Shall we turn in our Bible to Exodus chapter 10; continuing our study through the Word of God, Exodus chapter 10:
Now the LORD said to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart, and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine before him.
Now we have pointed out, and it is important to note, that here in Exodus as we’re dealing with the Pharaoh, it declares to us on several occasions that the Pharaoh hardened his heart, and then that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. Now, in the verse, God declare to Moses that He is going to harden his heart. There are two different Hebrew words employed. When it speaks of the Pharaoh hardening his heart, the “to harden” is in rebellion, resistance. The Hebrew word used for harden when God is hardening the heart of Pharaoh, is the Hebrew word, “to make stiff, or to firm.”
Now, a man may harden his heart against God. He may rebel against the authority of God in his heart. He may harden his heart to the things of God. It is a tragic day when God firms that person’s position that they have taken. That’s what God did for the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh had hardened his heart against God, and now, you want to harden your heart, that’s the position you want to take, I’ll give you stiffness in that position. I’ll strengthen that position of hardness. And so, God is speaking now of strengthening the condition that existed.
A lot of times, people think, “Well, God isn’t fair. God hardens a guy’s heart and then He beats him up because he has a hard heart.” And that doesn’t sound like it’s fair if God would harden a man’s heart, and then punish him because he has a hard heart. It began with Pharaoh hardening his heart. Now God is confirming, or making stiff that position, in order that God might show the greatness of His power in the deliverance of His people.
Now, the purpose that God is showing His power in the destroying of the Egyptians, is that in the future,
you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son, the mighty things that I have done in Egypt, and my sign which I have done among them; that ye may know that I am JEHOVAH.
Now, the Pharaoh had said, “Who is JEHOVAH that I should obey Him?” He is learning who Jehovah is, but it’s important that the people themselves know who Jehovah is; and God is demonstrating His mighty power now against the Egyptians, in order that they might in the generations to come pass along to their children, to the children’s children, the greatness of the God that they serve.
It seems that, as we look at history, history is marked by periods of spiritual awakening and spiritual decline. Such was the case of the nation of Israel. There would be times of tremendous spiritual strengthening, which would be followed by a total, overall strengthening of the national position; a prosperity. But then it seems that there was a pattern that developed as they became prosperous and successful. They began to look at their property as the result of their own efforts, their own genius, and they would forget God in their prosperity. They would become so involved in the material things, that God was just sort of edged out of their lives; and that would then bring about a period of spiritual decline, and with the spiritual decline, the weakening of the nation; their falling before their enemies, their being oppressed, impoverished, and then in their poverty and all, calling upon God, seeking the Lord, a time of spiritual awakening, God would move in their midst, and it was just a yo-yo all the time.
And it seems that this pattern not only was endemic to the children of Israel through their history, and we’ll especially notice it as we get into the book of Judges, but is something that also happens in the church; that there will be a time of spiritual awakening, god will work in a marvelous way. God will raise up an instrument, and through that instrument, God will move in the hearts and lives of people, and there will be a tremendous spiritual awakening. And the hearts of the people are after God, and seeking the Lord, and there’s the love and there’s the warmth, and there is the excitement of God working. And with it comes the blessings: spiritual, material; but there is always that danger in the time of blessing of forgetting the Lord. And so, God is wanting to do some marvelous things for His people, so that they will be able to pass it on to their sons, that it won’t die with this generation.
For years, it has been a fear in my own heart that this marvelous work of God that we have seen accomplished here at Calvary Chapel in the last 20 years; and this Sunday, I think it is, we celebrate our 20th year here; and God has done marvelous things. And there have been many times, as we have seen this tremendous revival and spiritual awakening, that in those quiet times, I have wondered what will happen after I’m gone: knowing history, knowing the history of the church, knowing how God has raised up leaders, and after their death, there seems to be sort of a desire to organize, and a desire to methodize the things that God has done, and to develop, you know, a program, and to lose that spontaneity of the Spirit. And I’ve wondered, you know, if the Lord should take me, what will happen to the work that God has begun here? Will this be just again one of those things of history. In time, should the Lord tarry, will they record this as just another spiritual awakening that died out? And you can read the church history; the spiritual awakening in Wales, the spiritual awakening in South Africa, the spiritual awakening here and there, and New England and so forth; and they’ll come along for awhile, blessed mightily of God, and then they all sort of just fade out.
One of the greatest encouragement's to my own heart is the young men that God is using: the Mike MacIntosh’s, the Raul Ries’s, the Greg Laurie’s, the Jeff Johnson’s, the Wayne Taylor’s, the Jon Courson’s, the Brian Brodersen’s; to see God raising up these young men, and to see them establishing powerful, dynamic churches in other communities. Jon Courson, up there in Applegate, Oregon; a little area of a population of about 900 people, and he has over 3,000 in his Sunday morning services. Mighty awakening of God. People coming from all over the hills, and the woods, and all: to worship the Lord on Sunday with Jon. But not only Jon; there in Medford, Guy Gray, and then with Rick Boya, who was on our staff here: there in Eagles Point, Oregon, wherever that is. Again, a little community of about 300 people, and they have over 800 on Sunday morning services. And so, that encourages my heart. At least, it is being passed onto our sons; but God wants it to be perpetuated, that we are able to tell our son’s sons the things that God has done, to see it go into the next generation.
