Ex 11:5                                  The Last Warning                                      8/16/2009      ßà   

  • One More Plague (Ex 11:1, Prov 19:21, Ps 78:51)





#1.       Why Borrow? (Ex 11:2-3, 3:21, Gen 15:14, Ps 24:1, 105:37)





  • A Synecdoche (Ex 11:4-6, 12:29, Rom 11:22)





#2.       The Lord Doth Put a Difference (Ex 11:7-8, Rom 9:15, Josh 24:14, Isa 49:25)





  • Pharaoh Shall Not Heed the Warning (Ex 11:9-10, Rom 9:16-17)





#3.       But I Wrought for My Name’s Sake (Ex 11:9-10, Eze 20:6-9, Phil 2:13, Heb 3:18-19, 2Tim 2:26, Ex 2:23, Prov 28:9, 15:8, Ps 66:18, John 6:37, 17:20, Rom 9:18)




  • An Overview (Ex 3:2,10, 4:31, 5:9,19, 6:6-9, Rom 4:5)




Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 11:1 (2X). We are at the announcement of the last plague in this Prophecy of Exodus. And thus the title of this sermon is, The Last Warning (2X). Moses is leaving the palace of Pharaoh, as he said he was going to in the last verse of Ex 10. But Moses continued to speak the words of Ex 11:4-8, and he only left after he gave the last warning to Pharaoh and to all the people of Egypt. It was the warning of the last plague. God says in Ex 11:1,

  • One More Plague (Ex 11:1, Prov 19:21, Ps 78:51)

Ex 11:1 ¶  And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.

Of course, the last plague was the death of the firstborn in all the land of Egypt. And those who were delivered from their bondage after the death of the firstborn were all the children of Israel. That was the historical part of it. But we have learned from the NT that the name Israel can also stand for the Lord Jesus Christ, and then all the children of Israel represent all those who are in Christ from the foundation of the world. And so, this marvelous piece of history of the exodus out of Egypt can be seen as the historical birth of the nation of Israel, but it can also be seen as a type or a figure of the salvation of all the elect who are in Christ, for we too were at one time slaves of sin and Satan. Spiritually, we too were at one time slaves in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh hardened his heart, and did not want the children of Israel to leave the country. But the counsel of the Lord, or the decree of the Lord, or the plan of the Lord, that shall come to fruition. Concerning this matter, God says in Prov 19:21, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” The counsel of the Lord is that plan of the Triune God which He devised from before the foundation of the world, which is also known as the decree of God. We can apply Prov 19:21 to Pharaoh’s heart, which makes him a loser, or we can apply Prov19:21 to the heart of anyone of us whom God wants to save, and that will make us winners. We read in Ps 78:51, “And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham.” God smote all the firstborn in the tabernacles of Ham, which means God killed all the firstborn in the tents of Ham, for the Egyptians were descendants of Ham, one of the sons of Noah. When we read on in Ex 11:2 we have a question:

#1.       Why Borrow? (Ex 11:2-3, 3:21, Gen 15:14, Ps 24:1, 105:37)

Ex 11:2-3  Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people.

Verse 2 is God’s word addressed to the children of Israel. The question is: Why would God tell the Israelites to borrow from their Egyptian neighbors jewels of silver and jewels of gold. The word “borrow” implies that the items would be returned later. But the children of Israel were going to leave Egypt and were not planning to return. And so, why would God advise them to lie and use the word “borrow”? The answer is that God did not tell them to “borrow” from their neighbors. This is a mistranslation. This Hebrew word has been translated “borrow” 6 times and it has been translated “ask” 94 times. Obviously, it should have been translated “ask” in this place of the Bible. Verse 2 should have read: “Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man ask of his neighbour.” This way we do not make God a liar. And then we read in verse 3 that “the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians.” In other words, they gave them many silver and gold jewels. This fact God has already prophesied two times in previous chapters. When Christ spoke to Moses from the burning bush He said in Ex 3:21,

Ex 3:21  And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:

Previously when God talked with Abraham He spoke about this nation’s captivity, and He said in Gen 15

Ge 15:14  And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

And so, the Egyptians lavished these Hebrew slaves with much silver and gold. This is al the more remarkable, for the Hebrews were shepherds, and shepherds were an abomination in the sight of the Egyptians. But this again demonstrates the sovereignty of God over both his people as well as over the people who are under the power of the Devil. God confirmed this when He wrote in Psalm 24:1,

Ps 24:1, “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”

God also mentioned the exodus in Psalm 105. There in Psalm 105:37 God said, “He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.” This was an astounding fact that when the children of Israel walked out of Egypt, on that day there was not one feeble person among them. It means that among these 2 million people there was not one sick, and there was not one cripple among them. What are the chances today? If we take a cross section of 2 million people from our nation today, there would be many sick and cripple people that we would have to carry. In addition there would be many in wheelchairs, but wheelchairs did not exist in the days of the exodus. Everyone walked, and they all walked to one place where they crossed the border.

