Part 10: In Control, Working Wonders
For studying the book of Exodus together and that this is our 10th week into the narrative in Exodus and we're going to be studying it through the rest of this month up to this chapter 14, but to catch you up to where we're at right now. God has begun pouring out his wrath on Farrow and on Egypt in order to bring glory to himself and to rescue his people and last Sunday. We plowed through just a ton of scripture together. We read a lot of scripture as we looked at the first of the first nine of the ten plagues that God dogs out on Farrow and on Egypt and it just to review some of those we saw the Nile turns to blood The source of life for the Egyptians. We saw a plague of frogs coming out of the Nile gnats flies all the livestock dying on people hail the destroy all the crops and killed anyone who is Left Outside Locust that they came and ate everything that wasn't destroyed by the hell and then Darkness for 3 days and we saw God demonstrate his power in these plagues in a measured way not going off the handle but in a measured way Desiring and given the opportunity for people to repent and in fact, we see when some of the Egyptians did heed his warning that he actually spared them but and we saw God distinguish between his people those who trusted him and those who refused him. Both were sinful. In fact, there's there's great evidence that both the Egyptians and the Israelites even worship the false gods of the Egyptians. Did God chose Grace to those who bathe him and the Israelites and after all of these plagues then We come this morning to the announcement of the grand finale or God is finally going to continue or incomplete the rescue of his people and so I was trying to read to you from Exodus chapter 11, and then we're going to pray. Let me read the text for today at the first 10 verses in Exodus chapter 11, and then we'll unpack it together. Exodus 11
yet one more plague. I will bring upon pharaoh and if I need zipped afterward, he will let you go from here. He will drive you away completely. Speak now in the hearing of the people that they still asked every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor for silver and gold jewelry. And the lord of the Egyptians more over the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt in the side of pharaoh servants and in the sight of the people. So Moses said that says the Lord about midnight, I will go out in the midst of Egypt and every first born in the land of Egypt shall die from the firstborn of pharaoh. He sits on his throne even to the first born of the slave girl who's behind the handle and all the firstborn of the cattle there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt such as there has never been nor ever will be again. But not a dog so growl against any of the people of Israel either man or beast that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel and all these are servants. So come down to me and bow down to me saying get out you and all the people who follow you in after that. I will go out and he Moses went out from Pharaoh hot anger. When the Lord said to Moses Farrow will not listen to you that my want then the Lord said to Moses Farrow will not listen to you that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt Moses. And Aaron did all these wonders before pharaoh and the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land. Let me pray. Father thank you for Jesus. He's the one who rescued your people from Egypt. He's the one who called Moses to follow and be the one who would lead that effort. And he's the one who rescues and saves and redeems us. So we thank you for Jesus. Or this morning as we are approaching really the the penultimate event of Salvation in the Old Testament. And the announcement of this final plague of you working your will and bring him glory to yourself with you teach us or Jesus about your sovereignty. About your power over all things. You're being in control of all things of you being before all things. Holy Spirit, I pray against the enemy as servants their works and affects you would seek to cause us to doubt or the turn our eyes from Jesus instead. Would you change us and make us more like Jesus and into fall more in love with him and have a greater adoration and thankfulness for him. We love you Lord. We thank you for Jesus. We pray all of these things through him. a man
this morning. Is there an exodus 11 we're going to key in on this idea during this announcement of this final plague. The truth that God is sovereign. What does that mean that God is sovereign. Sovereignty simply means that he is before and in control and over all things. He's fully Sovereign. He's fully in control. He rules and Reigns over and before everything. Display multiple leading up to the death of the first born that final plague and the Passover the first way I want to see you want you to see that God is Sovereign is the East Sovereign over the future. We just least 10 verses to you. But did you notice how many times the word or shall popped up? I mean read some of it again though. The Lord said to Moses yet. One more. I will bring upon pharaoh and afterward he will let you go from here. He will drive you away completely speak. Now of the Airing of the people that they shall ask about midnight. I will go out in the midst of Egypt every first one in the land of Egypt verse 5 first six there shall be a great cry throughout the land but not a dog so growl against you. Is your servants for Saint should come down and bow down to me and after that I will go out. When God tells Moses and verse 9 Pharaoh will not listen to you. Over and over you see this this trajectory toward the future and on at least 11 occasions here. God is clearly predicting and proclaiming what's going to happen. Why because he's Sovereign over the future. Auburn over the future here up to this point, you know up to this point many critics of scripture. If we would look back at those nine Flags. One of the things critics of scripture do is they try to find natural causes for all of those plagues. They try to find natural causes for all of them. They they just tried to pull God out of the equation on the weather. So preoccupied with that like if you don't believe in God do you care but yet they seem to end and so they they're going to try to find all these natural causes for the plagues for instance the Nile to blood they say was a red algae bloom potentially becoming red and bloody and what about the frogs were just trying to escape the LG Ridenour Muddy Waters. Well, then what about the gnats in the Flies? Will they all came in after the frogs died to eat the frogs? Will then? How did all the livestock die well, you can imagine what that much death and all the Flies and bugs and everything else. There was all kinds of disease floating around tooth all the cattle died.
