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The God who keeps His appointments

Exodus: The Lord Delivers His people  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Good Morning,
It was in 1985 that English farmers first noticed they had a problem. Some of their cattle were sick, and as thee cattle weakened physically, they also deteriorated mentally. It was a strange disease. Infected cattle behaved erratically becoming either fearful or aggressive. They seemed to be going mad, which is how the disease got the name “mad cow disease”, more properly known as bovine spongiform encephalophathy . The last stages of mad cow disease were frightening.
Cattle staggered arounf the farm until finally they stumbled to the ground and died. But the disease became even more frightening in 1995 when doctors discovered that it had spread to humans. Individuals who had eaten contaminated beef lost their minds. Their brain tissue was gradually eaten away until it came to resemble a sponge.
Since there was no treatment and no cure, mad cow disease started a panic in Europe, becoming one of the most terrifying plagues of postmodern times.
It naturally reminds us of one of the Biblical plagues. In the days of Moses, God struck Pharaoh with 10 mighty blows. The fifth was a plague on their livestock.
Much like mad cow disease, it was an infectious disease that spread from one cow to the next.
It not only infected the cattle however, but also the horses, donkeys, camels, sheep, and goats. The plague was a deadly contagion- epidemic in its onset and lethal in its outcome.It swept across Egypt like a wildfire.... but WHY?
God

God sent 9 plagues to prevent Egypt from entering the 10th

When we view the plagues we often think that the first 9 plagues were the judgment of God on Egypt… they were.. but more than that they were opportunities for the nation to repent and turn to the Lord.
The 10th plague would be the mother of all judgment, a vicious crescendo of death and destruction…
God didn’t want His enemies to suffer through that so he sent these “lesser” plagues as warnings to submit to the One True God.
Within the land He was striking, lived His people whom He loved and cared for but God knew that to deliver His people he must first break the will of the wicked king.
In as we continue on in our study of the book of Exodus. We have been learning that God not only hears the cry of His people but we serve the God who takes action and delivers His people out of harm.
He is the God of rescue, the God of Salvation, and he is a refuge for those who find themselves in times of great trial, and struggle.
We have watched as God has given Pharoah chance after chance to release his prisoners and set Gods people free, and we have seen that due to the hardness of His heart, he refuses time and time again.
Seeing that the wicked pharoah will not respond God begins the process of divine judgment in order to humble the pride filled leader into releasing His children.
God begins he process of judgment when a leader, nation, or individual refuses to acknowledge Him and refuses to submit to His authority.
God begins by striking the Nile, then he sends in frogs by the thousands, the frogs were worshipped by the Egyptians and now God has sent them in swarms into the land.
God then strikes their comfort sending swarms of gnats, the gnats were so terrible even the Pharaohs magicians were saying: “This is the finger of God.”
God commands Moses in
Exodus 8:20
Exodus 8:20–21 ESV
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand.
However there would be one distinction
Though the flies would swarm throughout, though the judgment of God would fall upon the nation of Israel. God would give special grace to the Israelites who were there, and spare them from the hardship of the judgement HE would be sending.
Exodus 8:22-
Exodus 8:22–23 ESV
But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.” ’ ”
The torment was so incredible that the Pharoah begins to buckle.
Exodus 8:
Exodus 8:28 ESV
So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me.”
Everything began to look like Moses and the children of Israel were going to be able to leave, but right as they began to make preparations, something happened.
Exodus 8:31–32 ESV
And the Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained. But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.
Exodus 8:

Just when you think your free from something Satan has been tormenting you with. He comes back more ruthless than before.

This is what is on display, God is on a mission to free His people and Satan keeps using the Pharoah to block that from taking place.
Have you ever been in a situation that has been a torment to you?
Did you pray for the Lord to remove you?
When things started to get a little bit better, did it all come crashing back down worse than it was before?
Thats because the ENEMY desires the children of God to be kept from the joy, blessing, and future that God has prepared for them.
So what do you do when the rug is snatched out from under you?
What do you do when you feel like your down to nothing?
What do you do when you feel like the joy of the Lord has lost your address?
YOU PERSEVERE IN FAITH
Moses was discouraged the first time he went into Pharoah, he ended up sitting down in a heap and crying out to God complaining. But not this time!
The firs thing Christians must do is realize:

God is ALWAYS on Time

Let’s take a look at what takes place next...
Pharoah has renigged on thier agreement so what will God do now?
Exodus 9:
Exodus 9:1–3 ESV
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, behold, the hand of the Lord will fall with a very severe plague upon your livestock that are in the field, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks.
This plague would be devastating causing a struggle to eat, and a struggle for trade. It also struck once again at the heart of the Egyptian problem.... false gods....
The Egyptians worshipped: The Nile, Frogs, Cows.... hence why the Israelites after all these years worshipped a golden cow when they were stuck in the wilderness.
Imagine the scene with me:
The stench of the dead fish from the Nile filled the air, the carcasses of dead frogs everywhere filling kneading bowls and homes. Now with the stench of rotting animals still fresh God begins to strike the cattle.