  • A Synecdoche (Ex 11:4-6, 12:29, Rom 11:22)

Perhaps you remember that I brought up this word at least two times in the past. A synecdoche is a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole. God was going to smite the firstborn in every household in Egypt. But we know that the ten plagues in Egypt were meant to be types and figures of the plagues God is going to send upon this world at the end of time. Therefore, all the firstborn in Egypt really represent the entire population of Egypt; God used a synecdoche. But since God has further plans for Egypt, God could not wipe out the entire nation of Egypt, but God was satisfied with a representation of that nation. Moreover, when we read the words of Ex 11:4-6 and the words of Ex 12:29 carefully we notice that all the firstborn were affected, also the firstborn of the slaves and the firstborn of the animals.

Now Moses utters his warning to all the Egyptians. We read in Ex 11:4-6,

Ex 11:4-6 And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.

Ex 11:5 says explicitly, “All the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die.” This includes all the firstborn of slaves, and the firstborn of those that are in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all cattle, and the firstborn of Israel. However, God’s instruction for the killing of the Passover lambs were pictures of the crucifixion of Christ, and thus the Passover lambs were substituted for the firstborn of the children of Israel. That is why the firstborn of Israel were spared. This reminds us of God’s words in Rom 11:22,

Ro 11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

On them which fell, like the firstborn of the Egyptians, severity. God’s judgment on them was severe. But toward the children of Israel God displayed only goodness, because Christ, in the form of the Passover lambs, was their substitute.

#2.       The Lord Doth Put a Difference (Ex 11:7-8, Rom 9:15, Josh 24:14, Isa 49:25)

Ex 11:7  But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

Ex 11:8  And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger.

We see repeatedly that God has those whom He favors, and all others He passes by as if they did not exist. For example God says in Rom 9:15, “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” And so, the Lord has mercy and compassion upon Israel. And God’s judgment on Egypt will be so severe that they will beg them to get out of the country entirely. But now, many of the children of Israel will come out of Egypt still worshipping other gods, for that is what they have learned from the Egyptians. Then finally, 40 years later, under the leadership of Joshua, will they abandon their idols. We read in Josh 24:14,

Jos 24:14  Now therefore fear Jehovah, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye Jehovah.

And so, Joshua convinced  the people that they should serve only Jehovah. But when they were still in Egypt the children of Israel were under a cruel king. The picture is that of unsaved mankind in bondage to Satan. God says in Isa 49:25,

Isa 49:25  But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of

the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

Even the mightiest of our enemies, Satan himself, shall not be able to restrain people from getting saved. Those whom God intends to save will be saved, for Christ has already paid for their sins.

  • Pharaoh Shall Not Heed the Warning (Ex 11:9-10, Rom 9:16-17)

Ex 11:9-10  And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Not only Pharaoh, but also all his advisors shall not heed the warning. Initially when the angel of death has done his work they are afraid that they too will be killed. And thus they send the children of Israel away. But then when they realized what great loss this was for the Egyptian economy, they tried to bring them back by force, by their mighty army, which was the mightiest army in the world of that day. But all this was playing into the hands of God’s providence. God provided the escape out of the house of bondage, and the goals that God has determined shall not be overthrown by a rebellious Egyptian army. When God has saved  someone, He will not allow that individual to be snared again by Satan. When Christ has paid for all the sins of this individual on the cross, and has endured the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for this person, then Christ will not allow His work to be lost forever. That is not the nature of the God whom we serve. Put a sticker here in Ex 11 and please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 9:16 (2X). God shows us here in this chapter that He is in absolute control. It means that God is sovereign. It means that there is no one in the universe who can take away God’s control over life or death, over saving grace or no grace. We read in Rom 9:16-17,

Ro 9:16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Ro 9:17  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.

Not our works determine who will be saved, but only God determines who will be saved. The rest of mankind simply is not interested. The rest of mankind will simply not listen. The rest of mankind has the attitude of Pharaoh. They consider themselves king of the hill. But God says to everyone of them: “Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee.” I will show My power in you and you will not be able to do any of the evil works that you were planning to do.” And My Name shall be declared through all the earth that I am Jehovah, and that there is no other god anywhere. Even your master Satan must confess that there is no one who can do something without permission from Jehovah. I know the end from the beginning, because I cause everything to come to pass, so that from the beginning to the end everything is under My control. This is the purpose for which I have raised thee up, so that My Name will be declared throughout all the earth.

