Summary: As the final plague comes upon the Egyptians, Moses gave the Israelites some important instructions to follow in order to be protected from the plague. Salvation is a process that begins and ends with faith and obedience.
A. How good are you at following directions?
1. Are you a rule follower or a rule bender?
B. I heard about a guy who was puzzled with the odd messages left on his answering machine.
1. Day after day friends and family would leave a message and then say, “Beep.”
2. Finally, he decided to listen to his greeting and he discovered the explanation for what was going on - People were just following his directions.
3. His answering machine message said, “Hi, I'm not in right now, so please leave a beep after the message.”
C. Maybe you heard about the simple minded guy who decided to paint the inside of his house.
1. A friend stopped by to see how it was going and found the man lying on the floor in a pool of sweat, wearing two jackets.
2. The man asked his friend why he was wearing two jackets while trying to paint his house..
3. The painter said, “The directions on the can said: “For best results, put on two coats.”
4. Following directions isn’t always as easy as you think.
D. Today, we are going to learn about one of the greatest events in the history of the Jewish faith.
1. For 430 years the Israelites have lived as foreigners and slaves in Egypt.
2. They have been mistreated and oppressed by forced and obsessive labor.
3. Their leader, Moses, came to Pharaoh time and time again to ask for their freedom to go and worship God, but time and time again, the king refused to set them free.
4. Each time that Pharaoh refused, God sent a plague.
5. Nine different times God poured out consequences upon the Egyptians for their failure to release the Israelites.
E. Now, the tenth and final plague is about to take place.
1. This plague will be the worst plague of all.
2. The firstborn son of every Egyptian home will die, from the firstborn of the prisoners in the dungeon to the first born the royal palace, even livestock would be effected.
3. The Bible tells us that there was not one home in all of Egypt without someone dead.
4. Finally, after this tremendously costly event, Pharaoh would set the Israelites free.
F. The main point that I want us to learn from Exodus 11 and 12, is obedience.
1. God spoke, everyone heard, and some people obeyed.
2. Ultimately, we must learn to hear what God says, respect God’s commands, respond in obedience, and leave the results with God.
3. Let’s see how obedience – that all-essential ingredient – takes shape in Exodus 11 and 12.
I. The Story
A. The Bible says: 1 Now the LORD had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. 2 Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (Ex. 11:1-2)
1. Doesn’t this strike you as strange?
2. The Hebrew slaves were to ask for silver and gold from their Egyptian neighbors. Why?
3. Well, the Israelites didn’t realize it yet, but God was getting them ready for a long trip.
4. The silver and gold were like a withdrawal from an ATM on the way out of town.
5. And when you think about it, those “wages” were only a meager pay-off for over 400 years of slave labor.
6. God knew in advance what use that silver and gold would be put to.
7. At this point, God didn’t tell them why they would need those precious metals.
8. He just said, “Ask for them, “ and they did – it’s called obedience.
B. The Bible says, 3 The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people. (Ex. 11:3)
1. Isn’t that encouraging?
2. Just a couple of sermons back, we learned about Moses’ bad day turned worse.
3. The ex-shepherd was under the gun, snarled at by the king and hated by the Hebrew leadership.
4. But now we read that he was “greatly esteemed in Egypt.
5. Moses had trusted and obeyed the Lord, and the Lord gave him favor in their eyes.
6. When we trust and obey God, the favor we receive doesn’t always come immediately, but we must continue to trust and obey and the blessings will eventually come.
C. Let’s continue our reading, the Bible says: 4 So Moses said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. 7 But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any man or animal.’ Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh. (Ex. 11:4-8)