The Symbol Behind The Strike

With God every act of judgment is meant to convey an idea to the one upon whom He inflicts it. For example when God struck the Nile which the Egyptains called the “fountain of life” He was trying to how them that He was the true living water.
When He struck with frogs it was symbolic of God giving them too much of what they once deemed good. reptile worship.
So behind every blow there is a symbol....
This is common...
We have a day in our country that we remember annually. It doesn’t have an official holiday status, but it is a National day of remembrance. The day 9/11.
The goal of the terrorist wasn’t to defeat the nation of America, but to strike at the heart of what has made us the most powerful nation in the history of the world.
Our money… When they struck the towers their goal was to hit us in the source of our strength and prosperity, and also our worship.
By in large in our nation.... we worship… our wealth.
In our passage the Egyptains had cattle which was a source of their wealth. Back in these days there was no bank, there was no treasury and a nation, was considered wealthy or poor based on the livestock that they owned.
Job 1:3 ESV
He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.
Job 1:
Job 1:2 ESV
There were born to him seven sons and three daughters.
Job was mentioned as the greatest because of his wealth, meaning the amount of livestock that he possessed.
Now in God’s divine Judgment the Egyptians are stripped of their national wealth, and are hammered by pestilence.
Notice God’s judgment struck at the heart of their pride.... their money…But also notice that God’s divine Judgment has a schedule.

The Schedule of God’s Judgement

Exodus 9:5 ESV
And the Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.”
Exodus 9:
God sets a specific time in which He will send this terrible plague that would cut the heart of the wealth and worship of Egypt. He says TOMORROW the Lord will do this thing in the land.
God gives specific instructions when He is going to pour out judgement.
Humanity is functioning right now on God’s divine timetable. God’s word tells us very clearly in about the end of time.
Jesus paints a portrait clearly for us in this chapter and others. These signs with be “lesser blows” that come before the great outpouring of His wrath.
Let’s look briefly at these “lesser blows”
Matthew 24:3 ESV
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Matthe 24:3
Jesus could have said… well theres no point in discussing it just trust in me.... HE could have said that’s not important just focus on the days you have...
But He didn’t Jesus laid out some “lesser blows” of judgment that will come first...
He tells us that there will be:
False prophets:
Matthew 24:4–5 ESV
And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
Matthew 24:
Matthew 24:
Chaos among men, in Nature, and famines.
Matthew 24:6–7 ESV
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
Matthew 24:6-7
He calls these signals “Birth Pains”
Matthew 24:8 ESV
All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Many people are excited about seeing a natural phenomenon tomorrow. But did you know that Earthquakes have been increased in intensity and frequency over the last couple of years?
Between the years of 1973 and 2008, there was an average of 21 earthquakes of a magnitude of 3 or larger in the central and eastern US. This rate has balooned to over 600 eartquakes with a rating of 3 or higher in 2014 and over 1000 in 2015, in 2016 the Earthquakes increased to 1500...
Is this a coincidence or is God warning His people of coming judgement?
Have you heard of any wars or rumors of wars lately?
How about famine?
IN our nation not so much but how about Somalia?
more than 6 million buried after 2 years without rain.
Thats just one example, there are several other famines taking place around the world.
We also see a rise in Natural Phenomenons taking place right before our eyes.
This eclipse that is taking place tomorrow is the first time it has happened crossing the US in 100 years.
Interesting..
Im not saying this thing will start the end of the world, or anything of that nature what I am saying is that in these days God has turned people’s attention to the heavens and we need to understand from our passage that there are birth pains which which point to the coming judgment of our Lord taking place everywhere in our world.
The first 9 plagues or blows in Exodus were the birth pains of what was really coming. The 10th plague was the full outpouring of destruction on Egypt that God attempted to spare them from if they had only listened.
God was specific in explaining what would happen and when it would happen so that this event wouldnt seem haphazard.
He wanted Egypt to know what was coming and that it was from his Hand.
He lays this out clearly in His word so that when these events are being witnessed it will serve as proof both that there is a God and He is going to finish what He started....
This world will be destroyed, there will be a great white throne judgment where the fullness of the wrath of God will be poured out in totality.
This is nothing to be fearful over as a children of God.
Notice

