Peter Barnes: Exodus 5 (NO AUDIO)
(16 December 2018)
SERMON NOTES : IT GETS WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER (Exodus 5)
We are usually prone to think in terms of coming to faith followed by immediate blessing. Not here! Ancient Egyptians worshipped over 2,000 gods, including Pharaoh himself.
1. In obeying God, things may get worse before they get better.
– 5:1-2. Victor Hamilton thinks that Moses expresses this too stridently, but it looks gentle enough. There are official documents in ancient Egypt which refer to Pharaoh as ‘the perfect god’. Pharaoh loses his temper – 5:3-9 (the taskmasters are the Egyptians and the foremen are Israelites whom the Egyptians use to drive the people).
– after Ex.4:31 the disappointment would have been all the greater when matters got worse – 5:10-21.
– that is something of a pattern in Scripture. Put the following in context – Gen.12:10; 16:1; 39:23.
2. Under stress, we tend to look for someone to blame.
– 5:8, 17. The reality is that Pharaoh is a tyrant, but he prefers the fake news: the Hebrews are lazy. In November 2018 John Allen Chau was killed by natives on North Sentinel Island, off the Indian coast. He was a Christian missionary, seeking to obey Christ’s Great Commission. But social media were soon flooded with instant experts who claimed that his death was his own fault. In these enlightened days we ought not to interfere with indigenous cultures, and so on.
3. Moses complains to God.
– 5:22-23. ‘Quiet time’ is not so quiet – Num.11:11-12; Psalm 13:1; 89:46-49. Job is one long ‘why?’ – Job 3:11-12, 20-22, 23.
Do not be dismayed if there is more darkness before there is light; do not fall for the blame game or be crushed by it; and bring your situation to the Lord.