God is a Terrible God. Have you pondered that lately? When Jonathan Edwards did, he wrote out his thoughts into a message and upon reading it the people listening grabbed the backs of the pews fearful of the fires of His wrath. Look with me at some Scriptures:
Deuteronomy 7:21 “You shall not be terrified of them; for the Lord your God, the great and awesome God, is among you. NKJV
Deuteronomy 7:21Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible. KJV
Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: KJV
Judges 13:6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: KJV
Nehemiah 1:5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: KJV
Nehemiah 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. KJV
Nehemiah 9:32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. KJV
Psalm 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. KJV
Psalm 68:35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God. KJV
Psalm 99:3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. KJV
Psalm 99:3 Let them praise Your great and awesome name-He is holy. NKJV
Psalm 99:3 Let them praise Thy great and awesome name; Holy is He. NASB
Joseph Addison Alexander. Let me leave- their awful warning- with you, as the application of this discourse:
There is a time, we know not when,
A point we know not where,
That marks the destiny of men
To glory or despair.
There is a line, by us unseen,
That crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience and his wrath.
To pass that limit, is to die, to die as if by stealth;
It does not quench the beaming eye,
Or pale the glow of health.
The conscience may be still at ease,
The spirits light and gay;
That which is pleasing, still may please, And care be thrust away.
But on that forehead God has set,
Indelibly, a mark,
Unseen by men: for men as yet
Are blind, and in the dark-
Oh, where is this mysterious boume
By which our path is crossed?
Beyond which God himself hath sworn
That he who goes is lost.
How far may we go on in sin?
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and where begin the confines of despair?
“An answer from the skies is sent ‘Ye that from God depart,
While it is said to-day, repent,
And harden not your heart.’
God is the God who sent fiery sword bearing cherubim to block the way to His Tree Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. KJV
God is the God who cataclysmically destroyed all people and animals that breathed and buried them under thousands of feet of strata while their souls await the final judgment day!
2 Peter 2:4-5 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
God is the God who melted the city and every inhabitant of Sodom with fire out of heaven and poured liquid sulfur onto Gomorrah incinerating every living thing. 2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; KJV
Now meet this Great and Terribly awesome God face off and destroy the false gods of Egypt!
God reveals his way of salvation. Divine Redemption Has Jesus As Its Perfect Redeemer. God Shows The Way Out. . .Of Bondage Into Freedom. (Exodus 1-18). God Is Showing He Is Powerful.
- God KNOWS and UNDERSTANDS THE Bitterness of Life (1)
- God PROVIDES A Deliverer (Exodus 2) Christ was like Moses in His life. Christ is superior to Moses.
- God sends HIS SERVANTS (Exodus 3-6)
- God DEFEATS HIS ENEMIES (Exodus 7-11)
In each of the ten plagues, 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.
1. NILE PLAGUE [7:14-25] =
1.1 THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED: 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. 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.
1.2 THE REASON WHY: 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.
- only God controls the after life so OSIRUS was hit. God is very concerned that mankind knows the true JUDGE OF DESTINY.
- God is the spirit of creation so HAPI was hit.
- only God came watch over and protect people securely so NEITH was hit. GOD wants all to know He alone is the ROCK OF SECURITY.
- most of all: that all the world would know God rules!
Joshua 4:24 “that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
1 Samuel 17:46 “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
1 Kings 18:37 “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
2 Kings 19:19 “Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.”
2 Chronicles 6:33 “then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.
Daniel 4:17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.’
FROG PLAGUE [8:1-15] =
THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED: 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. (6) 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 . 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.
THE REASON WHY: God was true and powerful, their gods were not. All this was a deathblow to the closed system of their worship. God is very concerned that all know the CREATOR. HEQT was hit to show who really created Egypt.
GNAT/LICE PLAGUE [8:16-19] =
THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:
This one was unannounced. Josephus said they were lice in Talmud but it’s not in the Hebrew text. The LXX and Vulgate carry the translations – “gnats” (Hyatt) Other translations could possibly be: sand flies, fleas, or mosquitoes (Cole), although Meyer took them to be the Scarabeus beetles emblem of sun and abiding life of soul. The most hit group was the priests because of their shaving and purification became unclean. They controlled to a large degree the hearts and minds of the people. Ichneuman fly was the manifestation of the god Vatchit. So, again the gods are crushed.
THE REASON WHY: GOD alone is holy. No priests are or could make anyone holy!
