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Sermon #2290 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Lessons from God’s Wonders
Text: Exodus 3:21-22
Subject: The Spoiling of Egypt
Date: Sunday Evening – August 21, 2016
Readings: Rex Bartley and Mark Henson
Lessons from God’s Wonders — That is the title of my message. Our text will be Exodus 3:19-20. — Lessons from God’s Wonders — (Exodus 3:19-20).
I want to show you a few lessons to be learned from God’s wonders.
(Exodus 3:19-20) And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. (20) And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.”
Proposition: “The good will of him that dwelt in the bush” is the salvation of his elect; and in the accomplishment of our salvation the Triune Jehovah performs wonders, nothing but wonders, throughout the ages of time.
The “wonders” the Lord Jesus determined to perform in the land of Ham were the ten plagues with which he afflicted the Egyptians in chapters 7-12.
1. Water was turned to blood (7:14-25).
2. Frogs covered the land (8:1-15).
3. Lice plagued people and beasts (8:16-19).
4. Swarms of flies covered the land (8:20-32).
5. Pestilence smote livestock (9:1-7).
6. Boils broke out on people and beasts (9:8-12).
7. Hail and fire struck people and livestock, and destroyed vegetation (9:13-35).
8. Hordes of locusts devoured vegetation (10:1-20).
9. Felt darkness covered the land (10:21-29).
10. The firstborn of people and livestock were slain (11:1-12:50; Psalm 78:43-51; 105:26-36.)
These ten plagues teach us much about our Lord Jesus Christ and his sovereign providence. They typified his work among the nations today in providence, as set forth in the Book of Revelation under seven seals (5:9-8:1-6), seven trumpets (8:7-9:21 and 11:15-19), and seven vials (15:1-19:8).
Š The opening of the seven seals portrays the work of our sovereign Christ in providence throughout history, as the world constantly persecutes his people.
Š The trumpet judgments are set before us as God calling people who deserve his wrath to repentance.
Š The vial judgments portray our Savior dispensing his wrath upon a world that will not hear his voice, hardening its heart against him, and refusing to repent.
The judgments portrayed in Revelation are parallel events of providence, occurring throughout history, from the first advent of Christ until his second coming. The seals, the trumpets, and the vials were all typified in the wonders God performed in Egypt, among those cursed people whom he made servants to his chosen. Let me show you.
Trumpets and Vials
The seven trumpets and the seven vials of Revelation were also typified by the ten plagues upon Egypt.
Š The earth is stricken with hail and fire which destroy vegetation (Revelation 8:7), and with sores which afflict that part of mankind worshiping the beast (Revelation 16:2), just as it was in Egypt (Exodus 9:1-25).
Š The sea is stricken with death, turning it to blood (Revelation 8:8; 16:3), just as the Nile was turned to blood and death (Exodus 7:20-21).
Š The heavens are stricken with darkness (Revelation 8:12), God turning light to darkness (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12), just darkness covered Egypt for three days, while the light shined still in Goshen (Exodus 10:21-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:11-14).
(2 Thessalonians 2:11-14) “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (13) But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Š The wicked are afflicted with locusts (Revelation 9:1-4) and with darkness and pain (Revelation 16:10), just as the Egyptians were (Exodus 8-10), turning everything that had been their pleasure to a bitter curse; but there was no pain, or bitterness, or curse in Goshen.
Š As the firstborn in every house of the Egyptians was slain (Exodus 12:29), so we are told that the Lord God our Savior commands his angels to kill “the third part of men” dwelling on the earth (Revelation 9:13-19).
Š Yet, still, even after the slaughter of their firstborn, neither Pharaoh nor the Egyptians repented, but hardened their hearts the more, so it is today. — Wrath and judgment never produce repentance (Revelation 9:20-21).
(Revelation 9:20-21) “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: (21) Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
In the end, the announcement is made that “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15-19). At last we read, “It is done” (Revelation 16:17-21), and the saints of God redeemed and saved out of all the earth come forth singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb (Exodus 15:1-21; Revelation 15:1-3; 19:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
(Revelation 15:1-3) “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. (2) And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. (3) And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”
(Revelation 19:1-6) “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: (2) For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (3) And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. (4) And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. (5) And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. (6) And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28) “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
What are we to learn from these things? Why are they written in the Book of God? The Spirit of God tells us (1 Corinthians 10:11; Romans 15:4).
