Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Exodus: New Direction, New Life #7, The Power of Passover

Exodus: New Direction, New Life

The Power of Passover

Text: Exodus 12

Dead horse theory

I don’t know if this is true but there is a legend about the Dakota Sioux tribal wisdom. That has a saying “When you discover you are riding a dead horse, get off.”
However, in the business/church world (might even apply to military command), we often see other strategies for this situation:

Whip harder.
Change riders.
Appoint a committee to study the dead horse.
Hire a contractor to ride the dead horse.
Arrange a visit to another site to see how they ride dead horses.
Create a training session to increase our riding ability.
Remind all concerned that "this is the way we have always ridden this horse".
Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.
Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

Some people are riding dead horses, thinking that we are going somewhere, when in reality we are stuck in our past, our routines and sometimes in our sin. If we don’t get off the dead horse soon, we’ll be dying as well. Life, especially the Christian life is about change. We see just such a time of change in the book of Exodus chapter 12. It was time for a change, time for a new life for Israel.

Life In The New Year Exodus 12:1-2

 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,  This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

God Makes a New Year

God tells the Israelites that a new calendar is starting.
It will be a time of complete change.
There will be a different new year from now on. They will move to new land, and they will live new life. They would be free and no longer slaves.
So radical would be the changes be that from that moment on it would be remembered by the marking of the New Year on their calendar. From this point on the new year would be Abib. Later it was called “Nisan” and comes close to our April. The year used to began with the month Tisri, when the harvest was gathered in. - Barnes'.


God Always Brings Change

Let me share some quotes with you about change. They might sum up what we sometimes feel like when we are contemplating changes in our own life.



Change is the handmaiden nature requires to do her miracles with. - Mark Twain (1835–1910)

Change is the nursery of music, joy, life, and eternity. -John Donne (1572–1631)

Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it. - Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878–1969)

Some of us can relate to this quote, “With me, a change of trouble is as good as a vacation.” - David Lloyd George

This morning what I am challenge you to accept, understand and even anticipate that our God is a God of change. He does it throughout history. The Bible is a record of one change after the other, from creation, to the flood, to the beginning of the nation of Israel, to the new Jerusalem, and New Heaven and earth. He changes hearts, he changes nations and he changes churches through the greatest catalyst of all eternity Jesus Christ.



2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Those are strong verses containing powerful truths but we must personally come to face what they mean when it confronts us with our own need to change as God leads.

A new start, a new life in the Lord always means leaving the old behind. The Israelites had to leave Egypt, their homes, perhaps many of their friends.It was not easy but it was necessary and by God’s will and power it was worth every loss.

No matter how hard it is to change, or how difficult it is to leave things behind, we need to embrace the change that God will bring because it always, always will be better than the old. Don’t keep trying to ride that old dead horse, sooner or later it won’t just be the horse that is dead.

Wesley and the Robber

(Now I’m not a big fan of John Wesley, after all he gave us the Methodists, but I like a lot of things he said and did. So let me tell you a story about John Wesley and the road agent, what we now call a robber.)

As John Wesley rode across Hounslow Heath late one night, singing a favorite hymn, he was startled by a fierce voice shouting, “Halt,” while a firm hand seized the horse’s bridle. Then the man demanded, “Your money or your life.”

Wesley obediently emptied his pockets of the few coins they contained and invited the robber to examine his saddlebags which were filled with books. Disappointed at the result, the robber was turning away when evangelist cried, “Stop! I have something more to give you.”

The robber, wondering at this strange call, turned back. Then Wesley, bending down toward him, said in solemn tones, “My friend, you may live to regret this sort of a life in which you are engaged. If you ever do, I beseech you to remember this, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin.’” The robber hurried silently away, and the man of God rode along, praying in his heart that the word spoken might be fixed in the robber’s conscience.

Years later, at the close of a Sunday evening service with the people streaming from the large building, many lingered around the doors to see the aged preacher, John Wesley.

A stranger stepped forward and earnestly begged to speak with Mr. Wesley. What a surprise to find that this was the robber of Hounslow Heath, now a well-to-do tradesman in the city, but better still, a child of God! The words spoken that night long ago had been used of God in his conversion.

