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Exodus 10:21-29 (The Plague of Darkness)

Jun 14, 2015   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Exodus, Exodus Sermons (written), Old Testament, Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Exodus 10:21-29
The Plague of Darkness

The Bible uses countless natural things to teach us spiritual truths. The finger, a rock, a door, the almond, water, types of grain, and on and on… God created these things and so completely understanding them in every way, He uses them to teach us spiritual truths.

Man does the same thing as well. We may use the word “book” as a metaphor for knowledge, or we might use “glasses” as a metaphor for clear sight. However, we may use things in a way which isn’t intended by God. Instead we twist their intent and form it into an idol of our own making.

The sun can reflect spiritual truths and in the Bible it does just that, but the Bible also reveals that the sun can and has been made into a false god. We rob the Creator of the honor He is due for creating the sun, and instead we give the honor to the creation.

Egypt worshipped the false god of the sun call Ra. It was one of their principle deities. However, God was able to deny Egypt their false god in a way which would have been rather frightening. Does anyone here know what nyctophobia is?

How about lygophobia? Or scotophobia? Or what about achluophobia? They are all the same phobia – fear of darkness. I went through quite a few lists of rankings concerning of phobias that people had compiled and every one of them included a fear of darkness.

Most admit that this is something children are prone to and it diminishes with age, but some people never get over it. What goes bump in the night is truly a scary thing to them. My guess is that when the plague of darkness ended in Egypt, there were a lot more people with nyctophobia than there were when it started. This was real darkness; a groping darkness.

Text Verse: “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:2

I experienced darkness like what came upon Egypt once. I’ll tell you about it in a few minutes. I can tell you that nothing is so terrifying. The senses strain, the mind reels, and the heart beats very fast in such a circumstance. Imagine living through three full days of this!

The Rolling Stones wrote a song in the mid sixties called Paint it Black. At the end of the song it says –

I wanna see it painted, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black

The words reflected a spiritual truth in the person. His life was black and he wanted creation black around him as well. If only he knew what that true blackness was like, he would probably do a closer self-examination and long for the Light. Eternal “outer darkness” is how Jesus describes hell.

He says it is a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, and He teaches us that it is a real place where real people really will be sent. But being sent there is actually a voluntary choice. He has offered us light, life, and peace in place of that. Jesus took all of the darkness of the world upon Himself so that we could see the true Light of God once again.

Think on these things as we evaluate today’s verses concerning the ninth plague upon Pharaoh. Consider where you will spend eternity as we once again look into His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. Darkness That Can be Felt (verses 21-23)

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven,

Arriving now at the ninth plague we should look back and remember that the first nine plagues are divided into three distinct groups. Advance warnings are given to Pharaoh in the first two of the plagues of the specific group, but when the third plague comes, it is without previous notice.

That was the case with the third plague of lice, the sixth plague of boils, and now the ninth plague of darkness. And so without telling Pharaoh what is coming, Moses is instructed to stretch his “hand toward heaven.” Where the hand and the rod are directed is where the plagues come from.

The same is true with this plague also. The hand is stretched toward heaven and the plague which will result will come as a covering from there as well. After the sixth plague of boils, and just before the seventh plague of hail, we read this –

“Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: ‘Let My people go, that they may serve Me, 14 for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.'” Exodus 9:13, 14

The hail, the locusts, and now the coming plague of darkness would come in rapid sequence, and so even without prior notice, Pharaoh would understand that this plague was more than a natural occurrence, but divinely directed as well.

21 (con’t) that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt,

This darkness is not explained in any further detail in the Bible, and so it leaves open many possibilities as to its nature. However, what is most likely is that it is another naturally occurring event. The locusts of a couple years ago in 2013 came in the springtime, the same time of year that the locust plague in Egypt occurred.