Had an interesting experience last year when we took the two oldest grandchildren to Israel and to Rome with us. We had taken a trip down to Pompeii; it was a tiring experience, it was a long day; we left early in the morning and we got back late in the evening. And so, as we came into the lobby of the hotel, I asked my grandson if he had the key for his room. And he was tired and grumpy, and instead of answering me, he just sort of mumbled. I said, “Well, do you have the key, or is it at the desk?” And my granddaughter, she just sort of mumbled too, and so we trudged up the two flights of stairs to their room, and so we stood at the door, and I said, “Where’s the key?” And then he finally mumbled intelligibly enough to understand, “It’s down at the desk.” And I said, “Well, why didn’t you tell Gramps it was down at the desk when we were downstairs?” But I said, “I’ll run down and get it.” So I ran down the two flights of stairs, got the key, and ran back up and opened their room, and we tucked them into bed, and went on up to the room.
And as I got my pajamas on, the phone rang. And my Grandson was on the phone, and he was crying, and he said, “Grandpa, I’ve got talk to you.” I said, “OK, honey, we’ll have breakfast together in the morning.” “No, Grandpa, I’ve got to talk to you tonight.” I said, “Well, I’ve got my pajamas on, I’m already in bed. He said, “I’ve got to talk to you tonight, Grandpa.” So I put my clothes on, and went downstairs to their room, and he was there sort of sobbing, and he said, “I don’t want you to die, Grandpa.” I said, “Well, what makes you think Grandpa’s going to die?” He said, “Well, you had to run downstairs to get my key, and all;” he said, “you might have a heart attack,” you know, “and I don’t want you to die.” And I said, “Well, honey, I don’t think Grandpa’s going to die for awhile.” I said, “The Lord is still using me, and I don’t think He’s through with me, yet. And so, I don’t think I’m going to die for awhile.” “Well, I don’t want you to die, Grandpa.” I said, “Well, I don’t think I am for awhile; don’t worry about it.” And I said, “I’ve got to keep the church long enough for you to grow up and take over.” My son’s son.
Oh, that we will be able to pass it on to the next generation. Oh, that it won’t stop, but will go on, and can be passed on, and can be translated and transmitted. I’m thrilled that we are seeing it translated into the next generation now, our sons; but I will not be fully satisfied until I can see it in our son’s sons.
And I said, “Someday, maybe I can sit in Calvary Chapel and listen to you preach.” He said, “Well, I still don’t want you do die even then, Grandpa.” I said, “Well then I’ll want to stay around and enjoy you, and hearing you minister the Word of God.”
But oh, how the prayer of my heart is that we might be able to see that work of God passed on to our children, and to our grandchildren, and on down into the next generations. It’s a rarity; it would be sort of unparalleled as far as I know in the history of the church. But oh, how I pray that if the Lord should tarry, we might see it.
It is always God’s desire that the work of God be perpetuated in the minds of the people; that marvelous work that God has done. But the key to it is the freshness of the work of God. It’s always a sad and tragic day when we look back and say, “Oh, well back in the days of...” God wants to keep His work fresh and alive within our hearts tonight, today; and that freshness of God’s work. And that’s, to me, the exciting thing, is that, you know, rather than looking for a soft place to sit down and say, “Well, we’ve attained, you know, after all, look at the success we have, let’s just, you know, sit back and enjoy what God has done.” Be careful when you start talking about what God has done, and you’re not excited about what God is doing, or what God might do next week.
That’s why I’m excited about the potential of maybe a TV station. Who knows what God might want to do. You say, “OOOOOOOOOOOh, can’t sell the conference center; myyyyyyy, oh no, you can’t do that.” You know, you’re limiting God, maybe He wants to have a full blown facility, 550 acres with everything. Beautiful Mt. Palomar; no smog, and lakes of our own, and everything else. There are three running streams through this property, and two lakes already; plans for a third 10 acre lake. Who knows what God might want to do? “Oh, but God gave us the conference center, you know, it’s been so great, God did a marvelous work.” Yeah, but maybe He wants to do something even greater. You know, it’s a tragic day when we start building the memorials and saying, “This is a memory of what God has done.” You know, that’s sort of a sad indictment when you start looking to the past instead of seeing the hand of God at work today.