Raising the hand of John Wesley to his lips, he affectionately kissed it and said in tones of deep emotion, “To you, dear sir, I owe it all.”

Wesley replied softly, “Nay, nay, my friend, not to me, but to the precious blood of Christ which cleanseth us from all sin.”

That highway man found change in Jesus Christ and it was the best change he could ever make and it brings us to our next point. Change this profound requires something much greater than our strength and resolve. It requires sacrifice.

Life In the Lamb Exodus 12:3-7

 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:  And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.  And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

God Starts New Life At The Passover

The single event that for the Hebrews, would make the new completely break from the old was the Passover lamb. God told Moses that each house was to take a male lamb w/o spot or blemish. It was to be slain in the evening with the whole assembly of Israel. They were to take the blood of the lamb and put it upon the doorposts of the house. Then they were to eat the lamb with all their family.

This would be the last action they took as slaves, for once they partook of the Passover lamb they would be made free by the power of God. For that night the Angel of the Lord passed through the land of Egypt and those who did not put themselves under the blood of the lamb suffered death and heartache. Those who refused to accept God’s protection, refused to accept their need to change, suffered the terrible loss of life by the wrath of God.

But those who believed, those who made that slain lamb the sign of their faith, were spared God’s wrath and they found a new life and freedom. 

New Life Starts With The Slain Lamb

Just as God brought new life to the Israelites through a slain lamb, He will bring new life to us through THE slain lamb, slain as though from the beginning of time. Slain given us new life, slain to protect us from the wrath of God’s justice in the punishment of our sin.

The Bible tells us that Jesus of Nazareth is the Lamb of God.

 John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

It is through him and only through His shed blood that new life can start.

 1 Peter 1: 18-19  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
If there is to be a new life for us, if there is to be a new start for us it must be through the blood of the Lamb of God.

 This is our salvation from sin, this is our salvation from slavery, this is our salvation from tradition and routine, this is our salvation from death.

 We must always look to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ slain for us and place ourselves under the protection of that precious blood. That is the sign of our faith, just as it was for those Hebrews that first Passover night. Then and only then can we really change. Change from fear to hope, from sorrow to joy from death to life.

William Wilberforce, a man who changed the world through Christ

When William Wilberforce was brought to Christ he went with fear and trembling to his friend, the great statesman of the day, William Pitt, to tell him of the change. For two hours his friend endeavored to convince him that he was becoming visionary, fanatical, if not insane. But the young convert was steadfast and immovable. He had spent his twenty-fifth birthday at the top wave and highest flow of those amusements—the racecourse and the ballroom—which had swallowed up a large portion of his youth. He had laughed and sung, and been envied for his gaiety and happiness. But true happiness he had never found till he found Christ. And now he laid his wealth and wit and eloquence and influence at the feet of his Lord, his motto being—“Whatsoever others do, as for me, I will serve the Lord.”

God changed William Wilberforce and William Wilberforce changed England and the world by working for decades in Parliament to finally eradicate slavery in England and to influence the emancipation of all slaves in the Christian nations throughout the world. That is the kind of change God can bring, first with one life and then that life that can change everything around it.

Finally, we need to also understand that change often means moving, taking action or going where God wants us to go. 

 Life In a New Land Exodus 12:8-14

 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.  Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.  And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.  And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover.  For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.  And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.  And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

God Says Go!

God tells His people to prepare to move. They are to be dressed, with their staff in the hands and shoes on their feet. They are to go when the Lord gives the signal. That night He would pass through the land separating the old world of Egypt from the new world of the Promised Land. Those who believed God would have the blood upon the door. Those who rejected God or could not leave Egypt would not.

When the death angel passed over Israel it would start their move toward the new promised land. Now from that day forth, they would keep the Passover as a memorial to what God had done in making them free from Egypt’s chains of slavery. 

Are You Ready To Go?

I wonder this morning, are you prepared, when God speaks, to go? Are we dressed in the armor of the Lord? Do we have our staff, the Word of God, in our hands? Are we hastening to go and do what God tell us to do? When the day of opportunity comes will we be ready to move forward to the promised land or will we stay as slaves in Egypt?

