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Getting Really Ready

Exodus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God hardens Pharaoh's heart repeatedly ... and necessarily

Notes
Transcript

Order and Timing

10:15 - 20 min - Music (and devo this Sunday?)
10:35 - 5 min - Meet-and-greet
10:40 - 5 min - Elder prayer
10:45 - 5 min - Announcements
10:50 - 5 min - Children's message and dismissal
10:55 - 30 min - Sermon
11:25 - 5 min - Closing song
11:30 - 30 min - D Groups

Kids’ Voices

What kind of symbol or picture do we draw when we want to tell someone we love them?
Img: heart
Where is your heart?
What is it made of? [muscle]
Sometimes, the Bible talks about people who have hearts made of stone.
Are their hearts really made of rocks?
What does it mean to say someone has a heart of stone?
It means they have a tough time loving
Loving: God, other people, family members
They can’t say the words, they don’t do things that are loving like hugs or doing someone a favor just because you love them
Their hearts aren’t really made of stones, but it’s like they are
If God doesn’t want our hearts to be like stone, what does He want our hearts to be like? [strong muscle like a strongman with bulging muscles]
When we do things that are unloving, we can imagine our hearts becoming a little more like stone rather than strong muscle
God’s heart is perfectly loving - no stones at all - and He loves You!
Prayer * 2

[SEND KIDS - drop URL]

Intro

Pharaoh is going to have a heart of stone, but how did it get that way?
RV:
Slavery, cries, burning bush, command to Go
Moses Prepared in “Getting Ready”
PV: “Getting really ready” —> up to the point of escaping Egypt
Hard times for Israel
10 plagues
Hard heart
Lessons learned by looking at the big sweep of Exo 5-11

A flyover of Exodus 5-11

(Exo 5:1-23) Pharaoh rejects God’s authority and makes it worse, so Moses complains

Img: Wah!
M to Ph: Let us go 3 days out to worship YHWH
Ph to M: No straw, slackers! (no straw for you, etc. etc. etc.)
Ppl to M: Wah: Exo 5:21
Exodus 5:21 LEB
And they said to them, “May Yahweh look upon you and judge because you have caused our fragrance to stink in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants so as to put a sword into their hand to kill us.”
… because it was so good as slaves before you showed up!
M to G: (complains): Exo 5:22-23
Exodus 5:22–23 LEB
And Moses returned to Yahweh and said, “Lord, why have you brought trouble to this people? Why ever did you send me? And from the time I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble to this people, and you have certainly not delivered your people.”

(Exo 6:1-13) God will certainly deliver because He made a covenant, so Moses complains about his skill

Img: Stutter
1. G to M: Now you’re gonna see: Exo 6:1
Exodus 6:1 LEB
And Yahweh said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, because with a strong hand he will release them, and with a strong hand he will drive them out from his land.”
2. G to M: Go to the Israelites and say, “I made a covenant with your forefathers, and I’m about to make it happen”
3. G to M: Go to Pharaoh and say, “Let the Israelites go”
M to G: What if
Exo 6:12-13
Exodus 6:12–13 LEB
And Moses spoke before Yahweh, saying, “Look, the Israelites do not listen to me, and how will Pharaoh listen to me, since I am a poor speaker?” And Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and he commanded them to go to the Israelites and to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to bring the Israelites out from the land of Egypt.

(Exo 6:14-27) Aaron’s bona fides

Img: ancestry.com
Historical book, too
Establishig the legitimacy of Aaron: don’t forget him - he’s important, too
Conclusion: Exo 6:26-27
Exodus 6:26–27 LEB
It was that Aaron and Moses to whom Yahweh said, “Bring the Israelites out from the land of Egypt according to their divisions.” They were those who spoke to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, in order to bring the Israelites out from Egypt. It was that Moses and Aaron.
Notice who’s listed first this time.

(Exo 6:28-7:7) God commands Moses and Aaron to speak His words to deaf ears, so Moses complains once again about his lack of skill

Img: ears
M to G: (complain) - Exo 6:30
Exodus 6:30 LEB
And Moses said before Yahweh, “Look, I am a poor speaker. And how will Pharaoh listen to me?”
G to M: Deaf ears Exo 7:1, 4
Exodus 7:1 LEB
And Yahweh said to Moses, “See, I have made you as a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet.
Exodus 7:4 LEB
And Pharaoh will not listen to you, and I will put my hand into Egypt and bring out my divisions, my people, the Israelites, from the land of Egypt with great punishments.
M+A: (doing it right) - Exo 7:6-7
Exodus 7:6–7 LEB
And Moses and Aaron did it; as Yahweh commanded them, so they did. (And Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.)
They’re doing it right - so things should work out just fine, right?