God’s Separating power in the midst of Divine Judgment

Exodus 9:4 ESV
But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die.” ’ ”
Exodus 4:
Let me tell you something church, God has this way about Him, where it can be chaos all around you, there can be trouble surrounding you, there can be lions seeking to devour you, there can be fire threatening to consume you.... But if you are a child of God there is something distinct about you! God will place protection over you, He upholds you by His righteous right hand, He is the keeper of your soul, He is the sustainer of your life! If you have humbled yourself and laid your life upon the alter of His love then He will strecth out his hand FOR you, and He will cover you in the cleft of the rock, He will cause you to be joyful when everyone else is filled with sorrow, He will cause you to have strength when everyone else is collapsing, and He will cause your livestock to live while everyone elses passes away!
Let me tell you something church, God has this way about Him, where it can be chaos all around you, there can be trouble surrounding you, there can be lions seeking to devour you, there can be fire threatening to consume you.... But if you are a child of God there is something distinct about you! God will place protection over you, He upholds you by His righteous right hand, He is the keeper of your soul, He is the sustainer of your life! If you have humbled yourself and laid your life upon the alter of His love then He will strecth out his hand FOR you, and He will cover you in the cleft of the rock, He will cause you to be joyful when everyone else is filled with sorrow, He will cause you to have strength when everyone else is collapsing, and He will cause your livestock to live while everyone elses passes away!

The Schedule of God’s Judgment

That’s what happened here, what we see here is that God is making a distinct statement to Pharaoh, Pharoah is trying to hold on to Israel and God is telling Him here that these people are not yours, they are mine.
God is giving Pharaoh an ultimatum, either open your hand and let my people go or I will open my hand and release the plagues.
He is also offering a chance at redemption and is in a sense saying.... “Pharoah either open your hand and let go of the control you think you have over your life, or I will open my hand and prove that you control NOTHING.
But Pharoah continues to harden his heart… so what is the picture God is giving us? He is showing us the depth of depravity in the human heart.... no matter what trouble comes some people still wont submit to the Lordship of Christ. Only humble submission can bring one out of the path of God’s judgment and bring them into the presence of God’s love.
This separation act where He does not allow harm or judgment to befall His children takes place at the end of all things as well...
Jesus says:
Matthew 25:31–34 ESV
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
There is a distinction between those who truly acknowledge the Lord and those who do not, He mentions the same concept in
Matthew 13:24–30 ESV
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
Matthew 13
There is coming a day of great trouble which will be followed by a day of great judgment when the Lord will return and will separate His people from those who are not His people. Both will grow together until the harvest then the day of harvest will come.
So this distinction is made between Gods people and the people of Egypt, and God says that not one of thier livestock will die.... He tells pharoah this, that My people shall be protected, and your people shall suffer...
Let’s see what happens
Exodus 9:6 ESV
And the next day the Lord did this thing. All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one of the livestock of the people of Israel died.
Exodus
But then notice what happens with the pharaoh
Exodus 9:7 ESV
And Pharaoh sent, and behold, not one of the livestock of Israel was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.
Pharoah awoke to find dead cattle just as God said would happen in his land...
Cant you imagine it?
“Sir wake up there are dead cows everywhere, camels have dropped dead out by the Nile, all the sheep of the land are dead.....
The Pharoah answered in a peculiar way…
HE SENT SOMEONE DOWN TO GOSHEN TO SEE WHETHER THE ISRAELITES LIVESTOCK WAS ALIVE...
They were
Everything had happened EXACTLY the way God had said that it would, you would think by this point Pharoah would have seen and understood who was in control but in the hardness of His heart He chose to remain blind.
This is the relality of the human heart
This is why god says that even if someone would rise from the dead people wouldnt believe.
There are multitudes of people who see the signs, there are even unbelievers who are being worked into a frenzy this morning across the world who see whats happeneing and then examine what the Bible says and see how God’s word is true and yet they press on in thier unwillingness to believe.
Just like the pharaoh..
EVEN AFTER ALL THIS PHARAOH WOULD NOT LET GO…
Notice the grace of God, God kills fish, God kills frogs, god kills livestock all because He is a God who is rich in mercy and does not want to have to kill Pharoah and the Egyptian people..
I have a question
Are you ready for the return of the King?
I mean really ready?
There are some of you in this room right now who have never submitted to His Lordship, you have NEVER TRULY REPENTED OF YOUR SIN AND TURNED TO THE LORD FOR SALVATION.
You know it deep in your heart.
(THE LAMB)
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