(1 Corinthians 10:11) “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
(Romans 15:4) “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
The plagues God brought upon the Egyptians, the wonders he is performing today in this land of Ham, are intended to teach us
1. The Lord Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, is the God of gods (Deuteronomy 10:17; Joshua 22:22; Psalm 136:2; Daniel 2:47; 11:36).
(Psalms 136:1-4) “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. (2) O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth forever. (3) O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth forever. (4) To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth forever.”
The plagues performed in Egypt were, our Savior said, executed “against all the gods of Egypt (Exodus 12:12). — “Also on their gods the LORD had executed judgment” (Numbers 33:4). Egypt was a land of such great idolatry that throughout their dark land ignorant men worshiped the sun, the Nile River, cows, sheep, goats, cats, dogs, jackals, lions, hippopotami, apes, birds, and frogs. As Elijah mocked the dung gods of Baal on Mt. Carmel, so the Lord God mocked and humiliated the gods of the Egyptians by the plagues, and he mocks and humiliates the gods of the nations in the salvation of his people (Psalm 115:3-8).
(Psalms 115:3-8) “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. (4) Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. (5) They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: (6) They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: (7) They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. (8) They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”
2. Our great God and Savior afflicts and even sacrifices men and nations upon the altar of his love for his elect (Proverbs 11:8; 21:18; Isaiah 43:1-7). — Distinguishing grace is displayed everywhere!
(Proverbs 11:8) “The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.”
(Proverbs 21:18) “The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.”
(Isaiah 43:1-7) “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; (6) I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; (7) Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
3. Antichrists and false prophets, like Pharaoh’s sorcerers, (Jannes and Jambres) will not thwart, or even slightly impede, but shall only serve to accomplish the purpose of our great God and Savior (2 Timothy 3:1-9; 1 Corinthians 11:19).
(2 Timothy 3:1-9) “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (9) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.”
(1 Corinthians 11:19) “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”
4. “Salvation is of the Lord!” — Our great God and Savior, by every act of providential judgment warns sinners of judgment to come and gives them “space to repent” (Revelation 2:21); but the heart of man is only hardened, until he is regenerated by God the Holy Spirit granted repentance by the goodness of God (Romans 2:4).
The ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt teach us that Christ does use his plagues to convince men of their sinfulness and his own righteousness (Psalm 107). Many will, in times of dread and fear, cry like Pharaoh, “I have sinned… the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked” (Exodus 9:27); but, instead of repenting unto salvation, they only harden their hearts to greater condemnation, as Pharaoh did (Exodus 7:22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34, 35).
O sinner, does that describe you? How often have you said, “I have sinned. God is righteous. If he sends me to hell, he will be right. I deserve his wrath.” only to harden your heart the more? The Lord God says, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11). But it will take something more than judgment, even something more than preaching to bring you to repentance. It will take the revelation of Christ in you (Zechariah 12:10; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6).
(Zechariah 12:10) “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
(2 Corinthians 4:4-6) “In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
O Spirit of God, come! Blow upon these dead and reveal Christ in them, that they might live!
The ten plagues Christ inflicted upon Egypt teach us that Christ is merciful to his own people even in times of trouble. Having sworn to Pharaoh “I will make a difference between My people and your people” (Exodus 8:23; 9:4-7; 10:23; 11:7; 12:13).
5. God’s wonders in the land of Ham, the ten plagues he performed in Egypt, declare in bold capital letters “All Israel shall be saved!” The Lord God almighty will save all his elect.
Š He will save all his chosen.
Š He will save his chosen through the instrumentality he has ordained. — By the Prophets he sends.
Š There is no need and no excuse for compromise. Compromise never accomplishes anything, but compromise.
Pharaoh repeatedly offered Moses a compromise. But each time, in strict obedience to God’s word, Moses refused to alter God’s message (Exodus 10:24-26).
(Exodus 10:24-26) “And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. (25) And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. (26) Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.”
And when Israel went out of Egypt, there was not so much as a hoof left behind (Exodus 12:40-42).
(Exodus 12:40-42) “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. (41) And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. (42) It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.”
The Lord God has sworn, “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” (Exodus 6:6). — He has promised, “Behold, I will save my people” (Zechariah 8:7); and save them he shall, “by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes” (Deuteronomy 4:34).