Summary: A message that deals with the pull and the destruction of sin in a life.
THE DARKNESS OF SIN
TEXT: Exodus 1:8-11
Exodus 1:8-11 KJV Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.  And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:  Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.  Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
-The thought for this message came to a few weeks ago when I started following the Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa. I have been somewhat aware of the fearful nature of this germ for a number of years. Some of the fear of this disease comes from the way that patients succumb to death. In the final stages, patients literally hemorrhage to death as their blood vessels literally break down all over their body.
-Throughout all of this spread of Ebola, I have watched with some curiosity the comments of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta and the World Health Organization as they chose to address the fears of many around the globe. They have used words like incubation period, fever, symptomatic response, and hazmat suits. There is very much a sense of fear that you can feel prevailing through the various news agencies as they make efforts to cover the news.
-What you have occasionally heard them address is the potential for a pandemic. This simply means that there is a possibility that the disease can spread around the world at a blinding speed and infect hundreds of thousands of people. Once a pandemic gets started, it is very difficult to gain the upper hand and control it. In fact, one area of the CDC website states that it would take 12-18 months to control and eradicate a pandemic. By that time there would have been thousands of deaths to take place. Presently they are saying that around 4,500 have died as of October 17, 2014. There are some medical professionals both in professional medicine and academic medicine who think the number is much higher. They believe that we are not getting the full story because officials do not want a global panic to set in.
-For those of us who have worked in medicine and around hospitals for any length of time, we are very aware of the potential and power of germs. We know that it is crucial that sterile technique and isolation protocols are maintained to prevent the spread of disease and germs. However, we also know that despite the best intentions and procedural guidelines that germs are something that cannot be seen and therefore they are very dangerous.
-While I contemplated all of that, I started thinking on the deadly nature of sin and how it has very detrimental effects on all men. The question at large is this: Do I attempt to protect my life from sin with the same stringent protocols that healthcare workers are using against the Ebola virus?
C. Neil Strait—Sin does not serve well as a gardener of the soul. It landscapes the contour of the soul until all that is beautiful has been made ugly; until all that is high is made low; until all that is promising is wasted. Then life is like a desert—parched and barren. It is drained of purpose. It is bleached of happiness. Sin, then, is not wise, but wasteful. It is not a gate, but only a grave.
II. ISRAEL IN EGYPT
A. The Prevailing Will of God
-This chapter picks up with one of the greatest dramas in human history. The children of Israel have been living in Egypt for more than 400 years. It all began when Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers.
-The slavery of Joseph was actually used by God to put His plan in motion for the benefit of the Israelites. While there are some very dark turns and difficult days that they will experience, God’s will still prevails in all and they are ushered out of Egypt in the middle of the night to experience freedom.
-As is often the case with the children of God, what starts as a great tragedy often ends up being a great blessing. The Lord is the Master at causing our dark circumstances to bring us great light.
-The will of God often prevails in such a surprising way that we are amazed at how it turns out for us. Just as a bit of a footnote on the will of God, consider what Paul wrote to the Colossians: