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A Heart For God: The 10 Plagues - Part 1 (Exodus 7:14-8:19)

Monday, July 09, 2012

The 10 Plagues - Part 1 (Exodus 7:14-8:19)

(This is supplement 4 to the #HeartChat Bible study taking place every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, 6:30 Pacific USA. Pastor Mike is teaching his Escape from Egypt series on Twitter. Click here for class schedule and links to the notes. Click here to follow Pastor Mike on Twitter.)

INTRODUCTION

This teaching is based on a 9-part sermon series I preached in August 2004. The "Escape from Egypt" study is relevant to our day as God will be dealing with a new Pharoah (Antichrist) soon. (Revelation 13:1-18)

OVERALL POINTS

The main emphasis of the entirety of the 10 plagues experience / episodes is this: (1) God is all powerful (ominipotent). The question is: How big is your God? And (2) "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward; not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9; KJV) God gives Pharoah chance after chance after chance to repent. But Pharoah will have none of it (God's mercy).

PLAGUES ARE MIRACLES

The plagues are intensifications of natural events the Egyptians are familiar with (at least the first nine plagues are; the last is a direct intervention of God). "Their severity (Wycliffe says), and even more, their appearance and disappearance at the word of Moses mark[s] them as miraculous." (pg 57)

GROUPS OF PLAGUES

(a) Three groups of three each, then #10.
(b) 1 and 2, 4 and 5, 7 and 8 announced to Pharoah prior to; 3, 6 and 9 come unannounced.
(c) First three (first group) fall upon Egypt and Israel; last two groups (of three) fall upon Egypt alone.
(d) Progressively severe; the last three virtually ruin the land.

THE PLAGUES

(See Psalm 105:26ff which summarizes the plagues.)

Pre-miracle: Aaron's rod becomes a snake. (Exodus 7:1-13)

1. Water to blood. (Exodus 7:14-25)
2. Swarms of frogs. (Exodus 8:1-15)
3. Gnats (or lice) on man and beast. (Exodus 8:16-19)
4. Swarms of flies. (Exodus 8:20-32)
5. Disease (murrain) upon livestock. (Exodus 9:1-17)
6. Boils on man and beast. (Exodus 9:8-12)
7. Hail + thunder and lightning. (Exodus 9:13-35)
8. Swarms of locusts. (Exodus 10:1-20)
9. 3 days of thick darkness. (Exodus 10:21-29)
10. Death of the firstborn. (Exodus 11:1-12:36)

PLAGUES RELATIONSHIP TO EGYPTIAN "GODS"

(Disclaimer: May only be coincidental relationship!)

1. Hapi, god of the Nile, bringer of fertility.
2. Hek/qet, the frog-headed goddess of fruitfulness.
3. Unknown.
4. Kheper(a), in the form of a beetle.
5. Many Egyptian gods and goddesses are pictured in hieroglyphics zoomorphically ("Art that imagines humans as animals" ~ dictionary.com). Cow-headed goddess (Hathor), ram-headed and goose-headed male figures (Khnum, Amon, Geb), female queen of the gods with cow's or ram's horns on her head (Isis).
6. Unknown.
7. Nut, the sky goddess and protectress of the dead.
8. Serapia, protector from locusts.
9. Re, personification of the sun, king of the gods, father of mankind.
10. Possibly Taurt, goddess of maternity, who presided over childbirth; later a protective household deity.

PURPOSE OF THE PLAGUES

God really wants Pharoah to know Him ~ in personal and intimate trusting relationship. (Exodus 7:5; 17a) To have let the Israelites go would have been a blessing to Pharoah and Egypt. Imagine what the story would have been if he had!

THE PLAGUES APPLIED

Plague #1: Water to blood. (Exodus 7:14-25)

Pharoah is on his way out to pay homage to the Nile River it is thought. (Exodus 7:15) "This is your god, Pharoah, putrid, vile, stinky, rotting and loathsome compared to the glorious Christ who calls you to repentance and life!"

POINT: Worshiping something other than God is hazardous to your health.

Plague #2: Swarms of frogs. (Exodus 8:1-15)

Frogs fill the Nile marshes. But not in these numbers. Pharoah starts to budge. (Exodus 8:8) When plagues subsides, Pharoah goes back to his old self.

POINT: We need to do more than just say we're gonna change.

Plague #3: Gnats / lice / mosquitoes. (Exodus 8:16-19)

No time limit on this plague like the first two. Likely goes on for quite a while. (Water to blood lasts 7 days. "Frogs" lasts until Pharoah picks the day it should stop.)  Magicians, Jannes and Jambres, cannot duplicate this miracle like the first two plagues. "This is the finger of God," they say. It isn't a recognition of God, but a recognition of the supernatural origin of the plague as Jannes and Jambres (2 Timothy 3:8-9) can't produce it through their magic arts or demonic reliance/source.

POINT: Not everyone who talks about "god" is talking about God.

CONTEST?

Coming to #mkbiblechat this Friday: "The 10 Plagues-Part 1." B 1st one to tweet all 10 and win 3 #FF mentions to approx 100k followers :)

STUDY QUESTIONS

1. On a piece of paper write down the 10 plagues. Then open your Bible to see how many you got right. (Exodus 7:14-12:29)

2. The purpose of the plagues is to free the Israelites from Egypt. But there are other purposes beyond that. Can you think of any? (Exodus 7:5; 7:17a)

3. Pharoah is on his way out to pay homage to the Nile River it is thought. (Exodus 7:15) What are some false "gods" that people worship today?

4. Have you ever heard anybody talking about "god" who wasn't really talking about God? (Exodus 8:19)

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