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Exodus – The Way Out

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OTI-02

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Join me in the Dark splendors of ancient Egypt. Stand with me amid  Moses and Egyptian Plagues. Before him stretched the wonders of the Nile.

  • The forest of 50 to 70 foot red granite[1] and limestone pillars ornately carved and painted with cartooshes and hieroglyphics was impressive.
  • To stand before the living god-Pharaoh himself was threatening.
  • To be eighty years old

[as Moses was]

and to face the most powerful King of the Ancient Near East World of that time would be overwhelming!

EXODUS: THE WAY OUT… 

I.         The WAY OUT… OF BONDAGE [1-12]INTO FREEDOM, SHOWS GOD IS POWERFUL

            A.               A Prepared Servant [1-6]

1.                Moses = drawn out 2:10

a)                of the water 2:10

b)                of Egypt 2:11-15

c)                of the wilderness 3:1

2.                Look at Hebrews 11:23-27

B.               A Powerful Display [7-11] = Plagues

C.               A Permanent Reminder [12] = Passover

II.          The WAY OUT… OF IGNORANCE [13-24] INTO GOD’S LAW AND PROGRAM, THIS SHOWS GOD IS HOLY

A.               God Protected Them [13-15] = Red Sea

B.               God Provided for Them [16-18] = food & water

1.                Manna [16]

2.                Water [17]

C.               God Prepared Them [19-20]

III.        The WAY OUT…OF THE WORLD [25-40], INTO GOD’S PRESENCE, THIS SHOWS GOD IS FRIENDLY

A.               The Tabernacle Points to God

1.                Articles Point to Christ:

2.                Brazen Altar = total devotion Christ

3.                Laver = Christ the Eternal Cleanser

4.                Lamp Stand = Christ the light of the world

5.                Show Bread = Christ the Bread of Life

6.                Altar of Incense = Christ constant Intercessor and Priest

7.                Holy of Holies

B.               Colors speak of Christ:

1.                White = perfection, parallel to Luke, Christ the Perfect Man .

2.                Blue = Heaven, parallel to John’s Gospel of the Deity of Christ .

3.                Scarlet = sacrifice, parallel to Mark’s Gospel as Christ the Perfect Servant.

4.                Purple = Royalty, parallel to Matthew’s Gospel of Christ the perfect King.

C.               The Priesthood Leads to God

D.               The Regulations Reflect God

MOSES AND THE FINGER OF GOD; EXODUS 7-11 PART TWO: LESSONS FROM FALSE GODS

Ancient Egypt at its Zenith fifteen centuries before Christ was awesome. The Pyramids were over a thousand years old, and stood towering ominously over this proud and powerful people. The ‘God-Kings’ or Pharaohs as we call them, were sons of Khnum, descendants of RA and the bearers of divinity to the masses. Astride the Mighty Nile, Egypt knew prosperity, fertile and productive agriculture and great peace.

But, a nation had grown up in their midst for 400 years. It had started with just an old man and his twelve boys. Jacob and his twelve sons, his daughters and their families had flourished. In Goshen they now numbered nearly three million. As God had promised to his grandfather Abraham, his descendants would be as numberless as the sands of the sea. From one man to three million is a vast multiplication. And so, the stage is set: 

THE GREATEST ANCIENT EMPIRE: EGYPT    vs.    THE ENSLAVED PEOPLE OF GOD: ISRAEL 

But, it was even more than that. It was also:

God’s People vs. Satan’s People
God’s Promise vs. The Curse
God’s Power vs. The Kingdom of Darkness
Two eighty year old men vs. Pharaoh, his armies and the entire religion of Egypt
Shy Moses vs. Proud Pharaoh
The Whole Plan of God for Redemption vs. The Whole Plan of Satan for Rebellion

Why? These were the:

Covenant People

Bearers of God’s Promises

Vehicle of God’s Written revelation

  And, Ultimately, the only way Christ could come in God’s plan!