FLY PLAGUE [8:20-32] =
THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED: These were blood sucking, caused blindness, that were abhorred. They were related to VATCHIT, the god of flies. They were not in Goshen, which is a miracle.
THE REASON WHY: Only GOD can protect from pestilence. VATCHIT is false and powerless.
CATTLE PLAGUE [9:1-7] =
THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:
Only the Egyptian cows were killed. They were significant to their worship [Davis, p. 121-22]. The god PTAH was sacred to the APIS bull, which was central to Egyptian worship. On November 13, 1856 Mariette found an underground avenue 1,120 feet long with 64 huge burial chambers. Each containing sarcophagi 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. 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.
THE REASON WHY: PTAH was hit to show the god behind that bull was only an impotent demon. 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! HATHOR the goddess of love and beauty was powerless in the ugliness of death. 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.
BOIL PLAGUE [9:8-17] =
THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:
Like the 3rd plague this one was unannounced. the Lion-headed goddess SEKHMET was the regulator of epidemics and diseases.
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) All of Egypt believed that SERAPSIS was the god of healing and IMHOTEP the god of Medicine.
THE REASON WHY: SEKHMET was hit to prove he could not regulate epidemics and diseases. The magicians of Pharaoh’s court, Jannes and Jambres, found that when they withstood Moses his god was REAL!SERAPSIS was hit to demonstrate that only GOD is the One who is the god of healing.IMHOTEP was hit to declare who was really the god of Medicine.
HAIL PLAGUE [9:18-35] =THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:
This plague occurred in late January or early February. The Egyptians of course, had a goddess of the sky and weather named NUT.
Two other gods watched over agriculture. They were named ISIS and SETH.
THE REASON WHY: The blackened and desolate fields were a tragic testimony of the impotence their deities of wood and stone. The Egyptians had a goddess of the sky and weather named NUT who could not protect them from the CREATOR. ISIS and SETH were not really responsible for the crops, they were as all else, under the TRUE GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH!
LOCUST PLAGUE [10:1-20] = THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:
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 (7) . 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.
THE REASON WHY: GOD alone can marshals his creatures to do His bidding.
DARKNESS PLAGUE [10:21-29]
THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED:
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.
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. HATHOR was the goddess who controlled the sky. HORUS was the son of RA. ISIS and OSIRUS completed the sacred pantheon.
THE REASON WHY: GOD, who is light, struck the heart of all Egyptian religion- the worship of the sun god, RA. 1 John 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. NKJV
Powerless were the legions of priests that overflowed the largest of all the ancient temples with miles of walls and gardens, was the Luxor Temple of AMUN RA the Sun god. RA and wife MUT and son KHONS all were sacred and of the highest degree of worship. None rose to defend their titles. HATHOR was the goddess who controlled the sky. HORUS was the son of RA. None could undo what GOD had done.
ISIS and OSIRUS who watched over the afterlife were watching in darkness.
- GOD alone gives the true light to guide individuals to the way, truth and life. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. NKJV
DEATH OF FIRSTBORN PLAGUE [11:1-12:32]
THE PLAGUE DESCRIBED: 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. From cradle to stall, all the firstborn, known only to God, were struck. The wail and moans must have been indescribably chilling.
THE REASON WHY:Only the blood of God’s Sacrifice can keep His hand of wrath abetted. Only those who trust and obey would be safe. 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. 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:
- 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 inconceivable. And to know it was tonight, was beyond words to express.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 that 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…
Sounds just like Hell and the wrath of God facing unrepentant sinners today. Remember that Jesus says!
THERE WAS A FULL SALVATION TO SEEK:
- God’s offer was Salvation – He gave those who would listen the only solution to avert the disaster of the Death Angel’s sword.
- 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.
- God’s method was the Sprinkling of Blood – in the dark, a sprinkle of blood on the doorposts was all it took to find protection.
- 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!
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:
- It was UNSPEAKABLE –
- It was UNAVOIDABLE –
- It was UNSTOPPABLE –
- It was UNEXPECTED –
Sounds just like Hell and the wrath of God facing unrepentant sinners today. Remember that Jesus says!
THERE IS A FULL SALVATION TO SEEK:
- God’s offer was Salvation –
- God’s plan was Substitution –
- God’s method was the Sprinkling of Blood –
- God’s promise was Sufficient –
Sounds like simply receiving the gift of God in Christ!