Oh, what a thrill to see how God still works in peoples hearts; how God still draws people by His Holy Spirit. We had a very interesting experience just this last week that Kay’s going to share with the women next Friday. I haven’t been given the liberty to share it, yet. But it’s one of those wonderful things where God’s Spirit just worked. It’s just, you know, as the Scripture said, “Salvation is of the LORD,” and when God’s Spirit just ripens a persons heart for the receiving of Jesus Christ, it’s just a thrill to behold. And God help us that we never get to the place of memorials. This is in memory of what God did. But that work of God will always be so fresh, so vibrant, so alive, that we see it continuing. I’m glad to see us developing new areas constantly.
We just finished taping “Hi Tops” and now it’s being edited. I’m thrilled that we can move into new areas of productions like videos, and so forth, in presenting good, quality training and entertaining, through training, through entertaining; actually, such as “Hi Tops.” We produced the film “Fury to Freedom;” I’m glad that we have the opportunity to enter into new areas, new fields. I don’t want to become stagnant. I don’t want to get into a rut. I want to always be open to what God might be wanting to do next; and not say, “Well, this has never been done before,” or “We’ve never tried, well, you know, the church has never done anything like that.” Well, maybe it’s time we do. Let’s not get in any kind of a fixed pattern where we can’t be open to what God might be wanting to do at this time for this generation.
For God does marvelous things, and we never need, and, we don’t want to forget the past, we don’t want to neglect what God has done, and the relating of what God has done; but only for the encouragement of, “God can do it now.” It is never that God did it then, and He’s not interested in doing it anymore; but it’s only to encourage them that what God has done, He will do, He can do; and if we trust in Him, we can see that continuing power of God and work of God in our midst.
So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and said to him, Thus says JEHOVAH God of the Hebrews, How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me. So God is giving, now, a demand upon the Pharaoh. And it’s really a threat: Or else, if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory; and they shall cover the face of the earth, so that no one will be able to see the earth; they’ll eat the residue of what is left, which remains to you from the hail, they shall eat every tree which grows up; they shall fill your houses, the houses of your servants, and all of the Egyptians; it’ll be a greater plague of locust than any of your fathers have ever seen, since the time that Egypt existed as a nation unto the present. And he turned out, and went from Pharaoh.
He just came in and said, “Look, this is it, buddy, you let ‘em go, or you’ve had it. Tomorrow the locusts come in, and they’re going to take care of whatever was not destroyed by the hail.”
So Moses and Aaron were brought back to the Pharaoh; He thought it over, and he brought them back in, and He said to them, All right, go ahead and serve you LORD; but who’s going to go with you? And Moses said, We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we will go; for we must hold a feast to JEHOVAH. Everybody’s going. And he said to them, The LORD had better be with you when I let you and your little ones go; In other words, “God help you - if you don’t try to take your little ones with you. Beware, for evil is ahead of you. Not so; you that are men, you can go out and serve the LORD; for that’s what you desire. And so they were driven from Pharaoh’s presence.
Pharaoh was offering here now a compromise, “Look, you guys want to go, go ahead and go, but leave your children here. Don’t make your children experience the rigors of that wilderness area. Don’t deprive them of the luxuries and the ease of Egypt. If you want to go out there yourself, go ahead, but, man, don’t drag your kids into that.”
So often, Satan is offering compromises. “If you want to sacrifice and serve the Lord, that’s one thing, but don’t force this on your children.” If you want to make a total commitment to Jesus Christ, that’s fine, but don’t force your kids to be different. You know, go ahead and let them listen to the music. Don’t deprive them, don’t make them oddballs among their friends. Let them go to the movies, let them see the videos. Don’t make them to be discriminated against by their peers because they want to serve the Lord, or because they have to go to church. Horrible compromise; because if my children did not love the Lord and serve the Lord; if my children were not with me in God’s eternal kingdom; if my children were lost, I could not enjoy my own salvation nearly as much if my children weren’t with me. I thank God that we were able to pass on to our children that faith in Jesus Christ. I thank God for my parents who founded it in my heart, for their consistency of their faith, for what they planted in my life, and I’m thrilled that we were able to pass it on to our children.
And last night as we were coming home in the van from the airport, we had four of our Grandchildren with us in the van, and they were taking turns singing songs. And I was thrilled when my little two-year-old granddaughter sang that song; “I’m going to make a recipe, I just can’t wait to start; not the kind you serve at home, you make it in your heart.” Sang that whole song through; two years old. And my heart was thrilled to hear her singing. My little grandson, two years old, then it was his turn, and he sang, “If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be the servant of all.” Beautiful. I never heard more glorious singing in all my life, as one by one the grandchildren sang songs of praise unto the Lord. Oh, what a thrill, Lord.
But Satan so often says, “Hey, don’t force it on your kids, let them make their own, you know, let them determine for themselves.” I believe that we should bring every godly influence into their life as long as we can; and surround them with godly influences. That’s one reason why I’m so anxious to get into the development of good videos. My kids, my grand kids watch; we have a video of “Hi Tops” already, it’s not the professional one that we’re doing; but my two-year-old and four-year-old grand kids can sing practically every song in “Hi Tops.”
