The Final Plague–Exodus 11 Part 1

God told Moses that it was time to go. To this point, God was preparing the world for Israel’s Exodus, but, it was the time to end their slavery once and for all. God knew this plague would not only secure his people’s release, but, that the Egyptians would literally pay the Israelites to leave. 

God’s plan was being executed perfectly. He patiently allowed it to develop and endured the doubt of his people and the pure rejection of his enemy. Never, however, did God become surprised, nor did he compromise his plan to appease Egypt or Israel. 

We, as a people, should learn from history. In today’s culture, it seems like God has lost control and is without power or influence to save or change the course the world has chosen. As in Egypt, we need to trust that God has things well in hand. He will execute his plan completely and perfectly–when it is time. He is not influenced by our concerns–because he knows we cannot see the entire picture. We simply have to trust him and follow readily and humbly. 

As we follow, he will make his plan and his authority abundantly clear. We may surprised at his timing, but we will not doubt his plan. Paul said it best, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name. So, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow–in heaven, on earth and below the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory and praise of God.” Phil 2:9-10

God Bless You

Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.

Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.”

The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.

So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.

Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.

There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.

Sometimes its Darkest when God Leaves the Scene–Exodus 10 Final

God was at the end of his patience, He now set before Pharaoh the final onslaught. The Darkness he sent over Egypt was a darkness that could be felt. It was a darkness of spirit. The nation of Egypt began to feel the hopelessness felt by the Israelites living as their slaves. In the midst of this darkness, Pharaoh threatened Moses that his life would end should ever appear before Pharaoh again…In other words, he had no desire to hear from God. Pharaoh would later wish he could take those words back.

 Any person or nation has the ability to reject God. God is a gentleman and would not force his will on anyone. But at some point, the heart of the rejecter will become immovable. At that point, God’s response becomes punitive and not reviving. When God gives up, there is no turning back. Then, God’s wrath is unleashed and unforgettable.

Within the church, we need to remain malleable and humble so that God can make corrections in our lives. Do not shut God out or reject him entirely—the outcome will be devastating. Within the world, people are quickly reaching or have passed the point of no return. Only his people have a chance of restoring his authority and bringing revival.  Lord, please bring light back into the darkness. Don’t give up on us, Lord. Don’t allow us to harden our hearts.

 God Bless You

 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.

24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”

25 But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”

29 “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.”

Locusts–Exodus 10 Part 1

When the Israelites walked out of Egypt, the land would be destroyed. God had allowed Pharaoh 8 opportunities to free the people. He put up with lies and disrespect that was unequalled. But, now the end was coming near and God would, in no uncertain terms, finish what he started. The locusts were so effective that it returned Egypt to the famine state that brought Israel to Egypt 400 years before.

Now, with the livestock destroyed, the crops destroyed and the wrath of God clearly unleashed, there was little left for Egypt to do but release the Israelites.

God will neither quit nor be mocked. When he sets his plan into place, there is very little to do but follow. When we decide to run counter to him, God’s plan still wins and only those that refuse to follow lose. God is patient and he is merciful—But, he is also unrelenting and protective of his children. We must use the sense of reason we have been given and trust God to complete what he started both in our personal lives and the lives of our family, friends, and nation. He is supreme and he will complete his plan.

God Bless You

 

 And the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail.”

13 So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; 14 they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. 15 They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.

16 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”

18 Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19 And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea.[b] Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go

When There is no Hiding of the Truth–Exodus 10 Part 1

Pharaoh’s pride controlled his sense of reason. To this point, he at least had the support of his people…But, now as they watch their nation falling into ruin, even Pharaoh’s most loyal advisors spoke up. “Don’t you realize that Egypt is ruined?!” Had Pharaoh listened to his officials, he still could have saved his country, but, that was not to be.

Sin controls our ability to think as well as our actions. The deeper one falls into sin, the less they are able to walk away. It is a snare that draws one in until they are imprisoned in their independence. Pharaoh had become a prisoner to his hatred of the Israelites and his need to be the final say. As a result, his life and the life of his nation were ebbing away at an alarming rate.

