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Exodus 7:1-5

October 22, 2014

Were studying verse-by-verse through Moses gospel, and so far weve seen that God
commanded Moses to go to Egypt and demand Pharaoh to release the Israelites from
slavery or suffer the consequences. Of course, Pharaoh refuses and makes their slavery
harder, and they in turn blame Moses who then questions the prudence of having him, an
outsider, leading Gods people in the first place. God responds in patience, and we
learned through the genealogy last week that Moses was Gods priest by birth.

So, with everything established we now come to the next section in the study, and this is
where the Exodus actually begins. Pharaoh wont heed the natural and humanitarian
preliminary pleas, so God will now demonstrate his mighty hand in rescuing his people
by force.

As we go along I want to be careful to not give arbitrary meaning to some of the things
that happened. God changed Moses staff into a serpent; maybe thats because the symbol
of Egyptian power was a serpent, and maybe it isnt. The simple fact is that it isnt
stressed, and we're not even told. What we want to do is find the things that are
mentioned and look at the big picture of the whole story. Ultimately, of course, we want
to see the Exodus spiritually and in light of the New Covenant and see how it points us to
Christ, and thats going to be our guide as we interpret.

Lets turn now to Exodus chapter seven and look at the first five verses which relate an
encounter that serves as a prelude or an introduction to the plagues:

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy
brother shall be thy prophet.
Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy
brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.

It seems like strong language to say that Moses is made god to Pharaoh, but lets consider
two things: first, Moses is god in the sense of the model in which God speaks to his
prophet and the prophet speaks to the people. Moses will do for Aaron what God does for

But I think theres even more to it than that. Moses is a mediator for the people, and he
stands between God and men. For Pharaoh Moses is a messenger of judgment and the one
who prays for the judgments to cease. For Israel he is a savior, a lawgiver, a teacher, a
priest, and one who prays on their behalf.

Its not incidental that he promises that God will raise up a prophet like himself: one who
will speak for the Father, warn of judgment, save his people, give them a new law, teach
them, make atonement, and pray on their behalf. When Christ comes we see that he does
all these things better than Moses ever could have, and thats the spiritual application of
the story.

The Exodus isnt just Old Testament Jewish history; its a blueprint for what Christ does
under the New Covenant and it explains his intent in saying, If the Son has set you free,
you are free indeed (Jn. 8:36). Christ has commanded our Pharaoh to let us go, and he
stripped him of his power (the firstborn; Gen. 49:3; Ex. 4:23) to ensure he complied.

And I will harden Pharaohs heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land
of Egypt.
But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon
Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the
land of Egypt by great judgments.

When I was a student at Liberty University, one of the professors downplayed this verse
saying that Gods part in hardening Pharaohs heart was merely a response to what
Pharaoh already had, but that misses the entire point. It was Gods will to multiply his
signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. In other words, he didnt want to do just one or
two miracles, he wanted to do ten great judgments.

When he says, Pharaoh will not hearken its much more than just a prediction of what
God knows will come; this is a proclamation according to design. He will not hearken.
Why not? That I may lay my hand upon Egypt.

Yahweh wanted to utterly expose and exploit every weakness and prove Egypt incapable
of defending itself against him, and Pharaoh resisted far beyond what was logical because
his heart was supernaturally hardened. Moses and Paul both understood this, and each
would later write, for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and
that my name may be declared throughout all the earth (Ex. 9:16; Rom. 9:17-18). Paul then
adds, Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth
(v. 19).

Theres a lot of hope in this because we see the promises of the New Covenant are by
design and theyre not just arbitrary. God didnt free the whole world from slavery, but
he did rescue Abrahams children according to his promise. Likewise, we see Jesus, who
was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and
honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
For it became him, for
whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make
the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
For both he that sanctifieth and
they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them
Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I
sing praise unto thee.
And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the
children which God hath given me.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him
that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
And deliver them who through fear of death
were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Heb. 2:9-15).

When Christ came in the flesh it was for the purpose of destroying Satan and bringing
the brethren out of bondage and into place where he can declare Gods name to them and
sing praise unto God in the midst of them.

And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand
upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.

This might not sound like much, but lets go back and read something Moses recorded
earlier: 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.
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 (5:1-2).

Pharaoh doesnt really care, and I dont suppose he actually expects a response, but here
in 7:5 he gets an answer: The Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh. Pharaoh might
not care in chapter five, but by chapter twelve hell be desperate.

Look ahead at 7:17; 8:10, 22; 9:14, 29, and 10:2 and note all the times God says something
like so that you may know. In 8:19 the magicians confess that this is the finger of God.
If we skip ahead to 14:25 we find the Egyptians frantically retreating because Yahweh
fights for them, and in 1 Samuel 4:8 the Philistines quaked with fear because the Gods
that smote the Egyptians were upon them.

These ten plagues arent just about judgment against a wicked nation; these are a
revelation; theyre an answer to Pharaohs question, and to anyone else who wants to
know. He is Yahweh. He is mighty and in control and hes faithful to keep his promise to
deliver his people.

To do this he puts a difference between Israel and Egypt:

It says to 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 (Ex. 6:6-7)

It says to Egypt: You shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon
Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.

The magicians could do a little magic, but there was a difference between them and
Moses and they couldnt do it all (8:18). When the flies swarmed Egypt, there were none
in Goshen (8:22-23). Egypts cattle fell dead, but not one perished in Goshen (9:4).
Pharaohs city was decimated by hail, but Goshen was perfectly fine (9:26). There was
complete darkness in Egypt, but Goshen had light (10:23). All of Egypt lost their
firstborn, but Israels survived the night.

The bottom line is that this whole story is about a promise made and kept, and that
points us to the New Covenant in Christ: I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for
them which thou hast given me; for they are thine (Jn. 17:9). Israel belonged to God, and he
safely brought them out of bondage and into the Promised Land; Christ says we belong to
God, and that the Old Covenant Exodus was just a shadow of better things to come!