Summary: how Moses had to stick to the plan of preaching the Word to the Pharaoh even though he wouldn’t listen
July 13, 2003 Exodus 5-6
1 Timothy 2:4 sums up God’s plan for our world. He wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. Notice how in this verse God connects being saved with knowing the truth. This truth is not something that man was born with. It was revealed in God’s Word through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The truth that the salvation of the world is based upon is on the fact that Jesus died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Him. The ONLY way people can be saved, then, is if this truth of salvation is REVEALED to them. (Romans 10:14) So God’s plan is to now REVEAL this truth through US so we can be saved.
This has been God’s plan of salvation for the world since before the creation of the world. (1 Peter 1:20) The only way this would be accomplished would be for God’s Son to take on human flesh. So he chose the offspring of Abraham - the Jews - to accomplish this task. God’s purpose was for the Israelites to go to the Promised Land and have a Savior be born for them. That was the plan. There was only one problem - they were in slavery down in Egypt. So God chose Moses to lead his people out of slavery. Moses finally had the call to do what he had dreamed of since his childhood. But this was only the start. Today we’re going to see how there were still many obstacles to accomplishing this task. Yet God’s Word for Moses today was to -
Stick to the Plan
I. Even when it hurts
After 40 years apart, Moses and Aaron had been reunited at Mt. Horeb. Now it was time to get to work. This was not going to be an underground railroad, where the Israelites would secretly leave by the dark of thenight. No, God called them to go straight to the top of the Egyptians - to the Pharaoh himself. Professor Wendland said that, Pharaoh considered himself to be the only true intermediary between the high-gods and the people of the world. To him the great superpowers were those of nature, like the sun and the moon, and he was the great high priest who could approach these high-gods in the beautiful temples along the Nile built in their honor. (Exodus People’s Bible - page 36) So here these two old men - at 80 and 83 years old now, go up to Pharaoh - the mighty king who thought he had a direct connection with nature. And yet what do Moses and Aaron do when they get to the palace? They went to him 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.’” (Exodus 5:1) Notice that they don’t try to work out a compromise. They didn’t say, “we were just kind of wondering if it would be ok if we took the people for a three day worship conference in the desert?” In a respectful and yet straight forward way they simply said, “the LORD, the God of Israel says, “Let my people go.”
Now even though the LORD put Pharaoh in his position, Pharaoh in his mind thought, “why should I respect this LORD of these slaves? I don’t owe him anything!” Yet notice that Moses and Aaron didn’t back down. Instead, they upped the ante by saying, Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword. They actually went so far as to threaten a punishment to the Pharaoh if he didn’t cooperate - and immediately. It would seem like a bold thing for them to do, but all they were doing was conveying the words that the LORD wanted them to speak. The fact was that the LORD wasn’t intimidated by this Pharaoh. He would not negotiate. His plan would not be hindered.
I’ve been reading a book about a German boy who was stuck in Germany when the Russians took it over after World War II. During that time he had to flee to a small city - so here he was, the big city kid in a rough neighborhood of broken down Germany. As a result, all of the neighborhood kids would gang up on him and beat him up. At first, he ran from them. But that wasn’t working. So he decided that the only thing he could do would be to launch a counter attack. One by one he snuck up on the boys and individually attacked them and beat them up. From that point on, they left him alone. It takes courage, but that’s how God wants you to deal with this world in a spiritual way. If you just try to run away from it and fear it, it will run after you and try to eat you up. The more we let it go and say nothing - the worse it gets. If your children are hanging out with some kids that you know full well are evil, you might think, “oh, maybe we can influence him or her for the better.” But then, before you know it, he is drinking alcohol and acting like a heathen. Or if your son starts dating a gal that seems to dress with her body parts hanging out on all sides, you can’t assume he’ll behave himself. Before you know it, she will be pregnant. You can’t just assume these things will go away. You’ve got to put your foot down at some point and address the evil behavior or even the APPEARANCE of it. It takes courage and judgment, but evil has to be exposed and hung out to dry - confronted straight up - because that’s the only thing that it will listen to - the law. But for some reason we’ve been contaminated with this modern day idea that evil can be gradually steered into good with a lot of nice talk and “counseling”. We’re turned into spiritual cowards - afraid to make people angry. Instead of calling sin “sin” we would rather diagnose it as a disease and throw drugs at it. It’s less messy and more excusable. Pharaoh wasn’t about to listen to sweet talk, and God didn’t give him any. He said, “do it or else!”