July 7, 1992
vs. 1-3, wealth of the pagan's delivered to the Church.
Now we come to probably the central portion of the word of God: the Passover. Here we have the first clear revelation of the slaying of the lamb and the shedding of blood for the remission of sins which all points to the coming of the Lamb of God, Christ.
The nine plagues are over. Pharaoh is "fed up" with Moses and threatens him with death if he returns with any more plagues. Moses assures Pharaoh that he will not return with any more promises of plagues. According to v. 8, this seems to be the order of events of this chapter:
First, the Lord had spoken to Moses before he went in the last
time to Pharaoh. He told Moses what is going to take place after
his final confrontation with Pharaoh, vs. 1-3.
Second, Moses speaks to Pharaoh telling him what the Lord had just revealed, vs. 4-8. (The Lord did not clearly show this to Moses until the time was right. Can we expect any more?)
Third, Moses departs from Pharaoh's presence in a great anger, v. 8.
Fourth, the Lord tells Moses again that, even though Moses had done great things in Pharaoh's sight and had now warned him of the death of the first-born, Pharaoh's heart was heard and he would not let the people go. In spite of all that had taken place, Pharaoh would rather face death than obey the word of the Lord.
The Lord prepares Moses for the final confrontation with Pharaoh, and tells Moses what to tell Israel and what to tell Pharaoh. Furthermore, He tells Moses the results of His final action against Pharaoh and Egypt.
1) And the Lord said unto Moses... We have developed this else where (in a MO, I believe), but Amos 3:7 tells us that Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. In the end of this chapter we have Moses departing Pharaoh's presence in anger because Pharaoh will not listen to his warning. Why won't people listen?
2) I will.. this one was brought on directly by the Lord. The Lord does not use Moses or Aaron in any way to bring this plague about as He did up to this point. Rather, all the Lord does is instruct Moses what to do to prepare himself and the people for this plague.
A) Salvation, which the Passover clearly presents, is totally of the Lord. Man can do nothing to prepare for salvation, not even pray. Salvation is an act of faith in the shed blood of the Lamb, and if any of man's works are mixed with his faith, only death will result.
B) All man can do is obey. That is all Moses, Aaron and the people could do: obey the instructions of the Lord.
3) one more.. No matter how many plagues the sinner may endure
here upon this earth, there is one more to face; one they will
not avoid regardless of their social standing or their wealth.
4) afterwards he will let you go.. Not only will Pharaoh let them go, but he will force them to leave.
A) The Lord will have His way sooner or latter.
B) altogether. Everything that Moses had been insisting on will be given to them.
5) Speak.. borrow.. Not only would Israel leave Egypt with everything which Moses had demanded of Pharaoh, all of their families and livestock, but they were going to leave with much much more; they were going to take with them the wealth of Egypt. There are many things about this wealth worth looking at.
A) Moses was to tell the Israelites to borrow.. The marginal reading is probably better, demand. Israel would demand of their Egyptian neighbors all of their precious possessions. It is interesting that Moses had told Pharaoh that they knew not with what they would have to serve their God; therefore, they would have to take all their possessions with them. Now they will end up serving the Lord with these jewels which they demand of their Egyptian neighbors.
B) The stored up wealth of all the land of Egypt was transferred to God's covenant people, in one night, 12:35, 35. Egypt had spent hundreds of years gathering together this enormous wealth; they had gathered it by theft, murder, trade, work, slavery, war and any other means we could name. Now the covenant-people go to the Egyptians and ask for all their wealth. Egypt gives it to them with no second thought. They were glad to give it all to them.
I am sure that when Moses told the people that they would come away with great wealth (3:21, 22), they had tremendous doubts. In fact, I would imagine that Moses did not see how the Lord could possibly deliver the wealth of pagan Egypt into the hands of God's covenant-people (the OT Church of God). After all, they were oppressed slaves at the hands of the Egyptians. Such a promise by the Lord was beyond all human comprehension.