This year, 2015, has had an exceptional amount of such events similar to the plague of darkness around the world – also during the spring. This is the expected time for them to occur. They are known as khamsin, which is an Arabic term derived from the word “fifty” because the winds blow sporadically over a fifty-day period.

Though the Arabic term is khamsin, the Egyptians call it khamaseen, and in Israel they are known as sharav. The Biblical term for the khamsin is ruakh qadim, or “east wind.” They are dry, hot, and sandy. In North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, they normally blow in from the south.

In Egypt, they come normally between March and May and they bring in immense amounts of sand and dust from the deserts. The winds will blow up to 85 miles an hours and the temperatures can rise as much as 65 degrees in just a couple of hours.

Like I said, this phenomenon has been happening around the world this year. In mid April, the sand winds have covered much of China to even as far as Belarus which went from sunny to pitch black in mere minutes.

For those in Egypt, it would not be an unexpected event and yet because it has occurred in conjunction with the other plagues, and because of its duration, it could also be considered supernatural. Once again, God is using a plague which is notable enough to catch Pharaoh’s attention, but natural enough to further harden his heart.

Regardless of what Pharaoh will think about the plague, it will be so intense that it is described with an exceptional expression of hyperbole…

21 (con’t) darkness which may even be felt.”

The Hebrew here reads, v’yamesh khoshekh. The Pulpit Commentary translates this literally as, “and one shall feel, or grasp, darkness.” It is a darkness that causes one to grope about because no light at all can get into they eyes.

To move about with only using ones hands and feet as guides would lead to a bumped head, chipped teeth, and maybe a poked out eyeball or a broken shin. But if this darkness is coming from an unusually heavy sandstorm, then it could also literally be felt.

Reports of sand filling houses through every crack are common. The winds are so strong, and the dust is so fine that it literally fills every minute space. The darkness would be complete and the sensation could literally be felt.

This plague would carry the same meaning to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians that the other eight had. It is an attack upon their gods as much as a punishment for abusing and refusing to release Israel. This plague is to be an attack on Ra, the sun-god; Horus, a lesser sun-god; Nut, the sky-goddess; and Hathor, another sky-goddess. Charles Ellicott notes this –

“Ra, the sun-god, was among the principal objects of their worship, especially in the Delta, where Heliopolis and Pithoni were cities dedicated to him. Darkness was a creation of Set—the Evil Principle, the destroyer of Osiris—and of Apophis, the Great Serpent, the impeder of souls in the lower world. It would have seemed to the Egyptians that Ra was dead, that Set had triumphed over his brother, that Apophis had encircled the world with his dark folds, and plunged it in eternal night. Hence Pharaoh’s early call for Moses, and permission that the people should depart, with their families.” Ellicott

Although this might be a normal conclusion of Pharaoh, I have to disagree with Ellicott’s assessment. Pharaoh would not at all be concerned with a battle between the gods of Egypt. He has been introduced to Yehovah, God of the Hebrews, and he is fully aware of the promise of continued plagues from Him.

Further, his coming actions demonstrate that he is not at all concerned with an internal struggle between these supposed gods, but rather his concern is that the Lord would remove His hand from Egypt and grant them release from the plague.

22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven,

Again as has been the case after the first few plagues, Aaron is not mentioned as taking the action. Rather it is Moses who, in obedience to the Lord, stretches out his hand toward ha’shemayim, or “the heavens.”

22 (con’t) and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.

The term of the last verse is explained in this one. “Darkeness which may even be felt” is given the intensive Hebrew term koshekh aphelah – “an obscurity of darkness.” (Pulpit) It is the deepest darkness of all. It will be so dark that it will seem that darkness itself has been obscured.

The senses will be overloaded with it to the point that they will be unable to reason in their normal way. I personally experienced an event almost identical to this when I was mining gold in Alaska in the late 90s. I worked at a little miner’s camp with a couple of other guys on the 40-Mile River along the Canada border.