Just Google it Google the explanations for the 10 Flags will find all these things around that time 500 miles away that maybe that caused all the hell. One of the explanations would have brought more locusts and what could have been a solar eclipse really that made one part totally dark and like right next door and Goshen they had light. It was it was a really rare eclipse.
All these natural explanations people try to come up with as to why these plugs happen, but the reality is the passages make clear that this is The Sovereign work of almighty God and everything. He declared would happen in the future did happen as we look back to the past. Cancel everything he's saying here. Now that will happen in the future. Guess what it will happen in by the way all those natural explanations of the plagues guess which plague they conveniently leave out usually and all of their natural explanations. How did the first born in Every Family died?
I will skip that one. Can I just look at all the others say it's a clear demonstration of God's sovereignty of his power. He's clearly cause all these things to happen all the things most common commands in scripture from God is to remember the past to remember his working sometimes even to remember your sin. Why will not because the past was so great not because we want to always go back to the past but it's because God was faithful then and so it's always with a view to the Future.
He will do these things. He's Sovereign over the future just like he was Sovereign in the past and remember your sin and to remember the things and the hardships you faced. Why not because you want them over and over for the rest of your life. But so that you remember that was really stupid of me. Let's not do that in the future cuz it's always with a view to the Future. Whenever he tells us to remember and his sovereignty is his sovereignty in part over the future. I noticed it was we talk about owls in this passage. If you're still reading through it noticed that all of these predictions aren't they might let you go one of these days. I think it might happen.
You know like this all the time and are they don't all kinds of egg predictions? Get on a financial blog read about the stock market. You have all kinds of predictions about the future something dramatic.
I thought it's kind of like the frog that cause the psychic hotline.
And he calls and this lonely frog telephone the psychic hotline and he asked what his future held and the psychic advisor told him. Well, mr. Frog and you can be assured. You're going to meet a beautiful young girl will want to know everything about you. And the Frog is thrilled, you know his voice perks up anytime. That's great. Will I meet her where will I meet her will be at a party he asks. No II says you'll meet her in biology class.
They're very specific very specific notice. He says not someday for Egypt's judgment. But tonight at midnight for the sudden verse for Moses said that says the Lord about midnight. I will go out in the midst of Egypt. Midnight you and I might think of that as the start of the next day, but in this day in age really that was just a term for in the dead of the night because they started their days in the evening at dusk. That was the beginning of the day. And so for this to happen at midnight would have been at the time when everyone was asleep when the night was the darkest and quite honestly they were the most vulnerable
Got those at about midnight. I'll go out in the midst of Egypt. We can trust God then. What about your future? Are you anxious about anything coming up this week this month this year?
Remember God's faithfulness to you in the past like we sang this morning. Remember all the ways. He's been good all the ways. He can be trusted. Because he's Sovereign still over the Future No Matter What happens is Sovereign is over at these before it is in control. You can trust him.
