Summary: This is the seventh message in a series on the life of Moses that shows that being God's man is never easy. This message examines that God desires to have our undivided attention.
Beginning in 2001, Paul Marcarelli played the “test guy” in commercials for Verizon Wireless. For nine years he could be seen walking across the country uttering those familiar words, “Can you hear me now?” It didn’t matter if he was in the middle of a city or in the middle of a corn field those same words would be uttered. The commercial seemed to leave you with the impression that regardless of where you would go; Verizon could keep you in touch. We all know that in reality; regardless of what cellular carrier you have there will be places where you will not have coverage. There is something about that question that has the ability to get our attention. When someone asks us, “Can you hear me?” it demands a response. There are times when God asks us that same question, “Can you hear me now? He often uses His Word, our circumstances or other people to get us to focus our attention on Him. In our text, Moses and Aaron will appear in front of Pharaoh several times. Despite God’s miraculous power being displayed Pharaoh will refuse to listen. With each miraculous display of God power, God asks pharaoh, “Can you hear me now?” However with each display, Pharaoh’s will seems to become more stubborn and his heart will grow harder and harder. However, God will keep speaking until He finally gets Pharaoh’s attention. Today, we are going to discover that God often deals with us in the same way. He will keep speaking until He gets our attention. Let’s discover some important principles that we can apply to our lives from the events in our text.
I. There are three important things to remember as we read through this account.
A. God told Moses in the beginning that He would hit Egypt with a series of miraculous displays of His power.
1. Moses and Aaron are let in on God’s plan and He also tells them that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart.
2. However, before this at the burning bush God had told Moses that He would display His power in a series of miracles in Egypt.
3. Up till this time it is likely that no one ever appeared before Pharaoh with such authority.
4. The series of miraculous displays begins when Pharaoh asks Moses for a sign to prove that the God of the Hebrews had sent him.
5. Aaron throws his staff down and it becomes a snake. The normal Hebrew word for snake is nahas (4:3) but here the work is tannin which usually refers to a larger more ferocious reptile.
B. Pharaoh’s stubbornness and arrogance requires God to carry out His judgment against Egypt.
1. Like the first time Pharaoh is unmoved by Moses’ request and the initial display of God’s power.
2. God is not setting Pharaoh up for failure but He knows his heart. So the Lord simply allows Pharaoh’s rebellious nature to run its course.
3. Pharaoh probably believes that Yahweh is no match for the collective power of the many gods of Egypt.
4. Because of Pharaoh’s stubbornness and arrogance it will take a while for God to finally get his undivided attention.
C. Moses questioning God about Pharaoh’s unwillingness to listen will prompt the miraculous display of God’s power.
1. When the next time for Moses and Aaron to be dispatched to Pharaoh comes, Moses’ reluctance rears its ugly head.
2. The displays of God’s power are not just for Pharaoh but for the Egyptian people, Moses, Aaron and the Hebrew people. God is going to leave no doubt as to whom the one true God is.
3. So to bring Pharaoh to his knees before his Creator, God launched an elaborate, gradually intensifying, program of disciplinary disasters against Egypt.
4. The miraculous signs that are performed in Egypt is God’s judgment on the Egyptians for the cruel oppression that they directed at His people.
II. A close examination of the first nine miraculous displays of God’s power.
A. There are some important things to know about the signs that God performs in Egypt.
1. Plague is not the best translation of the ten things that God brings upon Egypt. Signs and wonders are a more accurate description because they were miraculous displays of God’s power.
2. All of these signs showed the impotence of Egypt’s many gods and the unlimited power of Yahweh.
3. The nine signs that we are going to look at today are divided into three groups. What Moses says before the first sign of each group will tell us the purpose for that particular series of signs.
a. The first group is to introduce Pharaoh to Yahweh and to establish the power of His presence.
b. The second group establishes the fact that Yahweh is God over Egypt as well as the rest of the world.