Disciple Hour: Exodus 10:1–20

The damage that swarms of locusts can cause

In the Memoirs of Laura Ingles Wilder, she writes about her life on the prairie of Minnesota.  One account is that one day she noticed a strange dark cloud moving her direction.  Then she was hit in the back of the head with something, then another and before long it was raining large brown grasshoppers.  They were on her dress and soon covering the ground.  As she ran home screaming, there was not a place she could step that she didn’t feel the squish of the grasshoppers.  

She tells how they ate everything.  She tells how she could hear them chewing as millions of grasshoppers chewing in unison made such noise.  For the next two years her family struggled because of the giant swarm of grasshoppers and according to her, had almost brought them to ruin.

Other accounts have been written of these same locust swarms in America over the years.  One tells us that the railways were useless because of the dead grasshoppers kept the engines from traction.  Others tell us of farmers raking the dead locusts like leaves into piles to be burned.

So, no one who has ever seen this would ever accuse the Bible of exaggerating.  

1.  Tell These Things to Your Children So They Will Know I Am the Lord

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.” 

So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country, and they shall cover the face of the land, so that no one can see the land. And they shall eat what is left to you after the hail, and they shall eat every tree of yours that grows in the field, and they shall fill your houses and the houses of all your servants and of all the Egyptians, as neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from the day they came on earth to this day.’ ” Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh. 

Here, we see another purpose of God.  He has designed the plagues specifically so that the Israelites would tell their children how God dealt so harshly with they Egyptians.  As the Israelites told their children and grandchildren, they would know the Lord as well. 
This is a wonderful practice for parents.  Tell your children about all the amazing things God has done for you.  Tell them about your salvation and how God has been working in your life.  Also, read accounts like these to your children.

Beginning in verse 3 we see something else that is very important.  We see the difference between a hard heart and a humble heart.  God desires us to be humble.

How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Humility is often seen as we obey God’s Word.  In doing so we are submitting ourselves to God.  We are showing everyone that God’s will is more important than my will.  Yet, for someone like Pharoah, a self-proclaimed deity humility is not something that is on the horizon.  Rather, he exhibits his hard heart. 

Stubbornness, obstinance are both manifestations of a hard heart.  Humility is believing God and obeying God.

We have the wonderful example Jesus has given us…

Philippians 2:3–11 (ESV) 

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Jesus humbled Himself and waited for God to exult Him.

This is a divine truth.  If we humble ourselves before God then He will do the exulting.

Luke 14:11 (ESV) 

11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Psalm 149:4 (ESV) 

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; 

he adorns the humble with salvation. 

Proverbs 22:4 (ESV) 

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord 

is riches and honor and life. 

2.  Pharoah Trying to Bargain with God

Then Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?” So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. And he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. But which ones are to go?” Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old. We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.” 10 But he said to them, “The Lord be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Look, you have some evil purpose in mind. 11 No! Go, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence. 

A hard heart seeks to bargain with God, especially in a pinch. 

I have often been asked why we don’t have Children’s Church.  In the modern Church when the service begins, the children get up out of their seats and go to another location and are taught separately.  I am aware of the arguments for this method.  This is not found in the Bible.  The family is to stay together.  The family is to worship together. 
When Pharoah tells Moses that the men can go without their wives and children, Moses absolutely refuses.  We will all go out and worship God together.  

Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old. We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.” 10 But he said to them, “The Lord be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go!

Deuteronomy 31:12–13 (ESV) 

12 Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, 13 and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

Ezra 10:1 (ESV) 

10 While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly.

Children mean some chaos and some distractions.  I think the extra rowdy Sunday mornings have something to do with the full moon.  Just joking.  I also realize that it is hard for new parents and hard for folks new to us who begin to attend with small children.  I also know that children comprehend and retain far more than we think.  

I want to show you something here.  God is very concerned for these particular “little ones” that Pharoah was wanting to keep behind.  Because after the Israelites continually rebelled and complained it would be these “little ones” God would hold by the hand and show them the Promised Land.

Deuteronomy 1:34–40 (ESV) 

34 “And the Lord heard your words and was angered, and he swore, 35 ‘Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers, 36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land on which he has trodden, because he has wholly followed the Lord!’ 37 Even with me the Lord was angry on your account and said, ‘You also shall not go in there. 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 39 And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. 40 But as for you, turn, and journey into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.’ 