You can trust them. He's not only Sovereign over the future. But we see here in this text is Sovereign over his enemies his Sovereign over his enemies. Did you know that the 10 plagues Scholars correlate then between gods of the Egyptians that they were not only to demonstrate God's glory and to bring wrath upon his enemies but also demonstrated his sovereignty over the Egyptian Pantheon of all their gods. In fact, let me read through some of the Gods of the Egyptian gods with a lowercase G cuz they're really not Gods at all except the god called. She was the Egyptian god of the Nile. now the blood Hecate was the Egyptian goddess of fertility and her face look like Her head was that of a frog? What was flight number two? All the frogs the guess who's God had no power over all these frogs that the god whose face was a frog who had no power over the Nile turning the blood during the blood by The God Who was the god of the Nile and it keeps going how about Matt's there was an Egyptian god called get it was the god of the Earth from the dust of the earth created power over at her or are kept for the Egyptian god of creation. And this sacred beetle face this insect face, and there were these flying flies or beetles that came around and Have no power over them. God is continually demonstrating his power over his enemies over the Egyptian gods and goddesses. The livestock died when there's an Egyptian goddess named to half their that was the god of protection and it was a woman with the face of a cow. Isis she was the goddess of medicine and Gyptian God Newt or nut. Potentially. It should be nuts to worship the Egyptian goddess of the sky yet. Praying to her did nothing to stop the hell or God of Storms and disorder who couldn't do anything about the storm of locusts. And then finally the Egyptian god Ra the Egyptian sun god. Who couldn't make the sun shine on the people of Egypt for 3 days? God was demonstrating his power and his sovereignty over his enemies and that impart the plagues were to show the Egyptians that the gods they worshiped or no Gods at all. They got was demonstrating is Sovereign power over his enemies. And by the way, before you think how hard is that? If they're they're not really even God so I could demonstrate my power over them with false gods we learn from the Bible often are demons. It in fact a Moses in his song and Deuteronomy write the song to tell of all the ways God rescue those people who wrote they sacrificed to Demons that were no Gods talking about sacrificing the false gods the gods. They had never known he calls them demons to New Gods that came recently than your father's never dreaded. So God is showing his power over his enemies. He's Sovereign over them. And then this 10th plague that's predicted in a few Exodus chapter 11. It will totally go after Farrow. I will totally go after Pharaoh because Pharaoh thought himself to be a God and in the death of the firstborn guess remember what it what it said there who would who would be one of the first born to die? verisign app who is next in line to be the next God of Egypt? Pharaoh's son this was an ultimate demonstration of God's power over his enemies Pharaoh himself and these false gods. I'm into all the Egyptians this the Egyptian culture all you have to do just watch any kind of docu-series on an ancient Egypt, right? And what do you learn in a hurry? What are they obsessed with a nation into the Afterlife? I mean there might not be any other culture more obsessed historically because there's tombs being discovered still just full of gold and Relics that were buried with these people especially rulers that you know, they would have that to take with them into the next life and yet when God gives the plague of the death of the firstborn coming up.
All of their gods that they worship they had all the things they are obsessed with had no power to stop this death. And they had no preparation for it. God is demonstrating his sovereignty. Over his enemies and over life and death itself to know the true God of the Bible is the only god with power over life and death. He's the only one he's The Giver of Life. He created life in Genesis and he sustains life in Jesus is the only god with power over the next life. The father Son and Holy Spirit the Trinity Jesus himself is the one who will rule and reign in eternity.
You have a choice. Will you trust him or will you not did you up since had a choice would they turn to the true God of the universe or would they continue trusting in their own made-up gods? Peter tells us next chapter 4 he says there's salvation in no one else for there's no other name under Heaven given by which we must be saved. Jesus himself said I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the father except through me the truth or he is crazy in raw wasting our time. Trust him. I tell you it's he's telling the truth. In fact, Jesus not only is the one who will rescue us. He's the one who's rescuing. His people here in Exodus is his little half-brother Jude his little brother has big brother.