Now, my little Grandson also talks about Voltron, or something, and his sword, and he says, “POWER!”, you know, and he had a Voltron sword and shield. But now that “Hi Tops” is there, and he’s been watching it; “I’m going to take up my sword and fight,” you know; and now he sings that “High Tops” song with his sword and shield, you know, “until all of my enemies, ALL of my enemies yield,” and they go through the whole routine. My little four-year-old granddaughter can do that line, “Stand back, slow down, I love you, I love you, but you’re never going to win me this way,” and I mean, she just, she’s outstanding.
Oh, that we can plant this in the minds of our children; that this will be the kind of environment and the kind of lyrics and the kind of music that they are singing. I’m anxious to develop everything we can for these children, because God knows they’re facing horrendous pressure from the other direction. With all the media being blasted at them, we need to give something that will counterbalance, and something that will build, and be beneficial rather than tearing down.
“Go, but let your children stay. No way. We’re either going to go all of us, or we’re not going to go.”
So they were driven from Pharaoh’s presence. And the LORD said to Moses, “OK, stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt, and eat up every vegetable in the land, all that has been left from the hail. So Moses stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt. The LORD brought an east wind all that day, all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, rested on all the territory of Egypt; they were very severe; previously there had not been such a plague of locusts, nor will there be such after them; for they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened. They ate every vegetable of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left; so there remained nothing green on the trees, or the plants of the field, throughout all the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and said, I have sinned against the LORD, JEHOVAH your God, and against you. Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and pray the LORD your God, or JEHOVAH your God, that he may take away from me this death.
He realized that locusts can continue, they’re going to destroy everything and bring death upon Egypt.
Notice the confession, “I have sinned against God.” There is a confession of sin that is not to salvation. It’s just an acknowledgment; and a lot of times a person is brought to an acknowledgment of his guilt, or his sin: “I’ve sinned, I’m a sinner.” There’s got to be repentance, and repentance is a change. There is a sorrow, but sorrow is not always repentance. Sorrow, godly sorrow, can lead to repentance, but it’s not repentance itself.
I would imagine if you took a poll at San Quentin or Solodad, you’d find, if you went through with a poll, “Are you sorry?”, they’d all say, “Yeah, I’m sorry.” But if you then continued to probe, and, well, “What are you sorry about?” “Well, I’m sorry I go caught.” Not so sorry that I did it as much as I got caught doing it. There is a sorrow, there is a confession that is not really to salvation. “I’m a sinner, I’ve sinned against God,” and you pray for me, but there’s no change of life, there’s no change of heart, and repentance involves change. When there is true repentance, the word repentance itself means change. I don’t do it anymore. Godly sorrow will lead you to a real change, to a real repentance.
And so, Pharaoh is confessing his sin, and he’s asking for prayer, but he’s not saved. There are a lot of people they want prayer to get out of their calamity, but they really don’t want God. They don’t want to submit to the lordship of God. I’m in a jam, pray for me. My life’s a mess, pray for me. Not pray that I might change and serve the Lord, but pray I’ll get out of my mess so I can make another one, so I can still do my own thing. I have sinned against you and against the Lord, pray to the Lord, get rid of these things.”
So they went out from Pharaoh, and prayed to the LORD. And the LORD turned the wind around, and it began to blow from he west, and it blew all these locusts into the Red Sea; and they were destroyed. But the LORD made firm Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go. And so, without warning, the ninth plague. The LORD said to Moses, Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be a darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.
So dark that you can almost feel it. Have you ever been in total darkness? It’s a very awesome thing. It’s rare to be able to find a place of total darkness. Years ago when I was just a little fellow, we took a vacation up into Oregon, and we went into the Oregon caves, and when we got way down into the caves, the ranger who was conducting the tour said, “We are now going to turn out the lights, and you are going to experience total darkness.” And even as a child I was tremendously impressed by total darkness; I still remember the feeling of total darkness. It’s something quite ominous; something like you’ve never felt before when you are in total darkness. And it is something that you can almost feel. It has an ominous feeling to it, that total darkness. And I can remember waving my hand in front of my face to see if I could pick up anything, or something; and absolutely nothing, just total darkness. And you can almost feel it; and this is the kind of darkness that God brought onto Egypt.
So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days.
Now, there are those who try to give scientific reasons for this, and one of them is the eruption of the volcano on the Greek island of Theron; and that like the darkness that covered the Pacific Northwest recently when Mt. St. Helen’s erupted, and at noon you had to have your car lights on to navigate the cities there in Tacoma and all; you had to have your car lights on because it was so dark at noon. And so, they try to give natural phenomena; and God could have used a volcanic eruption, I’m not saying that isn’t what caused it.