Please turn again to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 11:9 (2X).

#3.       But I Wrought for My Name’s Sake (Ex 11:9-10, Eze 20:6-9, Phil 2:13, Heb 3:18-19, 2Tim 2:26, Ex 2:23, Prov 28:9, 15:8, Ps 66:18, John 6:37, 17:20, Rom 9:18)

Here are some facts we should keep in mind when we consider these plagues in Egypt. Who did these mighty wonders in the land of Egypt? God says in Ex 11:9, “I did that.” We read in Ex 11:9-10,

Ex 11:9-10  And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

But Ex 11:10 says, “Moses and Aaron did all these wonders.” And so, we must understand that God works through the acts of man to accomplish what He wants to have done in the first place. God is the primary mover and we do the things that He wants to have done, for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure, Phil 2:13. Our sovereign God will always accomplish His goals. No one can frustrate His plans. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Ezekiel, Eze 20:6 (2X). The prophecy of Ezekiel is filled with events that demonstrate the sovereignty of God in the affairs of man. Especially in the case of bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt, God emphasized here in Eze 20 that He delivered them out of the house of bondage in spite of their idolatry. We read in Eze 20:6-9,

Eze 20:6-9 In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.

We have here information that was not given in the prophecy of Exodus. #1. This passage tells us that the children of Israel worshipped the idols of Egypt while they were in Egypt as well as when they had left Egypt. #2. It shows how God earnestly reasoned with them so that they may be saved. #3. It tells us that the nation of Israel did not heed the reproof of God, but instead, blatantly they defied Him. #4. It informs us that the first three plagues were also visitations of judgment upon the Hebrews as well as the Egyptians. #5. It shows us that the Lord delivered Israel, not because any worthiness or fitness He found in them, but simply for His name’s sake. Please turn again to Exodus, Ex 2:23 (2X).

When we read this Prophecy of Exodus we should remind ourselves that everything in it is written in types and figures. Everything in it was historically true, but these events were pictures of spiritual things that God wants to show to us; not to the nation of Israel, but to us. For example, their rebellion against God indicated that in actuality they were not saved in their soul. It was only physically that they were taken out of Egypt, and it was only physically that God fed them with manna from heaven. But spiritually they remained as dead as before, and they ate the manna, which represented Christ as the Bread of Life, but spiritually they had no benefit from partaking of Christ unworthily. That is why we read in Heb 3:18-19, “And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” In all these historical pictures we find how accurately the physical condition of the Israelites symbolized their spiritual state. First, they are seen in bondage at the mercy of a cruel king, which is an accurate portrait of the condition of the natural man, for we are all captives of the Devil when we come into this world. God says in 2Tim 2:26, “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Second, we read that “they sighed by reason of their bondage, and they cried” (Ex 2:23) But nothing is said about them crying unto God, for they did not know Jehovah God. They were conscious of their hard lot, but they did not know the Source from which their deliverance should come. They are like the natural man, when he is first awakened by the Holy Spirit. His lost condition makes him to sigh and groan, but as yet he does not know his Deliverer, who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Again in Ex 2:23 we read, “and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.” God heard their cry, even though it was not addressed to Himself. And God remembered His Covenant. That was the reason, or the ground, for His action. It was not their faith, for they had none. It was not pity for their wretched condition, for there were many others in different parts of the world in equally wretched situations whom God ignored. But God had respect to them for His Covenant’s sake, for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had prayed for them. God does not hear the prayers of the wicked, even if they are children of Jacob suffering in bondage to the king of Egypt. There is abundant evidence in the Bible that God does not hear the prayers of the wicked. (Prov 28:9, 15:8, Ps 66:18), but to the prayers of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob He will listen. And so it was precisely with us. God made a Covenant before the foundation of the world, and He gave the Lord Jesus Christ the names of those whom He wanted to save (John 6:37), and Christ prayed for us (John 17:20), and it was this which made Him have respect unto us. It was for His Covenant’s sake that He saved us. Now we can see how all this ties into God’s magnificent salvation plan, for we read in Rom 9:18,

Ro 9:18  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

These are the principles by which God Wrought for His Name’s Sake. Let us then take a look at the beginning of Exodus, and let us take an overview of events here in Exodus and let us see how all these things fit the spiritual picture of salvation that God wants to show us.