# 490 I am His
God REDEEMS HIS PEOPLE (Exodus 12-14)
- THE PASSOVER picture (Exodus 12)(8) Exodus 12 gives us the thrilling story of the Passover, the clearest Old Testament picture of our individual salvation through faith in the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this chapter is the basis for calling Christ the Lamb of God, Christ our Passover, and the many tender references to His crucifixion as the death of our own Passover Lamb. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (I Corinthians 5:7. God said that the first-born in all Egypt should die. It would have fallen on the Hebrews, too, had they not killed the paschal lamb and been protected by its blood of redemption (Exodus 12:12,13).
What was the message of the Passover? It is found in Exodus 12:7 & 13.
- SPECIFIC: Only those who obeyed the Lord’s specific instructions would be spared.
- SACRIFICIAL: Put the BLOOD of an innocent, spotless lamb that was poured out, caught in a bowl and applied.
- SUBSTITUTIONARY: Paint it on the door posts as the reminder that a lamb was identifies with that family and it was slain. This was true of all the homes that wish to be spared the horrors of God’s wrath.
- SUFFICIENT: All that hid behind the shadow of that bloody sacrifice were protected from God’s wrath. The bloody cross of Calvary casts a narrow shadow in today’s sinful world. All who step by faith into that place of refuge are eternally saved from God’s wrath upon sin. And, they can begin to enjoy His abundant life forever.
- DOUBT: Way of Wilderness (13)
- DELIVERANCE: Salvation of the Lord (14) As always, it was not the covenant that saved, nor the sacrifices, nor the ceremonies. Not even big events were able to save them like the Passover, Red Sea event or Sinai. It was only by personal faith mixed with obedience (as most clearly shown in the brazen serpent incident). As the atonement was sufficient for all (they all came out of Egypt) it was only efficient or effective for those whose personally took the truth by faith (seemingly a precious few)!
Look at Ex. 12:38 (the same group as Neh. 13:3) who wanted a Savior without a Lord. This brings up a whole concept that troubles some people. It is called – LORDSHIP. I was once called in before a council at DTS to “defend Lordship”. I asked them to base our discussions on just the Bible, no issues or personalities. I shared the following 12 verses and they said they had no further questions.
Luke 14:33 “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. NKJV
John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. NKJV
Acts 5:32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” NKJV
Acts 11:18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” NKJV
Acts 20:32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. NKJV
Acts 26:20 “but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. NKJV
Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. NKJV
2 Thessalonians 1:8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. NKJV
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? NKJV
James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. NKJV
1 Peter 1:2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. NKJV
1 John 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. NKJV
Note what the writer of Hebrews says about those who saw but never experienced God’s salvation. Hebrews 3:7-19 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. NKJV
God PREPARES the WAY (Ex. 15 – 18)
Mighty God of moses : Twofold Song (Rev. 15:1-4; Exod.15:1-21) LESSON:The Christian life is not an easy road, but a hard and narrow one.
Marah : Wells of Bitterness (15:22-26) LESSON : Only Jesus can make bitter days sweet through His Cross.
Mannah (16) Jesus Bread of Life (John 6:48-51) LESSON : Manna is a type of Christ as well as a picture of our daily need of the Word! Note the elements of the Israelites gathering manna:
- Personal effort – gather by work
- Private obedience – not leave, won’t keep
- Priority discipline – melts
- Provision rest – not on the Sabbath; Three truths we can grow by:
- God provides – perfect supply
- God expects – must involve
- God knows – can’t hide lack
Rephidim (17:1-7) LESSON : Jesus Water of Life (John 4:13-14; I Cor. 10:4who was smitten for us)
Amalek: (17:8-16) Deuteronomy 25:17-18 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt,18 “how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. NKJV LESSON : Amalekites (the grandson of Esau) are a picture of the flesh and is our mortal enemy. Only Christ gives us the victory
Jethro: LESSON : portrays the wisdom from above (spirit led shared ministry) that triumphs over earthly wisdom (weariness of self-empowered service for God). (18)
- Mears, What the Bible is all about, p. 36-37.
- John Davis, Moses and the God’s of Egypt , p. 873. Davis, p. 109.4. Davis, pp. 128-130.
5. Mears, What the Bible is all about, p. 36-37.
6. Davis, p. 109.
7. Davis, pp. 128-130.
8. Mears, What the Bible is all about, p. 36-37.
9. A.M. Hodgkins, CHRIST IN ALL THE SCRIPTURES, p. 20-23.