Summary: What should we do when our day goes from bad to worse? We should run to God. In this sermon, we see what Moses does when things don't go the way he would hope.
A. Have you ever had a truly bad day?
1. Have you ever had a day that went from bad to worse?
2. Imagine this guy, parachuting into a beautiful lagoon populated by alligators!
3. How about this guy, being rescued by helicopter, only to be eaten by a shark! (probably a doctored picture)
4. Or how about this guy escaping one cesspool only to end up in another.
B. If you have ever had a bad day gone worse like these guys, then you will be able to identify with Moses.
1. Moses had accepted the call of God, was released by his father-in-law, and began his journey back to Egypt.
2. On the way Moses met up with Aaron whom God had sent out to meet his brother.
a. It is always encouraging to note how God works from both ends to make His plans come into being.
3. When Moses and Aaron arrived in Egypt, they summoned a meeting of the elders where they revealed all the words that God had given and showed them the signs of God’s power.
4. The people believed and threw their support behind Moses.
a. Perhaps those Hebrew elders thought it was going to be a quick-and-easy “slam-dunk.”
b. They imagined Moses marching into Pharaoh’s court, amazing Pharaoh with his miraculous signs, and then the gates of liberation would swing open and they would be on their merry way.
C. But it wasn’t going to be that easy.
1. If they had stopped to think about it, they should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.
2. Moses certainly knew it wouldn’t be that easy, for God had clearly told him that there would be major difficulties with Pharaoh.
3. But you know how it is, most of us block out the part of the plan we don’t like, and we focus on the part of the plan we like.
a. We skip over the part that says we are going to get in the car and drive 1000 miles, and all we focus on is the part that says: “We are going to Disney World.”
4. God had told Moses that Pharaoh would not let them go until a mighty hand compelled him by striking the Egyptians by the wonders He would perform, then, and only then, Pharaoh would let them go.
5. So now with the easy part being over and it was time to confront Pharaoh with the message of God.
6. Moses’ bad day began when he gained an audience with the King!
I. The Story
A. The opening scene of today’s part of the story is decidedly dramatic as two eighty year old men stand before the most powerful man on earth.
1. Although it may be hard for us to imagine, let’s try to sense the power and presence of Pharaoh.
a. He was considered a “god” in his land – so he was literally, worshiped.
b. Colossal structures and sculptures bearing his name towered into the blue, Egyptian skies.
c. What Pharaoh said was law, and there was no court of appeals.
d. He held a person’s life and death in the casual snap of his fingers.
2. But as awesome as was the presence of Pharaoh, we must keep in mind that Moses and Aaron had just been in the presence of someone even greater – Yahweh the King of the Universe.
a. Moses and Aaron had received instructions from the mouth of the Living God.
3. Chapter five begins with: 1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.’” (Ex. 5:1)
B. That was the start of the bad day and it all went down hill from there.
1. In verse 2 we find Pharaoh’s response: 2 Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.” (Ex. 5:2)
2. Pharaoh’s response was completely negative.
3. Pharaoh response was characterized by cynical arrogance.
4. It is not that Pharaoh had never heard of the name of Jehovah, he undoubtedly had (he had millions of Jewish people living in his country), it is that he refused to recognize the name or the request brought in that name.
5. The point for Pharaoh lied in the word “obey.”
a. He understood that these men were not presenting him with a request but rather a mandate from one greater than himself.
b. Listen to this quote from biblical scholar F.B. Meyer: “To appreciate the audacity of the demand we must remember the unbridled power and authority claimed by the Egyptian monarchs…For him great Egypt existed. For him all other men lived, suffered and died. For him the mighty Nile flowed…For him vast armies of priests and magicians and courtiers wrought and ministered.” [F.B. Meyer. The Life of Moses. (Lynnwood, Washington: Emerald Books, 1996) p. 47]