Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Exodus – Part 14 The Plague of Gnats & Flies

 The Exodus – Part 14

The Plague of Gnats & Flies

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

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This Document is a Sermon Outline. You may hear the full audio of the actual sermon by following the link Online Audio Files located above for this and other Full Sermon Audios.  For a complete list of Sermon Outlines, visit TruthDigest.org or Truth Digest on Facebook; for our Official Church website, visit PS127.org, or find us on Facebook at House of Faith Church.

 

 


 

SERMON TIMELINE

·          The Book of Genesis

·          The Book of Exodus

·        Introduction

·         Israelite’s Oppression

·         The Birth of Moses

·         Moses Flees to Midian

·         Moses and the Burning Bush

·         Signs for Moses

·         Moses Returns to Egypt

·         Moses Speaks to Pharaoh

·         God Promises Deliverance

·         God Speaks of the Israelites

·         The First Miracle

§  The Plague of Blood

§  The Plague of Frogs

§  The Plague of Gnats & Flies

INTRODUCTION

We took a break last week for Passover. We are working our way to this in our series right now as well.

 

Over the last few weeks, we have discussed Moses being called by God after tending his father-in-law’s sheep for 40 years. After retrieving his brother Aaron to help, they spoke to the Pharaoh in Egypt and told him what God has said.

 

“Let my people go into the wilderness and offer sacrifices to me.”

 

We read how Pharaoh at first questioned why he should listen to the Lord, and by the end of the last plague, we looked at, the plague of frogs, he called Moses and Aaron, asking them to pray to the Lord for it to end.

 

Pharaoh acknowledges the Lord; however, this does not make God Pharaoh’s God. The Lord is Lord of all creation, but God is only God to those who serve Him.

 

The problem with acknowledging the Lord, but still refusing to serve God is that Pharaoh was still in disobedience even though he acknowledged the Lord.

 

James 2:19 “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe—and tremble!”

 

This seems to contradict John 6:47 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.”

 

This verse is a perfect example of the difference between the usage of the word believe.

 

You believe there is one God. Or you believe IN (put trust and faith in) the One God.

 

Because demons know there is one God, and fear Him, however, they do not put their faith in trust in Him.

 

Pharaoh, for a moment, believed the Lord was in control and begged for relief. However, Pharaoh did not surrender to the Lord, and therefore, once relief was granted, he returned to hardening his heart, denying God’s command to release the Hebrews, and Pharaoh’s state of defiance and disregard for the Lord and His command continued.

 

Today we will see the first of the 10 plagues, the plague of Gnats and the Plague of Flies.

 

SCRIPTURE READING

Exodus 8:16-32

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.” 17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats. 18 But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.

 

Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, 19 the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.

 

20 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 21 If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them.

 

22 “‘But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land. 23 I will make a distinction[b] between my people and your people. This sign will occur tomorrow.’”

 

24 And the Lord did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials; throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.

 

25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.”

 

26 But Moses said, “That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the Lord our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, as he commands us.”

 

28 Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.”

 

29 Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the Lord, and tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh and his officials and his people. Only let Pharaoh be sure that he does not act deceitfully again by not letting the people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.”

 

30 Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 31 and the Lord did what Moses asked. The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. 32 But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.”

 

TODAY’S MESSAGE

I.       PHARAOH’S MAGICIANS FAIL

a.      Moses and Aaron obey God and smite the dust of the land

                                                                         i.      God brings forth the third plague

                                                                      ii.      Some translations say biting gnats, some say lice

 

 

b.     Throughout the land, both man and beast were infected

                                                                         i.      Whether biting gnats or lice, both are a terrible plague

 

 

c.      The magicians try to replicate the plague, but cannot

                                                                         i.      They could not bring forth gnats or lice from dust

                                                                      ii.      They said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God”

                                                                   iii.      And Pharaoh’s heart hardened

                                                                    iv.      Verse 19 says he would not listen to them

 

 

II.   GOD MAKES A DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE PEOPLE

a.      Go to Pharaoh when he goes to the water

                                                                         i.      Say to him, let my people go, that they may serve me

                                                                      ii.      Warn him

                                                                   iii.      I will send swarms of flies upon him, his servants, his people, their houses, over the ground

 

 

b.     And I will “sever” in that day the land of Goshen

                                                                         i.      Remember, Goshen was given to Joseph’s family and all the tribes of Israel

                                                                      ii.      It is where they lived and prospered during the seven-year famine

                                                                   iii.      It is where they lived and prospered since

                                                                    iv.      This was why Pharaoh, who didn’t remember (or pay honor to) Joseph, the Hebrew who served as second in command of all of Egypt, answered only to the Pharaoh himself

                                                                       v.      The word “sever” used in Exodus 8:22 in Hebrew (paw-law’) means “to distinguish”, “separate”, or in other words, set apart.

