The Lord says to Pharaoh in verse one “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt, after that he will let you go from here.”
We cannot take things into our own hands, or give up and abort the process, if we are going to see the victory of Christ enforced. Every test we go through is to increase our endurance level so we can handle anything.
Consider it nothing but joy, my [b]brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
God told Moses who now had become highly favored amongst the Egyptians to gather silver and gold from the Egyptians which will eventually be used as construction materials for the ark of the covenant.
This is an example of the wealth of the wicked being laid up for the just as it says in Proverbs 13:22. It takes money to restore the earth and we are the called out ones to give the earth a makeover. It is time for us to not fear money but fear God. God will give us favor and people who even hate God will give to us not knowing it will be used to fulfill God’s will.
“See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:10
The Lord told Moses that He will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow which will be a knockout. The plague of death in which every firstborn including Pharaoh’s son the heir to his throne will be killed at midnight. There was nothing that could hit Pharaoh and the people of Egypt harder, it will cause them to wail like no one ever before, but now they will beg the Israelites to go, setting the way for the children of Israel to finally be released from slavery.
If we just can maintain our faith in God every battle will end with His victory enforced. We who were once outcasts, nobodies, through the test of time, being proven through round after round of opposition, and yet enduring, respect and favor will be given, even from our enemies.
The battle was already won with the resurrection of Jesus. Satan thought he had the final blow but before the count was finished Jesus got up and in His getting up Satan was knocked down. We now the body of Christ are called to enforce this victory throughout the earth in every sphere of society.
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Habakuk 2:14
There are too many Christians living in defeat, ground is not being taken but rather it is being lost. Your defeated foe continues to operate as if he was victorious. Society sees more of his imprint in everything than they do the Lord. Why is this? Let’s look at Acts 3:17-21 from the amplified for understanding.
17 “Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance [not fully aware of what you were doing], just as your rulers did also.
Some of us have simply been ignorant, we have not been taught or have learned for ourselves what as a citizen of the kingdom of God really looks like. We don’t understand our IPA; our identity in Christ, our purpose, or our God given assignment.
18 And so God has fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (Messiah, Anointed) would suffer. 19 So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day];
The question you need to ask yourself is have I truly repented? If we have we will not continue to live in habitual sin, repentance frees us from sin because we turn our heart towards God, and God empowers us through the Holy Spirit. He then leads us in living out our purpose, which goes far beyond church attendance and daily devotions. It is a way of life. It is knowing our assignment on earth and being about doing it. It is only as we walk in God’s will that we walk in His presence which brings continual refreshing.
20 and that He may send [to you] Jesus, the Christ, who has been appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must keep until the time for the [complete] restoration of all things about which God promised through the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
Each of us are called to the work of restoration. God desires to redeem the earth to bring it back to it’s original purpose. God is a creator, Satan is a deceiver. All things are to be used for God’s glory. We are looking for things to get worse before Jesus returns but as we see here, He is waiting until all things are restored before He returns to complete what we have done to usher in the Millennial reign. It is time we get to work and stop being idle as it says in Luke 19:13 in the parable of the talents our job is to “occupy until He comes.” As Colossians 1:20 says “we are to reconcile all things to Christ.”
Which mountain has God called you? What is your part to play in the discipling of the nations? What talent and gifts has He placed within you and are you utilizing them for His glory?
God told Moses that though Pharaoh witnesses all these miracles and initially lets the people go it will still not be enough. He will harden his heart and try not to let the people go and even greater miracles will be released.
It is like a boxer not agreeing with the outcome of a fight and demanding another match. Pharaoh as we will see regrets this decision and with his army chases after Israel. While Satan is allowed to roam on the earth He has no authority to rule unless we let him. There is no rematch, He has no other chance, He is eternally defeated. What we must do is silence him by giving him no place until Jesus returns and Satan is thrown into the lake of fire for eternity.
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelations 20:1
Sunday January 21st
At a recent pastor’s conference each minister in attendance was asked the same question: “How many people does it take to change a light bulb?”
The answers were as follows.
The Presbyterian Pastor responded, “None. If God wants the bulb changed he is sovereign and He will do it all by himself without any human effort.”
The Charismatic Pastor replied, “None. The bulb doesn’t need to be changed. It needs to be healed.”