(Exo 7:8-11:10) God hardens Pharaoh’s heart 11 times

Img: 10 plagues (Raiders, Patriots, Cowboys, Broncos, 49ers, Ravens, Chargers, Rams, Cardinals, Titans)
G tells M in advance
Exo 4:21 - (YHWH)
Exodus 4:21 LEB
And Yahweh said to Moses, “When you go to return to Egypt, see all of the wonders that I have put in your hand, and do them before Pharaoh, and I myself will harden his heart, and he will not release the people.
Exo 7:3 - (YHWH)
Exodus 7:3 LEB
And I myself will harden the heart of Pharaoh, and I will make my signs and my wonders numerous in the land of Egypt.
(Exo 7:8-13) Competition over staff snakes (magicians replicate)
Exo 7:13 - (passive)
Exodus 7:13 LEB
And Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not listen to them, as Yahweh had said.
Plagues
Seder wine drops of sorrow onto white napkin
Targets Egyptian gods??? (Nile, frogs, flies, sun, etc.)
(Exo 7:14-25) Plague 1: Blood (magicians replicate, not smart - ~poke Pharaoh)
Exo 7:14, 22 - (passive)
Exodus 7:14 LEB
And Yahweh said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is insensitive; he refuses to release the people.
Exo 7:22 - (passive)
Exodus 7:22 LEB
And the magicians of Egypt did likewise with their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken.
(Exo 8:1-15) Plague 2: Frogs (magicians replicate, ~poke*2)
Exo 8:15 - (Ph)
Exodus 8:15 LEB
And Pharaoh saw that there was relief, and he made his heart insensitive, and he did not listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken.
(Exo 8:16-19) Plague 3: Gnats (magicians tried and failed, ~poke + wahwahwah)
Exo 8:19 - (passive)
Exodus 8:19 LEB
And the magicians said to Pharaoh, “It is the finger of God.” But the heart of Pharaoh was hard, and he did not listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken.
(Exo 8:20-32) Plague 4: Flies (magicians not even try, plus no flies where the Hebrews were)
Exo 8:32 - (Ph)
Exodus 8:32 LEB
And Pharaoh made his heart insensitive also this time, and he did not release the people.
(Exo 9:1-7) Plague 5: Livestock death (none of the Hebrew’s)
Exo 9:7 - (passive)
Exodus 9:7 LEB
And Pharaoh sent to check, and it turned out not even one from the livestock of Israel had died, but Pharaoh’s heart was insensitive, and he did not release the people.
(Exo 9:8-12) Plague 6: Painful sores (magicians had boils, not stand b4 M)
Exo 9:12 - (YHWH)
Exodus 9:12 LEB
And Yahweh hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken to Moses.
(Exo 9:13-35) Plague 7: Hail (fair warning but not all heed; not @Hebrews)
Exo 9:34 - (Ph)
Exodus 9:34 LEB
And Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder stopped, and he again sinned and made his heart insensitive, he and his servants.
Exo 9:35 - (passive)
Exodus 9:35 LEB
And Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not release the Israelites, as Yahweh had said by the agency of Moses.
(Exo 10:1-20) Plague 8: Locusts
Exo 10:1 - (YHWH, past tense)
Exodus 10:1 LEB
And Yahweh said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart insensitive and the heart of his servants in order to put these signs of mine in his midst,
Exo 10:7 -
Exodus 10:7 LEB
And the servants of Pharaoh said to him, “Until when will this be a snare for us? Release the men so that they may serve Yahweh their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?”
Exo 10:20 - (YHWH)
Exodus 10:20 LEB
And Yahweh hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites.
(Exo 10:21-29) Plague 9: Darkness for 3 days
Exo 10:27 - (YHWH)
Exodus 10:27 LEB
And Yahweh hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to release them.
(Exo 11:1-10) Plague 10: Death of the firstborn (not Hebrews if … blood of the Lamb)
Exo 11:10 - (YHWH)
Exodus 11:10 LEB
And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and Yahweh hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites from his land.
After the fact
Exo 14:4 - (YHWH)
Exodus 14:4 LEB
And I will harden the heart of Pharaoh, and he will chase after them, and I will be glorified through Pharaoh and through all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh.” And they did so.
Exo 14:8 - (YHWH)
Exodus 14:8 LEB
And Yahweh hardened the heart of Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and he chased after the Israelites. (Now the Israelites were going out boldly.)
Exo 14:17 - (YHWH)
Exodus 14:17 LEB
And as for me, look, I am about to harden the heart of the Egyptians so that they come after them, and I will display my glory through Pharaoh and through all of his army, through his chariots and through his charioteers.
Sum
Objection: “But Pharaoh hardened his own heart”
God said He would, and He did, so we’re not going to keep score to determine what we can try to exonerate God for
I think that when it says passively that Pharaoh’s heart was hard, I give God credit, since He said He would
I even think that when it says that Pharaoh hardened his heart that God gets credit for that, too … later

