Summary: Pharaoh’s stiff-necked rebellion against God is also exhibited in America today. Four things we can learn about the judgment of God.
A Study of the Life of Moses
Sermon # 8
“Facing the Judgment of God”
Exodus 11 and 12
Dr. John R. Hamby
It seems appropriate that on the Sunday following perhaps that greatest tragedy in American History, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that we find our selves considering the subject of “Facing the Judgment of God.” We are tempted to ask ourselves, “How could God have allowed this to happen to America?” But perhaps a more appropriate question would be, “Why has God not judged America before now?”
On September 13, in an Interview with the Press the daughter of Billy Graham, Ann Graham Lotz, was asked by the Early Show’s Jane Clayson to offer some comfort to the families of the victims of the terrorist attack. During this interview Jane Clayson asked: “I’ve heard people say, those who are religious, those who are not, if God is good, how could God let this happen? To that, you say?”
Anne Graham Lotz replied saying: “I say God is also angry when he sees something like this. I would say also for several years now Americans in a sense have shaken their fist at God and said, God, we want you out of our schools, our government, our business, we want you out of our marketplace. And God, who is a gentleman, has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life. Removing his hand of blessing and protection. We need to turn to God first of all and say, God, we’re sorry we have treated you this way and we invite you now to come into our national life. We put our trust in you. We have our trust in God on our coins, we need to practice it.” (From transcript of Early Morning Show - CBC interview)
Do we not see the same stiff-necked rebellion against God in America as exhibited by the Pharaoh of Egypt? God had sent Moses to Pharaoh with the demand, “Let my people go.” Pharaoh with great arrogance replied, “Who is Jehovah that I should obey his voice to let the children of Israel go.” Instead of obedience Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused. God now forced the issue and a series of nine plagues had devastated Egypt. It will take one more horrific plague, the death of the first born, to convince Pharaoh. God tells Moses that he will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh, Exodus 11:1, “And the LORD said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether.” A special word is used in the Hebrew here for the last plague, “a stroke.” That means this plague is to be more disastrous than any of the former nine. Until this time the plagues had been to point out the answer to Pharaoh’s question, “Who is the LORD?” But this plague is a stroke of judgment and punishment.
In Exodus 12:12 we find a summary of what this judgment will be, “For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.”
This morning I want you to see four things about the judgment of God.
1. NO ONE IS GOOD ENOUGH TO ESCAPE GOD’S JUDGEMENT
This tenth plague had no automatic exemption for the Hebrews. It was a great day of judgment upon all – it was the blood of the sacrifice that saved Israel. Death came in judgment to every home without the blood of the Passover lamb upon its doorposts. The first thing that we need to understand is that Israel was also guilty before God. Israel was only saved from suffering from the same plague as the Egyptians by means of the sacrifice that had been provided.
The children of Israel were not saved because they were good. The truth was that they too had worshipped the idol gods of Egypt and some continued to do so even after their deliverance. On his death-bed Joshua, Moses successor, pleaded with the children of Israel to put away the gods of Egypt (Joshua 24:2,15). In themselves the people of Israel deserved God’s judgment as must as the Egyptians.
In the book of Deuteronomy 7, verse 7 and 8 God told the children of Israel why they were chosen, “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; (8) but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” Israel escaped the judgment of the tenth plague entirely by grace.