It is the remotest place I’ve ever been. One day when it was clear blue skies, it suddenly started to get dark from a forest fire. Within only a few minutes, it was so dark that you couldn’t hold your hand an inch from your eyes and see even a shadow of it.

We had to grope to simply find our way to a tent and then grope to find matches and a lamp. But even when lit, the darkness immediately consumed the light so that we could barely see. There was so much smoke and ash that it simply swallowed up the light.

And so there we sat, not knowing where the forest fire was in relation to us, or how we would get away from it if it came. It was truly a terrifying experience. And then, as quickly as the darkness came, it disappeared completely. The sky was blue and the visibility was once again unlimited.

It was darkness which could be felt and it was complete in its ability to consume the light around us. If that instance were an example of the intensity of the plague in Egypt, then this was an astonishingly terrifying plague for those who had to endure it. Three days of this would leave one in a state of complete misery.

The plague then is one directed specifically to punish Pharaoh the man and Egypt’s false gods. Matthew Henry notes the connection between the physical nature of the plague and the spiritual nature of the reason for it –

“It continued three days; six nights in one; so long the most lightsome palaces were dungeons. Now Pharaoh had time to consider, if he would have improved it. Spiritual darkness is spiritual bondage; while Satan blinds men’s eyes that they see not, he binds their hands and feet, that they work not for God, nor move toward heaven. They sit in darkness. It was righteous with God thus to punish. The blindness of their minds brought upon them this darkness of the air; never was mind so blinded as Pharaoh’s, never was air so darkened as Egypt.” Henry

This plague on Egypt is given as a punishment for the spiritual darkness of Pharaoh and his kingdom, but a similar plague is coming again in the future. It is prophesied in Revelation 16 at the pouring out of the fifth bowl –

“Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.” Revelation 16:10, 11

The throne of the beast will receive a like judgment to that of Pharaoh. It will consume the light and it will send them into an even further degraded state of spiritual darkness. The world of the future will be a bleak and sorrowful place to behold.

And it is all a result of self-inflicted wounds brought about by turning from God and from the true Light of the world, Jesus Christ. Oh, if the world would just wake up to the truth of what He has done! They would be spared the miseries which are sure to come in the days ahead.

23 They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days.

The Hebrew here reads lo rau ish eth akhiv – “man did not see his brother.” If the darkness here is as intense as what I experienced in Alaska, then there is no reason to not accept it as written. Even if a light was on in the house, only a shape could be seen in the light, but one couldn’t distinguish who the shape was.

It was literally so dark, and the darkness was literally so consuming of the light from our lamp, that to walk a short distance from it would have left one completely lost. The light would be totally swallowed up in a matter of just a few feet.

The only thing you could do in such a case would be to lie down on the ground and not move. Anything else could lead you into a tree, stumbling over a rock or into a small gorge, or maybe into a bear that was waiting out the dark too. The only source of comfort, at all, was that simple little lamp with the slowly fading fuel in it.

The people of Egypt that had oil lamps or torches could light them and move around the house, but it would be beyond foolish to walk outdoors without at least one or two others carrying lamps in case one went out. The only true option would be to sit in the dark, hope for relief to come, and ponder the nature of God who has such immense power. This sentiment is beautifully reflected in Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2 –

“For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
And He has set the world upon them.
He will guard the feet of His saints,
But the wicked shall be silent in darkness.” 1 Samuel 2:8, 9

23 (con’t) But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

The same distinction which has been explicitly noted in several of the other plagues is noted again here. Many commentaries on this verse go beyond what the intent is by overstating what is trying to be said. The intent here is that in Goshen, where Israel dwelt, there was light.

This isn’t speaking of individual dwellings individually lighted; rather it is speaking of the collective dwellings having light. The reason for the distinction is explained well by John Lange –

“The judgment of darkness doubtless expresses more specifically the fact, that the wisdom of Egypt has become transformed into a spiritual night, in which the night of death soon to follow is pre-announced, whereas the light in Goshen in contrast with it may signify the dawn of a higher wisdom which finally brings freedom.” John Lange

In this, the miraculous nature of the plague is seen first in the arrival of the plague at the time of Moses’ action in calling it to occur, and secondly in the intensity of it over Egypt while the lack of it over Goshen.

