Notes on the Exodus (92)

“Exposing the Exodus”

The way, the truth and the life!

The Lord of the Flies   (Chapter 8 Verses 20-32)

This is the fourth strike, each one of which is a revelation of the judgment of God upon Egypt and her gods. But the issue lies in the deliverance of Israel. God saves, rescues his people by judgment. This, in turn, reveals to Israel where her freedom lies, not, in impotent, false religion. The people of Israel are exempt from these flies. One can but ponder as to how the Israelites were seeing this. They weren’t exactly happy before, they saw Moses rather as an instigator of all their troubles. We must remember that Lord’s people in any generation still have the old nature lurking within. There is yet that remnant of corruption yet within us, that is capable of hating God. There is ever this propensity in us to blame God in the midst of our trials. Also, we need to remember that Israel had lived with Egypt’s paganism for a long, long time. She had lost all awareness of God and sensitivity to God. She was pretty much as our own society is today. But the good news is that God is revealing himself and his presence to Israel. Of course, God is ever and always present. The question for us as individuals is, how is he present? In pleasure or displeasure, in grace or in wrath? Here in this strike against Egypt, whom God is most certainly not pleased with, it flies. A swarm of flies, skin-piercing, blood-sucking, dog flies or gadflies if you like. The kind that lives off the blood of other creatures. Not nice. A nuisance (v20-21). The trouble is the gadfly can cause serious damage to the eyes, blindness even. They will pursue a blood-meal in spite of all the swatting anyone can render to them when they are hungry. There is no stopping them. But here is the issue with these gadflies. They annoy and provoke other creatures. The king, Pharaoh, and Egypt as a nation had annoyed and provoked the Almighty. The stand that we see Moses make here is much to be admired (v20).

There is a temptation in a time of spiritual and moral declension, to give up, or back off to some degree at least. As I and my brethren who hold forth the word of God on the streets of our nation today, the question does arise in our minds at times. Are we just being a nuisance, provoking people who just don’t want to hear. Moses, however, was told to be relentless, to make an unrelenting stand in his demands on Pharaoh. For the cause is not Moses’ it’s God’s, the message is God’s. And so this also applies to us today also, “go therefore and make disciples of all nations…I have commanded you…to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:16-20). The church is called to make a like relentless stand in all generations. If we don’t, the world with its philosophies and idolatry will invade and pollute God’s church, his people. Think briefly for a moment of Israel’s consequent history, after they liberated from Egypt as they travelled through the wilderness. And consider just how much of the paganism they had imbibed. Day by day in spite of all that God had shown them, his mighty power and love for them, the craved and lusted for the things of Egypt. Has God by his mighty grace liberated you from sin, death and hell, and do you yet lust and crave after the things of the world? If you do you are in a bad place. It is in one sense easy to get people out of paganism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism etc. But it is a sight more difficult to get the paganism out of them, that sometimes takes years and lots and lots of God’s grace.

 (© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)

Sermon Audio

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