The Jews were and are so important in God’s plan. And so in about the year 1445/46 BC God told Moses to GO. And that is where we start this morning. In lightning fast flashes, we have a succession of TEN POWERFUL imprints upon the fabric of Egyptian Society. A land of mystery and false worship of false gods — brought face to face with the TRUE God of the UNIVERSE. Turn to Exodus 6:1-7; 7:3 

One cannot help but be awed by the splendor of the ancient Egyptian temples. Even the remains of many merely represent the fragments of past glory, the crumbling ruins are a testimony to the splendor that Egypt once enjoyed.[2] The multitude of shrines, inscriptions and religious objects are a constant reminder  as are the massive temples and tombs now in ruins are so vivid a reminder that the grandeur of it all, must have been marvelous. However, the myriads of statues that now adorn the museums of the world found in excavations are a grim reminder of the folly of their idolatry. To think those people feared and followed these lifeless gods when faced with the Living and True God of the Universe is tragic, eternally tragic. 

Mummies were normally 5-5 1/2 feet tall

Amenhotep II = Exodus;  Thutmose III = Oppression

The gods of the Ancient Egyptians numbered as many as eighty[3] by some counts. These gods were to some degree quite different from the Canaanite deities who demanded incinerated babies, bleeding human hearts and so on. 

Sacred to them were the lion, ox and ram; the wolf, dog and cat; the ibis, falcon and hippopotamus; the crocodile. cobra and dolphin; they revered the frog, scarab and locust. They also had anthropomorphic gods of AMUN, OSIRUS and ATUM. Finally, Pharaoh was himself a ruler and a god. In each of the ten plague, The Lord showed the gods of Egypt were all  impotent. Remember the Ten plagues? 

Lets examine the PLAGUES in the light of the worship of all the Egyptian gods. The  captors of the captive Jews were proud of their false worship and GOD is about to humble them.

I.                   NILE PLAGUE  [7:14-25] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                When God allowed Moses to turn the Nile to blood it was a catastrophe of greatest magnitude. This is because the Nile was so vital to Egyptian life. It was guarded by the feared god, Khnum at its sources. It was inhabited by the spirit of HAPI, and was the bloodstream of the most revered of all the gods – OSIRUS, god of the underworld.

2.                Also those who worshiped the NEITH the goddess of war would have noticed her inability to protect her children the lates [large fish] of the Nile which died in the plague. HATHOR protected a smaller fish the chromis, which also died.

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                This plague was an unmistakable message. It was to drive a wooden stake into the very heart of the worship of Egypt. Simply stated, God is powerful and you are impotent.

2.                OSIRUS was hit to show only God controls the after life. God is very concerned that mankind knows the true JUDGE OF DESTINY.

3.                HAPI was hit to show on God is the spirit of creation.

4.                NEITH was hit to show only God came watch over and protect people securely. GOD wants all to know He alone is the ROCK OF SECURITY.

II.                FROG PLAGUE [8:1-15] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                Like a blanket of filth, the slimy wet monstrosities covered the land until men sickened at the continued squashing crunch of the ghastly pavement they were forced to walk upon. If a mans feet slipped on the greasy mass of their crushed bodies, he fell into an indescribably offensive mass of putrid uncleanness, and when he sought water to cleanse himself, the water was solid with frogs, so he got no cleansing there.[4]

2.                The frogs were called krur and represented fruitfulness or fertility. The annual flood of the Nile which renewed the farmland caused them to make the  goddess HEQT, embodied as a frog, the wife of the great Khnum.

3.                The harming or death of a frog was a capital offense. It was punishable by death in that time, to have every square inch of the land thick with frogs. To feel them crunching beneath your feet. To smell your feared gods rotting in heaps.

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                All this was a death blow to the closed system of their worship. God was true and powerful, their gods were not.

2.                HEQT was hit to show who really created Egypt. God is very concerned that all know the CREATOR. 

III.             GNAT/LICE PLAGUE [8:16-19] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                This was unannounced. Josephus said they were lice in Talmud but its not in the Hebrew text.

2.                The most hit group were the priests because of their shaving and purification became unclean. They controlled to a large degree the hearts and minds of the people.

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                GOD alone is holy. No priests are or could make anyone holy! 

IV.            FLY PLAGUE [8:20-32] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                These were blood sucking, caused blindness, that were abhorred.

2.                They were related to VATCHIT, the god of flies.

3.                They were not in Goshen, that is a miracle.

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                Only GOD can protect from pestilence.

2.                VATCHIT is false and powerless.

V.               CATTLE PLAGUE [9:1-7] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                Only the Egyptian cows were killed. They were significant to their worship [Davis, p. 121-22].

