Title: Your Despair v.s. God's Faithfulness

Focus: The bottom line basis of our salvation is on the faithfulness of God

Function: To instill gratitude and faith toward God in the hearts of the hearers.

Text: Ex 7:8 - 10:29

Move 1
1.  Story of despair and loss of faith - Lois
	a.  Prospered, had a large family
	b.  Then the communists came in
	c.  Husband was killed right away, followed by sons
	d.  They threw her into prison and she had to work at a work camp
	e.  She received word that her only remaining child was murdered on false charges
	f.  She stopped praying
2.  If you are so down and have lost faith, does that mean all is lost for you?
3.  Will God save you if you are at the bottom of the roller coaster and get off?
4.  Not an easy question, but perhaps we can get some insight into this question from this
morning’s text

Move 2
1.  Introduction to 10 Plagues (the word is nakah - “blow”, “strike”, “touch”, “hurt” or “plague”)
2.  Text calls them “’ot” signs or “mophet” omens
3.  First sign as an introduction - Staff to a “tannin” which is a sea monster, or crocidile
	a.  Magicians copied it, but had their staffs swallowed
	b.  Egyptian diety: Sobek - Creator, ruler of the Nile.  Begets gods. Appears often 
	    with the sun God Ra
4.  Pharaoh’s heart was “heavy”  (kaved)
	Used of body parts that do not function properly  (Ex 4:10; Gn 48:10; Is 6:9-10)
5.  Key word -  “serve” which appears over and over again.  
	- The Question in all of this is:  Who will Israel serve?
6.  Let’s see how this will turn out

Move 3
1.  Nile to blood.  Poetic - Killed babies in the nile, source of life.  (Nile is a God - Hapi)
2.  Frogs - Magicians replicate this too.  Why?  now we have twice as many frogs!!
	a.  Pharoah asks not the magicians, but Moses to pray to Yahweh to remove them
	b.  Heqet - Goddess of childbrith, head of a frog.  Attack on her for killing Israel’s infants
3.  Gnats/lice  -  Unlike first tow, no intro and no warning
	a.  Three strikes your out?  (Actually three strikes three times and your out)
	b.  Magicians now say this is the  - Finger of God
4.  Insects - Goshen is spared
	a.  8:22 - Purpose is for Egypt to “know”....
	b.  The land is ruined
	c.  Poetic.  Pharaoh had singled out Israel from all of Egypt to oppress them, 
	    now God singles out Egypt and spares Israel
5.  Pestilence on Livestock
	a.  Egyptian goddess Hathor - Cow that carries the sun between horns
	b.  Egyptian fertility God - Apis (depicted as a bull)
	c.  Pharoah checks to see if Israel was affected (is his confidence waning?)
6.  Boils  (end of round two)
	a.  Humans directly affected
	b.  Poetic - Soot (makes you think of kilns Israelites used for baking bricks)
	c.  Magicians now dissappear from the scene - Magic can’t save them
	d.  Everyone is now ritually impure, they can’t perform religious functions.  Pharaoh
	    prevented Israel from going to worship God, so God prevents Egypt from being able
	    to perform religious functions.
	e.  God harden’s Pharaoh’s heart
7.  Hail, thunder, lightning
	a.  Ruins vegetation, and flax  (Isis, goddess of life, depicted as reaping flax for clothes)
	b.  Chance for protection - Get your animals in from outside.  Pharoah did not heed
	c.  Pharoah now confesses sin, which makes his rebellion worse next time around.  From  
	    here on out, Pharoah is a conscious sinner!
8.  Locusts - Cleanup after the hail
	a.  Court officials tell Pharaoh to let them go!
	b.  Reversal - Israel turned against Moses and Aaron due to their increased oppression,
	    now the Egyptians turn against Pharoah!
	c.  10:10 - Pharoah’s threat - “Evil” (Hebrew: "Raah") is before you
		- In Egyptian, "Ra" is the high deity
		- This text could be a play on words.  Maybe Pharaoh is threatening Moses by
		  saying that "Ra" the high Egyptian diety has his eye on Moses.
	d.  If this is a threat of Ra, the next plague will be God’s answer to that
9.  Darkness for three days (no warning)
	a.  Attack on the great sun God Ra.
	b.  Imagine the effect that had on "the son of Ra" (Rameses means "son of Ra")
	c.  Pharoah then cuts off the only hope of Salvation by refusing to see Moses again
10.  Who is going to win this battle?  Who is winning?  Who is losing?

Move 4
1.  Why did God do these plagues?  He could have delivered his people another way.
	a.  He could have brought a foreign army to be his “arm of destruction”
	b.  He could have caused the Egyptians to battle among themselves
	c.  He could have sent an angel with a sword
2.  God chose a weapon that he and only he possessed -- creation
3.  So what do these plagues (signs) point to?
	a.  9:13-16 -  Shows who the real God is
	b.  10:1-2 - For future generations to have faith
4.  What does this say to us about God?

Move 5
1.  God is sovereign (even over the will of Pharaoh - he hardened his heart)
2.  God is just - Notice the poetic irony of these signs
	a.  Extended oppression of Israel --  Prolonged oppression of Egypt
	b.  Loss of well being, property, land, life  --  Losses the Egyptians suffered
	c.  Broken dehumanized spirit that prevented Israel from listening to Moses -- Hardening 
	     of Pharoah’s heart that prevented him from listening to Moses
	d.  Death of Israel’s first born children -- Death of Egypts first born
	e.  Cry of Israel under bondage  --  Cry of Egypt
3.  God is faithful - He is acting on his promise

Move 6
1.  Back to the original question
2.  Did God require faith of Israel in order for him to deliver them?
3.  On what basis did he deliver them?  --  His oath he made to Abraham
4.  IN the years to come, Israel would not say - Look at how Israel believed.  Instead -- LOOK
5.  Notice when God came through, not when they had their hopes up
	a. Don’t trust in your feelings, they are fickle
	b.  Trust in the promises of God
6.  See Hebrews 6:13-20 - The only thing we can depend on is God's promises, our anchor!