1. Go Tell Israel…
16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.” ’
God had told Moses what He wanted him to do. Moses had two questions for God: who am I that I should go? God basically told Moses that it really didn’t matter all that much who he was but the key God said is that I will be with you. Then, Moses asked God who He is? God replied
Exodus 3:14 (ESV)
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
God then makes Moses a promise saying that He would bring them up out of Egypt to the land flowing with milk and honey.
Here is the picture of salvation for us. God not only saves us from our sin but saves us to something. He brings us up out of slavery to sin into His Kingdom. God did not save them from Egypt to let them alone but brings them up and into the land.
2. Go Tell Pharoah…
18 And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’
The question for Pharoah was would he release the Israelites for three days to go and worship God. They were to offer sacrifices and renew the covenant with God. They were to offer sacrifices for their sin in the wilderness.
God knew what Pharoah’s response would be. He had no intention of allowing the Israelites to go and worship their God. Pharoah was unwilling to give God three days of glory. Pharoah was hostile toward God. He wanted all the glory for himself.
Pharoah’s hostility toward God and the Israelites will be exposed through His plan.
3. God Will Make His Power and Glory Known
19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”
God knew the condition of Pharoah’s heart. He knew that he would not let Israel go, not even for three days in order to worship God. He also knew what it would take to rescue Israel from Egypt’s strong hold.
Notice what God tells Moses here…
19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.
Only a mighty hand could prevail over Pharoah so God tells Moses I will use My hand. I will stretch out My hand with wonders and strike down Egypt.
God knows all these things because He has decreed them to take place and He will work to bring them about. Part of the Exodus is judgment on the Egyptians who are worshippers of false gods. God does not make things up as He goes. 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.
This is the God of the Bible who ordains everything according to the counsel of His will.
Ephesians 1:11–12 (ESV)
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
Isaiah 46:8–10 (ESV)
8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
The Exodus account is a perfect example of God’s unique ability as God to not only know the future but predetermine the future. When God sent Moses to Pharoah, He knew exactly what would happen because He determined beforehand exactly what would happen.
God will work, do miracles, perform signs, send plagues, harden Pharoah’s heart and many other things to show that He alone is God and Pharoah is simply a tool used by the real God not a god himself.
We will discover that God was out to show His glory to Egypt and to Pharoah. God hardened Pharoah’s heart in order to display His wonders for all to see. It wasn’t until after God has done so and devastated the Egyptians and Pharoah that He broke Pharoah’s will and the King who was worshipped by the Egyptians was fully defeated by the true God.
Psalm 111:2–4 (ESV)
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
What is interesting in the Exodus event is that Pharoah did more than just let the people go. The text suggests that it was an eviction. He wanted them gone.
By the time the ten plagues were finished Egypt was destroyed. There was not economy, no agriculture, the animals developed a fatal pestilence killing the livestock, Locusts ate everything, large hail destroyed trees and structures, no heir to the throne.
Then, in the wake of Pharoah literally evicting the Israelites, God does a work within the Egyptians and..
22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”
This is the picture of a totally defeated people. So beaten were they, that the Israelites reached out their hands not to take silver and gold but so that the Egyptians could hand it to them as they left.
Exodus 12:36 (ESV)
36 And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
It was a typical practice when one army defeated another to take anything of value from those who were defeated. Couple of issues here?
1. Israel did not do any fighting
2. Israel was not an army
God defeated Egypt and gave the wealth to the Israelites. God did it all. In a very real sense, they were more than conquerors. They did none of the fighting and received all of the benefits.
Romans 8:31–39 (ESV)
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The same thing is true for all of us who are in Christ. God has secured all the wonderful benefits for us. God the Father ordained, elected, sent Jesus. Jesus came was made flesh, lived a perfect sinless life, and died a substitutionary atoning death for us. The Holy Spirit applies the benefits of Christ’s death to us through faith. So, God does all the work and we receive all the benefits. However, for all who are in Christ, there is more.
For us being more than conquerors means that through all our struggles and trials in this life we will be victorious. Trials in this life do not have any power over us. Paul literally tells us that while we are enduring them we are victorious. We are the victors not the trials. In fact, the very trials that we are promised to be victors over, only serve to strengthen our faith. Our faith is not diminished, our love for Christ is not diminished, our hope is not diminished. So, they do not hinder but augment or faith.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV)
17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,