2.                The god PTAH was sacred to the APIS bull, which was central to Egyptian worship.

3.                On November 13, 1856 Mariette found an underground avenue 1,120 feet long with 64 huge burial chambers. Each containing sarcophogi that were 12 feet long, 9 feet high and 6 feet wide. They were made of red and black granite and weighed over 60 tons each.

4.                HATHOR the goddess of love and beauty was depicted with bulls horns and a sun disk. The worship at Heliopolis used the sacred bull in Sun worship.

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                PTAH was hit to show the god behind that bull was only an impotent demon.

2.                MNEVIS was hit to show that even the union of the sun god and the sacred APIS bull was powerless to keep the sacred bull on display at the Heliopolis alive!

3.                HATHOR the goddess of love and beauty was powerless in the ugliness of death.

4.                This plague was devastating to Pharaoh who had vast herds of cattle [Gen. 47:6, 17] The economy was so dependent on oxen for plowing and carts, cattle for milk and worship. Camels, donkeys and horses for transportation.

VI.            BOIL PLAGUE [9:8-17] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                Like the 3rd plague this one was unannounced. the Lion headed goddess SEKHMET was the regulator of epidemics and diseases.

2.                The magicians of Pharaoh’s court were so skilled in the arts of the occult, their names are still on record 2 Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (KJV)

3.                All of Egypt believed that SERAPSIS was the god of healing and IMHOTEP the god of Medicine.

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                SEKHMET was hit to prove he could not regulate epidemics and diseases.

2.                The magicians of Pharaoh’s court, Jannes and Jambres, found that when they  withstood Moses his god was REAL!

3.                SERAPSIS was hit to demonstrate that only GOD is the One who is the god of healing.

4.                IMHOTEP was hit to declare who was really the god of Medicine.

VII.         HAIL PLAGUE [9:18-35] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                This plague occurred in late January of early February.

2.                The Egyptians of course, had a goddess of the sky and weather named NUT.

3.                Two other gods watched over agriculture. They were named ISIS and SETH.

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                The blackened and desolate fields were a tragic testimony of the impotence their deities of wood and stone.

2.                The Egyptians had a goddess of the sky and weather named NUT who could not protect them from the CREATOR.

3.                ISIS and SETH were not really responsible for the crops, they were as all else, under the TRUE GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH!

VIII.      LOCUST PLAGUE [10:1-20] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                The locust is perhaps nature’s most awesome example of the collective destructive power of a species. An adult locust weighs a maximum of two grams, and yet its combined destructive force can leave thousands of people in famine for  years. The locust plagues were very much feared in ancient Egypt. So much so that the peasants were in the habit of praying to the locust god. [Satan likes to keep superstitious peoples enslaved to his demonic hordes evil powers.] No one who has ever seen the locust at work accuses the Bible of hyperbole. In 1926 and 1927, small swarms of the African migratory locusts were spotted in an area 50 by 120 miles on the plains of the river Niger near Timbuktu.  The next year swarms invaded Senegal and Sierra Leone.  By 1930 the whole of west Africa was flailing away at the pests with everything movable.  But the locusts didn’t seem to notice; swarms reached Khartoum, more than 2,000 miles to the east of Timbuktu, then turned south, spreading across Ethiopia, Kenya, the Belgian Congo, and in 1932, striking into the lush farm land of Angola and Rhodesia.  Before the plague finally sputtered out fourteen years after it began, it affected five-million square miles of Africa, an area nearly double the size of the United States[5]. A locust is capable of eating its own weight daily.  One square mile of a swarm will normally contain from 100,000,000 to 200,000,000 of the creatures.  It is unusual, however, for such plagues to occupy an area of only one square mile.  Swarms covering  more than 400 square miles have been recorded. 

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                GOD alone can marshals his creatures to do His bidding. 

IX.            DARKNESS PLAGUE [10:21-29] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                The darkness like in the deepest cave could be felt. All of Egypt instantly knew that the source of light was extinguished and for how long, no one knew. Only Israel had light in their dwelling places.

2.                The heart of all Egyptian religion was the worship of the sun god, RA. The largest of all the ancient temples with over 100 miles of walls and gardens, was the Luxor Temple of AMUN RA the Sun god. This god had a wife MUT and son KHONS all were sacred and of the highest degree of worship.