Emanuel Vilikovsky, in his book, Worlds in Collision and Ages in Chaos, tries to relate this to a phenomenon that took place about that time in history, according to his theory, of the introduction of a planet Venus into our solar system, which he felt was once a comet, and that we were passing into the tail of that comet, and it’s first near miss of the earth; and as we pass deeper into the tail of the comet, the debris and all, the hail, and then this fine dust and all, which made it dark. There are, well now, let’s see, the darkness, he believes that, actually, we came so close to colliding with Venus that the earth actually stopped it’s rotation, and so it just remained dark for three days.
And he may have something, I don’t, God can use natural phenomena, but the difficulty of these theories is that there was light in the area where Israel dwelt. And how God was able to pull that off, with the dust of the volcano landing only on the Egyptians, and not among the Israelis, was just as great a miracle. So if you’re trying to sort of, you know, naturalize the miracles of God, you’re going to be in trouble. You can’t take the miraculous out without destroying it somewhere along the logic.
But the Egyptians, so dark they didn’t see each other, they didn’t even get out of bed for three days; but the children of Israel had light in their dwellings where they were dwelling. And then Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, God serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herd be kept back;
So another compromise. ‘Go ahead and serve God; but you know, don’t take of your substance for God. Leave your substance. Don’t serve God with everything you have. And go ahead, take your little ones with you, but let the flocks and the herds be kept back.’
But Moses said, We’ve got to take our flocks with us, when we get there, we don’t know yet what God is going to require, and we’ve got to have sacrifices for God, and we don’t know how many He wants or what He’s going to require, we’ve got to take everything. So the LORD hardened, or made stiff, Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. And Pharaoh said, Get away from me, and take heed to yourself, that you don’t see my face again; because the day you see my face, you’re dead, man. Moses said, You have spoken well, I’ll never see your face again.
And so, the LORD said to Moses, OK, this is it. I’m going to bring yet one more plague on the Pharaoh, and on Egypt; and afterward, he’s going to let you go from here; and when he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether. Now speak in the hearing of the people, that every man ask from his neighbor, The King James says “borrow”, but it’s really they just “ask” their neighbors. Every woman from her neighbor, for the articles of silver, and articles of gold. And the LORD gave people the favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, and in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people. Then Moses said, Thus says the LORD, About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die; from the Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the maidservant who is behind the handmill; and the firstborn of the beasts. And there will be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before nor again. But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move his tongue, against man or beast; that you may know that the LORD makes a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. God makes a difference between His people and those that are not His people. And all these your servants shall come down to me, and bow down to me, saying, Get out, and the people who follow you. After that I will go out. Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger.
So Moses gave this final warning: ‘here’s what’s going to happen.’ And Moses was angry, and he went out from the presence of Pharaoh in great anger.
But the LORD said to Moses, Pharaoh’s not going to listen to you; in order that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. So Moses and Aaron did all these wonder before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month, this is it, this is going to be the beginning of months for you.
This is really the beginning of the birth of the nation in a spiritual sense. They had been slaves in Egypt, they had multiplied. Seventy people went down with Jacob; the family of Jacob numbered seventy when he went to Egypt. Now, when they moved from this point, we read in chapter twelve, 600,000 men beside the children. They’ve multiplied, but they’ve not yet been molded into a nation. So this is going to be the beginning of a nation, It’s the beginning of the months; you’re going to start your year. It’s a new beginning for you; start your year with this month. And it is more or less equivalent to our month of April, the month of Abib.
They made their months according to the lunar calendar. And so, the Passover is related to the third new moon after, or the third full moon after the winter equinox, and thus, differs from ours from year to year. That’s why the Jewish Passover isn’t always related to our Easter. Sometimes, they come about the same time, but they are calculated on a different basis than we calculate Easter Sunday.
So, this will be the beginning of months. “It will be the first month of the year to you.”
So speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, On the tenth day of this month, every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, that is, you can’t eat the whole lamb, then get together with your neighbor next to his house, and take it according to the number of persons. In other words, you’re to eat the whole lamb in the one night. So, get as many families as necessary, in order that you can eat the whole lamb in on night. Your lamb shall be without blemish, it’s to be a male of the first year; and it may be either a lamb, you may take it from the sheep or the goats.
It can be a little goat, it can be a little lamb. It’s to be without blemish. It’s to be roasted whole.; not to be boiled. That is, you’re not to break it up and boil it in the pot. But it was to be roasted, no doubt, on a spit over an open fire; roasted whole. Weren’t to break the bones. The whole thing was to be roasted together from the head all the way to the legs and all, just tied to the spit and the whole thing roasted at once.
A lamb without blemish. A blemish is an acquired defect. If it got tangled up in barbed wire, ripped it’s skin, had a scar; you couldn’t use it. If it had been grabbed and rescued from a wolf and had been ripped open, you couldn’t use it; the scars, the blemishes. Had to be without blemish. Interesting that Peter tells us, that “we were redeemed with the blood of Jesus Christ, who was slain as a Lamb without spot or blemish.” A spot is an inherited defect. That’s a part of the genetic structure. A blemish is an acquired defect.
