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There is No One Like our God

The Gospel According to Exodus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:16
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Grab your Bible and open with me to Exodus 7. We’re going to pick up at verse 14 of Exodus 7 this morning. I’m sure you’re as excited as I am to pick up where Josh left off last week.
Josh did such a great job making clear what is the main point of this section of Exodus: our God is greater, superior, wholly other. In a contest between our God and all other “gods”—well, there is no contest.
When Moses and Aaron approached Pharaoh, even though the Egyptian wise men and sorcerers were able to mimic what Aaron did with his staff, the Lord still showed Himself to be supreme:
Exodus 7:12 NIV
12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.
Oh, how I love that verse!
This is true:

There is no one like our God.

I know some of you believe this. In your life, in your experience, in your journey of faith, no doubt you’ve come to the conclusion that there is no one—absolutely no one—like our God.
You know this deep down in the depths of who you are. You’ve witnessed His power, His provision; you’ve experienced His grace and life-changing love. You are a different person because of Him.
You know that there is no one like our God.
However, I’m not foolish enough to think that everyone believes this, not even that everyone here today believes this. Without question, there are some of you who believe that the God of Bible is real, but then you go ahead and line Him up next to a bunch of other “gods” and worship Him only for what He can do for you. And if/when He fails to do what you want Him to do, if/when He fails to meet your expectations, you turn to the next “god” in line to handle things.
This is fairly common in our age (and in every age). That doesn’t make it okay; that doesn’t make it right. It’s the opposite of right. It’s absolutely wrong. It’s idolatry—and we are guilty of it on several fronts.
We have given part of our affection, part of our hearts, part of ourselves to something other than God—family, self, money, status.
We have divided our allegiance between God’s Kingdom and this broken, sinful, temporary kingdom. We take to our feet, cover our hearts with our hands, and utter the words, “I pledge allegiance to...” without thought of what we’re actually saying and doing.
Let us be mindful of this fact: There is no one like our God. There is no thing like our God. No one, nothing, no thing should have our worship, or our allegiance, or our devotion, or our heart—no one, nothing, no thing but the Triune God.
There is no one like our God.
>The pharaoh sitting on the throne in Egypt is about to come face to face with this truth.
We don’t know any the names of any of the pharaohs, so we just refer to them by their title: Pharaoh.
This is pretty subtle, pretty slick, really. Pharaoh who thought himself divine, who considered himself to be a ‘god’, goes unnamed in the annals of Biblical history. There is no record here of those who considered themselves the single most important people on the face of the earth; just a title of a position that no longer exists.
This unnamed pharaoh wakes up one morning and heads down to the River Nile only to find Moses and Aaron.
The show is about to begin; these two men, sent by the Lord, have with them the staff of the Lord and a word from the Lord. And they are going to make clear to Pharaoh, over and over, that there is no one like the Lord, our God.
Each of the plagues are introduced with the phrase we find in verse 14:
Exodus 7:14 NIV
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go.
This is the indication that all of these signs, all of these wonders, all of they plagues (literally: blows) that strike Egypt are from the Lord—they are His doing, His work, His idea.
Along with the opening phrase—Then the Lord said to Moses—we see two themes repeated throughout the plagues:
The Lord’s unrelenting desire for His peoples’ worship
The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart
The Lord wants and deserves His peoples’ worship:
Exodus 7:16 NIV
16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened.
Exodus 8:1 NIV
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
But Pharaoh’s heart is hard:
Exodus 7:14 NIV
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go.
Exodus 7:22 NIV
22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.
Exodus 8:15 NIV
15 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.
These are two competing ideologies. The Lord wants this; and Pharaoh wants that.
In some ways, like Josh mentioned last week, this is a contest between Moses and Pharaoh, a contest between the Lord and the king of Egypt.
At the end of the day, though, this is ultimately the Lord vs. Satan—the LORD Yahweh versus the pantheon of Egyptian gods and goddesses.
The plagues are judgments upon Egypt, to be sure. But we must also see them as God’s judgment on Egypt’s gods. The Lord God is making the critical, unmissable point that He alone is God.

There is no one like our God.