Matthew Henry again gives a poetic look into the significance of what has occurred –

“It shows the particular favour he bears to his people. Wherever there is an Israelite indeed, though in this dark world, there is light, there is a child of light. When God made this difference between the Israelites and the Egyptians, who would not have preferred the poor cottage of an Israelite to the fine palace of an Egyptian? There is a real difference between the house of the wicked, which is under a curse, and the habitation of the just, which is blessed.” Matthew Henry

But there is a question that one could consider in the coming of this plague. As the Lord has controlled it, and as Egypt is completely debilitated from it, then why didn’t the Lord have Moses call Israel out of bondage during this time?

They could easily have marched away and towards Canaan if the Lord directed them. In this, there are a few reasons. One is that the Lord had not yet judged all of the false gods of Egypt, nor had he sufficiently multiplied His wonders in the land.

There was another plague which needed to be executed upon Egypt, and there was yet more for Israel to record and memorialize for their future instruction and remembrance. Secondly, God is orderly and precise. The number 10 has significance in Scripture. Ten is one of the perfect numbers. As EW Bullinger notes –

It “…signifies the perfection of Divine order, commencing, as it does, an altogether new series of numbers. … Completeness of order, marking the entire round of anything, is, therefore, the ever-present signification of the number ten. It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete.” EW Bullinger

The ten plagues of Egypt will lead Israel to the Ten Commandments at Sinai. In each there is a stamp of Divine completeness which the Lord is showing as He works through these redemptive programs.

Third, it is the Lord’s intent to lead Israel out, not be stealth as if they were fleeing from a greater foe, but to lead them out in triumph in the face of a foe-defeated. Whereas Pharaoh has had a high hand against the Hebrew people, they would be led out by the high hand of the Lord.

Through such a display, it will be a memorial to them for all time of the great work of the Lord. And as these plagues only picture the greater work of Christ, it is fitting that the exodus would occur in the sight of all people with the Lord leading the way.

Darkness has come upon the land
A pall so heavy that our eyes cannot see
And it came about at the Lord’s command
Such a plague, such a burden! How can it be?

The very light from our lamps is consumed by the air
Even a short walk from it would lead to disaster
We have to simply sit and with our eyes stare
At the dark, gloomy shadows from the lamp on the wall’s plaster

Oh to be rid of the burden of Israel!
To see them go so that we could just find some relief
Will Pharaoh finally release them? Only time will tell
Surely he will yield, and in the Lord he will acknowledge belief

This time certainly we know, that Pharaoh will let them go
It must be that his heart has softened; surely it is so

II. To Serve the Lord our God (verses 24-26)

24 Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you.”

From this, we can see that even if Pharaoh was aware of such times of darkness from previous sandstorms, this one was of such a magnitude that it was surely a supernatural occurrence. It came at the call of Moses and it stayed an inordinate amount of time. Further, its effects were absolute in their scope.

If the Lord could do this once, He could do it again. And He could also do it for whatever duration He chose. Pharaoh wants no more of such a display. Matthew Henry challenges us to contemplate such misery ourselves –

“Let us dread the consequences of sin; if three days of darkness were so dreadful, what will everlasting darkness be?” Henry

I have lived through a very short span of such darkness. Three days would have been unimaginable. And so to contemplate facing such a plague of infinite days is impossible to even consider. For Pharaoh now though, he is ready to make a deal.

The status of the plague of darkness isn’t given. Was Moses summoned during the darkness, or was he summoned after it ended? It doesn’t say explicitly, but no matter what, it appears that the preparations for the tenth plague which are found in chapter 12 actually predate the meeting which is now held between them.