Jesus is the one who saves them. He's the one who's in power and control. He's truly God and one day Paul tells us that Jesus name every knee will bow. And so we got a choice we can bow willingly to him now and surrender to him or we can be forced to later. Which will you choose? Is it got a great grace and mercy trust him and not a god vgod? Let me correct myself. Is Sovereign over the future? He's Sovereign over his enemies and he's Sovereign which leads us right into the sea Sovereign over our hearts. Things that comes up over and over in the book of Exodus. Is this phrase if you noticed this yet where it says a Pharaoh's heart was hardened. And it talks about Pharaoh's heart. Has anybody noticed that come up yet. In fact, it comes up again this morning in verse 10. It says Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before pharaoh and it says the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart.
As a reference to do the hardening of Pharaoh's heart at least 19 times in Exodus. On three of those we see we read that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. I'm six of those. We see just that his heart was hardened. and 10 of those it says that the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart.
What are we to make of this that God hardened his heart doesn't seem like an unfair battle. God hardened his heart.
But we seeing that that God is Sovereign over Pharaoh's heart. But at the same time it if we read the full text, it's not in a way that removes pharaohs own personal responsibility or his culpability. Come to a part of scripture that's hard to understand. You have to interpret it in light of the whole. That's clearly understood. And in so as we do that here, it's clear that Farrow still had responsibilities and culpability for his sin because it said that a few times he's send again and hardened his heart. He was held responsible for his actions and his activities because why? They were his actions. So he was held responsible for them. Got a hardened Pharaoh's heart because of his callousness not because of his humility. Pharaoh in his heart heart he just continue to do whatever he wanted to do. And in this issue of sovereignty over our hearts and it brings up some doctrines that a lot of times people don't want to talk about doctrines of predestination or election. Got there, they're tied hand in hand with God's sovereignty. Did you know that the Bible teaches those things? For instance in Ephesians chapter 1 at Paul writes. He says in him. We have obtained an inheritance having been through there. This is bigger Earth or its having been predestined according to the purpose of him the works all things according to the counsel of his will. Proverbs 16:4 says the Lord has made everything for its purpose even the wicked for the day of trouble. In Romans 8:29 For Those whom he foreknew. He also predestined to be conformed into the image of his son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. someone to read the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart
I think we're seeing God's sovereignty over our hearts. Now and saying that the common objection to these doctrines, is that well. If you believe in this type of sovereign God then basically what you're saying Josh's that we're just robots or puppets on a string and he's just pulling the strings, you know, and we really don't have any choice at all. And lost in a vacuum. Yeah, it sounds like that. Doesn't it? Do you know if he doesn't hold because if you're a puppet on a string you don't have a free will. Makes it clear that God is in control and he does predestined and he does call the elect and all of those things. It's clear in scripture. It's also very clear in Scripture that we have free will and choice to choose him just as he has chosen us.
And it's not one or the other the Bible clearly teaches. We have responsibilities that God hardened Pharaoh's heart is still responsible for his actions. How does that work? I don't know. But the teachers and both are clearly true. And in my pea brain, I can't totally and completely reconcile both of those facts together. It's smarter people than me. Maybe can but I struggle with it. I struggle with this idea that God is in complete and total control and then did I still have a choice? Well, but he isn't but he's in control, but I work. I don't know how to completely reconcile that but I know they're both true. And the Bible doesn't seem to see any contradiction in those two truths. God hardens Pharaoh's heart Pharaoh is also hardening his own heart. He still responsible.
See if there was no free. Will it be like you're moving your arm up and down and your leg side to side because somebody's pulling it but that's clearly not the case is it?
That's under external coercion or compulsion and that's not what's understood by the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. And that's not what's understood or what any good Theologian understands the sovereignty of God.
Pharaoh is the one who is willing to do. What is evil. You know Pharaoh isn't just a humbly calling out to God going. Oh Lord, I really want to do what's right. I'm going to let them people go and then God says no and you know what? He grabs girl's hand and Russell's it down like maybe your grandpa did with you and why you keep hitting yourself Pharaoh in on slapping him with it. That's not the case. It's not like she'll willingly wanted to obey God Pharaoh in the hardness of his heart rejected God. God hardened his heart he gave him over to those desires. To sovereignty doesn't mean coercion or compulsion. That means god is over all and before all in control of all. This Heart hardened by pharaoh and God is fair ozone heart and it's yielding the stubborn wickedness. Not a puppet and I Robot. Like I said it like this in the few times we talked about it the same Sun that melts the wax hardens the clay.