The Pentecostal Pastor said, “None. We need to cast out the demon of darkness from the bulb.”
The Fundamentalist Pastor stated, “None. Because we shouldn’t even enter that room. We need to keep ourselves separate from all of that darkness.”
The Baptist Pastor responded, “None. If we allow physical contact between a person and a bulb, all that turning and twisting might lead to dancing.”
Well, Moses might be asking a similar question to Pharaoh, because by the time chapter ten of Exodus is over, it’s going to get pretty dark in Egypt!
But first, there will be locusts!
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, 2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.”
We’ve talked before about Pharaoh hardening his own heart on some occasions and then God hardening it for him on other occasions. God essentially allowed Pharaoh to follow his own rebellion against obeying God’s commands. If Pharaoh wanted to have a hard heart, God was not only going to LET him have one, He was going to HELP him have one!
And God tells Moses that the end result of all of this hardness of heart will be an opportunity for God to display his power. And God also tells Moses that this will be something that the Israelites will be able to tell their children about for generations to come.
We see this happening in Deuteronomy 6:20–25
“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What do the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments mean which the Lord our God commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Moreover, the Lord showed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household; 23 He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.’ 24 So the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today. 25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.”
It’s important to remember the value of our testimony. There is power in proclaiming what God has done in our lives – the things that He has set us free from!
Now on to the locusts!
3 Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 4 For if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. 5 They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They will also eat the rest of what has escaped—what is left to you from the hail—and they will eat every tree which sprouts for you out of the field. 6 Then your houses shall be filled and the houses of all your servants and the houses of all the Egyptians, something which neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from the day that they came upon the earth until this day.’” And he turned and went out from Pharaoh. 7 Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?” 8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God! Who are the ones that are going?” 9 Moses said, “We shall go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we shall go, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.” 10 Then he said to them, “Thus may the Lord be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Take heed, for evil is in your mind. 11 Not so! Go now, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you desire.” So they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.
Notice that Pharaoh is continuing to try to cut a deal with Moses for less than what the Lord was demanding.
God told Moses that everyone should go, but Pharaoh says he will only let the men go.
And what do we tell the devil when he offers us a compromise? NO DEAL!
That’s exactly what Moses says!
12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up on the land of Egypt and eat every plant of the land, even all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord directed an east wind on the land all that day and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled in all the territory of Egypt; they were very numerous. There had never been so many locusts, nor would there be so many again. 15 For they covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every plant of the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Thus nothing green was left on tree or plant of the field through all the land of Egypt.
A swarm of locusts can include as many 130 million locusts per square mile. Some swarms have covered more than 400 square miles (an area 20 miles by 20 miles) Locusts can move across and devour 60 miles per day.
The Book of Joel records a locust plague that was a judgment against Israel in Joel 1:2-4
Hear this, O elders,
And listen, all inhabitants of the land.
Has anything like this happened in your days
Or in your fathers’ days?
3 Tell your sons about it,
And let your sons tell their sons,
And their sons the next generation.
4 What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten;
And what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten;
And what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten.
When God finally pours out His end-time judgment, He will sent a particularly nasty kind of locust, one that doesn’t attack plants, but people:
Revelation 9:3-6 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
The end result of the plague of locusts upon Egypt is a momentary repentance from Pharaoh as usual:
16 Then Pharaoh hurriedly called for Moses and Aaron, and he said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and make supplication to the Lord your God, that He would only remove this death from me.” 18 He went out from Pharaoh and made supplication to the Lord. 19 So the Lord shifted the wind to a very strong west wind which took up the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not one locust was left in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go.
Pharaoh acts like he is repentant, because he wants the locusts gone, but he doesn’t want his Hebrew slaves gone, which means another plague is on its way:
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.
This form of darkness was clearly more than an eclipse of the sun. It was a kind of supernatural darkness. Someone has called it “the most mysterious of all the plagues”.
Verse 22 calls it “thick darkness” and verse 21 calls it “a darkness that could be FELT”!
Verse 23 says that the Egyptians “did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days” which seems to suggest that there was something about this darkness that prevented people from not just seeing, but even moving.
Whatever it was, this uninterrupted darkness settled over all of Egypt for three days, but the Children of Israel still had light in their homes.
