Ex 9:13                      Let My People Go                                       8/2/2009         ßà   

#1.       Frogs and Lice(Gen 6:8, Eph 2:3, Ex 8:1, 15, 19, Rev 16:13, Gen 3:17,19)

 

 

 

 

 

  • And Flies (Ex 8:20-23, Ps 78:45, 58:3, 11:5-6, Isa 34:2, Isa 26:10)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Salvation Is the Issue (Ex 9:1, 8-9, 25, Prov 21:4, Rom 8:8)

 

 

 

 

 

  • No Compromise in Egypt (Ex 8:25-27, 3:18, 2Cor  6:14-17, Deut 12:30-31)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       For This Cause Have I Raised Thee Up (Ex 9:16-18, Prov 16:4, Rom 9:8, 17-22, 2Cor 2:16)

 

 

 

 

 

  • He and His Servants Hardened Their Hearts (Ex 9:34-35, Isa 30:30)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 8:1 (2X). God is going to smite Egypt with ten plagues before Pharaoh will let the children of Israel go free. So far we have covered only one of the ten plagues, which is that all the waters in Egypt were turned into blood. Even all the waters that were in the houses of the Egyptians were turned into blood. Only the water that was in the ground was not turned to blood. Water is a symbol of the Gospel, or the Word of God. Blood speaks of death, which is the wages of sin, and thus blood speaks of the wrath of God on sin. When water is turned to blood it reminds us that the Word of God is a savour of life unto life for the elect, whereas it is a savour of death unto death for all the others. And so, the wrath of God was upon entire Egypt; also in the land of Goshen where the children of Israel lived. But why should the children of Israel also be made aware of the wrath of God? They should know that the beginning of the Gospel, the beginning of their liberation, starts with all mankind being under the wrath of God. Their liberation, which is symbolizing salvation, begins with all mankind deserving Hell for all the sins which they have committed from the day they were born. Then God’s grace begins to rain down on those who are of God’s elect. In OT times the children of Israel were a picture of God’s elect. And thus, God’s method of saving only His elect, by grace alone, was already in existence from the beginning of time. Just think of the fact that God says in Gen 6:8, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” which tells us that even Noah was saved by grace. The Bible tells us that we all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others who will never become saved (Eph 2:3.) This is our condition before our souls were regenerated at the moment that we became “born from above”. This is what the children of Israel had to learn when they saw all that blood around them. God reminded them that they were still in bondage to sin and Satan, of which their physical state of slavery was a testimony. In the Prophecy of Exodus God calls the children of Israel to come out of this house of bondage, and God’s command to Pharaoh was “Let My People Go.” Spiritually, this was God’s command to Satan, to let His elect go free. Since this is the central theme of the first 15 chapters of the prophecy of Exodus, this is also the title of the present sermon: Let My People Go (2X). We are tempted to dwell too long on the ten plagues, and then we lose track of the main focus, which is the picture of salvation that God is showing us here in Exodus. Therefore today we are taking two chapters together, which are six plagues altogether. Put a sticker here in Ex 8 for future references. And now we read in Chapter 8 about:

#1.       Frogs and Lice(Gen 6:8, Eph 2:3, Ex 8:1, 15, 19, Rev 16:13, Gen 3:17,19)

Ex 8:1 ¶  And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

You all know the story. After seven days were fulfilled after that the Lord has smitten the river, God brought the plague of frogs throughout all of Egypt. Frogs were a product of the Nile River, and since the Nile was a sacred river the frogs were adored like idols. Since the frogs were adored like idols it is easy to see that frogs can be representing evil spirits. Indeed when we check the Bible we find in Rev 16:13,

Re 16:13    And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the

mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

And so, the reason the plague of frogs was also cast on the land of Goshen is to indicate that the children of Israel were unclean before God because of their sins. But when there are too many frogs it becomes a plague. Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and claimed repentance.  But after God removed the frogs Pharaoh repented of his repentance. Drop down to verse 15. We read in Ex 8:15 (2X)

Ex 8:15  But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

Then God brought the plague of lice, where all the dust of the ground became lice. This 3rd miracle the magicians could not imitate. Therefore the magicians said in Ex 8:19,