So through the years, the Israelites did in fact tell their children.  Here’s an example from the Psalms.  The Sons of Korah a worship team, if you will, wrote this song under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for Israel’s worship. 
I want you to see something that is vital to worship.  Worship is praising God for who He is and what He has done.  Who He is and What He has done.  This is important for us today because the Church has left this God-sanctioned worship to delve off into me-ism.  Worship is what God is doing right now with me.  I don’t want to entirely exclude this.  There are times when God does a great act in our lives or answers a prayer and we should praise Him and worship Him.  However, for the most part God is to be praised for His great works of old.  

Psalm 44:1–2 (ESV) 

O God, we have heard with our ears, 

our fathers have told us, 

what deeds you performed in their days, 

in the days of old: 

you with your own hand drove out the nations, 

but them you planted; 

you afflicted the peoples, 

but them you set free; 

This is God’s work of redemption through history.  As we study the OT we should be amazed at God’s Person and His Power.  True God-centered worship is true worship the rest is paganism wrapped up in sheep’s clothing

Crazy Beautiful by ChasenEverybody’s been there everyone’s the samebut mostly we don’t care isn’t that a shameWe bring us down face after facethe inside is beautiful but the outside we want to change.We want to change.Whoa you’re oh so beautiful, you don’t need anyone’s approvalYou’ve got to believe in your self you know you areYou’re crazy beautifulWell every new year you say your gonna changeFrom the way you live to how much you weigh,we don’t want to change.Whoa you’re oh so beautiful, you don’t need anyone’s approvalYou’ve got to believe in your self you know you areYou’re crazy beautifulTake a look it’s all around youSee the world from different viewsThe way you shine from the insideI know with out a doubtIt’s more than what you’ll beIn the world’s eyes.Whoa you’re oh so beautiful, you don’t need anyone’s a approvalYou’ve got to believe in your self you know you are

This is not worship.  Remember Who God is and what He has done…

Moses is not cutting any deals with Pharoah. 

Beloved never bargain with the world but obey God.

What was it about Pharoah that made him think he could bargain with God?  Could it be that he assumed that he and God were somehow on equal ground?  Pharoah will learn the hard reality God does not bargain.  God does not discuss terms.  Pharoah, either you obey God or suffer the consequences.  God only accepts unconditional surrender. 

Isn’t the same thing true when we come to accept Christ as our Savior?  We do not make a few concessions but full surrender.  We surrender a full life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  We obey Him and live for Him.  We do not negotiate with Jesus.  That’s why Paul began his epistles with…Paul and bondservant of Jesus Christ.  It is a life commitment of consistent obedience. 
To be a Christian and to serve Jesus means you represent Christ at school, on the job, during the week and not just Sunday mornings.

3.  The Plague of Locusts Enter Egypt

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, so that they may come upon the land of Egypt and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again. 15 They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt.

Here’s how the plagues served the next generation of Israelites…

That swarm of locusts was a sight to behold.  They ate everything in Egypt.  We watched as the fields of the Egyptians were destroyed.  We still had food in Goshen but the Egyptians had nothing left.  We were all quiet and in awe of God’s power that day.  We understood that He can do anything He wants.  God had passed judgement upon them.  The locusts were so many in number that there had never been anything like this before or will there ever be a swarm like this again.  That’s why, little Jacob, we must always obey God because He is very powerful and for those who are humble before Him, He is also very kind.  Would you like to be humble and obedient like Moses?  Or stubborn and prideful like Pharoah?  We must love God and serve Him because He is good and kind.  He saved us from our slavery by His mighty hand.  Good night…  

4.  Pharoah Up to His Old Tricks

16 Then Pharaoh hastily called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore, forgive my sin, please, only this once, and plead with the Lord your God only to remove this death from me.” 18 So he went out from Pharaoh and pleaded with the Lord. 19 And the Lord turned the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go. 

We could almost predict this next scene.  Pharoah was up to his old tricks again.  Once again when things became desperate, he called the preacher.  When his life was no longer the comfortable ease, he enjoyed so much then he was ready to talk to Moses.  He didn’t chase Moses out this time.  Now Moses was his friend again and God wasn’t too bad either and he said…I’m to blame please forgive me…

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