Faithlife Sermons

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Intro
Let us pray:
God gave us life and existence and created us in His image.
We sinned against God and therefore don’t deserve the life that He gave us and so the consequence of sin is death.
Death is the absence of life and God is life therefore the consequence of sin is the eternal separation from God.
From the very beginning, sin has destroyed us and overtaken us.
Adam and Eve’s oldest son Cain killed his brother Abel.
The first family was destroyed by jealousy and murder.
God warned Cain, as he does us, that sin’s desire is to have us but we must rule over it.
The world quickly spiraled into an evil chaos.
Angels were having children with humans and creating giants.
Angels were sinning, people were sinning, the animals were sinning.
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God decided to start over with the most blameless person on earth, Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives, but even the most blameless man on earth came out of the ark and became drunk and continued the cycle of sin.
Even though we don’t deserve eternal life with a perfect holy God who gave us existence, he loves us and has made a way for us to be forgiven without compromising His holiness and justice.
A willing substitute must be perfect and offer himself up for the punishment we deserve so that we can go free.
Even though that perfect substitute had not yet sacrificed himself God still allowed people to be forgiven, knowing that He would one day pay that penalty for them.
So God wanted all people everywhere on the earth throughout all time to know how they could have a loving relationship with Him even though they were sinful and He was perfectly holy.
He created and called a nation unto Himself to show the rest of the world how we could be reunited with God and be forgiven and in right relationship with Him, now and for all of eternity.
He called Abraham and promised him that that nation would come from him.
He reaffirmed that promise with his son Isaac, and again with Isaac’s son Jacob, who God renamed Israel.
Israel had twelve sons, one of whom was Joseph who God raised up to second in command over Egypt and Israel’s family moved to Egypt and became slaves there.
Four hundred years later we pick up with the birth of Moses.
Pharaoh
First let’s look at Pharaoh
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Pharaoh tried as hard as he could to hold on to Israel and keep them submitted to him, even to the point of ordering all of the Egyptians to kill all the Hebrew boys by throwing them in the Nile river.
Pharaoh’s fear of losing power caused him to commit great evil, as we have seen happen with many dictators throughout history who feared losing power and control.
We must not live in fear of losing control of our lives, we must realize that we never have had control of our lives.
Instead of living in fear, we must learn to live in trust.
We must live humble, trusting lives before God, that He is in control and we must submit ourselves to His authority.
No matter how hard we try, or evil we become, we can not stop God from accomplishing whatever He wants to accomplish.
Instead of Pharaoh killing all of the Hebrew boys, he ended up raising one in his own household, adopted by his daughter.
Now Pharaoh had a Hebrew grandson from among those that he ordered to be thrown into the Nile.
A constant reminder of the evil that he committed and how he failed.
His name was Moses.
Moses
When Moses was 40 he tried to deliver his people from the Egyptians by his own strength and killed an Egyptian that was striking a fellow Hebrew.
He accomplished nothing, and then had to leave everything and everyone he knew, including his family to escape Pharaoh who tried to have him killed when he heard what Moses had done.
Another 40 years later, God chose Moses to actually deliver His people, this time, not by Moses’ power, but by His own power and outstretched arm.
Moses did not want to be the leader, he did not want to talk to Pharaoh, he did not want to go back to Egypt, he did not want to be responsible for the people, and it showed.
He did not believe he was qualified to deliver the people, and he wasn’t.
He made several excuses, including not being able to speak well.
God reassured him that He had would tell him what to say and that he created the human mouth and could give him clear speech, and after Moses ran out of excuses he said this.
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Now this is important to keep in mind while reading the rest of Israel’s history with Moses as their leader because, as great of a job as he did, he still got fed up them and got angry with God for having to put up with them, but even still, he continuously interceded on their behalf and asked God to show them mercy when they rebelled against Him.
Back to the beginning:
The Exodus
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So God has decided that it is time to call the Israelites out of Egypt to be a nation unto himself, serving Him instead of Pharaoh.
