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The Prequel
That video does a really good job of giving us a summary of some of the stuff we’re going to talk about tonight.
But, before we get into it, I want to ask you a question, and I want you to talk to the people around you, and answer this:
Question: What would it take for you to move to a different country?
For most of us, it would take something big to make us leave our country, leave our home, leave our land.
For Abraham's family, there was a big deal.
A famine.
It drove them to leave the land that had been promised to them, and head to Egypt.
They found a safe place, with plenty of food, and everything seemed like it was going well.
While they were there, God kept one of his promises to Abraham:
Genesis 15:
While they were in Egypt, the family began to grow really fast.
Like, rabbits fast!
They grew so fast, that they started to freak out the King, who was called Pharaoh.
So, here they are.
In a foreign land, oppressed and worked as slaves, with no hope for their future.
If I were one of the Israelites, I would have been asking “God, where are you?! What happened to the promise you made to us!?
Why have you left us here to be worked to death!!!?”
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever wondered where is God in the middle of the pain?
Where is God when you need him most?
Sometimes it feels like he’s not even there.
Like he doesn’t even care.
That’s where the Israelites were.
They felt abandoned.
Meanwhile, this dude Moses grew up in the Egyptian palace, came to identify with his Hebrew brothers and sisters, kills a slave-driver, and then runs away.
You still tracking with me?
As he’s hiding out in a place called Midian, God comes to him, calls him, and sends him back to Egypt to rescue his people.
Because even though they felt abandoned.
Even though they felt hurt.
Even though they felt isolated, oppressed, and worthless.
God still cared.
God was still moving.
God was working behind the scenes to set his people free.
Moses, and his brother, Aaron, gather together all the leaders of Israel, and they have a little pow-wow.
Like, “Guys, this is bad!
We gotta do something.”
They’re response:
Exodus 4:
It had been so long since they felt like God was paying attention.
It had been so long since they felt like they had been noticed.
Finally, here comes this runaway prince, telling them that they are seen by God.
He hears their cries.
He knows their suffering.
Sometimes, that’s all you want.
Just to be seen.
Just for someone to know, and acknowledge your pain and suffering.
The Plea
How did the Israelites get to Egypt?
Why they are in slavery?
Who is Moses?
The Plea
So, Moses goes to Pharaoh, asks for the Israelites to be set free, and basically gets laughed out of the palace.
Even worse, Pharaoh now thinks he needs to punish the Israelites for their “laziness.”
He ups their workload, drives them harder, and oppresses them even more.
Now, I can be lazy sometimes, but I can’t imagine that kind of punishment going over well for me!
Illustration: Mrs. Allan was the worst science teacher ever!
She was totally discouraging to me!
The Israelites aren’t happy about this, and they are sure to let Moses know.
So, Moses goes back to God, and says “What the heck are you doing!?!”
Exodus 5:22-
That’s a pretty sweeping promise to be made by God!
He is clearly, and definitively saying that he will rescue his people.
He will make good on his promise.
It’s a promise he made, and it’s a promise he’s going to keep!
Proposition: God will do whatever it takes to redeem his people.
It’s a promise he made, and it’s a promise he’s going to keep!
Maybe the saddest part of the whole story comes next.
Verse 9:
They had been too discouraged.
Too broken down.
Too hurt to listen to anything Moses, or God has to say.
They got their hopes up once before, and look where it got them.
What’s this God think he’s gonna do now?!
But now, God isn’t just going to talk about rescuing his people.
He’s going to put his money where his mouth is.
He’s gonna walk the walk.
He’s going to put his words into action.
The Plagues
So, Moses goes to Pharaoh.
Back and forth, back and forth, Moses and Pharaoh go through this song and dance.
If I could screenshot the actual conversation they had, I bet it would look something like this...
Illustration: Moses & Pharaoh iMessage
Time and time again, Moses warns Pharaoh that this plague would come, unless he releases the Israelites.
Time and time again, Pharaoh refuses.
The plague happens, just like God said it would.
Pharaoh: No way.
Illustration: It’s like a teacher telling you to study.
If you don’t study for this test, you will fail it.
If you don’t do this homework, you won’t pass the class.
Then, you’re surprised when you fail.
A couple times, Pharaoh even says he’ll let them go, but changes his mind.
The plagues escalate.
The tensions between the palace, and the Israelites escalate.
Blood, frogs, gnats, flies, livestock, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness.
Moses warns Pharaoh ever time.
Pharaoh refuses to listen.
He hardens his heart.
To the extreme.
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