Ex 8:19  Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

These are the last recorded words from the magicians. Turn water into blood, and bring forth frogs they might, by God’s permission. But when God withheld permission, they were impotent. All the dust of the land became lice, including the dust in the land of Goshen. That is an awful lot of lice. And lice are not vegetarians. Lice are carnivores. They crawl all over people and animals; they bite and cause an itch that prevents people from falling asleep. Why was this third plague also cast on the land of Goshen? The key to the moral significance of the lice rests in the source from which the lice were made. The lice were made from the dust of the land. But mankind was also created from the dust of the earth. God said in Gen 3:17, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake.” God also said in Gen 3:19, “For dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.” When Aaron smote the ground, and its dust became lice, and the lice covered man and beast in all of Egypt, it was a demonstration that man by nature is under the curse of a holy God. This is part of His Divine plan of salvation, and the magicians were not allowed to tamper with it. This is what the children of Israel had to learn, and that is why God covered the land of Goshen with lice. From the first three plagues they had to learn that the wages of sin is death, and they had to learn that giving in to the temptations of the Devil makes them unclean in the sight of God, and they had to learn that they were still under the curse of God.

  • And Flies (Ex 8:20-23, Ps 78:45, 58:3, 11:5-6, Isa 34:2, Isa 26:10)

Ex 8:20-23 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

Look at these verses very carefully. Do we see that the words “of flies” are everywhere in italics? It means that these words were not present in the original Hebrew manuscripts, but they are a suggestion by the translators. These were swarms of a mixture of insects. The Hebrew word literally means mixture. And thus these swarms were not only made up of flies, but of biting insects also. We get this information from Ps 78 and from other sources. God says in Ps 78:45, “He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them.” The lice only annoyed them, but the mixture of insects preyed upon their flesh. This judgment had to do with tormenting the bodies of the Egyptians, and thus this judgment was looking forward to their eternal judgment, when they shall be tormented in the Lake of Fire forever and ever. In this the people of God have no part. And therefore we read “I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there.” None of the other plagues that follow will be on the land of Goshen. And so, we see here that the Lord focuses on the picture of salvation. God is very jealous of His elect people, whom He intends to save, and God hates the wicked. Who are the wicked? All those who are not of the elect, and all the elect who have mot yet been saved are called “the wicked”. And thus, when God says in Psalm 58:3, “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies,” God speaks of the whole human race who come into the world as rebels against God. But when God says in Psalm 11:5-6, The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup,” here the wicked are all the non-elect who will die in their sins. The context proves it, for the context points to the last 7 plagues in Ex 8, 9, and 10, as God’s judgment on the Egyptians only. And thus we see that the last 7 plagues are really a picture of God’s wrath upon the entire unsaved world. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 34:2 (2X). When we read Isa 34 we realize that it is a place symbolic of Hell. God has His reasons for describing to us such a terrible place. It is not an accurate description of Hell, for there is much language in there that is symbolic. But then God says for whom He has made this dreadful place. We read in Isa 34:2,

Isa 34:2  For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.

The main point that I wanted to make with this verse is that the Lord is angry with all nations, and that is why He removed them into this place that is called Hell. But does that mean that every single human being shall be removed into Hell? Reading this chapter it does not seem to make any exceptions. But this conclusion is in conflict with the rest of the Bible, for we know that there will be a remnant that will be saved. And so, for whom has God made this place? He has made it for all nations, for the greater part of the nations remains unsaved, and they shall be removed to a place called Hell. They are the wicked in the Bible. They are represented by Egypt in the prophecy of Exodus. And the ten plagues that are poured down upon Egypt are in principle the wrath of God upon all the people in the world who remain unsaved, for they are responsible for holding back the children of God who would like to go free, but the children of God cannot do it on their own strength. God’s command to the people of the world is, “Let My People Go.” But only after the Lamb of God has been slain, only after Christ has been crucified on the cross, are the people of the world willing to let the children of God go, for then they realize that they want nothing to do with a people who believe in such a weird religion, such a bloody religion, such a ridiculous theory of substitution of sin with the blood of Christ. Yet none of the wicked shall understand this. Please turn in your Bibles to Isa 26:10 (2X). It is not that God has simply abandoned the wicked; it is not that God has not given them any opportunity to be saved, but God says in Isa 26:10,

Isa 26:10   Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

But let us be fair. At one time we too were like the wicked, and we too were as incorrigible as we read here. But God had mercy on us. In fact He had mercy on us and loved us from everlasting past. And by His grace we have learned to understand that salvation is by grace alone. And so, now we can understand God’s works upon Egypt, and how God needed to break the stubbornness of the house of bondage before they let us go. Please turn again to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 9:1 (2X).