Our culture is seeing the same thing. When this nation decided its independence included a separation from the God of our founders, the leaders and jurists of the land began chipping away at the spiritual foundations that made us exceptional. Now some 60 years later, like Egypt, our nation is falling into ruin.

The only hope for us is a dramatic and complete revival–one that sees us on our knees before God, repenting of our sin and humbly, as a nation, embracing the God and the freedom won by our founders. There is no longer any room for compromise—“Choose this day whom you will serve—as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:5

God Bless You

Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”

Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the Lord your God,” he said. “But tell me who will be going.”

Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.”

10 Pharaoh said, “The Lord be with you—if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil.[a] 11 No! Have only the men go and worship the Lord, since that’s what you have been asking for.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.

All Hail Broke Loose–Exodus 9 Final

The time of Israel’s Exodus was drawing near as God’s patience was growing thinner. God was at the point of saying “enough is enough”. So God sent Moses to make clear to Pharaoh that from this point forward there would be no doubt that this was a battle with God, and God would win convincingly. 

Still, Pharaoh and his officials failed to grasp the enormity of their sin and the cost of failing to repent–no problem though, God would show them the cost and his power to exact payment. Each plague further sealed Egypt’s fate and established God’s superiority. For Egypt, there was nothing to gain and everything to lose. Still the need to be independent from God outweighed all human reason.

Today, our sin still has a cost. The cost is born by us and by others we are close to. God offers us forgiveness if we turn and follow him, but he also allows us to pay a price, if we so choose. He calls us to choose him, to choose life. But that requires humble change and willingness to do things his way. Failure to follow only leads to disaster. 

God Bless You

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me,

or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.

Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he said to them. “The Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong.

Pray to the Lord, for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t have to stay any longer.”

Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward the Lord; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land.

When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts.

So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.

Boils–Exodus 9 Continued

Inconvenience had little effect. Destroying infrastructure did not bring about repentance. God now turned to personal pain. He plagued the Egyptians and their livestock with boils. Painful, gross and disgusting boils from head to toe. The Egyptians were so appearance minded that it not only hurt, but it humiliated them. Even the animals suffered. God was doing to Egypt in the span of days what Egypt had done to Israel for hundreds of years.

God no longer made a pretext. He knew Pharaoh was unyielding and he was fine with it. He continued to deal with Pharaoh and his people in a way that would not be forgotten for thousands of years and he restored the faith of his people so they would be willing to make the Exodus from slavery and begin to walk as a free nation.

God still works at both levels. God is ever vigilant in preparing his chosen to walk in the freedom of their salvation. His word and his Holy Spirit guide us to walk and transform into the godly men and women. But, he is equally vigilant in showing the world that he is God and they are not. God simply is not mocked. While he may be patient in dealing out his wrath, when that time comes—there will be no doubt that He is Lord God almighty! He will cause every knee to bow to his Lordship. The only question will be whether one bows gratefully as his own or hopelessly as his enemy—That is our choice, I choose to be grateful!

God Bless You

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh. It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on people and animals throughout the land.”

10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on people and animals. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses.

Raising the Stakes–Exodus 9 Part 1

Enough was enough. God had plagued the Pharaoh with every inconvenience he would allow. The Pharaoh, as predicted, continued to remain unyielding. So now God was going to focus upon Egyptian infrastructure. The first blow was to the livestock. Meat, wool and transportation all destroyed due to the pride and stubbornness of a King.

The Israelites would be free. God would escort them from Egypt and return them home. But, because the Pharaoh was unwilling to recognize God’s power and authority, he was destroying the very nation he was appointed to lead. It was fine with God, any father would be glad to vindicate his children. But, it was completely unnecessary for Egypt.

In our world, Pharaoh’s actions and attitudes are repeated daily. People from every walk of life, allow their selfish pride to destroy themselves and all things they hold dear, simply to prove they can do it their way. In the end, they will find that they could not in fact, control life or their circumstance. That is God’s to control. He wants only for us to trust and follow him and he will lead us home and we will become like him. When that happens, we will finally understand how freeing it is simply to do the right thing for the right reasons. Pray we learn that lesson before we destroy all we hold dear.