Just like we saw with the frogs, there was a real irony here because the Egyptians celebrated the dawn of each morning because they claimed that the sun god had overcome the serpent of darkness once again. This plague of darkness was another proof of the Hebrew God’s superiority over the Egyptian gods.
This also included Horus – who was supposedly the god of the sky. It was believed that the sun was one of his eyes and the moon the other eye.
So when the sun didn’t show up for three straight days, it was like God was giving Horus a black eye!
Even after all of these demonstrations of God’s power, Pharaoh still offers one more deal:
24 Then Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be detained. Even your little ones may go with you.” 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice them to the Lord our God. 26 Therefore, our livestock too shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we shall take some of them to serve the Lord our God. And until we arrive there, we ourselves do not know with what we shall serve the Lord.” 27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Beware, do not see my face again, for in the day you see my face you shall die!” 29 Moses said, “You are right; I shall never see your face again!”
Here are three things that I want you to remember from chapter 10:
First, when God has called you to do something, you don’t have to fear anyone or anything!
Pharaoh threatens Moses by saying “Beware, do not see my face again, for in the day you see my face you shall die!”
But Moses simply replies “That’s right, I won’t be seeing your face again, because my God is about to deliver me and my people from your slavery. So bye-bye!”
Second, the power of testimony can’t be emphasized enough. God told Moses that when all of this was over, the people of Israel would have something to proclaim for generations to come. And they certainly did proclaim it!
Look at Psalm 78:44-5144 And turned their rivers to blood,
And their streams, they could not drink.
45 He sent among them swarms of flies which devoured them,
And frogs which destroyed them.
46 He gave also their crops to the grasshopper
And the product of their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hailstones
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48 He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones
And their herds to bolts of lightning.
49 He sent upon them His burning anger,
Fury and indignation and trouble,
A band of destroying angels.
50 He leveled a path for His anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
But gave over their life to the plague,
51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt,
The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham.
And again we see the testimony of deliverance in Psalm 105:28-3628 He sent darkness and made it dark;
And they did not rebel against His words.
29 He turned their waters into blood
And caused their fish to die.
30 Their land swarmed with frogs
Even in the chambers of their kings.
31 He spoke, and there came a swarm of flies
And gnats in all their territory.
32 He gave them hail for rain,
And flaming fire in their land.
33 He struck down their vines also and their fig trees,
And shattered the trees of their territory.
34 He spoke, and locusts came,
And young locusts, even without number,
35 And ate up all vegetation in their land,
And ate up the fruit of their ground.
36 He also struck down all the firstborn in their land,
The first fruits of all their vigor.
The final thing that I want you to remember from this chapter is that because of Jesus we are not the objects of God’s wrath and judgment, we are the recipients of His mercy!
Look at this wonderful promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:9
“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”
And not only is God going to spare us from experiencing His wrath, He is also going to help us to repair the damage that we did in our lives prior to our salvation. He is going to restore aspects of our lives that we ruined when we lived our lives outside of His will and His plan.
Here is God’s promise to us found in Joel 2:25
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten”
That’s such a reassuring promise. Whatever things we messed up, whatever relationships we destroyed, whatever self-worth we trashed – God is able, and WILLING to make right again.
Can you trust Him today to do that in your life?
“When it rain’s it pours.” The immensity of the plagues was intensifying because Pharaoh refused to take heed to Moses and Aaron’s command, “to let the people go.”
A good fighter conserves his strength and power for the later rounds and God now was unloading His might on Egypt. In this next round, He released a plague against livestock while yet sparing those of Israel.
This plague caused an economic crisis. For many in this world, money is their god. Their happiness depends on how much or how little they own. The children of Israel had been unjustly compensated for their hard work but now the tables were being turned. The Bible says the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just (Pro. 13:22). That the righteous will inherit the earth (Psalm 27:29).
Let us look to God for He provides all we need (Phil. 4:19), it is our season for a financial turnaround. God blesses those with a pure heart (Matt. 5:8), He grants the desires of those who delight themselves in Him (Psalms 37:4), and releases His provision, exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20).
Pharaoh sent officials to investigate and likewise, people will investigate our lives, they will think that we must be doing something wrong. We don’t need to feel offended but honored because God is using us to reveal His glory through His favor and blessings in our life.