Pro 13:22, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. (Cf. Job 27:16; Pro 28:8; Ecc 2:26; Zech 14:14.) God has renewed this promise many times over: that the wealth of pagan Egypt will be delivered into the hands of His covenant-people, the Church. But, no doubt like Israel of old, this is beyond all human understanding so it is dismissed as for another dispensation of time. Modern Christianity seems to place everything which does not have some kind of a rational explanation into another dispensation. No matter what this attitude is called (eg. Dispensationalism), it is still faithlessness.
Here we see with Moses that the Lord, in His good time, delivered the wealth of Egypt to His people, and Egypt was glad to do it.
The following is out of my notes in Zehc 14:14. See that study for more on this.
Judah also shall fight.. The Lord is accomplishing this destruction,
and all of the covenant-people join in this battle against the
anti-christ crowd. 2Cor. 6:1; 3:5-9; 1Cor.3:9; 15:10; Phil. 2:12.
And the wealth... As the Lord destroys the ones who have been against Him, the people of God move in and take the wealth that they had accumulated to use against God.
Pusey's comments on this are far too good to overlook. "Whatever the world had taken in their war against the Church shall be abundantly repaid. All the heathen had combined to plunder Jerusalem; the wealth of all the heathen shall be gathered to requite them. "As Isaiah says, The nations, converted to Christ, brought all their wealth to the Church, whence he congratulates the Church, saying, "Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of kings-For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver; [60:16] under which he typically understands, "wisdom, philosophy, eloquence, learning, and all the other arts and sciences, liberal and mechanical, wherewith the heathen shall be adorned, who are converted to the faith. So shall the gifts of nature be perfected by the gifts of grace, and they shall defend the Church who erstwhile attacked it." Barns', pg.455"
BEAUTIFUL! Everything that the heathen has taken from the godly is returned to them. Think of the educational institutions: Harvard, Yale, &c; think of the sciences, industry, music, arts; everything we can name will fit here.
When the Lord is ready, it will all be reclaimed for Him. Notice though, this will NOT be handed to the kingdom of God without a fight, v. 14. The covenant-people are going to have to WORK at reclaiming these areas, and the Lord is going to cause their work to prosper, probably like it never has before.
The passage that comes to mind is Ez. 39:8-10. It takes seven years there for the people of God to reclaim the areas that has been given to the enemies of God.
Those who dismiss Isaiah 60 as for another dispensation should admit that they are giving to the word of God a naturalistic understanding. The feel that they must explain these passages according to their own understanding.
The Lord clearly shows us that He can deliver all the wealth of pagan Egypt into the hands of His people anytime He wants to. Furthermore, His word promises that He will do just that. What a wonderful day that will be!
C) This was not theft. 12:40, they had dwelt in Egypt for 430 years. We don't know how long they had been slaves, but we could probably safely say at least 300 years. During this time, the Egyptians had grown wealthy from the forced labor of the Israel. All the Lord does here is pay Israel for his many years of forced labor.
D) and the Lord gave favour... The Lord changed the attitude of Egypt toward Israel. Furthermore, the Lord paid Israel, not Egypt.
E) Without the Lord's blessing, all the labor in the world will not gain wealth, Deut. 8:17. Malachi 3 tells us that without the Lord's blessing upon our wealth, it is like having a hole in our pocket.
The Lord's curse was upon the Egyptian's wealth, so they lose it all.