 This morning as you sit in this church, will you respond as God touches your heart and tells you to come and find a new life through Jesus Christ? Or would you look back to your old life, your old friends, your old disbelief, your old sin and decide to stay in the bonds of Egypt another day?

 The death angel comes into every life one day, but only those who have made Jesus Christ their Savior, only those who have put His blood on the lintel and doorpost of their hearts will be passed over and spared from the judgment of God to go from this life to eternal life.
If God should open a door of opportunity for this Church would we go through it? Would we see the chance to renew our work for God? Would we take our staff in our hands and  work where God directed us? Or would we decide to hold on to the past, our traditions or our fears and miss the opportunity that God opened for us.

Are you ready this morning to move when God says go?
Those who are will go on to the Promised Land, to the newness of God. Those who are not will stay behind and miss the blessing that only God brings with His call to change. I hope and pray that I will always be ready and then choose to go when God signals, “It is time.” I hope and pray that you are ready today.

Phillip Bliss always chose to go with the Lord

Bliss the writer of many hymns we still sing today, was born in a Pennsylvania log cabin in 1838. His father was Mr. Isaac Bliss, a strong believer in the Lord, who taught the family to pray daily. His dad loved music and encouraged Philip to sing. Bliss had very little formal education and was mostly taught by his mother, from the Bible. At only 11, he left home to work in timber camps and sawmills. Every once in a while, he was able to go to school.

Despite this, at 17, Bliss had been able to qualify as a teacher. In 1856, he became a schoolmaster at Hartsville, New York, and during the summer he worked on a farm.

In 1857, Bliss met the famous hymn writer, William B. Bradbury who wrote the tune for Jesus Loves Me and the hymn Just As I Am. Bradbury challenged Bliss to become a music teacher and writer. So by 1858, he became a music teacher in Rome Academy, Pennsylvania.

There in the same year he met Lucy Young, they fell in love and were married on June 1, 1859.
At age 22, Bliss took another step out and he became an itinerant music teacher. On horseback, he went from community to community teaching music and carrying his own a melodeon, a portable pump organ.

In 1864, the Blisses moved to Chicago. Bliss was then 26. He became known as a singer and teacher. He began in earnest writing Gospel songs.

In 1869, Bliss made friends with the great preacher, D. L. Moody. Moody and others urged him to give up his job teaching music and become a missionary singer. In 1874, Bliss chose to go where the Lord was leading him and he stepped out and became a full-time evangelist. Bliss by this time was making significant amounts of money from song royalties but he gave them to charity and used only enough to support himself and his family as he served the Lord now as an evangelist.

Then on the 29th of December, 1876, the train on which Bliss and his wife were traveling in approached Ashtabula, Ohio. While the train was crossing a trestle bridge, it collapsed, all the cars fell into the ravine below. Bliss escaped from the wreckage, but as he looked around he realized that his wife was still trapped in the carriages that had now caught fire. Bliss ran back to the burning train cars to try and save Lucy. This was the last that anyone saw of the Blisses, no trace of either body was ever discovered. Ninety-two of the 159 passengers died in what became known as the Ashtabula Disaster. The Blisses left behind their two sons, just four and one years-olds.

Found in his baggage, which somehow survived the crash and fire, were the lyrics of the song "I Will Sing of My Redeemer." It became one of Bliss’ most famous songs so much so that it was one of the first songs recorded by Thomas Edison on his new invention, the phonograph.

Phillip Bliss lived his life always ready to go and serve where God called. He was not afraid of change or challenge. He knew that if God called, he must go. He gave his life and his living away because he knew Jesus had given his life for Phillip Bliss.

When I was young I heard a hymn written by Phillip Bliss that I thought was one of the saddest invitation songs ever written. I think it still might be. Its number 322 in our hymnals. 

Almost Persuaded by P. P. Bliss

"Almost persuaded,” now to believe;
“Almost persuaded,” Christ to receive;
Seems now some soul to say,
“Go, Spirit, go Thy way,
Some more convenient day
On Thee I’ll call.”

