Summary: In the English language one of the hardest words to say is no. Of course it is not hard to pronounce, but it is difficult to say no to some entreaties.
The Power to Say "No"
Title: The Power to Say "No"
Text: "Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to
your God in the land" (Ex. 8:25).
Scripture Reading’: Exodus 8:25-28; 10:9-11,24
In the English language one of the hardest words to say is no. Of course it is not hard to pronounce, but it is difficult to say no to some entreaties. For example, saying no to an abundance of food is hard for most Americans. When strawberry shortcake loaded with whipped cream is offered to me, I cannot say no. In every case I yield.
God’s people have numerous solicitations from Satan to compromise. One of the hardest responses is to say no or to resist the devil. When Moses prepared the people to leave Egypt, Pharaoh made some interesting proposals of compromise. In each case, Moses led the people to say no. Let us notice the compromise.
I. Satan seeks to retain God’s people (Ex. 8:25-28).
A. The solicitation of Pharaoh. When Moses requested Pharaoh to let the Hebrews leave Egypt, Pharaoh presented a compromise. "Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land" (Ex. 8:25). He wanted the Hebrew people to remain in Egypt. If he could keep them in the land, they would remain slaves.
B. The solicitation of Satan. Satan loses the main battle when a person becomes a Christian. The warfare continues though. The opposer of God seeks to persuade the child of God to "stay in the land." He urges us to be borderline Christians.
II. Satan urges God’s people to neglect family care (Ex. 10:9-11).
A. The solicitation of Pharaoh. When Moses confronted Pharaoh on another occasion, Pharaoh presented a compromise proposal. "Let the Lord be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord; for that ye did desire" (Ex. 10:10-11). Pharaoh wanted to split the Hebrew family. He knew that if he could divide the household, the nation would soon die.
B. The solicitation of Satan. Satan seeks to destroy the family unit in today’s society. He opposes God’s divine intention, which is one man for one woman until death parts them. The opposer of God seeks to get families to compromise with regard to spiritual care and nurture.
Ill. Satan desires God’s people to leave possessions out of their commitment to the Lord (Ex. 10:24).
A. The solicitation of Pharaoh. Moses’ additional request to Pharaoh for release was again met with another compromise. "Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you" (Ex. 10:24). Pharaoh agreed to let Israel leave and worship God, but he insisted that they leave their flocks and herds behind. Moses refused, for he knew the people needed the flocks and herds to make sacrifices.
B. The solicitation of Satan. The devil always desires half-hearted commitment from God’s people. He wants professing Christians to compromise regarding the stewardship of possessions. Those who think they can serve the Lord without any responsibility to possessions have yielded to a satanic compromise.
And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.
a [Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land] Pharaoh was willing to tolerate the bloody sacrifices of Israel if they would stay in the land. The plan was rejected by Moses who claimed they would be stoned by Egyptians if they started such worship (Exodus 8:26). He insisted that they go a three-day journey away so the people would be protected (Exodus 8:27).
And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?
a [abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God] See Judgment on the Gods of Egypt.
b [Shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?] Question 26. Next, §Exodus 9:17.
We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us.
And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me.
a [only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me] Pharaoh’s next permission was that the people go sacrifice to the Lord, but they could not go far away. This would have defeated the purpose of God which was to bring Israel out of Egypt entirely.