When this meeting is over, there is a guarantee that the two will not meet face to face again. In chapter 11, as that meeting is ending, Moses warns Pharaoh that about midnight death would come to Egypt. And in the middle of chapter 12, it says that at midnight it occurred.

So Moses was well aware of what would transpire before meeting Pharaoh and the people of Israel had used their time of light, while Egypt was in darkness, to prepare for the marvelous events which lay ahead. For now though, Pharaoh is willing to yield further than in the past. After the promise of the eighth plague, but before its coming, this exchange was seen –

“So Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh, and he said to them, ‘Go, serve the Lord your God. Who are the ones that are going?”
And Moses said, ‘We will go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we will go, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.”
10 Then he said to them, ‘The Lord had better be with you when I let you and your little ones go! Beware, for evil is ahead of you. 11 Not so! Go now, you who are men, and serve the Lord, for that is what you desired.’ And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.” Exodus 10:8-11

Finally, Pharaoh has granted release of all of the people. He has slowly had his resolve squeezed out of him. But he still wants both to afflict Israel and to ensure that they will return without force being necessary. And so he offers what on the surface is a compromise. All can go, but the flocks and herds must stay.

But this is really no compromise at all. First, Egypt’s own flocks and herds have been reduced to nothing. It is obvious that after a seven-day journey Egypt would have completely plundered the flocks which had been left behind.

Secondly, it is absurd to think that such a large contingent of people could survive in the wilderness without flocks and herds to milk and to eat along the way. And thirdly, the very notion of a sacrifice to the Lord implies that animals were needed for the offerings.

This is actually as much of a slap in the face as it is an offer of favor. He may be hoping that Moses will be fooled by the offer and excited at the prospects of it, but he would be wrong…

25 But Moses said, “You must also give us sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.

It appears that Moses immediately understood the intentions of Pharaoh concerning the flocks and the herds. There is nothing stated here that the Egyptians would plunder them, but the way Moses responds shows that Pharaoh was looking at the flocks as his own.

He says, “You must also give us sacrifices and burnt offerings…” He doesn’t say that they need to take their animals as he did in the past. Nor does he even say that they need to be allowed to take their animals. Instead, his words are chosen to highlight the situation as he perceives it. It is as if Pharaoh thinks the flocks are already his, but Moses responds to the contrary…

26 Our livestock also shall go with us;

They are not Pharaoh’s livestock and he is not the one to control the decision as to whether they will stay or go. The demand was made before and it is repeated now. And the demand is absolute in its scope as we see with his continued words…

26 (con’t) not a hoof shall be left behind.

This is a proverbial saying; an idiom. It means not the smallest fraction of something. Every animal will go and nothing will be left. It’s also the first time that a hoof is mentioned in the Bible.

The word is parsah which comes from paras, meaning to divide. Hence you have the logic of the idiom – “Even that which can be divided will not be left behind.” And the reason for this will no longer be withheld from Pharaoh. If he had missed the reason in his thinking before, it would now be explicitly given to him…

26 (con’t) For we must take some of them to serve the Lord our God, and even we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.”

The animals are for the worship in the wilderness to Yehovah, the same God who has laid waste the land of Egypt and the same God who is their God. He is to be served and the scope of the service is not even known to those who will serve. Hence the pronoun “we” in the term, “and even we do not know” is emphatic.

Moses is hiding nothing, but openly explaining that they have no idea what lies ahead when they gather before the Lord. Until they arrive and assemble, they are as much in the dark concerning the details of the offerings as Pharaoh is. Hence, every animal must go. Moses is adamant and the Geneva Bible explains why –

“The ministers of God should not yield one iota to the wicked, in regards to their mission.” Geneva

What a good lesson for us to consider even now. We have been given directives in the Bible concerning our faith and practice, but we don’t have all of the details. If the Lord tells us that homosexuality is not to be condoned in the church, we are not to yield an inch in regards to that issue.