“Almost persuaded,” come, come today;
“Almost persuaded,” turn not away;
Jesus invites you here,
Angels are ling’ring near,
Prayers rise from hearts so dear,
O wand’rer, come.

“Almost persuaded,” harvest is past!
“Almost persuaded,” doom comes at last!
“Almost” cannot avail;
“Almost” is but to fail!
Sad, sad, that bitter wail,
“Almost,” but lost.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Exodus New Direction New Life #6 Destroying the Old Gods

Exodus New Direction New Life #6 Destroying the Old Gods

Text: Exodus 5-12

Review Exodus 1-5. It has taken us 6 weeks to cover 5 chapters but today we are going to make up some time and cover Chapter 5 – 12, 8 chapters and I promised it would be short so we can have plenty of time for the baptism. So lets get right into it. I’m not even going to tell a joke this morning. You can tell I’m up for the challenge.

Battle of Bondage Exodus 5:1-9

 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.  And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.  And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.  And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.  And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.  And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.  And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.  Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.

Ruler of Egypt Uses Labor to Keep the Hebrews Slaves

In response to Moses asking for time for the Hebrews to go apart and worship God he increases the workload.
Claiming they are idle and have too much time he seeks to take away their time to seek their God.

Ruler of Darkness Uses Labor to Keep Us From Serving God

Our world has grown increasingly busy. There are more things to take up your time and resources than ever before. We will our lives with work and study from the time we are 5 until we die.
And where our ancestors worked 12 or 13 hours a day and still had time to read their Bible, pray at every meal and pray before they went to sleep, we don’t seem to have a minute to devote to God.
Our time is filled with recreation, relaxation and diversion. We fill our hours with computers, internet enabled devices, television, or music, and forget to take even a few moments with God.

Adults in the United States will spend more than five hours each day on “nonvoice mobile activities,” including Internet use on phones and tablets, and about four-and-a-half hours watching TV – Huffpost (2017)

Young people aged between 16 and 24 spend more than 27 hours a week on the internet, - communications watchdog Ofcom reported (2017)
Pharaoh filled the Hebrews day with hard labor to keep them from God and the ruler of this world gods of this world seems to have filled our lives with diversions and  has accomplished the same thing.

I’m not trying to tell you to quit all TV, Internet and media. We use the internet to reach out to people with the gospel and tell them about our church. We just need to be careful that we don’t fill our ears with the world’s noise and not hear the voice of God.

Illustration: Parable of the Rich Fool Luke 12:16

Thou fool this night shall thy soul be required of thee. Then whose shall those things be, thich though hast provided. So is he that layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God!
We need to understand the danger of filling our lives with things that keep us from God.
Transition: The Battle to Destroy the Old Gods only begins with hard labor. It begins in earnest in the next few chapters.

Battle of Belief Exodus 6-11 Key Verse 6:1-7

Exodus 6:1-7  Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.  And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:  And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.  And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.  And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.  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.

God Battles The False Gods of Egypt

Each plague was a battle against the gods of Egypt.

Water to Blood

 Exodus 7:19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
Hapi was the "spirit of the Nile" and its "dynamic essence." Hapi was the god of the annual Nile inundation. Epithets for Hapi describe him as being the "lord of the fishes and birds and marshes."
 One of the greatest gods of Egypt was Osiris, the god of the underworld; the Egyptians believed the Nile was his bloodstream.
During this first plague, the Egyptians would have to wonder where was Tauret, the hippopotamus goddess of the river. Where was Nu, the god of life in the Nile?


  Exodus 8:2 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: 8:3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: 8:4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.
 The frog was considered the theophany of the goddess Heqt, the wife of the creator of the world and the goddess of birth. Heqt was always shown with the head and body of a frog. Amulets and scarabs worn by Egyptian women to protect them during childbirth would often bear the image of Heqt for protection. Heqt was believed to assist women in childbirth

Lice (Gnats, Fleas, Sand Fleas)

 Exodus 8:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
 The word "lice" is rendered as "sand flies" or "fleas" in some translations. The Hebrew word kinnim comes from a root word meaning "to dig"; it is probable that the insect in question would dig under the skin.
This plague would have been an embarrassment to Geb, the great god of the earth. Egyptians gave offerings to Geb for the bounty of the soil -- yet it was from "the dust of the soil" that this plague originated.

