Exodus 8:20–32

1.  The Lord Sends Biting Flies

20 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 21 Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand.

Have you noticed a pattern yet?  20 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Early in the morning while Pharoah is worshipping his false gods, go to him and tell him God says to let my people go.  

The first two plagues came from the water…Nile became blood and the frogs also came from the Nile.  The third plague came from the ground literally from the soil.  God raised up, gnats to infest the land.  Now, today’s plague is from the air.  Here come the flies.

The last few days, I believe there has been a horse fly just waiting to bit me.  I was cleaning the chicken coop and stepped out to take a phone call and this fly was so relentless I had to go inside the house.  When I get in the truck and drive down the drive way, there he is also trying to bite the truck.  I want him dead!

Here, God sends swarms of similar type flies.  These are not the flies that you swoosh away at a picnic these are biting flies…

Psalm 78:45 (ESV) 

45  He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them. 

One scholar tells us that these flies were eating the Egyptians alive. 

Here the Hebrew is sort of unique.  God said, send My people out or I will send the flies in.  Pharoah again did not listen so God did what He said He would do.  

The text does not say which god Pharoah was worshipping that morning but the god who was about to be proven false is the god…you’ve heard of him from the NT.  His name, Beelzebub, which literally means lord of the flies.  We know him from the Bible as the prince of demons.  Remember, all these false gods were demonic.

The Egyptians considered him to be able to control the flies or literally, shepherd the flies.  They also worshipped him as their protector and guardian.  One thing they learned very quickly was that Beelzebub could not keep the flies away.  

Luke 11:14–23 (ESV) 

14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 

2.  God Has Set Apart His People

22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. 23 Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.” ’ ” 24 And the Lord did so. There came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and into his servants’ houses. Throughout all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by the swarms of flies. 

Many amazing things are taking place here, two of which are the swarms of biting flies are descending upon the Egyptians…Pharoah’s people and none are descending on the Israelites…God’s people.  Let My people go so they can worship Me.

God has placed a division between His people and Pharoah’s people.  

23 Thus I will put a division between my people and your people.

God treated His own people differently than He treated Pharaoh’s people.  Exodus is the account of God rescuing His people from slavery and judging the rest who were not His people.  The Israelites were also sinful people…but listen, they were God’s people. 

This distinction was introduced to us back in Exodus 2…

Exodus 2:23–25 (ESV) 

23 During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 God saw the people of Israel—and God knew. 

There is something here that is very important…
When God said I will put a division between My people and your people, it is a very unique word in Hebrew.  The word literally means Ransome or Redemption.  God says, The difference between My people and Pharoah’s people is that I have placed My redemption between them.  There is a wonderful fact that the Bible teaches us.  We are God’s people not by works or by our ethnicity but by redemption.  He has redeemed us from our slavery to sin and given us freedom in Christ. 

1 Corinthians 1:30–31 (ESV) 

30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 

Christ is our redemption.  From the moment we put our faith in Jesus Christ alone to save us, we were “Sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). We already have the “first fruits of the Spirit” as we wait the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:23).

The wisdom puts to shame the high and mighty people of the world.  The wise men of the world cannot understand how God’s grace in Jesus Christ changes sinners into saints. The mighty men of the world see the grace of God as foolishness and weakness (I Cor. 1:25-29).

God in His grace changes lives when they accept His wisdom and believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Salvation must be all of grace so that He alone gets all the glory. “We are made righteous, holy, and redeemed in Christ Jesus.  Redemption comes here last for emphasis through the very foundation of righteousness and sanctification,” notes A. T. Roberson.  We are “Justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).  God has ransomed setting free the person enslaved in sin.

God set redemption, or as we’ve just read, God set Jesus Christ between His people and the people of Beelzebub.  No curse would befall His people.  They were safe and secure because of the work God did for them.  

Why did God choose Israel over all the other peoples? 

Deuteronomy 7:6–9 (ESV) 

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 

What does all this mean?  God’s grace is God’s choice.  God make an absolute distinction between His people and the others.  This difference goes back before anything was created…

Ephesians 1:3–6 (ESV) 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 

How does God save us?  He sets Redemption between Goshen and Egypt, between His people and Satan’s people.  It’s the same today.  We read about God separating the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats…

Revelation 21:22–27 (ESV) 

22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. 

This is the principle on God’s people not being yoked with unbelievers.  Who you marry, who you enter into business with, who you call friends.  All this is seen when God makes a clear distinction between His people and Satan’s people.

3.  Worshipping God With NO Compromise

25 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he tells us.” 28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you and I will plead with the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow. Only let not Pharaoh cheat again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 31 And the Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go. 

Moses was not about to find the least common denominator with Pharoah and reach some sort of compromise.  God does not compromise with the devil.  He does not compromise with people. 

I would venture a guess that many if not most Christian leaders would have taken Pharoah’s offer. 

Remember, God said let My people go a three day’s journey in the wilderness and worship Me there.  

27 We must go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he tells us.”

How about this?  You can go into the wilderness but just stay close.

We must not compromise with the world.  We must fully obey God.  Remember, a compromise is going backward…God wants us all the way out of Egypt.

When we begin to negotiate with God we are more like Pharoah and less like Jesus.  Our Lord never compromised with the devil nor did He ever seek to be half obedient.

I pray we would be completely sold out to God and fully obedient.

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