God hardens Pharaoh’s heart repeatedly

Img: heart of stone

Xin: Introduced previous sermon in Exo, but it still makes me nervous

Evid: [psgs]

Every plague mentions the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart
God gets direct credit more than once (regardless of the scorecard you might be keeping)
I think He gets indirect credit for the rest
That’s uncomfortable for many of us

Cond: Regardless of what Pharaoh did

No matter if Ph hardened his own heart on his very own
No matter if he didn’t harden his own heart on his very own
Even when Pharaoh started to waffle

Sig: This story happens this way because God hardens Pharaoh’s heart repeatedly

A key element to the story, since it’s repeated often enough
The story would have been different in significant ways if God didn’t do this
Otherwise, He wouldn’t have done it
This story, which became the bedrock of an entire nation for over 3500 years

Xout: Which makes the command for Moses to “Go” all the more incredible …

… and repeatedly tell Moses to go into the very situation He hardened

Img: couch

Xin: IOW, “And God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and then told Moses to go to Pharaoh”

Evid: [psgs]

Before the plagues:
Go to Israel: cf. Exo 6:6
Go to Pharaoh: cf. Exo 6:11
Throughout the plagues: cf. Exo 7:15, 8:1; 9:1; 10:1
Exodus 10:1 LEB
And Yahweh said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart insensitive and the heart of his servants in order to put these signs of mine in his midst,

Cond: No wonder Moses complained

Img: couch
God, you hardened Pharaoh’s heart”
Then Pharaoh refused to let my people go, sometimes making life even harder”
Then you say, ‘Go to Pharaoh and say …’”
“But … You just hardened … it would have been easier if You hadn’t … (sigh) … Wah”

Sig: God is more concerned about your completion than your comfort

(ch 1-4), God preparing Moses with exile, shepherding, watching a priest, shepherding, even facing God’s fear and anger
This passage (5-11), still preparing Moses, Aaron, and all the Israelites
Not only wasn’t Pharaoh ready to let the Israelites go, Moses and the Israelites weren’t yet ready to go
If God had let them go after the first snake challenge, I’m convinced they wouldn’t have been ready for the journey
Even with all the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea and being led around by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night and by water coming out of rocks and food just dropping from the sky 6 days a week, they faltered and sinned and complained and rebelled. Imagine what they would have been like if they hadn’t watched a series of mighty displayes of God’s awesome power.
RS: If God was concerned about their comfort, they would have remained slaves, because that was more comfortable than the Exodus
It’s the same for followers of Christ: God’s goal for your life is to make you more like Christ, and Christ learned some important things only through suffering … not comfort.
Praise God! that He’s more interested in me becoming more Christlike than more comfortable
And I thank God for the times of comfort that He graciously gives, too
A comfortable couch doesn’t form you - it just takes your shape, no matter what your shape is - I want to be formed into the image of my Savior

Xout: My theory is even more disturbing than this …

Theory: Pharaoh would have caved sooner if God hadn’t hardened his heart

Img: poles

Xin: This is my theory!

Not “thus saith the Lord”
For you to consider, check with Scripture, be challenged by, and then ponder the implications if I’m right

Evid: [psgs]

Exo 6:1 -
Exodus 6:1 LEB
And Yahweh said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, because with a strong hand he will release them, and with a strong hand he will drive them out from his land.”
(cf. Exo 6:5-8) Reasons given for rescue:
Who He is ("I am YHWH"), establishing for nascent Israel (& Egypt, too)
He made a covenant and He's going to keep it - big picture strategy
He heard their groanings - the whole story involves suffering that God allows
Exo 7:3 -
Exodus 7:3 LEB
And I myself will harden the heart of Pharaoh, and I will make my signs and my wonders numerous in the land of Egypt.
Exo 9:16 -
Exodus 9:16 LEB
But for the sake of this I have caused you to stand—for the sake of showing you my strength and in order to proclaim my name in all the earth.
Exo 10:1 -
Exodus 10:1 LEB
And Yahweh said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart insensitive and the heart of his servants in order to put these signs of mine in his midst,
Exo 11:10 -
Exodus 11:10 LEB
And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and Yahweh hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites from his land.

