Rescued By Great Judgment

Exodus 7:1-7

Have interesting view about justice – are upset when justice seems to take a hit… things happen that shouldn’t, people get away with things they shouldn’t. Justice seems blind to lots of things, more than simple neutrality toward parties involved. When justice is served well, we rejoice especially when the bad guy gets just desserts. Is true when bad guy is other guy, when what he gets is not only just but a precisely suited response to his / her sinful behavior.

What about when bad guy the one you look at each morning in mirror? When it is you… or I… who have perpetrated injustice on another? Changes what we want, doesn’t it! Now… want justice to factor in large helping of mercy, understand wasn’t our fault, is only one bad thing after thousands of good things, and on our excuses go. Might think we really deserve just slap on wrist – 2 hours of community service and time served. Definitely do not deserve long prison stay, no way could ever be liable to death penalty!

Our litmus test relating to need for someone to provide way to God, presence or absence of truth, source of life – God and his word the Bible. Does the Bible have something to say on this subject? What does God have to say about our crimes, our guilt, the just penalty due us? Particularly while still in our sins, don’t even want to go there – have an idea what it might look like. Following conversion, still don’t really want to consider it much, definitely not in relation to those we love who are probably going to experience God’s justice.

Whether or not we are comfortable with the subject, it’s in here… and we need to deal with it. There is good news, is why we got up and came here before breakfast. But in order to truly appreciate good news, must first understand bad news. Is what is pictured for us in next several chapters of Exodus. Are told often this portion of book is where God gives Pharaoh massive poke in the eye, shows his superiority over all of Egypt’s gods. Sure, true to some extent. Something going on here that is far more important – big idea not YHWH showing power over other gods but YHWH rescuing his people from slavery. In the process God gives series of trailers that provide glimpses of featured event: what will come after final judgment. iow, plagues show on finite contained scale what our sin deserves. Encourage you to keep that in mind for next several weeks while we consider chapters 7 through 12.

Here… God assigns roles and responsibilities to his servants; God both foretold and governed results including His rescue of His people through His retirement-age servants. Will conclude with the connections to Jesus’ resurrection.

A. assigned roles v.1

established by God

God not open to negotiation – He chose who intended to use, refused to accept excuses, unilaterally told men he chose what assigned roles were

sure would have been simpler to deal with one senior citizen, God had reasons for working with two, in reverse age order

Moses as God

Moses both superior to Pharaoh and older brother – Pharaoh thought of himself as a god, Moses a higher authority, command Pharaoh what he would do

Aaron his prophet

Aaron not the one with authority to command, is the spokesman for one who does command… typical role of all God’s prophets

B. particular responsibilities v.2

commanded by God

is Yahweh who issued imperatives – you shall, your brother shall; no mistaking lines of responsibility, specific tasks expected

God speaks to Moses

ultimate source, God himself – neither Moses or Aaron allowed to innovate, to interpret or paraphrase… exact transcript of what God said was to be passed along without change

Moses speaks to Aaron

whatever Moses heard from God, Moses expected to relate accurately and fully to Aaron – picturing how God communicated to his prophets

Aaron speaks to Pharaoh

Aaron then to take what he heard from Moses, declare it to Pharaoh – why we read so many times “thus says the Lord”

neither Moses nor Aaron allowed to put words in God’s mouth – all those who speak for God in any capacity must be careful to do so accurately… adding nothing, leaving nothing out

is also true when not using God’s words – God likes it when…; you know, that really provokes God; God is watching to see… – better make sure it’s true before saying so

C. predicted results v.3-4a

performed by God

doesn”t leave his servants guessing about outcome, wondering like Moses earlier when things went opposite of way he expected

lest Moses or Aaron get wrong idea about who really held power, God tells Moses what God will do to redeem his people

will harden already hard heart

Pharaoh’s heart already hard toward Yahweh and his people – time would come when God lets Pharaoh have his own way

will become even more unresponsive

as God demonstrates his power through signs and wonders, we call them plagues, Pharaoh’s evil determination grows, becomes more obstinate and unresponsive to God and needs of Hebrew children

D. divine rescue v.4b-5

promised and performed by God

words will not be sufficient, will require firm action to rescue God’s people from bondage in Egypt – God promises He will take necessary steps

big immediate reason – Ex. 9:16 “But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”

great judgments required by God

small calamities not sufficient to satisfy God’s purpose; besides, Pharaoh not moved at all by little stuff, even bigger stuff

throughout all of this Pharaoh willingly following own evil desires, at same time serving as willing servant of Satan – sinning grievously against God, leading… requiring his people to do same

great sin warrants great judgment – Pharaoh and Egyptian people who followed his lead endured great calamity, fully warranted by refusal to listen to true God, worship him and treat his people well

will accomplish purpose intended by God

God intended not only people of Egypt to know Yahweh the true God, had lots more in mind than that – had entire world in view… including us

“that My name may be declared in all the earth” – have begun to look at Missionary Heart of God in Jonah… didn’t begin with Jonah, God has always had people from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” in mind

E. active retirement v.6-7

promoted by God

80 years old, 83 years old, time to kick back and relax, maybe find a few well-mannered camels and go see the world, right?

not according to God – he used Moses and Aaron as his chosen servants more in declining years than when were 20-somethings

past prime of life

maybe in mind of sports enthusiasts, life insurance salespeople, and others but not for the way God intended to use them in service

still useful to God

it took all of 80 and 83 years to get Moses and Aaron ready to be useful – life experience, understanding and wisdom that comes with age and history

point to be made in passing – NT uses term elder to identify leaders in the church; not accidental, means more than title, has strong connection to age

F. resurrection connection

ok, get it that just as Moses spoke to Aaron who spoke to Pharaoh, so God spoke to prophets who spoke/wrote to us

God was one exercising power and authority over Egyptians, would keep his promise to rescue his people by great judgments – how does that connect with today, Jesus’ resurrection

rescue from sin requires great judgments

remember: 1 Cor. 10:11 “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

the fit wage for sin… singular… is death… except sin is never singular – one starts a cascade nearly impossible to stop

if rescue of Hebrew children from bondage in Egypt pictures our rescue from bondage in sin, expect great judgments to be cost of our deliverance

our survival requires willing substitute (1 Pet. 2:21-25)

had Jesus been just another human being, he could not have saved himself… certainly could have saved no others from judgment

since Jesus, sinless God-man, was worthy and willing substitute, could bear “our sins in his own body on the tree” so that we “might live for righteousness”

Jesus endured great judgments, Father’s full just wrath directed against Jesus for sake of sins of his people, then said “It is finished” – nothing more to pay

resurrection testifies of Father’s acceptance

not left guessing – penalty has been paid in full, justice fully satisfied on our behalf, Satan a defeated yet still dangerous foe

know all that because tomb is empty, ascended and exalted Christ now ruling his kingdom from Father’s right hand

Is that not true for you? Turn to Jesus now. Is true for you? Sing joyously of your Redeemer; talk Jesus up to all you meet, live so others see Jesus not you.

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