Summary: Exodus 7-18 Pass Over
Today we look at one of the most famous passages of the Bible. The Exodus. Sure – the whole book is called “Exodus,” but the event of the “exodus” - the exit – the departure – of the people from Israel - the Exodus - that is the central part of the passage we are looking at today from chapters 7-18. The events of the Exodus are well known to Christians, and even many non-Christians. There have been epic movies made about the Exodus. Cecil de Mille’s The 10 Commandments starring Charlton Heston, and more recently the animated “Prince of Egypt.” Both films follow the rough outline of the Exodus events, but do bear in mind that in places they do take artistic licence and add in or modify some of the details. But the point is: Exodus is famous. And throughout the rest of the Old Testament it is constantly referred to. It is seen as the turning point in Israel’s history, when God delivered Israel from bondage and slavery and brought them out of Egypt by His mighty hand to bring them through many trials to the promised land. In the Psalms and elsewhere, the events of Exodus are constantly looked back to as the defining moment in Israel’s history. And the Exodus is event is referred to in the New Testament - something that we will look at later in this Sermon.
Today we are going to look at chapters 7-18. A lot happens in these 12 chapters and we can break it down roughly as follows:
In chapters 7-10 we have the first 9 plagues.
Then in chapters 11 and 12 we have the final devastating plague, culminating in the Passover and the actual departure of the Israelites from Egypt.
The rest of the chapters from 13-18 covers the journey from Egypt to Mt Sinai. But that journey is not uneventful!
In chapter 14-15 we read of the crossing of the Red Sea and again, God’s deliverance of Israel.
In chatpers 15-17 the Israelites grumble about water and food, and God provides.
And then in chapter 18, Moses’ father-in-law gives Moses some good management advice!
So let’s have a look at these plagues first up – the first 9 plagues. But before we do – a quick recap from a fortnight ago. Remember, the book of Exodus closes with the Israelites living in Egypt. They are oppressed by the Egyptians as an underclass, a slave class, in a fairly similar way to they way Africans were treated in the US during the slavery era. They are not even second class citizens, but they are slaves. And God sees their afflictions and hears their cries for help and determines to do something about it. He calls Moses – a pretty ordinary bloke who by this time is nothing more than a sheep herder in the wilderness. God prepares Moses and tells him to go to the Pharoah – the king of Egypt - and tell the Pharoah to let the Israelite people go. But Pharoah doesn’t want to lose his free labour force, so he refuses to let the Israelites go, and so God has to do something to force Pharoah’s hand. And that something is that God sends plagues on Egypt. There are various plagues that God inflicted on the Egyptians. Here’s a list: