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Summary: This is an introductory sermon for a series based on the 10 Commandments.

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AM Sermon preached at Central Christian Church January 7, 2007 (updated)

God’s Top Ten List (10 Commandments sermon series)

Introductory Sermon The Love Behind The Law

[PROJECT ASAP AS COMMUNION IS WINDING DOWN… SERMON SERIES SLIDE----IT WILL AUTOMATICALLY TRANSITION TO SERMON TITLE SLIDE----THEN TO A BLANK SLIDE]

Here’s the situation. Two companions have just completed the most difficult of tasks. After months of traveling in secret over the most dangerous terrains, after battling their ways through storms and blizzards, after having endured capture and escaping from it, these two unlikely heroes, two hobbits, had snuck behind enemy lines and managed to destroy it, the evil Ring of Power. This Ring if it had not been destroyed would most certainly would have been returned to the evil Sauroman who would have used it to reek havoc over the face of Middle Earth. But Sauroman would never again get his hands on the Ring of Power, because Frodo and Sam had seen to its successful destruction by having it cast into the fires of Mount Doom---and their reward---well it seems that for all the good they had done----they were going to be repaid with death. Let’s watch a short video clip to catch their feelings of despair…

[VIDEO CLIP FROM “THE RETURN OF THE KING”----THEN BLANK SCREEN] {NOTE for those reading this on Sermon Central---in this clip Frodo and Sam are trapped on a small rock which is surrounded by molten lava---they’re thinking they’re going to die and they begin to open up to each other talking about things they would have liked to have seen once more or done…}

When it seemed there was no possible way to escape, when it looked as if death was certain, when hope was giving way to despair and then to acceptance that the end had come…the eagles came and bore them away… For those of you who haven’t seen the movie----both Sam and Frodo recover.

I had never really thought much about it before this week, but as I was preparing this first sermon of this new sermon series it dawned on me that those feelings of despair voiced by Frodo and Sam and their rescue----must parallel somewhat what the ancient Israelites went through with their exodus from Egypt.

Remember the story----it goes back to the time of Joseph. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers---and eventually with God’s intervention Joseph ended up in Egypt, in the house of Pharaoh. In fact Joseph became Pharaoh’s right hand man. Everything Joseph did seemed to turn out right and Pharaoh and Egypt benefited as a result. That’s why when a severe famine hit, Pharaoh was more than happy to tell Joseph “Go ahead and invite your family to come and live in Egypt. They don’t need to be scraping around trying to find something to eat. I mean after all Joseph, you’re the one who made certain we have more than enough food here. Yes, go ahead and invite your family to come and live here.” And that’s what Joseph did. His family accepted the invitation and moved to Egypt. Things went only too well for Joseph’s family in Egypt too. Everything they did seemed to work out well for them too. Their herds grew in number, their wealth dramatically increased and you’d have thought they were rabbits the way their families grew----there were so many of them they were thought of as nation within the nation---and they were became known as the Israelites. The years passed and eventually some of the Egyptians in authority, people who had little or no knowledge of the good things Joseph had done for Egypt, well, they decided to make slave of all the Israelites. And that’s what happened. The Israelites went from being guests to slaves---from enjoying lives of ease and luxury to lives of forced labor, beatings and chains. This went on for years and when it had reached a point that there seemed to be no way of escape---when it seemed to the Israelites that the only future that there was for their children was the same forced labor---when hope was nearly exhausted and many were beginning to accept slavery as their lot in life, God brought Moses into the picture and God delivered the Israelites from their slavery. Listen as I read from the Bible how God described His activities in bringing about Israel’s deliverance---- Exodus 19


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