In case you’re tempted to think that there is nothing here for you, that this is a nice study in Exodus but one that doesn’t really have any bearing on your life, let me tell you: you’re wrong; there is great application for us.
The average American is not very different from an ancient Egyptian. We still worship the same gods, only the names have changed. What we count on, what we work for, what we play at, what we dream about—these are the gods we worship.
We—you and I—constantly face the temptation to bow down to our own idols. My good friend, John Calvin, wrote that our hearts are “idol factories” constantly churning-out idols to worship.
Believers are daily tempted to love, serve, and trust many things and people other than the living God. This is one of Satan’s most powerful strategies.
It’s subtle in its simplicity. Satan will get us to worship good things because he knows whenever a good thing becomes an ultimate thing, it’s an idol.
And if he can get us worshipping that part-time, it means we are only worshipping the Lord part-time, if at all.
Let me tell you, friends: the Lord will continually show Himself to be superior. He will beat the socks off our idols. He will tear them down, crush them, destroy them, so that we will all of us say:
There is no one like our God.
In Exodus 12:12 God says that He is going to perform the last sign, the death of the firstborn, and in so doing He is executing judgments against all the gods of Egypt.
Exodus 12:12 NIV
12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord.
The plagues the Lord brings upon Egypt fall on all the areas of life that are supposedly protected by the gods and goddesses of Egypt.
James Boice tells us that “There were about 80 major deities (gods and goddesses) in Egypt, all clustered about three great natural forces of Egyptian life: the Nile River, the land, and the sky…the first two plagues were against the gods of the Nile. The next four were against the land gods. The final four plagues were against the gods of the sky, culminating in the death of the firstborn.”
At minimum, the plagues will show that the Lord Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, is the One actually in charge of the river, the land, and the sky.
So the Lord starts by confronting the gods of the Nile—with the plague of blood and the plague of frogs.
Follow along with me: Exodus 7:14 ff
Exodus 7:14–21 NIV
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’ ” 19 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.” 20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
This would have been utterly devastating to the Egyptians. The river Nile was the basis for the entire Egyptian civilization.
The Egyptians used the Nile for almost everything, and without it, their land would have become a desert. The river provided the transportation system that helped them move goods from place to place. It was the source of the fertile topsoil and the irrigation system that enabled them to grow their crops. It was their water supply and their food supply (fish. And fish become sushi.). The river would flood every year at the same time, something to set their calendar by.
Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, claimed that than land of Egypt was given to the Egyptians by the river.
And now everything the river had been was no longer. I suppose that maybe they could have used the river of blood for transportation; one could probably float a vessel down a river of blood, but ewww. It certainly wasn’t any good for drinking. All the fish died. You can’t very well irrigate crops with blood. No doubt, such would ruin whatever it touched.
Devastating. Utterly and completely devastating.
We don’t know why Pharaoh went down by the riverside. He might have gone there to bathe, like his daughters did. Or maybe he enjoyed taking an early morning swim.
But it seems likely that Pharaoh also went down to to the river to pay homage/respect to the gods of the Nile: blessing the waters in the name of Hapi, the god of the flood; giving thanks every morning to Khnum, the guardian of the Nile.
For centuries the Egyptians praised Hapi as “the giver of life,” “the lord of sustenance,” the one “who causes the whole land to live through his provisions.”
They sang:
Hail to your countenance, Hapi,
Who goes up from the land,
who comes to deliver Egypt …
Who brings food, who is abundant of provisions,
Who creates every sort of good thing …
Who fills Upper and Lower Egypt.…
Everything that has come into being is through his power.
It would not be surprising if Pharaoh, along with all the other Egyptians, worshipped the Nile and its gods daily as their creator and sustainer. They believed they owed their entire existence to the great river.
Then one day, the great river turned to blood before Pharaoh’s very eyes. Moses struck the Nile, and blood flowed all over Egypt.
In this way, God demonstrated His power over the gods of Egypt and also punished the Egyptians for their idolatry. With one single blow, He gave them a water and food shortage, a transportation shutdown, a financial disaster, and most importantly: a spiritual crisis.
All this, the Lord God did by turning the river into blood, making the object of their worship into a thing of horror. No longer did their gods and goddesses have any power to meet their needs.
You would think this first plague would get their attention. You’d think, but it doesn’t.
So the Lord continues with the next plague, the next blow to the River Nile and its gods and goddesses:
Exodus 7:25–8:6 NIV
25 Seven days passed after the Lord struck the Nile. 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country. 3 The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. 4 The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.’ ” 5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’ ” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land.
This is my favorite of the plagues (if you can have a favorite plague).
Picture this with me:
Exodus 8:3–4 NIV
3 The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. 4 The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.’ ”
Frogs on your people, frogs on you and all your officials; frogs in your ovens and all up in your kitchen.
Unlike the other plagues, there’s nothing necessarily devastating about this, but man would it be uncomfortable. Delicious, but uncomfortable.
As I read this, all I can picture is a platter of freshly fried frogs’ legs. Oh man…sounds so good.
(Froggin’ story)
A plague of frogs is an interesting one. It’s more of an annoyance than it is anything else.
So what’s the Lord up to here?
Here—as in the plague of blood—the Lord is casting judgment upon the Egyptians and the false gods they worship. This is the “why” behind the frogs.
God showing Himself to be in charge of the frogs, and not the pagan Egyptian goddess, Heqet.
The psalmist writes:
Psalm 78:45 NIV
45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them.
Devastated might seem to be too strong a word; that is until we realize what the frog meant to them.
God had a serious theological reason for sending what seems to us to be a silly plague. This was no accident or something He decided on a whim: “Hmmm, frogs might be fun!”
Remember: God is demonstrating His power over the gods of Egypt.
“If we are to understand the full significance of this plague, we must recognize that a goddess of Egypt is involved in the judgment—the goddess Heqet. Heqet was always pictured with the head and often the head and body of a frog.
Since Heqet was embodied in the frog, the frog was sacred in Egypt. You weren’t allowed to kill a frog, so there was nothing the Egyptians could do about this infestation of their goddess.
They were forced to deal with and hate the presence of their false worship. But they could not kill them.
And then, when the frogs died, imagine the stinking horror that lingered in their country.”
This plague hit Pharaoh right where he lived; he had no escape. The frogs were in his bedroom and throughout his palace.
Lay down for a nap—frog. Go to the bathroom—frog. Get a book off the bookshelf—frog. Company at the door—“Come on in, move some frogs, and have a seat.”
The plague of frogs confronted Pharaoh and all the Egyptians with the uselessness of their frog-goddess Heqet.
Heqet was the spouse of the creator-God Khnum. She was supposedly the agent of life-giving power and the symbol of fertility.
And yet, when Egypt was overrun with frogs, Heqet did what she had always done: nothing. And that’s humiliating.
At the command of the Hebrew God—the Lord Yahweh—His might was evidenced (frogs, frogs, and more frogs) and Heqet’s powerlessness was displayed.
In fact, that only display of power from Pharaoh’s magicians actually only serves to highlight how little power the Egyptians have.
We see this in the plague of blood:
Exodus 7:22 NIV
22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.
And in the plague of frogs:
Exodus 8:7 NIV
7 But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
By whatever power the Egyptian magicians were able to duplicate and mimic the plagues, they had no mastery or authority over them.
They just made it worse for themselves. More blood! More frogs! Plague upon plague.
It would have been really something if they could have turned the blood back into water or driven the frogs away, but alas, they had no power to do so.
Not even their gods and goddesses could help them.
Their gods and goddesses couldn’t help them. But the Lord our God…well, you see:

There is no one like our God.

We don’t know how long it took for Pharaoh to make his next move, but it doesn’t seem like it was all that long.
Look, Exodus 8:8ff
Exodus 8:8–15 NIV
8 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.” 10 “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. Moses replied, “It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.” 12 After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. 13 And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields. 14 They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them. 15 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.
Pharaoh does the unthinkable. He orders Moses and Aaron to come to the palace so that they will pray for him.
Mind you, this isn’t a sign of his belief, but only of his superstition. This is a means to an end, not a means to a relationship.
Pharaoh didn’t want the Lord; Pharaoh wanted the Lord to get him out of a jam.
But Pharaoh has learned something about the ways of God. He has gone from asking, “Who is the Lord? I don’t know the Lord.” to now using the special, covenant name of the Lord and asking the Lord’s servants—Moses and Aaron—to pray to Him.
Pharaoh has also learned something about God’s power. After his magicians simply added to the problem, Pharaoh knew that it was the Lord who sent the frogs and that only the Lord could take them away.
Pharaoh is admitting that the Lord God of Israel had power over all creation.
Pharaoh says—in not so many words—

There is no one like our God.

Why Pharaoh decides the frogs should croak :) tomorrow is beyond me.
But by allowing to Pharaoh decide when he was to pray for the frogs to disappear, Moses was showing absolute confidence in the power of God—that there is no one like our God.
Moses replied, “It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God.
As we probably suspected, as soon as the frogs were gone and Pharaoh experienced some relief, his hard heart won the day.
Pharaoh just wanted a little bit of frog-less space. And as soon as he could breathe, he turned aside and refused to listen to Moses or Aaron or to the Lord.
>The Lord God has made it clear: what He wants is the worship of His people. The plagues, as we will see, are about getting Pharaoh’s attention; making clear to Pharaoh, to the Egyptians, and to us that there is no one like our God.

The gods we worship are not able to do anything for us.

Where the gods of the Nile failed, the Egyptians were left to their own resources.
This is what always happens to people who worship false gods. Sooner or later, their gods fail and their followers are left scrambling to make life work on their own.
If we trust the gods of this age the way the Egyptians trusted in their, we might as well grab a shovel right now. Because we’re going to be digging ourselves out all alone—the gods of this world and this kingdom will not last, they will not help, they are not real.

Our God is not okay with our worshipping any other gods.

Our God is a jealous God. He wants 100% of our worship—heart, soul, body, and strength. Our love and devotion and allegiance belongs to no other.
We are to worship God by trusting in Him alone for everything we need.
If we trust in other gods for our peace and prosperity, we will be disappointed in the end, and guilty of cosmic treason here and now.
But if we place our confidence in God alone as Creator and Provider and Savior, then even when everything else is taken away, we will stand, safe and secure.

There is only One God. It is He who saves.

If it teaches us nothing else, the book of Exodus teaches us not to trust in other gods because they will not save.
Our God is mighty to save.
Our God is systematically proving to the Egyptians, to Pharaoh, and to us that the idols and gods of this world are powerless. They are mere trinkets, man made baubles, worthless pieces of wood and stone.
There is but ONE who saves: the living God who walked among us, took on flesh, robbed our sin, and made us holy.
Jesus displayed His power over sin on the Cross, His power over death by the empty tomb. He is mighty to save!

There is no one like our God.

Repent! Repent of worshipping any but the One true God. Give your life to Him and Him alone—the Faithful, Holy, Greater-than-any-other God.
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