Temple Baptist Church - 7-14-2013
A. 430 years have now expired since Jacob went down to Egypt and things have changed from the glory days of Joseph that once prevailed. It is of major interest that we find 3 such “400” year intervals in the Bible and each of them deal with the silence of God just prior to the coming of a deliverer!
1. Here is the first of these 3 “400 Year” periods. It has now been almost 400 years since the passing of Joseph and a nation that once knew the God of Israel has rejected His person. The people of God are in hard bondage to a spiritually reprobate nation: Egypt. God is now ready to deliver His people through the deliverer, Moses.
2. From Malachi to Matthew, we find the 400 “Silent Years” in which Israel went from a nation watching for the Messiah to a people in bondage to Rome, a hard taskmaster. God was then ready to send the Deliverer, Jesus Christ, to deliver His people.
3. From 1611 and the translation of the King James Bible, there have been 400 silent years in which Europe and America have left the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Once again, the people of God are looking for the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We are longing for eternity to begin with us finally home!
B. In all three of these periods, the analogy is the same: Truth is followed by apostasy; spiritual freedom is followed by spiritual bondage; the majority of people have gone from believing to being reprobate: disapproved, unapproachable, and lost! I believe that Pharaoh, like others, had his time of salvation and he was a reprobate that God placed upon the throne of Egypt through which to show His power and deliverance.
C. Israel is now in hard bondage and God has sent the deliverer, Moses. This is not the message for this morning so I want to take a look at these verses and draw out a truth concerning the question, “Who is the Lord?” It is not that Pharaoh did not know Who Moses was referring to as the God of Israel was well known but historically and presently in Egypt. “Who is the Lord?” was a rejection of the spiritual light that Pharaoh knew all so well. It sounds like America to me!
D. It would take an eternity to properly define the Lord and all of His attributes even if they were knowable.
1. I personally cannot even grasp His being but I know that He is! “In the beginning God” is a statement of both fact and wonder as men have spent thousands of years just trying to understand His person. Many men will not believe in God until they can understand Him. He is far above the knowledge of man; therefore, He has made it simple to believe.
2. I am glad that I know Him and I characterize that knowledge of God as “knowing the unknowable.” Some may call that statement foolish but it is a spiritual truth that man can not only know God but also have a very intimate relationship with Him. God created man to both know and commune with Him. God made man for Himself!
E. The Bible is a wonderful Book that God gave to man that gives him a basis for faith. Some do not believe that the Bible is a God made Book because they have not read or studied it. It is a miraculous piece of work that only God could have made. It gave man knowledge of things that he could not have known otherwise: the earth is round; the water cycles; springs in the depths of the oceans; mountains on the bottom of the sea; the blood is the life of the flesh; there is an empty place over the north; and the list could go on and on. Through the Bible, we know God.
F. In our text, we find the classic confrontation of God and man.
1. Pharaoh’s - Confrontation – vs. 1 “Thus saith the Lord God!”
a. Every man or woman is confronted with the reality that there is a God. Not a “god,” but the God! This statement is not an argument for God but a declaration of God. God argues with no man! God has given to each man the “right” to choose his eternity: heaven or hell. He does not argue His existence and does not capitulate concerning His salvation.
b. Almost every indigenous people have a belief in god of one sort or another. I find that a great truth concerning our text for today. If there was no “god,” then the majority of people would be born atheistic. Therefore, atheism seems to be a learned behavior, not an inherent one. Belief in God, according to the Bible, is innate within man. Mankind automatically seeks after God because of the light that He placed within man.
c. Every man is illuminated with the light that God gives - John 1:1-9 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (6) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. (7) The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. (8) He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (9) That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
d. Man’s rejection of God is in defiance of clear proof of His being - Romans 1:18-22 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
2. Pharaoh’s Question – vs. 2 - “Who is the Lord?” The question was not legitimate! This would have been a legitimate question if Moses had not already identified who the Lord was in verse one: “The LORD God of Israel!” LORD is in all caps when Moses said His name but is not in all caps when Pharaoh said His name.
a. Legitimate questions concerning who the LORD is brings straight forth answers. Four times in the Book of Acts alone, men legitimately questioned and got the right answer:
Acts 8:34-35 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? (35) Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Acts 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
b. Pharaoh’s question was like this: “Who do you think you are?” This question is asked when the person knows who you are while letting you know that he does not care who you are. Israel did so with Christ.
3. Pharaoh’s Rejection – vs. 2 – “I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.”
a. When Pharaoh used Jehovah God’s name in rejection, it is once again in all caps: LORD. Yes, I do understand that Pharaoh did not purposely say, “Make sure you get the spelling right next time!”
b. The Bible gives these changes in spelling to set forth truth. In a manmade book, the spelling would have all remained the same. This in not just another man-made book, it is the Word of God and the spelling is both right and sets forth a truth.
c. Pharaoh died lost because he chose to reject the “light” that God gave him. I often quote the verse that says, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” It is imperative that we understand this truth: when a person turns from the LORD, the end is always darkness.
Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
Exodus 9:27 And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
Exodus 10:16-17 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. (17) Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only.
Conclusion: Pharaoh died and hell has been his home for thousands of years because of his refusal and rejection of the LORD. Who is the Lord? He is the LORD! He is the LORD God of Israel! He is our God!