#2.       Salvation Is the Issue (Ex 9:1, 8-9, 25, Prov 21:4, Rom 8:8)

Again the Lord stressed the main purpose why He is bringing these plagues upon Egypt. Ex 9:1 (2X),

Ex 9:1 ¶  Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Let My People Go”. That is the main theme of these ten plagues upon Egypt. The 5th plague that God brought was the plague of a grievous pestilence upon all the animals in Egypt. The destruction of all the horses, asses, camels, oxen and sheep of the Egyptians is in agreement with the principle that God does not accept the labors of any of the unregenerate. God says in Prov 21:4,

Pr 21:4 ¶  An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

Not only does God hate a high look and a proud heart, but God hates everything that unsaved people do. Even when an unsaved person plows his field, it is sin. God says in Rom 8:8, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” There is nothing in the world they can do to please God. They cannot even plead with God for mercy, for God will not hear the prayers of the wicked. And thus, the fact that God killed almost all the cattle in Egypt was a testimony that “the plowing of the wicked is sin”, according to Prov 21:4. But in all the land of Goshen not one animal from the children of Israel died.

The 6th plague was the plague of boils and blisters. We read in Ex 9:8-9,

Ex 9:8-9  And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.

Look carefully here. God spoke of The furnace, as if He was pointing to a particular furnace which was near to where Pharaoh was seated. There has been much speculation about this furnace, but God did not disclose much about this furnace. Unquestionably it was a special furnace. Now Moses and Aaron had to take the ashes of this furnace and throw it up in the air in the sight of Pharaoh, and it became boils and blisters upon Pharaoh, upon his magicians, upon his servants, and upon all that were in Egypt, except the children of Israel remained unaffected by this plague. The 7th plague was the plague of hail. This was a plague of great hailstones, mixed with rain, and mixed with mighty thunderings and flashes of lightnings. It was a hailstorm that killed everyone that was in the field, and that broke every tree that was in the field, and the fire ran along upon the ground. Please drop down to verse 25, Ex 9:25.

Ex 9:25  And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.

This hailstorm was so severe that Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and claimed repentance. But as soon as the hail and the thunder ceased Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he did not let the children of Israel go. But let us see again what Pharaoh said exactly in Ex chapter 8. There we read of:

  • No Compromise in Egypt (Ex 8:25-27, 3:18, 2Cor  6:14-17, Deut 12:30-31)

Ex 8:25-27 (2X)  And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. 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? We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us.

What do we read here? Pharaoh gave permission to the children of Israel to worship Jehovah in the land of Egypt. But Moses said: It is not proper to do so for we would be sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes. In other words, Moses realized that they would be compromising their objective of worshipping God on Mount Horeb. So, Moses again stated that they would travel three days’ journey into the wilderness. Please turn a few pages back to Ex 3:18 (2X). These three days might again seem a compromise, but God has stated those words Himself when He talked with Moses at the burning bush. And God promised that He will bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. We read in Ex 3:18,

Ex 3:18  And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

As we can see, the three days journey was not an invention of Moses. But it did not include the promise that they would turn back to Egypt. Please turn to the 2nd Epistle to the Cor, 2Cor 6:14 (2X). Moses and Aaron could make this trip in three days, but to travel with women and children was another matter. And to bring all their herds of sheep, and goats, and oxen, and donkeys on this three day journey would also slow them down tremendously. Nevertheless, God’s command to leave Egypt with all that they had did not allow any room for compromise. God warns us for compromise when He said in 2Cor 6:

2Co 6:14-17Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

This warning against compromise is not unique to the NT period of time. God already stated this way back before the children of Israel were allowed into the land of Canaan. God says in Deut 12:30-31,

De 12:30-31 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

And thus, there is no compromise possible in the worship of our God. We are not allowed to take the Gospel of grace and turn it around to make it a gospel of man’s free will. This is what most churches have done these days. People in free-will religions are deceiving themselves by believing that they are saved; they are not saved. And God shows it to them in allowing them to drift into charismatic gospels which absolutely are an abomination to God. This could not come to pass if they would have been truly saved, for God says that it is impossible for the saints to be deceived.

#3.       For This Cause Have I Raised Thee Up (Ex 9:16-18, Prov 16:4, Rom 9:8, 17-22, 2Cor 2:16)

Please turn again to Ex 9:16 (2X). God says to Pharaoh here in Ex 9:16-18,

Ex 9:16-18  And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.