Pharaoh heart remained stubborn so it went to the next round where Moses and Aaron released the plague of festering boils. They tossed ashes into the air and it spread like dust over the whole land of Egypt, causing boils out on all the people and animals. The ash became hot, blistering dust that caused boils to break out on all the people.
The children of Israel had to work tirelessly under the sun hour after hour, day after day, having their bodies burned under the sun. Egypt did wrong to the Israelites and it was now coming back on them. The Bible promises “what we sow, we will reap” (Gal. 6:7). Malachi 4:1 says “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw.”
If you are suffering from righteousness sake do not despair, wait unto the Lord for the day of reckoning is near. God will punish all evil doers and the humble will be exalted. Do not lose focus, do not take punishment into your own hands, let God be the judge, for His judgment will come.
The Lord has Moses wake up early and instructs him again in how to face Pharaoh. This pattern we see with Moses waking up early is an example for us to follow.
If we don’t take the time before we get going to seek God we will not be prepared for what we are going to face and will be walking outside of His will.
Moses warns Pharaoh that if he doesn’t let God’s people go, more plagues will be released. God tells Pharaoh that He has spared him for the purpose of showing His power and spreading His fame throughout the earth.
God can wipe His enemies out at any time. Yet for the sake of the lost, He spares His full wrath until His power is fully known and His fame spreads throughout the earth. The enemy is a puppet in the hands of God, he will eventually be knocked out but for now, he is the punching bag for God to demonstrate His greatness.
Pharaoh again refuses to back down and so the Lord releases a hailstorm like no other killing everything that was left outside, including all vegetation, animals, and humans. Though the Egyptians were warned to go inside some of them paid no attention to the word of the Lord and it cost them their lives.
We have people in our life that no matter how many times we warn them because of their ego they won’t listen and it may cost them their lives. We are to keep warning them but don’t be surprised if something devastating happens. This time Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and admits this time he and his people have sinned. He begs the Lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. Saying enough is enough you and your people can go and worship the Lord. Moses says okay when I leave the city I will lift my hands and pray and he hail will stop and you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord, but I know still yet your officials still do not fear the Lord.
People will repent when their sins expose them but if they refuse to repent of the things they have done previously or the hidden sins that nobody else knows their heart will remain hard. We need discernment because we don’t want to be fooled. We need to help people fully surrender, half stepping will never cut it, it is either all the way or not at all with God.
As the Lord foretold despite Pharaoh’s temporary act of repentance, his heart remained hard and he went against his word and did not let the people of Israel go.
Sunday January 7th
Would you rather lose all of your money and valuables or all of the pictures you have ever taken?
Would you rather be famous when you are alive and forgotten when you die or unknown when you are alive but famous after you die?
Would you rather go to jail for 4 years for something you didn’t do or get away with something horrible you did but always live in fear of being caught?
Would you rather your shirts be always two sizes too big or one size too small?
Would you rather be alone for the rest of your life or always be surrounded by annoying people?
Would you rather be completely invisible for one day or be able to fly for one day?
Would you rather be locked in a room that is constantly dark for a week or a room that is constantly bright for a week?
Would you rather have a horrible job, but be able to retire comfortably in 10 years or have your dream job, but have to work until the day you die?
The question that Moses raises to Pharaoh here in Exodus chapter 8 is “Would you rather be swarmed with frogs, gnats, and flies, or let my people go?”
God had started to unleash the plagues against Egypt in chapter 7 by turning the Nile into blood, which killed all of the fish and made the water undrinkable. But because Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened, God was about to unleash 3 more plagues, starting with the frogs:
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite your whole territory with frogs. 3 The Nile will swarm with frogs, which will come up and go into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and on your people, and into your ovens and into your kneading bowls. 4 So the frogs will come up on you and your people and all your servants.”’” 5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the streams and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 The magicians did the same with their secret arts, making frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Entreat the Lord that He remove the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “The honor is yours to tell me: when shall I entreat for you and your servants and your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, that they may be left only in the Nile?”
10 Then he said, “Tomorrow.” So he said, “May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will depart from you and your houses and your servants and your people; they will be left only in the Nile.” 12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the Lord concerning the frogs which He had inflicted upon Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out of the houses, the courts, and the fields. 14 So they piled them in heaps, and the land became foul. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
Part of the significance about the Nile swarming with frogs was that the Nile River was supposed to be divine in Egyptian religious beliefs, and frogs themselves represented the goddess Heket. So now this supposedly divine river and these supposedly divine frogs were bringing misery upon the lives of the Egyptians instead of blessings. All of this was intended to demonstrate Jehovah’s supremacy over all of these false Gods.