3.                HATHOR was the goddess who controlled the sky. HORUS was the son of RA. ISIS and OSIRUS  completed the sacred pantheon.

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                GOD, who is light, struck the heart of all Egyptian religion , the worship of the sun god, RA.

2.                Powerless were the legions of priests that overflowed the largest of all the ancient temples with over 100 miles of walls and gardens, was the Luxor Temple of AMUN RA the Sun god.

3.                RA and wife MUT and son KHONS all were sacred and of the highest degree of worship. None rose to defend their titles

4.                HATHOR was the goddess who controlled the sky. HORUS was the son of RA. None could undo what GOD had done.

5.                ISIS and OSIRUS who watched over the afterlife were watching in darkness.

6.                GOD alone gives the true light to guide individuals to the way, truth and life. 

X.               DEATH OF FIRSTBORN PLAGUE [11:1-12:32] =

A.               THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:

1.                Nothing we can imagine can come close to what happened on Passover Night. Life was going on in Egypt. The pest Moses had caused some problems but, nothing that couldn’t be forgotten.

2.                From cradle to stall, all the firstborn, known only to God, were struck. The wail and moans must have been indescribably chilling.

B.               THE REASON WHY:

1.                Only the blood of God’s Sacrifice can keep His hand of wrath abetted. Only those who trust and obey would be safe.

2.                Egypt was powerful, pampered and proud. And on that very night, the Death Angel would make an unforgettable visit. There are some powerful lessons built into the Passover. We must not miss them. 

I.                   What is it about the Passover we must remember? Two main areas are presented in the Bible, God’s Word. THERE WAS A FINAL, DARK PLAGUE TO FEAR:

A.               It was UNSPEAKABLE – to even imagine a supernatural messenger of doom was to hunt and kill the first born, was beyond words. That anyone could pick out the first born of man and livestock in the unlit blackness of an Egyptian night, is unperceivable. And to know it was tonight, was beyond words to express.

B.               It was UNAVOIDABLE – there was no place he would not visit. Each family would be noticed and examined from poorest to the richest. From the huts of farming peasants to the ivory halls of palaces, all would see the dark shadow of the Death Angel.

C.               It was UNSTOPPABLE – there was no power on earth then or now that could have stopped that stalking death. Nothing to deflect his sword of death.

D.               It was UNEXPECTED – life was moving along as expected. Business as usual. Yes, that old fanatic was still crying judgment. But, we live in a real world, not some God we can’t see who can judge us. Remember, the god’s of Egypt were put to bed each night in their temples by the priest. Awakened each day, fed, clothed and put on display…

E.               Sounds just like Hell and the wrath of God facing unrepentant sinners today. Remember that Jesus says!

II.                THERE WAS A  FULL SALVATION TO SEEK:

A.               God’s offer was Salvation – He gave the ones who would listen the only solution to avert the disaster of the Death Angel’s sword.

B.               God’s plan was Substitution – He detailed a simple act of taking an innocent, spotless lamb to die in the place of the family members.

C.               God’s method was the Sprinkling of Blood – in the dark, a sprinkle of blood on the door posts was all it took to find protection.

D.               God’s promise was Sufficient – it included deliverance from death, provision of all needs for life, and the hope of a land of promise flowing with milk and honey. All this with a personal guide to assure safe arrival!

III.             So what does the Lord want us to remember tonight? THE PASSOVER. And what does that teach us? About our REDEMPTION. THERE IS A FINAL, DARK PLAGUE TO FEAR:

A.               It was UNSPEAKABLE –

B.               It was UNAVOIDABLE –

C.               It was UNSTOPPABLE –

D.               It was UNEXPECTED –

E.               Sounds just like Hell and the wrath of God facing unrepentant sinners today. Remember that Jesus says!

IV.            THERE IS A  FULL SALVATION TO SEEK:

A.               God’s offer was Salvation –

B.               God’s plan was Substitution –

C.               God’s method was the Sprinkling of Blood –

D.               God’s promise was Sufficient –

E.               Sounds like simply receiving the gift of God in Christ!


[1] Davis, Moses and the gods of Egypt, p. 81.

[2] John Davis, Moses and the God’s of Egypt , p. 87

[3] Davis, p.94ff.

[4] Davis, p. 109.

[5] Davis, pp. 128-130.

 
 
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