We cannot fully comprehend the God whom we worship, for His sovereignty is awesome. When God says this to Pharaoh, God declares that He does not intend to save Pharaoh, but that Pharaoh will be the instrument through which God shows His power and might, and that God’s Name will be made famous throughout all the earth. We have here the full realization of Prov 16:4

Pr 16:4 ¶  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

God does not only say this to Pharaoh, but He says this to all who do not believe His Word, such as Prov 16:4. I have never heard any pastor mention this proverb. God the Holy Spirit led me to this truth. To many people this is a proverb that brings down their concept of who God is. But this proverb is in the Bible, and therefore we may not belittle it or ignore it. God says in Rev 22:19 that we may not take away anything out of this Book. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 9:17 (2X). God restated  in Rom 9 what He said to Pharaoh in Ex 9:16. From this duplication we can see that this is a very important principle that God wanted to establish. In Rom 9:8 God stated that the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but he children of the promise are counted for the seed. How can anyone in his right mind come up with a Premillennial theory of eschatology if we read Rom 9:8? And then God gave 7 examples in this chapter of who the children of the promise are, and who they are not. We read in Rom 9: 17-22,

Ro 9:17-22  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Paraphrased, God says to Pharaoh: "It is for My glory that I have raised you up, and that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth". And "I will avenge all your misdeeds perpetrated on My people Israel, and I will drown you and your army in the Red Sea". Wait a minute. The entire Egyptian army had no choice in this matter, and they were drowned also in the Red Sea. What is God teaching us in this story? God is teaching us that they were representing all the reprobates who are going to be cast into Hell with their leader, Satan. Not one of them escaped. These were human bodies used by Pharaoh to commit crimes against the children of Israel. They were willing slaves of Pharaoh. Therefore God also punished them and drowned them with their offensive leader in the Red Sea, which is a picture of Hell. This is why God can cast the reprobates into Hell: It is because they sinned voluntarily (2X). Does God harden the hearts of reprobates? Yes! That is what this verse is saying very plainly: "Whom He will, He hardeneth". They are born with a hard heart, and God hardens their hearts even more as time goes on. That is exactly what we read here. God is absolutely sovereign in His election: "He hath mercy on whom he will", and God is absolutely sovereign in His reprobation: "Whom He will, He hardeneth". Can you say of Pharaoh: "It is his own fault that this wicked man is a reprobate"? We can see it clearly here in Rom 9. God works out His reprobation of man through the sinfulness of man. Therefore, with God there is aweful majesty. Not awful in the sense of what we understand today, but His majesty is full of awe. His majesty is full of wonder, and power, and mystery. For example we read in 2Cor 2:16, "To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life". To the reprobates our Gospel carries a flavor of a death they want nothing to do with, but to the elect our Gospel carries a flavor of a life that they want to have. God hardened the hearts of the reprobates while they were under the hearing of the Gospel. For example, there are reprobates outside the church as well as in the church. People go to church every Sunday, they listen to the sermon, and when they leave church they are deader than when they entered. God hardened their hearts while they were in church. Another example: God assured Moses that Pharaoh would harden his heart. And this happened 10 times. But God hardened Pharaoh's heart first, because that is what we read here in Rom 9:18. God did that! God is absolutely sovereign. God sovereignly loves His elect, and they receive mercy. God sovereignly hates the wicked, & they receive His hardening. Can there be unrighteousness with God? No! God is irreprehensible. What does "irreprehensible" mean? It means you cannot attach any blame to Him. God cannot be blamed or criticized for anything He does, for all God’s works are righteous. Please turn again to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 9:34 (2X).

  • He and His Servants Hardened Their Hearts (Ex 9:34-35, Isa 30:30)

We read in Ex 9:34-35

Ex 9:34-35  And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.

We should take notice that it was not only Pharaoh, but it was Pharaoh and his servants who hardened their hearts. And thus, when Pharaoh’s entire army drowned in the Red Sea, the people who drowned were the people who have advised Pharaoh to pursue after the children of Israel, who were on their way to freedom. Let us now apply this to today. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 30:30. Whenever God saves someone, and this person is still a baby Christian, and then the Devil comes with false gospels and with enticings that are almost irresistible, we can be assured that God will not allow this person to fall back into apostacy. When God the Holy Spirit has done a miracle by regenerating this person’s soul, it means that Christ has suffered and died for the sins of that person. God will never allow that person to die in his or her sins, for Christ has paid for those sins, and Christ has paid for the salvation of that person in his or her lifetime. If the Devil would pursue this person to try to get him or her back into his domain, God will destroy all the works of the Devil that were aimed at this goal. This is an absolute certainty. And then we read in Isa 30:30 these glorious words:

Isa 30:30  And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.

“The flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones” are no threat to the saints, for these are meant to protect the saints from their enemy, the Devil. God is our Protector and our Defender and our Avenger. All glory to Him.     

AMEN.           Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.