Jesus was without inherited sin. He did not sin. He was a Lamb without spot or blemish. The sinless one. God made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. And so, in order that this lamb might be a true type of Jesus, it had to be without blemish.
Keep it until the fourteenth day. --
They were to set it apart from the flock on the tenth day, and it was kept. No doubt, that during these four days, as they looked at that little lamb, they realized that little lamb is going to be the substitute for our family. That little lamb is going to die, in order that our child won’t have to die. And the tenth day to the fourteenth day. I think there’s something, perhaps, even a little more significant and interesting. In the commentaries that I read, none of them seemed to understand why the lamb was selected on the tenth day, but wasn’t slain until the fourteenth day. But I think I might have a little insight, because this lamb was a type of Jesus Christ; who on the tenth day, which would have been the Sunday before Passover, was presented to Israel as their Messiah in His triumphant entry, but then was crucified, or slain, on the fourteenth day, for the sins of the people. But selected, presented on the tenth day to the people by God; fourteenth day, crucified.
Keep it until the fourteenth day; then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight, at sunset. They’ll take some of the blood, and put it on the two door posts, and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. And they shall eat the flesh on that night, roasted in the fire, with unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
And so, the unleavened bread. Again, leaven is a type of sin. They weren’t to have any leaven. Leaven is a process by which the bread rises through putrefaction; as it rots, the air comes in. The air bubbles as it rots, and it causes it to rise; not to have any rottenness in it. Leaven became an interesting type of sin, because you put just a little bit of starter in a batch of dough, and it permeates through the whole batch. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
A little sin tolerated in your life, it begins to permeate until it fills your whole life. And so, it was to be unleavened bread. Again, the type of Jesus, who said, “I am the bread of life come down from God out of heaven.” But in Him, there is no sin, no leaven.
Do not eat it raw, that is, the meat, nor boiled at all with water, Because they didn’t have any pots really to boil the whole thing without breaking it up, and it wasn’t to be broken up, it was to be roasted whole. But it shall be roasted in the fire; the head with the legs and the entrails. And you shall let none of it remain until morning; whatever remains, burn it in the morning with the fire. And thus you shall eat it; with a belt on your waist, your sandals on you feet, and your staff in you hands.
Your loins girded. And you read that phrase in the Scriptures, “Gird up your loins” - and their loins girded. In those days, men wore long robes down to their sandals, and these long robes were difficult to run in, as you can well imagine, or even to work in. So when a fellow was getting ready to go to work, he would have a cinch belt, and what he would do is pull up his skirt and tie it. And that’s what it meant; your loins girded, your loins tied with a belt. The long skirt pulled up so that you have your legs are free to run. And you guys are going to be getting out of here. So as you eat it, have your loins girded, or your robes tied on up, so that you can get on out in a hurry. Have your sandals on your feet, and your walking staff in your hand.
And you will eat it in haste, it is the LORD’S Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment; I am JEHOVAH.
So God has appointed a day in which He is going to bring His judgment against the Egyptians, even as God has appointed a day of final judgment. It is appointed unto man once to die, after that, the judgment. And there is a day of judgment appointed by God.
And God said, The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; when I see the blood, I will pass over, and the plague will not be upon you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
'I’m going to judge Egypt. Judgment is coming, but there can be a place of safety in the houses where the blood is upon the door posts and the lintels, those within that house will be safe. When I see the blood, I’ll pass over that house.'
So this day shall be to you a memorial; you will keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout all of your generations; you shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. It was required of Israel to keep this feast of the Passover forever. Seven days you will eat unleavened bread; on the first day you’re to remove the leaven from your houses; for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, you will be cut off from Israel. On the first day there will be a holy gathering, and on the seventh day there will be a holy gathering for you; and no manner of work shall be done on them, but that which everyone must eat, they may prepare. So you shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for on this same day, I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt; therefore, you shall observe this day throughout generations as an everlasting ordinance. And in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat the unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. And so, for seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person will be cut off from the congregation, whether he is a stranger, or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all of your houses, you shall eat unleavened bread. I think he makes that point pretty clear. And so Moses called for all of the elders of Israel; said to them, Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two door posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of that house until morning. Stay in the house. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two door posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and not allow the destroyer to come into you houses to strike you.
And so, you hear the death angel pass through Egypt; and this is the destroyer. God passed through the land, and the destroyer went in and destroyed the first born in every house with the exception of those places of safety that God had provided for His people through the blood; the substitutionary death of the lamb, and it’s blood being upon the door post.
You shall observe this as an ordinance for you and for your sons forever.