Swarms Flies (Beetles)

 Exodus 8:21 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.
 Notice the word “of flies” is in italics in the KJV, the Hebrew simply says "swarms" -- the phrase "of flies" was added by the translators.
It is very likely that the "swarms" in this passage were swarms of the scarab beetle. The scarab was actually a dung beetle -- an insect that feeds on the dung in the fields. The plague of swarms of scarabs, with mandibles that could saw through wood, was destructive and worse than termites!
Deification of the scarab beetle is still seen in Egypt today. Amon-Ra, the creator and king of the gods, had the head of a beetle. "Ra, the Sole Creator was visible to the people of Egypt as the disc of the sun, but they knew him in many other forms. He could appear as a crowned man, a falcon or a man with a falcon's head and, as the scarab beetle pushes a round ball of dung in front of it, the Egyptians pictured Ra as a scarab pushing the sun across the sky." (Geraldine Harris, Gods & Pharaohs from Egyptian Mythology, p. 24).

Livestock Diseased

 Exodus 9:3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.
 The Egyptians worshiped many animals, and many animal-headed deities. The god Apis was represented as a bull, and had been worshipped in Egypt since around 3,000 B.C. The Apis bull was the living image of the god Ptah. He was also associated with Re, from whom he borrowed the disk he wore between his horns.
Hathor was the cow-headed goddess of the desert. "The cow was the living symbol of Isis-Hathor, represented sometimes as a cow, at others as a woman with a cow's head, at others as a horned woman." (How and Wells, Commentary on Herodotus, p. 185).
The goddess Hathor was the symbolic mother of Pharaoh, and the king of Egypt was referred to as "the son of Hathor." In addition to the gods already mentioned, this plague would have been a direct insult to Khnum, the ram-god, and to Bast, the cat goddess of love.


   Exodus 9:8 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. 9:9 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.
This plague was probably skin anthrax, a black abscess that develops into a pustule. This plague was accompanied by painful boils that affected the knees, legs, and soles of the feet (cf. Deut. 28:35). This explains why Pharaoh's "magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians" (Exo. 9:11).
This medical malady was an affront to Imhotep, the god of medicine. Imhotep who was a physician, architect and chief adviser of King Zoser (ca. 3150 B.C.). He did so much for Egyptian medicine that later generations worshiped him as a god of knowledge, author of their sciences and their arts -  (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Volume One, p. 147).
 This plague would have also been an affront to Serapis, the deity in charge of healing, and to Thoth, the ibis-headed god of intelligence and medical learning.

Thunder, Lightning and Hail

 Exodus 9:18 Behold, tomorrow 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.
Since this plague originated from the sky, it would have been an insult to Nut, the sky goddess. "Her most general appearance, however, is that of a woman resting on hands and feet, her body forming an arch, thus representing the sky. Her limbs typified the four pillars on which the sky was supposed to rest. She was supposed originally to be reclining on Geb, the earth, when Shu raised her from this position." (Lewis Spence, Ancient Egyptian Myths and Legends, p. 173).
Nut was also considered by the Egyptians to be the mother of five other gods: Osiris, Hathor, Set, Isis, and Nephthys.
During this plague, you have to wonder: Where was Shu, the wind god? Where was Horus, the hawk-headed sky god of Upper Egypt?
Isis and Seth supposedly protected the crops, but the burned fields testified of their impotence.


 Exodus 10:4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: 10:5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field
Where were Nepri, the god of grain, Ermutet, the goddess of childbirth and crops, Thermuthis, the goddess of fertility and the harvest was speechless or Seth, another god of crops?