God Bless You

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me.” If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys and camels and on your cattle, sheep and goats. But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.’”

The Lord set a time and said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.

Raising the Stakes–Exodus 9 part 1

Each time Pharaoh lied, God raised the stakes. Level one inconvenience, level 2 annoyance, level 3 devastation, etc. a reasoned person would have noticed the trajectory of the judgments and would have simply submitted to God. Sadly, for the Egyptians, Pharaoh was not a reasoned man. He had decided that He would not submit to God, and as such, he would endure anything God would dish out. Pharaoh had no intention of humbling himself before the God of Israel or even before his people.

Pride and power are a terrible combination. In Pharaoh’s case it continued to destroy the Pharaoh, his people and his nation. All of the miracles and work that Joseph led 400 years before was now being undone by the Pharaoh. What’s more, now that God had made the distinction, Pharaoh watched as his choices were destroying his people and his nation alone. Still, no effect.

Sin in our lives can cloud our ability to reason and our ability to focus on others and not on ourselves. When that occurs, often God raises the stakes to a level necessary to get our attention. It is critical for us to recognize the trajectory, humble ourselves and submit before God has to destroy us and those we touch. The journey back is short, but the price of pride grows exponentially—just ask Pharaoh!

God Bless You

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me.”

If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back,

the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys and camels and on your cattle, sheep and goats.

The Lord set a time and said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.”

And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died.

Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.

God Makes the Distinction–Exodus 8 Final

That is right, God went there. He was no longer going to make his people suffer for the Pharaoh’s deceit. The plague of flies did not touch Goshen nor the Israelites. But it wrecked the lives of the Egyptians. From this point forward, God would take every opportunity to show the world his people are set apart. He would protect, provide and prepare them for what is ahead. His plan to change the world through Israel, would continually place them at odds with the rest of the world. They would always be singled out, mistreated and targeted to be destroyed.

God knew this would happen. He would be ready to intercede and protect his people. The protection would not stop the persecution, it would simply perpetuate the safety of his people. Their very place in history was a direct challenge to Satan and the culture.

That challenge still goes on today. Both Israel and the church face persecution on a daily basis. God does protect his people and will continue to use them to change the world. But, with each passing day, the stakes are raised and the world continues to unleash its hatred and disdain toward Israel and the church. We must remain in prayer and prepared to face whatever attacks the world launches. Whether it is simple harassment, destruction and taking of property, or physical attacks, kidnapping, slavery and death—We must be prepared to stand firm with the Lord. He is God, and he will guide us to his truth and victory.

God Bless You

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.

If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them.

“‘But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land.

I will make a distinction between my people and your people. This sign will occur tomorrow.’”

And the Lord did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials; throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.

The Tipping Point–Exodus 8 Continued

There comes a point, when everyone involved has to grasp reality. In the ongoing attempt to free Israel, it was the gnats. God had kindly stopped the frog plague–at Moses’ request. Then Pharaoh hard heartedly reneged on his promise and refused to free Israel. 

So, God sent gnats. They covered Egypt like dust. The land smelled like dead frogs, gnats covered everything and everyone now knew it was God that was in control. Even the magicians gave up. They told Pharaoh this was God.  

Still, Pharaoh refused to submit. He simply chose to defy God and keep the slaves. This tipping point, this direct rebellion, would seal the fate of Pharaoh and Egypt. 

In everyone’s journey, there is a point of decision where all the confusion is stripped away and one has to decide to either submit to or defy God. It is a personal choice–but one that carries great consequence. 

The Bible is filled with accounts of men that chose to defy God. My years of study has revealed, “it never ends well!!!”  God is the creator of and master of all of this. No matter how strong or how smart we may think ourselves to be–we will never compete. Still, God is a gentleman, he will not force himself on us. 

It simply makes sense to trust and follow him. Allow the one that loves you to lead you–don’t push past the tipping point. 

God Bless You

And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields.

They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them.

But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.”

They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats.

But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere,

the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.