So, the Passover was one of the three major feasts that were established by the Jews in the year, in which every male Jew had to come to Jerusalem to present himself before God in the holy convocation, the gathering of the people. The feast of the Passover was the first, the beginning of the new year; gathering together. It was during the Feast of the Passover that Jesus observed the feast with his disciples; a very common practice in the Jewish homes. But the interesting thing; when Jesus observed the Passover with His disciples, He brought out the true meaning. What was the Passover signifying? It was not just a memorial for what God had done, but it was a sign for what God was going to do; providing a place of safety from judgment through the shed blood of the Lamb, His Son, Jesus Christ.
And so, Jesus, when He observed the Passover with His disciples, when He took the one loaf of unleavened bread and broke it and gave it to His disciple, He said, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of Me.” -- “You’re not to remember anymore God’s deliverance out of Egypt, you’re to remember God’s deliverance out of the bondage of sin that I am bringing to you through my body, which is to be broken for you.”
When He took the cup and gave it to His disciples, He said, “This cup is a new covenant in My blood: which is shed for the remission of sins. Do this in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you will show my death.” Not the death of the lamb in Egypt, but now the death of the Lamb of God whereby God has provided a place of safety in that day of judgment.
So, they were to have this as an ordinance, as a feast throughout their generations.
And it shall be, when your children say to you, What do you mean by, why are we doing this? That you shall say, It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians, and delivered our households. So the people, when they heart this, bowed their heads and worshipped; the elders that he was talking to. The children of Israel went away, and did so just as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron. And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the Pharaoh to the captive who was in the dungeon; the firstborn of the livestock. So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, and all his servants, and the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one that was dead. The judgment of God was thorough, it was severe. And then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and he said, Get out of here, both you and the children of Israel; go, and serve JEHOVAH as you have said. Take your flocks, take your herds, be gone; pray for me, bless me also. But unless you change, prayers aren’t going to be of much value. The Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; they said, If we don’t get out of here, we’re going to all be dead. So the people took their dough before it was leavened, had their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. They all had their knapsacks, and they took off. Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses; they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, and gold, and clothing; and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so they granted them what was requested. And thus, they plundered the Egyptians.
Actually, what they did was got their back wages. They had been withheld by the Egyptians for years. They were slaves not being paid, but just being subjected to the horrible slavery, so it was just payment for back wages.
Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot besides the children. There also came with them a mixed multitude;
We’ll talk about this mixed multitude later. They were a weakening element among God’s people. The mixed multitude is always a weakening element among the people of God, and there are always the mixed multitude who want to go along with God’s people, but they’re not really, fully, completely a part of God’s plan and program. This mixed multitude; we’ll have more to say on that as we get into the wilderness and we see the problems that they begin to create.
They had a great deal of livestock. Then they baked the unleavened cakes of dough which they had brought out of Egypt, because they were driven out of Egypt, could not wait, and they didn’t really prepare provision for themselves. Now they had been in Egypt for four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass on the very day, the anniversary, four hundred and thirty years after they had gone into Egypt, on the same day, that all of the armies of the LORD came out of the land of Egypt. It’s a night of solemn observance to JEHOVAH for bringing them out of the land of Egypt; this is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the Passover; no outsider shall eat it.
It’s really just for God’s people. You remember, Paul talks in the New Testament about taking of the Lord’s Supper. He said that you shouldn’t partake of it unworthily, “for he who eateth and drinketh unworthily is guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.” It’s for God’s people, it’s not for the outsider. The communion isn’t just for anybody. The Passover wasn’t just for anybody. No outsider was to partake of it. Only those who were a part of the family of God were to partake.
Now, I believe that there are some churches that carry this much too far. “If you don’t belong to our church, if you’re not a member of our church, then you can’t partake with us;” and they draw these narrow, restricted line and boundaries of denominations, and I think that’s tragic. We’re members of the family of Jesus Christ, and surely, He hasn’t limited His work to some particular denomination. But there are those churches that have what they call “closed communion.” That is, they won’t serve you communion unless you’ve signed the pledge in their church, and you’re committed and all to their church.
We have open communion. Hey, if you love the Lord, help yourself; you’re part of the family of God. But if you’re not a part of the family of God, then you really have no business taking it; and if you do, it’s to your own destruction, it’s to your own damnation. You’re eating and drinking damnation to your own body, because you’re acknowledging that Jesus has provided through His death a refuge for you, but you haven’t taken the refuge. You’re really indicting yourself; partaking in a physical sense, but not having partaken in the spiritual sense, it is an indictment against you, and you’re only bearing witness to your own damnation.
And so, this is the ordinance, no outsider should take it.
But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when he has been circumcised,
And circumcision was the necessity; you could not take it unless you had been circumcised. And circumcision, remember, was the mark of spirituality. I’m not going to live after the flesh, I’m going to live after the spirit; the cutting off of the flesh, the life of the flesh. And so, it is spiritual experience, and is to be a spiritual experience, even as communion is a spiritual experience.
a sojourner, someone who’s just visiting, or a hired servant shall not eat it. It will be eaten in one house; and you will not carry the flesh outside of the house; nor break one of it’s bones.
