Summary: Message 6 in a study of the life of Moses shows how God uses his power to set us free and to punish the wicked.
Moses 6 THE NINE PLAGUE JUDMENTS OF GOD
C. The Salvation
3. The Conquering of Pharaoh Ex. 7:6-12:30
1) The Preliminary Sign 7:6-13
2) The Plagues 7:14-10:29
It is a known and recorded fact of history that Egypt, the strongest nation on earth, freed millions of slaves. Bible phrases like “chief of butlers” (Gen. 40:2, KJV) are shown to be clearly Egyptian by archeologists. Israel was in Egypt and they got out. This does not happen without a fight. Greedy men do not release slaves easily. We fought a bloody civil war to release ours.
Israel left because God bared His mighty arm and declared war on Pharaoh and all the gods of Egypt. Plague after plague, nine in number, fell until Egypt was a barren wasteland. Pharaoh’s heart grew harder and harder and the first nine plagues left him angry and unmoved. But when God sent His death angel and all the firstborn sons in Egypt died in the tenth plague, Pharaoh gave in. He told Moses and Aaron to take their people and go and asked them to “bless” him before God. For the moment Pharaoh was conquered and Israel left. Later he went after them and died in the Red Sea (Ex. 14).
What the cross and Easter is to us, the Exodus was to the Hebrews. This was God’s act in history, on their behalf, that showed who He was, a God of love, and what He could do - set them free. Negro slaves in America, introduced to Christianity, naturally were drawn to this event. They sang spirituals like “Go down, Moses!” The God they looked to raised up their Moses - Abe Lincoln.
The Hebrew songs and sermons of worship and the teachings of parents to their children were consumed by this mighty act of God that gave birth to them as a people. The Exodus was taught by Hebrew parents. Deuteronomy 6 says, when your children ask the meaning of your laws tell them,
“We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Before our eyes the Lord sent miraculous signs and wonders - great and terrible - upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our forefathers.” (Dt. 6:21-23).
The Exodus was sung by Hebrew poets.
Psalm 77:11-20 says, “I will remember the deed of the Lord. . . What god is so great as our God. . . With your mighty arm you redeemed your people. . . Your path led through the sea. . .though your footprints were not seen.”
The Exodus was preached by Hebrew prophets.
Amos said God says, “O people of Israel. . .I brought up out of Egypt” (Amos 3:1). Micah said God says, “My people. . .I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery.” (Micah 6:3-4). The plagues upon Egypt are terrible and wonderful at the same time - terrible for the Egyptians. God called them “mighty acts of judgment” (Ex. 7:4). But they are wonderful for God’s people - they were set free. Is not this true of the cross? By it we are redeemed but by it the world is condemned. Is not this true of the return of Christ? It is our blessed hope but for the world it is a day of vengeance. Today we look at the first nine plagues.
I. THE STORY OF THE FIRST PLAGUES (7:6-10:29)
1. The Preliminary Sign (7:6-13)
Moses, aged 80, and Aaron, aged 83, went to Pharaoh and Aaron threw down his rod and it became a snake, probably a cobra. The Egyptian sorcerers did the same with their rods but Aaron’s serpent ate all theirs. Pharaoh’s heart became hard.
2. The Plagues (7:14-10:29)
1) Blood (7:14-24).
Moses and Aaron left but one beautiful morning God sent them to meet Pharaoh at the Nile. After warning him, Aaron waved his rod and all the waters of Egypt, the Nile, streams, canals, ponds, reservoirs and in their buckets and jars turned to blood. The fish of the Nile died and their foul smell covered the land. Egyptian sorcerers turned some water to blood and Pharaoh wouldn’t budge.
Next, after another warning, God made frogs appear everywhere in the land - in the Nile, in houses, in beds, in ovens, etc. Pharaoh gave in a little and talked about letting Israel go to the desert and worship, but when the frogs left he changed his mind. (Very much like those who sit in church or, in times of trouble, think about accepting Christ, but change their minds when they are back carefree in the world.)