So to do that, first Pharaoh must let them go, and he has absolutely no intentions of letting that happen.
He never has, and he never will.
So God decides that He will send plagues against Egypt to force Pharaoh to let them go.
But one or two are not going to cut it.
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So Moses went to Pharaoh and told him that God said this:
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So Pharaoh oppressed the Israelites even more.
He told the overseers and the foremen to stop supplying the israelites with straw for making bricks but not to reduce the quota of bricks and that they are to go out and gather straw wherever they can find it and keep making the same number of bricks.
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See what Moses did?
Moses again questioned why God chose him and accused God of not delivering on His promise to rescue them.
At this point Moses says, “you haven’t rescued your people at all.”
We are guilty of the same thing.
Why is this happening to me?
Why haven’t you done anything God?
You haven’t rescued me from this situation at all.
Do You even care?
Are you ever going to do anything?
Ever felt that way?
This is how God responded:
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Moses says if the Israelites won’t listen to me then how will Pharaoh listen to me?
Here again, Moses thinks that only persuasive speech will convince Pharaoh to release them.
And Moses knows he can’t convince Pharaoh.
With so much wealth, we today act the same way.
We know what God has told us to do, but if we can’t conceive of a way to accomplish it through our own power, we don’t take that step that requires faith in God’s ability and strength.
So Moses and Aaron go back to Pharaoh and tell him to let the people go and again Pharaoh says no.
So after this God tells Moses to go out and meet Pharaoh at the Nile and he inflicts his first plague against Egypt.
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The fist plague God sent against Pharaoh was turning the Nile and all of the water in Egypt into blood.
Eighty years prior to this the Pharaoh of Egypt filled the Nile with the blood of Hebrew boys in an attempt to make sure that they always served him.
And one of those boys became his grandson and now him and his brother are being used by God to remind the Egyptians of the blood that they filled the Nile with by turning it all to blood, throughout Egypt so that everyone would be reminded and confronted with their sin and the murder of innocent children made in God’s own image.
He then followed this plague with nine more: Frogs, gnats, swarms of flies, death of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and finally, death of the firstborn male.
These plagues were direct attacks against Egyptian gods and against Pharaoh himself.
The Egyptians worship several gods who were responsible for different aspects of Egyptian life.
Hapi was the god of the nile, Ra was the god of the sun, and these gods were powerless against Yahweh.
God showed the Egyptians and all the other nations who heard about what He did to deliver His people that He alone was God and that all other gods were powerless against Him.
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and we see the result:
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We also see how the Egyptians felt:
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The final plague was the death of the firstborn male.
The first plague was a reminder of Egypts killing of the Hebrew male children, and the last plague was God’s killing of the Egyptian firstborn male children.
But there are some big differences.
God isn’t killing all of the male children, just the firstborn males, people and livestock, and unlike Pharaoh, God would allow you to redeem your firstborn males by sacrificing a one year old spotless goat or lamb.
Anyone who would trust God to accept the proper sacrifice could have the lives of the firstborn males spared.
But the Israelites were not automatically spared from this plague.
Even though this was a judgment against Egypt, the Egyptians were not the only people who deserved death, all people deserve death.
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So the Israelites were told they too must sacrifice a lamb and wipe the blood on their door posts and when the angel of death came to their house and saw the blood of the sacrifice the angel would passover that house and spare the firstborn males.
In this way God was showing His people that even though we all deserve death, God will accept a sacrifice in our place so that we may live, but the people will eventually learn that the blood of bulls and goats is not sufficient to completely atone for our sins, there must be a greater sacrifice.
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God spared the firstborn males of those who place their faith in Him for their salvation, but He would not spare His only Son who willingly sacrificed Himself for the forgiveness of our sins.
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There is no shortage of passages in which we are told that it was by Jesus’ willing sacrifice of Himself that we are saved.
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