 Exodus 10:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 10:22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days
This plague of darkness was an insult to Egypt's religion and entire culture. The sun god Amon-Ra was considered one of the greatest blessings in all of the land of Egypt.
Amon and Ra were originally two separate deities. Ra was a sun god whose cult was centered at the city of Heliopolis, and is usually represented in art with a man's body and a falcon's head surmounted by a solar disk. Ra was believed to sail across the sky in a boat each day and under the world at night.
In Egyptian mythology Horus was the god of light who personified the life-giving power of the Sun. He was usually represented as a falcon-headed man wearing a sun disk as a crown. The reigning kings of Egypt were believed to be incarnations of the god Horus.
Once again, the gods of Egypt were silent. Where was Ptah, the chief god of Memphis, and the one who created the moon, the sun and the earth? Where was Tem, the god of the sunset? Where was Shu, the god of sunlight and air?

  Death of the Firstborn

 Exodus 11:4 And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 11:5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born 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.
This plague was directed against Pharaoh the supreme, living god and  a final blow to "all of the gods of Egypt" (Exo. 12:12) and would show the total inability of the gods of Egypt to protect their subjects. In the face of unparalleled tragedy, "all of the gods of Egypt" were silent. Where was Meskhenet, the goddess who presided at the birth of children? Where was Hathor, one of the seven deities who attended the birth of children? Where was Min, the god of procreation? Where was Isis, the goddess of fertility? Where was Selket, the guardian of life? Where was Renenutet, the cobra-goddess and guardian of Pharaoh?
reference http://www.padfield.com/

Timeline and Summary

 John Davis gave the most concise overview of the plagues: "June: the Nile becomes stagnant and red with microscopic organisms. July: Frogs abound after the inundation of the Nile. Hot summer and damp autumn months: Lice, flies, murrain and boils. January: Hail and rain. (This date fixed by the effect on the crops mentioned). February: Appearance of locusts in early spring, over the green crops. March: Darkness from great sandstorms. April: Death of the firstborn, dated by the Passover celebration" (Davis, p. 93).

Transition: Today there is still a battle raging between the gods of this world and the true God of Creation and Revelation.

The Church battles the God of this World though the Gospel

In this day and age God is still battling the gods of this world. It is not with plagues and wonders as it was in Moses time but with an even more powerful weapon, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Though the plagues seem powerful they were not supposed to win the heart of the Egyptians but to show God’s power over the false gods of the Egyptians. They accomplished that which God willed for them.

The Gospel has a different design it is intended to win the battle over the gods of this world, not by showing them as ineffective and weak but by winning the hearts of those who believe in them.
Paul says in Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

As Moses was given the Rod to show the Egyptians the power of God, we have been given the Gospel to show the world the love of God.

Jesus told us, Mark 16:15 Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Moses task of freeing the Hebrews may have seemed impossible but by the power of God it was done. Our commission to preach the gospel seems even more impossible but God has given us the gifts needed to carry it out and everyday people all over the world are hearing the Gospel and are being set free from the gods of this world.

Illustration: The Gospel and How Billy Sunday Got Saved

One Sunday afternoon in Chicago in 1887, a group of professional ballplayers with the Chicago White Stockings, now called the White Socks, entered a bar. When they came out, they saw a group of people playing instruments, singing gospel hymns, and preaching the Gospel, testifying of Christ's power to save from sin.

Memories of a log cabin in Iowa, an old church, and a godly mother raced through the mind of one of the ballplayers. Tears came to his eyes. Presently he said, "Boys, I'm through! going to turn to Jesus Christ. We've come to the parting of the ways." Some of his companions mocked him, but others were silent. Only one encouraged him. He turned from the group and entered the Pacific Garden Mission.

Later the ballplayer told what occurred. "I called upon God's mercy. I staggered out of my sins into the outstretched arms of the Savior. I became instantly a new creature in Him!

The converted ballplayer was Billy Sunday, one of the most popular ball players of his time. He became the most popular evangelist of the early 1900’s in America. Today nobody remembers the famous baseball player but we still remember Billy Sunday, the evangelist that used that same radio to preach the gospel and reach people all over the United States in the 19He became the world-renowned evangelist. - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
The power of the Gospel saved Billy Sunday and it is still saving people today from the gods of this world.

Transition: Only Final battle is left it is the battle of blood and it is fought with the angel of death.