  • An Overview (Ex 3:2,10, 4:31, 5:9,19, 6:6-9, Rom 4:5)

What do we read in the beginning of this story of deliverance? Unknown to the groaning enslaved Israelites, God had raised up for them a saviour, Moses. Then we read in Ex 3:2 (2X) how the Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto Moses at the burning bush with the mandate that he should .return to Egypt.

   Ex 3:2  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and

he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

And then we read that Christ appointed Moses to be the deliverer of God’s people. We read in Ex 3:10 ()

Ex 3:10  Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

But at that time Israel knew it not. They were in total ignorance of the wonderful miracle which God had in store for them. And this was an accurate picture of us. When we were first made conscious of our terrible condition, when our consciences groaned under the intolerable load of guilt, at that time we knew nothing of God’s appointed Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ. Next we read that Aaron was sent into the wilderness to meet his brother and together they entered Egypt, and gathered the elders of Israel, and told them of  God’s promised deliverance. And then we read in Ex 4:31, (2X),

Ex 4:31  And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

But it is clear from what follows that this was not a genuine heart-believing, and their worship was evidently very superficial. And look at the analogy. How many of us became very religious when our Deliverer, Christ, was first presented to our view? And how superficial was our response? And we can honestly admit, to our shame, “How many of us are still in this superficial response state?” Let us continue with this analogy. As soon as Pharaoh learned of God’s intentions toward Israel he at once increases their burdens and he says in Ex 5:9 (2X), “Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.” We can see how clearly Pharaoh is a portrait of Satan. As soon as the great Enemy of our souls detects that the Spirit of God is starting His operations of grace within the sinner, he makes the spiritual life of that one more miserable than ever. He sets the poor soul to work the harder. He tells this sinner that he must labor with increased zeal if ever he is to find favor with God. We read in Ex 5:19 (2X), “And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case” and so is the poor guilt-burdened, conscience-smitten, convicted sinner. Next we read that the people came to Moses complaining of their increased misery. Even now they did not put their trust in the Lord, but instead they leaned upon an arm of flesh. And also the convicted sinner, instead of turning to Christ and to the Bible for relief, seeks out the Sunday school teacher, or a deacon, or an elder, or the pastor for an answer to his questions. A human answer can be useful, but it is not infallible. A new Christian should learn quickly that there is no human being who knows and understands the Bible like God does, and that we all have feet of clay. A new Christian should learn quickly what the difference is between error and heresy. Similarly, we see the actions of unsaved man in the parable of the Prodigal Son. When “he began to be in want”, when he began to feel the pinch of poverty, he did not return at once to his father, but “he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country,” with the result that he eventually ended up in a pig pen and was starving for food. How slow is man to learn the great truth that God alone is able to meet his deep need? Moses sought the Lord for an answer to the needs of the children of Israel, and the Lord patiently told Moses to go to the Israelites and say the words of Ex 6:6-9,

   Ex 6:6-9  Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under

the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD. And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.

This was a great promise, but with a sad reception. This goes to show that their earlier bowing down and worshipping as we read it in Ex 4:31 was not a response from a truly believing heart, but it was only an emotional response. And again we have to say, “how true to life is this picture that is presented here. While Israel groaned under the burdens of making bricks, even the promises of God failed to give relief. So it was with each of us. While we continued to justify ourselves by our own works, while we sought to weave a robe of righteousness by our own hands, while we continued to hang on to works gospels, even the promises of the Gospel failed to comfort us. Only after our soul turns away from everything of self, and puts our trust entirely on the finished work of Christ, that peace will be obtained. God says in Rom 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” And this “believing on Him” must also be a gift of God’s grace, or else it is simply a work of man. Keep in mind that when we read “but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage”, this is the last thing that we are told about the children of Israel before the Angel of Death visited the land of Egypt. And so, when the Lord “put a difference between the Egyptians and the Israelites,” it was not because of any merit which He discovered in the Israelites. They too were idolaters, rebellious and unbelieving. The more clearly we see the spiritual wretchedness of Israel at this time, the more shall we recognize the absolute sovereignty of the grace which redeemed them. So too, the more fully we are acquainted with the teaching of Scripture concerning the utter corruption and the total depravity of the natural man, the more shall we be made to marvel at the infinite mercy of God toward us, who were such worthless creatures, and the more highly shall we value that wondrous love that wrought salvation for us. Let us then meditate on this, and meditate on the fact that this exodus out of Egypt was a picture of the salvation of all the elect of God. And so we shall gain an ever deepening realization of the terrible extent to which sin has abounded in us, and let us recognize with ever increasing gratitude and joy the super-abounding of God’s grace.

AMEN.                 Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.