Whatever the issue is, it is our responsibility to the Lord which takes precedence. Far too often, the world wants us to yield to their demands or their personal mores and to abandon an inch or two of our faith to them. But we are the ones who will stand before the Lord and give an account of our actions.

What the world wants is ir…relevant in relation to what our faith and practice demands of us.

We are responsible first and foremost to the Lord our God
We will not yield to you what to Him along belongs
Pharaoh, you have once again proven to be a giant clod
Would you deprive the Lord of offerings, praises, and songs?

How long will you fail to perceive what your eyes have seen?
How long will you fight against our great Lord?
From the first to the last and in everything in between
You have bucked against Him and against His word

If you don’t agree to our terms you will regret the choice
Another plague will come which will destroy your heart
But when it is over Israel will rejoice
Our redemption draws nigh, to you this warning I impart

III. Words to be Regretted (verses 27-29)

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go.

It is an almost exact repeat of verse 20 at the ending of the eighth plague. The same word for “hardened” is used. The only real difference is that it says “them” instead of “the children of Israel.” From the context it is obvious that this is again a self hardening of the heart by Pharaoh.

The action by the Lord is passive. He has instructed Moses concerning the words to use which will have the greatest effect on this stubborn soul. He has also used plagues which have defeated Egypt’s gods, one by one. But He has done it with means which are otherwise natural, even though the supernatural is involved.

Pharaoh has been weighed and measured, and he has been found wanting. His arrogance has trapped him in a web which is impossible for him to escape. And yet, it is a web which he himself has spun. The Lord simply provided the means for him to spin it.

He had offered a concession over the last meeting by allowing the children to go with the men, but that offered grace was marred by the stipulation that the flocks couldn’t go. When Moses rejected that, he allowed his pride to once again step in and take over.

And that despite the emphatic statement by Moses that they didn’t know what was required in the service of the Lord. How much like Pharaoh are so many! They are given the directives, but not the details. “How long will I have to serve the Lord?” “What claim might He lay on me in the future?” “Will He ask me to give up home or family or life at some point?”

For those whose hearts are soft, the answers aren’t necessary. But for those whose hearts are hard, the very notion of obeying the Lord in an unknown capacity is oppressive and tedious. And so they would rather continue the fight against Him than yield to His obviously superior will.

28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Take heed to yourself and see my face no more! For in the day you see my face you shall die!”

His words reflect a violent outburst which shows how truly enraged and yet anguished he was. He is literally frantic about the situation. It’s obvious that he is outmatched and he knows it. But it’s also obvious that he doesn’t want to admit defeat in the face of what is plainly total defeat.

He is like the army general who has seen his ranks decimated and yet he pushes them on, unwilling to accept that the battle is over. It reflects an intense pride which has been the downfall of many. And because he can’t face the reality of the situation, he throws a… temper tantrum, threatening the messenger of the One he fears.

His defiance though seals his own fate. Moses may never again come into his presence, and yet Moses is the only mediator for the One who controls his ultimate destiny. As Daniel says about the antichrist of the end times is true of Pharaoh here –

“…yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.” Daniel 11:45

*29 So Moses said, “You have spoken well. I will never see your face again.

There is a difference between speaking correctly in a logical sense and correctly in a moral sense. Sometimes they overlap, sometimes they don’t. Moses is not saying that Pharaoh has spoken in a morally proper manner, but in a logically correct one.

He has already been informed, as we will see in the coming chapters, that the final plague is coming and it will be that very night. The people would be immediately released and therefore there was no need for them to ever meet face to face again.

Moses knew this and so he stated that what Pharaoh said was logically correct. As Matthew Henry says about this –

“Vain malice! To threaten him with death, who was armed with such power! What will not hardness of heart, and contempt of God’s word and commandments, bring men to!” Henry

And so ends Moses’ time in Pharaoh’s courts. For the Hebrews, encounters with Pharaoh began 430 years earlier when Abraham journeyed to Egypt.  About 215 years later their forefather Joseph was taken out of prison to appear before Pharaoh.