Battle of Blood Exodus 12:3-7

 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:  And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.  And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

God Slays the Firstborn of Egypt

In the last plague, God sheds Egypt’s firstborn blood and brings deliverance though the blood of a slain lamb.
Pharaoh was a god to the Egyptian people they believed he was born of the god Amon-Ra and the goddess Hathor and yet the Angel of Death walked into his house into his very bed chamber and took his firstborn child. There was no power in Pharaoh to compare to Jehovah. Pharaoh’s son who died because his father would not humble himself before the true God.
Then later that night God delivered his people from judgment and from captivity by the blood of a shed lamb. There was power in that shed blood by the will of God. Power to save and power to deliver those who believed the word of God through Moses and Aaron. Through that blood, God delivered his people from bondage.

God Slays His Firstborn Son

It seems so cruel to us that God would slay the innocent that night in order to show his power, but the reality is that no child ever had to die.
Remember that this plague, by far the worst of all the plagues, is also the last. God has shown his power in every home, palace and temple of Egypt. None have escaped the plagues upon their land, upon their person and upon their cattle. God has in no uncertain term declared unto all who would hear, “I am God.”

Yet the Egyptians would not listen when they are told your children will die. Have you ever seen a stronger example of miracles not producing faith? The people go to bed that night after a year of the most undeniable signs and wonders and they hold the life of their children in their hands as proof of their stubborn hearts and unbending wills.

As well to blame God as to blame the police officer who comes and warns you to leave because a hurricane is coming and will destroy you and your family. God warned them but they would not believe and they suffered a terrible price for their unwillingness to listen to God.
Today our children are still dying.

Our news is filled with babies who are being aborted, with children who are gunned down in drive-by shootings, with teens who commit suicide or take drugs until death takes them.
The innocents are dying while their parents reject God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, ignoring the warnings of the approaching death angel.

The death angel approaches the families of our land and we don’t know the time or night when he will pass over our house, but he is coming. He may not come when your children are young and pliable. He may come when they are teenagers and rebellious. He may not even come when they are still living at home but he will come. He always comes.
How can we protect them? We protect them in the same way that the Hebrew parents protected their little ones on that first Passover night, they sprinkled the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their home. For God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
We must apply the blood of God’s own lamb, Jesus Christ, to protect our home and our families. We must tell our children of Jesus, the son of God, given by God on the cross of Calvary to save our souls. We must take our children to Sunday School, to Church and to Bible Study. We must make sure we pray with them, read the Bible with them and tell them over and over again as John told the disciples, in John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Illustration: Imagine the Terror of that night

Can you imagine the terror of that night? I remember watching the movie “The Ten Commandments” and this scene especially struck my mind and heart.

In the middle of the night you see the homes where the people live, you see the lamps lit and their doors closed against the night and against the terror that waits there. As you watch a mist forms in the sky around the full moon and slowly drops into the streets of the towns and villages of Egypt. The mist moves through the streets and enters into the homes that have no blood upon the door. In the homes of the Hebrews you hear the voices of their Egyptian neighbors screaming in anguish and they discover their first born child has been slain and they listen as the death angel  passes over them.
It is a dramatic, horrifying scene but is it any less horrifying looking around us at the children who are living in homes without the blood of Christ today. Is it any less heartbreaking to hear of a child dying from abuse, a child suffering molestation, a child taking an overdose? Is it less a tragedy now than then? I believe it is a worse tragedy for us, for the Egyptians had but a year to come to know the one true God and we have had centuries. The death angel still takes lives because we are not living under the protection of the blood of Christ.


The Old Testament account of the plagues of Egypt show us the judgment of God upon the sin and false god of this world. There are many today who claim it is wrong to talk of God’s judgment, wrong to speak of Hell, wrong to warn of the coming Angel of Death. Yet Moses was told by God to go and tell Pharaoh and we are sent by God to tell the world, who is truly God.
We have the proof in the Gospel, we have the miracle in the new birth, and we have the revelation of God Himself in His Word. We have what we need to win this battle for the souls of man and the lives of our families. We are in a battle, but it is a battle won by Christ on the cross and we are here to tell others of that great victory.