So God being the sun being glory is goodness. His power is omnipotence.
In this case of pharaoh it hardened his heart. Where is in the case of someone next to him? It may have softened their heart and melted the wax. And their sovereignty and there's Choice see the Bible tells us not to harden our hearts. Doesn't it to be soft clay that's moldable not hard and brittle how do you do that? Well, here's ways you can make yourself Fredo and you can fail to be in his word. You can fail to pray you can refuse to sing. You can refuse to gather you can fail to forgive and get bitter and brittle and hard. Send in Psalm 95 and later in The Exodus. God's people Harden their hearts against them in the psalmist reminds us he says today if you hear his voice do not Harden your heart like they did in the wilderness. So when the sun shines upon you and God's grace and Jesus Shines on you don't Harden your heart becomes soft and moldable one other idea that might be helpful in understanding. This idea of God's sovereignty as having choice is maybe a difference between him allowing things and him causing things for instance parents. Do you ever allow your children to do something that you know is stupid?
Yet you allow it why? So that they learned their lesson and so that they would learn to trust you more the next time you say don't do that agreed. I mean this happens hourly in our house.
Turn off Charlie's jumping on the couch don't jump on the couch is okay, and he gets out. He's jumping up don't jump on the couch. Okay, Charlie.
What happens if I was jumping on that fell and hurt them in it? Yeah, we told you not to jump.
Sometimes I think that can be a helpful analogy and understanding both God's sovereignty and our free will sometimes he in his sovereignty allows things to happen. Not necessarily causing them directly but allowing then why so that we would grow to know him more so that he would receive Glory out of that. And in fact if we would keep reading in that section at the end of this passage where it says that the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart. It also said right before that that in bringing these plugs and allowing these things to happen. God allowed it so that he would be seen as working wonders as a god of who works wonders and so that he would receive Glory
Maybe that's helpful. What is Sovereign over the future over his enemies over a heart CC Sovereign over everything? Sovereign over everything he's before and in control of an over everything. Colossians 1 tells us that Jesus is before all things and in him all things hold together.
Theorist Psalm 24 tells us is the Lord's and the fullness thereof the world and those who dwell therein for his founded it upon the Seas. He is established it upon the rivers. He's Sovereign over at Friends God is sovereign. And all of his plans come to pass. All of his plans come to pass.
If we if we pick it up and verse 4. It says so Moses said we ended last week the end of chapter 10. At the end of chapter 10 Moses is before Pharaoh. Pharaoh tells him to get out and then next time I see your face you're going to die. And then here we see Moses again before Pharaoh. We're really what chapter 11 is it to this point to the end of her state is a continuation of what happened at the end of chapter 10. This is Moses parting shot at pharaoh before he walks away in hot anger. The last time he sees him in addresses him face-to-face. This is a continuation of that same event in chapter 10. And it's assumed Moses says to him after God told him some things revealed some things to Moses and Moses. Spoke. You said says the Lord about midnight. I will go out in the midst of Egypt. And every first born in the land of Egypt still die. From the first one to pharaoh who sits on his throne. I just imagine it says that you left in hot anger up at Moses was just I mean, he was lit up and intense and saying these things right? From the first one to pharaoh who sits on his throne even to the first born of the slave girl who's behind the hand Mill and all the first one of the cattle. There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt such as there is never been nor ever will be again.
Butt number 7 verse 7 not a dog so growl against any of the people of Israel. God distinguishes between his people. Either man or beast that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel and all these your servants Moses says they shall come down to me and bow down to me so you can get out and all the people who follow you and after that pharaoh. I will go out.
Auntie Moses went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. He was picked.