Cond: Pharaoh appears to be bi-polar … why?

Img: poles
P1 Blood - Exo 7:23 — “didn’t take it to heart” (meh)
P2 Frogs - Exo 8:8 — “pray to YHWH to remove the frogs”—> hard
P3 Gnats - Exo 8:19 magicians couldn’t replicate, “This is the finger of God” —> hard
P4 Flies - Exo 8:25, 28 “Go sacrifice to your God”, “I will release you, pray for me”—> hard
P5 Livestock - nada —> hard
P6 Boils - nada —> hard
P7 Hail - Exo 9:27-28 — “I have sinned, YHWH is righteous, pray to YHWH”, —> hard
P8 Locusts - Exo 10:8, 16-17 — “Serve YHWH (BTW, which ones of you are going?)”, “I have sinned, forgive my sin, pray to YHWH”—> hard
P9 Darkness - Exo 10:24 — “Go serve YHWH (but leave your animals)” —> hard
P10 1stborn - Exo 11:8 — M: no offer; “your sevants will come to me and beg us to leave” —> hard
Then finally, Ph: “Go!” … and then “Wait!”
Sum: bipolar? Turmoil within himself, and without God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, I think he would have broken sooner

Sig: If this theory is true, then God’s sovereignty over our lives includes making some things harder

If Pharaoh had let them go after the snake thing, he would have been the hero of the story
And Israel would not have the history of Passover, the keystone event of Israel
God kept hardening Pharaoh’s heart long enough to get to #10

Xout: But God will do this only if He has a better destination (like the Promised Land) …

CR: God is sovereign to do anything holy to point us to Christ

Img: Cross

Xin: Everything God does in Exodus is to eventually get us to the Cross

Evid: [psgs]

Passover Lamb: JC is our Passover Lamb that God used 10th plague to create the shadow
Firstborn: JC = only begotten, 1st born of the dead (resurrection)
Sacrificed: on the cross
Don’t break a bone: (Exo 12:46), on the Cross
Blood saves you: delivers from slavery, but also from the plague of death that affects everyone in the land
Lord’s Supper: they sacrificed the lamb, spread the blood, and then ate the meat, likely with wine; SEDER; LS = eating the symbols of the body and blood of JC the Passover Lamb
Purpose of Israel: lead the world to the Messiah

Cond: Anything holy, including suffering and hardening of hearts

Never something sinful
But He can use the sins of others just as easily as our righteous deeds
Because none of our deeds are really righteous
If God didn’t use our acts that are stained with sin, He would never use us at all

Sig: Everything God does in your life, including suffering and the hard hearts of those who make your life harder, is to lead you toward Christ

He did this with an entire nation over 1600 years, including their most important event that formed their very identity as a nation
Don’t you think He’s doing the same in your life, too?

Xout:

Summary

Img: Chess king

God hardens Pharaoh’s heart … repeatedly

.. and then repeatedly tells Moses to walk right into it

I theorized that Pharaoh would have caved sooner if God hadn’t done this

Believe that God is still moving all the chess pieces in order to draw us to the King

Music set 2

Discipleship Groups

Discovery Questions

Read Exo 11, preferably in more than one translation.
Summarize in your own words what this section is about.
What do you gravitate to in this passage? Why?
What does this tell you about God?
What does this tell you about people?
On the premise that this is God’s Word, what changes would you have to make in your thinking or actions?
Who in your life needs to hear this?

Directed Questions

Remember to leave time for prayer, or perhaps do prayer first.
Cross references that may come in handy:
Isa 6:1-13
2 Cor 3:1-6
Introduce:
Ask if there is anyone who hasn’t yet been introduced to someone else in the group.
Launch:
Have others made your life more difficult because you worship God? How so?
How have you responded to God when that happened?
Read:
Exo 5:1-14
Exo 6:1
Quickly skim from 5:15 through chapter 10
Exo 11
Observe:
How would you describe the whole section in just one or two sentences?
What attributes of God are on display?
Interpret:
Do you notice any changes that happen through the sweep of all 10 plagues?
What purpose does God give for the places in Exo 7:1-5?
Reflect:
What lessons are there from these chapters for followers of Christ today?
Apply:
In what situation do you need a boost of confidence in God’s sovereignty?
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