6) the man Moses.. Not only had the Lord made Moses a god to Pharaoh, but He did the same for Moses before the Egyptians. Through the plagues, the Lord had taken the allegiance of the people from Pharaoh and his magicians and given it to Moses. "Those that honour God he will honour.." MH
Vs. 1-3, the Lord spoke this to Moses for Moses to pass on to Israel. Vs. 4-8, the Lord spoke this to Moses for Moses to pass on to Pharaoh. This passage pronounces the final "plague" or stroke against Pharaoh and his nation, and gives to Pharaoh one more chance to yield to the will of the Lord. Moses tells Pharaoh four things:
1) Moses tells Pharaoh that at about midnight the Lord will go out into the midst of Egypt and slay all the firstborn in the land. There will be no exceptions, and not even the beasts of the land will escape this slaying. This midnight activity of the Lord is still at least 14 days away. This would be the longest period of time between the pronouncement of a coming plague and its arrival of any of the plagues.
A) I will go out.. This is the first mention of personal intervention by the Lord. Moses tells Pharaoh that the Lord Himself, the God of Israel Who has been causing all the plagues, is going to come down into the midst of Egypt, and it will not be pleasant for Egypt. In fact, it will mean death to Egypt. And this has been true of the Lord for all ages; when He rises up to take action, those who have not their faith in the blood of the Lamb are in for a terrible time.
B) the midst of Egypt.. firstborn of Pharaoh.. The last judgment is going to start at the center of Egypt and spread throughout the land. I think this is typical of God's judgment against nations. His judgment starts against the center and works its way out. The center collapse first, then all who depend upon that center collapse. This would be confirmed by the first commandment. The Lord will have no other gods before Him, and when men set up a central government to which they look for their salvation, God will judge that god first. When He does, all the rest will collapse. This is precisely what happened to Egypt. The Lord judged Pharaoh and Egypt collapsed.
All we have to do is watch the news, and we see this happening in all the nations which are against God. They are all falling apart at the center: they are out of money and ideas as to how to keep the nation afloat.
C) The firstborn included the maids, the prisoners and the beasts. First, as we have mentioned before, even the beasts of the field suffer for man's sin. This is not difficult to trace through Scriptures. Second, no one or no place escapes the judgment of the Lord. He starts at the center and works out, and EVERYONE is included, except those who He decides to exempt according to His divine and sovereign grace.
2) V. 6 appears to me to read several ways.
A) Even though there will be a great cry of lamenting throughout the land, there will be no move to retaliate against Israel, for not even a dog will move his tongue against anything of Israel.
B) Every Egyptian family will be effected, but no one of Israel will be harmed in the slightest. No one will lift even a voice against Israel to harm him.
C) The Lord's deliverance of His people will be so complete that the barking dogs will not bark at them.
In any cases, not even a dog will bark at Israel. The Lord shows His attention to the smallest detail. He even controls the sparrow as well as the barking dog. Why does fallen man think that he can avoid the Lord's notice? Amazing indeed!
3) The purpose of such a distinct difference is that Pharaoh will know that the Lord does make a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel.
The humanists hate any kind of distinction between people and are working overtime to break down every distinction. But the Lord made and makes the distinctions between people, and all of men's efforts to merge all of mankind into one big mass are wasted. God has established the distinctions among people, and they will not be broken down.
4) The death of the firstborn only:
A) speaks of the whole of the families or nation. The Lord here shows and proves to even hardened Pharaoh that all souls upon the earth are His to do with whatsoever He pleases.
B) by only the firstborn dying, the Lord shows that He has total control of even the death angel. He alone tells death where to strike. Everything, even death, moves at His command to fulfill His will.
5) As a result of this terrible stroke against Egypt, Moses tells Pharaoh that all of his people will come to Moses and a) bow down to him and b) plead with him to leave and take Israel with him.
6) Pharaoh threatens Moses with death, 10:29. So after Moses delivers his final warning, he leaves Pharaoh's presence in a great anger. Moses is fed up with Pharaoh and his hardness.
"To be angry at nothing but sin is the way not to sin in anger." MH
Great anger... Consider this:
I wonder if Moses felt sorry for the people of Egypt who were now going to lose their firstborn because of Pharaoh's stubbornness? I wonder if Moses was angry because Pharaoh could not see what His pride was doing to the people? I wonder if Moses was angry at Pharaoh for sacrificing his people and his nation upon the alter of his pride?