And he declares what's going to happen got sovereignty over the future that around midnight in the middle of the night. The first born in every family will die. What we we learned later that if you believe the Lord he give a command to his people the set will get into all this next Sunday the sacrifice a land a spotless pure land and to paint its Blood on the door frame of their house. And that has God's Wrath came. It would seem not all the good deeds of the Israelites, but it would see simply that they obeyed and that their door was painted with the blood of the lamb and God's Wrath would pass over them. What we'll see next week is that points clearly to Jesus being a pure spotless perfect lamb who dies in our place is blood when it's painted over the door frame of our house is God's Wrath not because of Any Good Works of ours, but because of his Mercy is wrapped passes over us and on to Jesus on the cross.
I got predicts all of these things are good at that are going to happen and guess what they happen.
Can I say how you said I my Council self and I will accomplish all my purposes. I have spoken and I will bring it to pass I have purposed and I will do it. Keeps all of his promises and if you trust him, he will save you. Is still in control even if life seems like it's chaotic. He still loves you. He promises to never leave you to never forsake you he keeps all of his promises. everyone and you can trust them. Imagine he says that that next morning there would be a cry throughout Egypt like there's never been before and never will be again. Can you imagine what that might have been like?
NH house all throughout Egypt
every house waking up with death
a child or maybe even in adults every first born
can imagine Some of you have experienced that in your own life of losing someone. And you know the whaling, you know the hurt can you imagine that Amplified over the entire nation?
What God declares will come to pass listen when he says trust me. Because I will save you or if you don't trust me you will pay for your sin on your own. Guess what that will come to pass.
Awesome. Trust him is Sovereign all of his plans will come to pass. Quotes for your good and for his glory so that he might receive Glory with a verses 9 and 10 that you might receive Glory then the Lord said to Moses Farrow will not listen to you. Why that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Fair on the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land. What's the purpose of the plagues to show God's glory that his wonders would be multiplied. What's the purpose of Jesus miracles to show God's glory why so that we would trust him and believe him? Our God friends is a wonder-working God It does miraculous and incredible and amazing things why for his glory and our good enjoy. But ultimately it's for his glory so that we might believe in some 106 a recount of this says our fathers when they were in Egypt didn't consider they did not work consider your wondrous works They didn't remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but they rebelled.
Yeah, he save them why for his namesake for his glory so that he might make known his mighty power Isaiah. 48 says the Lord says for my namesake I defer my anger see his patience isn't us getting away with anything his patients as him Desiring that we turn back to him in Repentance for the sake of my praise. I restrain it for you. The Lord says that I may not cut you off. Goes on the 1st 11 to save for my own sake for my own sake I do it or how should my name be profaned. My glory. I will not give to another. In other words, it's all about Jesus. Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3 says that he Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God. He's the exact imprint of his nature. He upholds the universe by the word of his power in other words. He is sovereign Everything that he declares will come to pass and we'll see that it did for pharaoh. And it's all for his glory. For our good enjoy.
Event. Let me pray. We're going to sing and we'll call the morning father. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you Lord that you are in control that you are sovereign. I don't know how to make sense of the truth that you're both fully in control of everything and yet somehow I still have responsibility and Free Will and both of those two things coexist to be true. So for any other Lord, you may be struggle with that truth is we think about your sovereignty? The hardened heart response would be then to become angry with you. How to say what how could you be in control like that and ordained things like this to happen in the softened heart would simply say oh Lord. Thank you that you're in control. I trust you help me to trust you more at the trust your sovereignty. For whoever you are this morning in the hearing my voice if you've never trusted Jesus. Should never turn to him in Repentance becoming a Christian isn't showing up to church it isn't going through all the right motions. It's using your heart to Jesus Christ. It's repenting and it's just a word that means to turn from yourself to turn from your sin and to turn to Jesus who is Sovereign over life and death and Eternity in all things.
And the Bible's clear if you would turn to him and trust him and believe he is God believe that he died on the cross for your sins believe that he raised from Death to win your salvation and Redemption that you will be saved. Has nothing to do with you. It's all about Jesus glory and it's all about his grace toward you trust them.
Father help us to trust you to a bet you because of your goodness and too trusting your sovereignty no matter what life may bring it's hard. So give us your grace. I pray in Jesus name.