In his meeting, he went from prisoner to the second highest authority in the land. After his death though, he and what he did for Egypt, was forgotten.

But the plight of the Hebrews wasn’t. In time, Moses was born and was adopted into Pharaoh’s house where he grew until the age of 40 when he went into a type of exile. Then another 40 years later, he appeared before Pharaoh once again in order to secure the release of his people.

Now, 430 years after the original promise to Abraham that He would give the land of Canaan to his descendants, Moses has the last encounter with Pharaoh before their departure. There is symmetry in these encounters which reveal patterns which are both precise and astonishing.

Everything the Lord has done to this point has been for the benefit of His people, even if it seems that He had forgotten them He hadn’t. And each of these stories has brought us pictures of the greater redemptive workings of the Lord in history. Israel is about to experience the Passover from their land of bondage.

But we are figured into this story as well. Christ came to deliver us from bondage to sin and death and to lead us to His holy mountain. He became our Passover Lamb to secure this for us. The pictures will continue and every one of them details the marvelous work of the Lord for His people, both in actual occurrence and in prophetic picture.

In Him, the spiritual darkness is replaced with God’s marvelous light. The surety of hell and separation is abolished and the promise of heaven and friendship is restored through His wonderful work!

Let us never stop looking into this word. As long as there is breath in our lungs, let us continue forward, searching out its mysteries, rejoicing in its marvels, and basking in the warm stream of love and life which proceeds from it. It is all about the love of God which is found in Jesus Christ.

If you have never received this greatest of all Gifts, please let me tell you how you can today, even now…

Closing Verse: “That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.” Isaiah 45:6, 7

Next Week: Exodus 11:1-10 (Announcing the Final Plague) (31st Exodus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

It would be good to consider before we close that Jesus Christ went into the tomb of darkness for 3 days, just as Egypt was plunged into 3 days of darkness. He took for us what we deserve. Let us thank the Lord for calling us out of spiritual darkness into His marvelously wondrous light.

The Plague of Darkness

Then the Lord to Moses said
“Stretch out your hand toward heaven, I say
That there may be darkness over the land of Egypt instead
Darkness which may even be felt this day

So Moses stretched out toward heaven his hand
And there was thick darkness three days in all of Egypt the land

They did not see one another
Nor did anyone from his place for three days rise
One could not tell who was his brother
But all the children of Israel had in their dwellings light for their eyes

Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said
“Go, serve the Lord
Only let your flocks and your herds be kept back instead
Let your little ones also go with you, so is my word

But Moses said, “You must also
Give us sacrifices and burnt offerings too
That we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, you know
It is the thing we are required to do

Our livestock also shall go with us
Not a hoof shall be left behind as we trod
For we must take some of them
To serve the Lord our God

And even we do not know with what we must serve the Lord
Until we arrive there and only then receive His word

But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart as we know
And he would not let them go

Then Pharaoh said to him in a manner sore
“Get away from me!” He did cry
Take heed to yourself and see my face no more!
For in the day you see my face you shall die!

So Moses said, “You have spoken well
I will never see your face again
This is the account that the Bible does tell
Of the consequences of the hardened heart of men

We get tripped up in pride; a sad, sad state
And it causes us grief and pain to come our way
This is a lesson the Bible does relate
And the message it does to us portray

But there is a cure to this disease called pride
It is to humble ourselves before the Lord
And with Him to walk in each and every stride
And to meditate upon His word

The change will come to each of us
When we willingly call out to Him for terms of peace
When we humble our hearts and received Jesus
The grief will end and the warring will cease

Thank You O God for Your wondrous saving grace
Thank You for the promise of eternity with you in Your heavenly place

Hallelujah and Amen…

 

 

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