The next two verses (9, 10) indicate to me that Moses realized that he had just told Pharaoh that God is going to kill all the firstborn of Egypt, and Pharaoh treats the warning as nothing. Moses was angry because, you would think that after the 10 supernatural signs before Pharaoh (including the very first of the rod into a serpent which had no plague attached to it), he would believe Moses' words and act to stop it before the terrible death of his people takes place. But he doesn't, choosing instead to let his people die rather than him obey the Lord. Consequently, Moses is angry at him.
This is one of the most disheartening (and angering) things of being a pastor. I do not claim any kind of supernatural knowledge about anything, but a pastor must have a deeper insight into the word of God than do his people, or he is in the wrong place. How many times do we, as pastors, see the upcoming death in the individual's lives and their families and to those around them. We warn of the approaching death, but the people seem to be completely oblivious of any cause and effect. They dismiss any warning about anything and press ahead in their hardness to go their own way. (See Judicial Blindness, MO in last chapter. Pharaoh, even when Moses spoke of the death of his firstborn, was totally out of touch with the reality of God's word.)
I can place my finger on one family right now who I tried to warn and warn, but, because they did not consider me and my family perfect, they would not take my warning. The result is that their daughter has (and probably still is) played the whore, and they have really taken no stand against her. In fact, as far as I know, they have taken steps to accommodate her. (She has since had at least one abortion.)
Personally, I think the reason they are now hardened is because of the strong stand they have taken against their pastor and his family. Remember Mr ... in LA? At one time he was a very strong supporter of the pastor, but something came up which he didn't agree with. He stood strongly against the pastor and drug others into the conflict he had with the pastor. It wasn't long before he lost all ability to talk and all his grown children turned against the Lord.
As we try to warn people of the impending death against them and those around them because of their hardness and they totally dismiss any warning, I would say that the anger toward them for their hardness is justifiable (as Moses here when he departs from Pharaoh).
It all boils down to: First, the sinner is supernaturally hardened in his sin. Second, they would far rather retain their pride than to admit that they have hardened against God. Third, because of their pride, they refuse to admit any connection between the death of their children and their hardness of heart. Therefore, any suggestion of any such connection will be met with the great resistance and justification of the death which is taking place. (The excuse I hear so often is, "It's just a stage they are going through." This is an excuse to justify their refusal to take a Biblical stand in the situation.)
Vs. 9, 10.
Again the Lord tells Moses that Pharaoh will not harken unto him because of the hardness of his heart.
1) Pharaoh is supernaturally hardened for a purpose: that the Lord can show Himself exceedingly strong. (Pharaoh is exceedingly hard; therefore, the Lord must show Himself exceedingly strong.) No matter how hard man is, the Lord is stronger.
2) V. 10 expands a little on the hardness of Pharaoh. This verse is kind of a conclusion of the preceding 10 chapters. Moses and Aaron did, at the command of the Lord, all the marvelous signs before Pharaoh, and, finally, Moses warns Pharaoh of the impending death of all the firstborn of man and beasts in Egypt. But Pharaoh's heart still refused to submit to the Lord. Many of the Egyptian people did submit to Moses, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land. We covered this some time back, and as we saw back there, we could safely read this, the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he could not let Israel go out of his land.
Man can try to explain this away by every means at his disposal, but he cannot get around the fact that this is exactly what the Lord told Moses what would happen at the very beginning. It was not foreknowledge on the Lord's part ("I have seen that he will not let Israel go"). It is God working His predetermined counsel within Pharaoh's heart that He might show Himself strong through a pagan king.
Again and again we are reminded of the necessity to stay humble before God with a sincere desire to see any area which has departed from the mind of Christ, Phil 3:15, let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. When we lose this desire and willingness to look at anything which might be contrary to the mind of Christ, we are finished.
May God in His mercy and grace extend the humble heart to us His people