Summary: Working through the book of Exodus using consecutive expository preaching. Exodus 11:4-7. Teaching Sheet for the bulletin included at end of text.
Sermon Series “Exodus”
“God’s Judgement #3”
Pastor John Bright
Exodus 11 “4 Then Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. 6 Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. 7 But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.’”
Today we come to the end of the plagues (yea!), but not the end of God’s judgements. After the 10th plague Pharaoh will finally let them go.
Some folks are a little late figuring things out!
In some imaginary place - a priest, a lawyer and an engineer are about to be guillotined. The priest puts his head on the block, they pull the rope and nothing happens. He declares that he's been saved by divine intervention, so he's let go.
The lawyer is put on the block, and again the rope doesn't release the blade, he claims he can't be executed twice for the same crime and he is set free too.
They grab the engineer and shove his head into the guillotine. He looks up at the release mechanism and says, "Wait a minute, I see your problem..." ?
I’ll say it again, I truly believe that Pharaoh was a despot – a cruel, ruthless ruler of an empire. He had put his faith in the false gods of Egypt. He believed they would protect him no matter what he did… even throwing babies into the river.
This is the final grouping of three plagues, 7-8-9. These will show Pharaoh the awesome power of the One True God to judge all the false gods of the culture. God does this with precision – targeting the Egyptians and sparing the Israelites.
Seventh – hail mixed with fire: Egypt is a land that gets very little rain. This is a supernatural storm that brings destruction on both crops and animals. Neither the god of storms, Seth, nor the sky goddess, Nut, is able to stop this judgement. There was also precision in this plague as it did not destroy everything – Exodus 9 “31 Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are late crops.” The used the flax to make clothing. Since some food crops were left there would have been hope if the plagues ended there.
The God who formed the heavens and the earth is now judging their gods of protection – god of the storm and the sky goddess.
There are two mentions of hail in judgements of Revelation:
• Rev. 8:7 – “hail and fire; mingled with blood”
Rev. 16:21 – 75 lb. hail stones
There are records for hailstones that naturally fall:
• The largest officially recognized hailstone on record to have been ‘captured’ in the U.S. was that which fell near Vivian, South Dakota on July 23rd, 2010. It measured 8.0” in diameter, 18 ½” in circumference, and weighed in at 1.9375 pounds.
• Virginia Record – 4.5-inch diameter – Saltville in 2011.
• In the last 30 years there have been three hail storms in the US that caused more than $1 billion in damages.
I don’t want to be near any of those so I REALLY don’t want to be around when there are 75-pound, supernatural hail stones falling!
The Egyptians prayed to their gods for their needs. When we have needs where do we turn? “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Matt. 6:8
Eighth – locusts: modern swarms of locusts can have up to 80 million insects. This supernatural swarm is far greater and will consume every plant left after the hail. This is what it looked like: Exodus 10:15 “For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every herb of the land and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. So there remained nothing green on the trees or on the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt.” The ladybugs that have invaded around here this fall are nothing compared to this – the whole landscape black with insects.
I can only imagine the fervor of the priests in the temples – offering many scrifices – chanting many mystical chants – but nothing worked. Anubis and Osiris were the gods of agriculture that protected the fields and crops – not this time! Only the One True God could send the locusts away on a strong west wind. (Ex. 10:19)