There is one true God, and He will prevail over evil.
  • God gave Pharaoh some verbal warnings before sending His judgment. How is God trying to warn me or get my attention?
  • All authority and power are in God’s hands.
  • We cannot negotiate with God.
  • Which evidence is God showing you to prove that He is the one true God? What are you doing with that evidence?

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