                                                                    vi.      God then says He will put a division between “My people and your people”

                                                                 vii.      No flies would touch Goshen

c.      The sign that is with the people of God then, and even now

                                                                         i.      God set aside His people, set them apart

                                                                      ii.      The sign they were His was the fact the plague did not touch them

                                                                   iii.      Later in Exodus, we will read they will once again be set aside when they obediently paint the lamb’s blood over their doorstop and are “passed over” by the angel of death.

 

                                                                    iv.      We see God telling his people to have signs or marks that set them apart from everyone else.

1.      Deuteronomy 6 & 11, binding the Word on their hand and foreheads (sounds familiar? As in Revelation when those who serve the antichrist mark themselves on their hand and forehead as a sign)

 

                                                                       v.      What about now, with the New Testament?

1.      Revelation 14:1 says that the redeemed bear a seal on their foreheads. The seal consists of the names of God and the Lamb and shows that the redeemed belong to God

 

                                                                    vi.      Those who belong to God are both set apart and marked by God Himself!

 

 

III.            PHARAOH RELEASES THE HEBREWS BUT HARDENS HIS HEART

a.      The flies swarmed just as God warned

                                                                         i.      People sometimes ask, why didn’t Pharaoh listen to God’s warning? He saw that God did everything He said He would, he should have known this would happen just as God said.

 

                                                                      ii.      We could ask that same question of ourselves today.

1.      Why don’t we heed the warnings in scripture?

2.      Why don’t we look at all the prophecies fulfilled and now that God will do what He says He will do

3.      We should know, all God says in warning and prophecy will come to pass just as He says

 

                                                                   iii.      Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

 

b.     Dense swarms of flies poured into the palace, and everywhere

                                                                         i.      The land was ruined by the flies

                                                                      ii.      Pharoah tells Moses, “Sacrifice to your God, here in the land”

                                                                   iii.      Some may call this a compromise, however, when God gives a command, partial obedience is disobedience.

 

ILLUSTRATION

God commands Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree, are they innocent if they take only a bite, or bite and spit it out?

A sinful heart looks for loopholes.

A disobedient man obeys only as much as suits him.

Luke 9:62 “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’”

You may say, “But that guy just wanted to say goodbye to his dying father,” but you need to remember, He is the Lord, and knows the heart of man.

Jesus discerns in all the excuses a halfhearted attempt to follow him without laying down their lives in a way necessary to truly receive the Kingdom of God.

Being “fit for service” in God’s kingdom is to live in the alternate reality that is the rule and reign of Christ amid the current dominion of darkness on the earth.

It is to be in the world, but not of it. Jesus commands not just loyalty to himself, but a whole new kind of existence.

We don’t live for the Lord one hour a week in church but in our lifestyle every day.

Though we may fail and falter, we continue to run the race.

 

c.      Moses knows that obedience must be complete

                                                                         i.      The Lord taught him this before Moses started his ministry by demanding Moses’ son be circumcised as was required by God.

                                                                      ii.      Moses himself was not exempt from the commands of God

                                                                   iii.      Those who teach are held to higher accountability

1.      Which does not mean they are perfect

2.      It does not mean they never make mistakes

3.      But it DOES mean, when they give the Word of God, they have searched it, studied it, and given it to others in a form that remains true to God’s intent

 

                                                                    iv.      We don’t change the Word, rearrange it to fit our society, change its meaning to appease, or ignore the instruction and warning within.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

Pharaoh finally releases the Hebrews to offer sacrifices to God in the wilderness but says they are not to go too far.

 

He then asks Moses to pray for him and his land, and Moses warns, “Do not be deceitful again.”

 

Once again, the plague lifted, Pharaoh gets relief, and verse 32 tells us, that Pharaoh again hardened his heart and would not let the people go.

 

NEXT WEEK

The Lord commands Moses and Aaron to call a fifth plague, one on the livestock and boils.

 

 

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