But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 Pharaoh will not listen to you, but I will put my hand into Egypt and bring the military divisions of my people the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. 5 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the Israelites from among them.
The plan of God was to do great signs and wonders in Egypt, and bring his people out of slavery.
The purpose of God was so that all people will know that he is the Lord.
The story of Exodus is a war between the Lord and the gods of Egypt.
A Sign for Pharaoh and Plagues 1-3
So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent. 11 But then Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers—the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same thing by their occult practices. 12 Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs. 13 However, Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
- *Moses and Aaron do the sign/wonder
- *Magicians offer a counterfeit sign
- *God’s sign/wonder is greater
- *Pharaoh’s heart is hard towards God
Plagues 1-3 against Egypt:
- Plague 1, water from the Nile being turned to blood
- Plague 2, invasion of frogs
- Plague 3, the dust of the earth becoming gnats/bugs
Truth #1: With the plagues the Lord was judging both the people of Egypt and the gods of Egypt.
“I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and strike every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both people and animals. I am the Lord; I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt.” The plagues reveal that the Lord is above all the gods of this world. We can either trust in our worldly gods or trust in the Lord.
Truth #2: Satan attempts (unsuccessfully) to thwart the work of God.
Exodus 7:11-12, 22; 8:7
But then Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers—the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same thing by their occult practices. 12 Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent… But the magicians of Egypt did the same thing by their occult practices…But the magicians of Egypt did the same thing by their occult practices.
The Egyptian magicians performed counterfeit signs.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.
The worldly powers were unable to reverse God’s sign/wonder.
The magicians tried to produce gnats using their occult practices, but they could not. The gnats remained on people and animals.
We can either believe in the spirituality of the world/other gods, or we can believe in the Word of God.
Truth #3: When confronted with the Word and power of God we can either choose to listen & obey or not.
Exodus 7:13, 22-23; 8:15, 19
However, Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said… So Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 23 Pharaoh turned around, went into his palace, and didn’t take even this to heart… But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said…. 19 “This is the finger of God,” the magicians said to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
A hardened heart is one that hears the Word of God, sees the evidence of God, yet still refuses to accept his Word or submit to his will. It is resisting God and being disobedient to God.
We can either listen to God or not, obey to God or not, submit to God or not.
Truth #4: False repentance is not the same as true repentance and transformation.
Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Appeal to the Lord to remove the frogs from me and my people. Then I will let the people go and they can sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor of choosing. When should I appeal on behalf of you, your officials, and your people, that the frogs be taken away from you and your houses, and remain only in the Nile?” 10 “Tomorrow,” he answered.
Moses replied, “As you have said, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God, 11 the frogs will go away from you, your houses, your officials, and your people. The frogs will remain only in the Nile.”… 15 But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
We can either believe in Christ, repent of our sins, and turn to the Lord for salvation, or continue to choose our own ways.