Now, later on in the Psalms, in a prophecy concerning the death of Jesus Christ, it said, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken;” and you remember, when the bodies were hanging there on the crosses, and they were saying, “Hey, the Sabbath day is about to begin. Break their legs so that they won’t be, they’ll die quicker; they won’t be hanging here on the Sabbath day.” And so the Roman soldiers broke the legs of the other two prisoners who were crucified at the time of Jesus, but when they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they didn’t break His legs, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” So that came back to the Passover. As the Passover Lamb, He couldn’t have a broken bone. So the soldier instead just took his spear and plunged it into Jesus’ heart. When he pulled the spear back, there came out water and blood.; but there was no bones broken. He was just making sure that Jesus was dead.
All of the congregation of Israel shall keep it. Now when a stranger sojourns with you, and he wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all of his males be circumcised, and let them come near and keep it; and he will be as a native in the land; The outsiders could come in by submitting to the rite of circumcision. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. Now one law shall be for the native born, and for the stranger who sojourns among you. That is, the same law, you’ve got to be circumcised. It covers everybody, no matter if they’re sojourners or natives. Thus the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. And so, it came to pass on that very same day, that the LORD brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt according to their armies.
And so, we move on next week into chapters 13, 14, and 15, and some very exciting things that Metro Golden Mayer had a great time with in the Exodus, as he parted the Red Sea in the movies. But we’ll read about how God did it in our lesson next week as we move through this exciting story of God’s working among His people to develop a nation from which He is to bring forth a savior who is to save the world’s sins.
And here we are, coming to that time of year when people all over are recognizing the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Now, it is interesting to me how that more and more, they’re trying to make Christmas a pagan holiday. They’re trying to take Jesus out of it. There are even those who call it “X-mas” now. And more and more, rather than “Merry Christmas”, you’re hearing, “Happy Holidays.” They’ll probably even have to change that, because holidays really stands for, sort of, “holy days.” I would not be surprised if before long they have to start saying, “Happy Saturnalia”, or “Bachus” days, as more and more we are beginning to celebrate this time of the year as the pagans in the early century celebrated it as a celebration of the passing of the winter solstice. And they celebrated it with bonfires and drunkenness and parties, and so forth. We’re getting closer to that all the time, aren’t we? More liquor being sold this time of the year than any other time. Amazing how they commercialized, and in the ultra-commercialization of the whole thing, they’ve destroyed it’s value, it’s meaning.
I am really opposed to this super-commercialization of Christmas; being promoted really not by the church, but being promoted by the pagan world, and the church grabs on to the coat tails, to get what advantage it can out of the whole promotional scheme. More interest is upon the gifts, upon the tinsel and the colored lights, than upon the coming of the Savior into the world. Significant, I think that when Jesus was born, there was no room in the inn for Him. The world didn’t have any place for the child when he was born, and they still don’t like to give Him any place today. No room for Christ in so many lives.
I pray that God will help us this Christmas to guard ourselves against that over-commercialization, and to truly celebrate, as we should be celebrating constantly, God’s love in sending a Savior into the world who died for our sins. Giving, yes, it’s a part of God’s plan to demonstrate love. The first Christmas was giving, certainly. God gave His only begotten Son. And it’s a beautiful sign of love, but it’s been carried much too far by the commercialism.
Do you know that two-thirds of all of the Scotch Tape sold all year long is sold at Christmas time? That company would be in big trouble if it weren’t for Christmas. So would a lot of other companies.
And so, they really emphasize, “Go out and, that special gift for that special person,” you know. And Jesus is sort of forgotten. We have a big birthday party for Him, but we don’t even invite Him to the party. In fact, I think that a lot of people would be rather, in fact, totally embarrassed if He came to their party: “Who are you?” “Well, I’m Jesus; it’s my birthday, aren’t you celebrating my birthday here tonight?” Whoops!
Yes. God sent His Son to be a sacrifice, a Lamb to be slain, that man might escape the judgment of God that is coming. Let’s not forget that in all of our celebrating.
Shall we pray: Father, we thank-you again tonight for the word of Thy Spirit as He speaks to our hearts of the things of God; of righteousness, and of truth. And as He draws us unto our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who has taken away the sins of the world, Jesus, we thank-you for coming, and we thank-you for dying, that through your death, we might have life. Help us, Lord, never to forget it. But may we tell our children, and our children’s children, that they might know the glory of the God that we love and that we serve; the God who loves us supremely. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Shall we stand. May the Lord be with you, give you a beautiful week, just fill you with His love, enrich you in your walk with Him, cause you to abound in all things in Christ, and keep you walking close to Him.