But of course Pharaoh follows a familiar pattern here. He makes a deal with Moses to let the people go and sacrifice to the true God, but as soon as the plague lifts, he reneges on his promise. Which leads right to the next plague:
16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.’” 17 They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
Notice that the Egyptian magicians admit that they can’t duplicate this sign and they tell Pharaoh that this swarm of gnats (or some translations say lice) must truly be directed by the finger of God. But Pharaoh was still not persuaded. So here comes plague number 4 – flies!
20 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, as he comes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 21 For if you do not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and on your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they dwell. 22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are living, so that no swarms of flies will be there, in order that you may know that I, the Lord, am in the midst of the land. 23 I will put a division between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign will occur.”’” 24 Then the Lord did so. And there came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and the houses of his servants and the land was laid waste because of the swarms of flies in all the land of Egypt.
In verse 23 God says to Pharaoh that “I will put a division between My people and your people”. God is going to distinguish between the area called Goshen, where the Hebrew slaves lived, and the rest of Egypt. He is going to show His favor upon His own people by sparing their area from the effects of the plagues. Pharaoh actually investigates this to see if it is true in chapter 9 verse7, which says:
“Pharaoh sent, and behold, there was not even one of the livestock of Israel dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.”
Now pay attention to the negotiation that the Pharaoh starts to have with Moses in the final verses of this chapter:
25 Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It is not right to do so, for we will sacrifice to the Lord our God what is an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what is an abomination to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not then stone us? 27 We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He commands us.” 28 Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Make supplication for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you, and I shall make supplication to the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow; only do not let Pharaoh deal deceitfully again in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”
30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and made supplication to the Lord. 31 The Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go.
During this swarms of flies, Pharaoh offers to negotiate a deal by agreeing something to less than what the Lord was demanding, but Moses refuses to compromise.
First Pharaoh offers to let them worship in the land nearby but not to go on a three-day journey.
But Moses tells him in verse 26 that the animals that the Israelites sacrificed would be an “abomination” to Pharaoh’s people because the Egyptians actually worshipped some of the same animals that would be sacrificed by the Israelites. Moses feared that the Egyptians would stone the Israelites for sacrificing those animals in their presence.
Later Pharaoh promises that the Hebrew men can go sacrifice if they will leave behind the women and children.
Exodus 10:9–11 Moses said, “We shall go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we shall go, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.” 10 Then he said to them, “Thus may the Lord be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Take heed, for evil is in your mind. 11 Not so! Go now, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you desire.” So they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.
Finally, Pharaoh offers to let all of the people go and worship if they will simply leave their flocks and herds behind.
Exodus 10:24 Then Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be detained. Even your little ones may go with you.”
There is something here that we must pay heed to. God has given us a promise of what our lives are supposed to look like. And that promise involves freedom.
But the devil doesn’t want to let you go. He doesn’t want to see you free. And he will try to get you to settle for something less than what God has promised for you. He will try to offer you a compromise – a deal.
For example, the devil may say to you, “So your sins are forgiven, and you will get to go to heaven, but for the rest of your life here on earth you will have to live with the guilt and shame of the things that you’ve done.”
Or maybe the devil will tell you that you can be set free from certain addictions, but other addictions are so powerful that you’ll never overcome them, so you’ll have to settle for being partially free.
Or maybe the devil will tell you that some of the people you pray for will get saved or healed, but others are just hopeless, so you shouldn’t even bother praying.
How about this deal – you can be saved and live a comfortable, trouble-free life as long as you stay on the sidelines and don’t try to reach others for Christ!?
But God didn’t promise you any half-measures. He didn’t ever tell you that you had to be satisfied with a limited version of salvation. Jesus didn’t pay a heavy price on the cross to give you a semi-abundant life!
Let me encourage you this morning to be like Moses.
When the devil tries to offer you half-measures and compromises, tell him what Moses told Pharaoh – “That’s not good enough!”
Don’t make any deals. Don’t take any deals. Don’t settle for anything less that the full freedom that was purchased for you with the precious blood of Jesus!