SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
5:1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said, ‘Release my people so that they may hold a pilgrim feast to me in the wilderness.’” 2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey him by releasing Israel? I do not know the Lord, and I will not release Israel!” 3 And they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us go a three-day journey into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, so that he does not strike us with plague or the sword.” 4 The king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you cause the people to refrain from their work? Return to your labor!” 5 Pharaoh was thinking, “The people of the land are now many, and you are giving them rest from their labor.”
6 That same day Pharaoh commanded the slave masters and foremen who were over the people: 7 “You must no longer give straw to the people for making bricks as before. Let them go and collect straw for themselves. 8 But you must require of them the same quota of bricks that they were making before. Do not reduce it, for they are slackers. That is why they are crying, ‘Let us go sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Make the work harder for the men so they will keep at it and pay no attention to lying words!”
10 So the slave masters of the people and their foremen went to the Israelites and said, “Thus says Pharaoh: ‘I am not giving you straw. 11 You go get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, because there will be no reduction at all in your workload.’” 12 So the people spread out through all the land of Egypt to collect stubble for straw. 13 The slave masters were pressuring them, saying, “Complete your work for each day, just like when there was straw!” 14 The Israelite foremen whom Pharaoh’s slave masters had set over them were beaten and were asked, “Why did you not complete your requirement for brickmaking as in the past—both yesterday and today?”
15 The Israelite foremen went and cried out to Pharaoh, “Why are you treating your servants this way? 16 No straw is given to your servants, but we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants are even being beaten, but the fault is with your people.”
17 But Pharaoh replied, “You are slackers! Slackers! That is why you are saying, ‘Let us go sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 So now, get back to work! You will not be given straw, but you must still produce your quota of bricks!” 19 The Israelite foremen saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You must not reduce the daily quota of your bricks.”
20 When they went out from Pharaoh, they encountered Moses and Aaron standing there to meet them, 21 and they said to them, “May the Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the opinion of Pharaoh and his servants, so that you have given them an excuse to kill us!”
22 Moses returned to the Lord, and said, “Lord, why have you caused trouble for this people? Why did you ever send me? 23 From the time I went to speak to Pharaoh in your name, he has caused trouble for this people, and you have certainly not rescued them!”
6:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, for compelled by my strong hand he will release them, and by my strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
2 God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name ‘the Lord’ I was not known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as resident foreigners. 5 I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Therefore, tell the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord. I will bring you out from your enslavement to the Egyptians, I will rescue you from the hard labor they impose, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you to myself for a people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from your enslavement to the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—and I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”
9 Moses told this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and hard labor. 10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt that he must release the Israelites from his land.” 12 But Moses replied to the Lord, “If the Israelites did not listen to me, then how will Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with difficulty?”
13 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge for the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.
14 These were the heads of their fathers’ households:
The sons of Reuben, the firstborn son of Israel, were Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. These were the clans of Reuben.
15 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. These were the clans of Simeon.
16 Now these were the names of the sons of Levi, according to their records: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. (The length of Levi’s life was 137 years.)
17 The sons of Gershon, by their families, were Libni and Shimei.
18 The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. (The length of Kohath’s life was 133 years.)
19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These were the clans of Levi, according to their records.
20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. (The length of Amram’s life was 137 years.)
21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zikri.
22 The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.
23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
24 The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These were the Korahite clans.
25 Now Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel and she bore him Phinehas.
These were the heads of the fathers’ households of Levi according to their clans.
26 It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by their regiments.” 27 They were the men who were speaking to Pharaoh king of Egypt, in order to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. It was the same Moses and Aaron.
28 When the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 he said to him, “I am the Lord. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I am telling you.” 30 But Moses said before the Lord, “Since I speak with difficulty, why should Pharaoh listen to me?”
7:1 So the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to speak everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh that he must release the Israelites from his land. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and although I will multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt, 4 Pharaoh will not listen to you. I will reach into Egypt and bring out my regiments, my people the Israelites, from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. 5 Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I extend my hand over Egypt and bring the Israelites out from among them.”
6 And Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them. 7 Now Moses was eighty years old and Aaron was eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.
8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Do a miracle,’ and you say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ it will become a snake.” 10 When Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, they did so, just as the Lord had commanded them—Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a snake. 11 Then Pharaoh also summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the magicians of Egypt by their secret arts did the same thing. 12 Each man threw down his staff, and the staffs became snakes. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.
14 The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to release the people. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning when he goes out to the water. Position yourself to meet him by the edge of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was turned into a snake. 16 Tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you to say, “Release my people, that they may serve me in the wilderness!” But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord has said: “By this you will know that I am the Lord: I am going to strike the water of the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood. 18 Fish in the Nile will die, the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable to drink water from the Nile.”’” 19 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over Egypt’s waters—over their rivers, over their canals, over their ponds, and over all their reservoirs—so that it becomes blood.’ There will be blood everywhere in the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.” 20 Moses and Aaron did so, just as the Lord had commanded. He raised the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile right before the eyes of Pharaoh and his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood. 21 When the fish that were in the Nile died, the Nile began to stink, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood everywhere in the land of Egypt! 22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts, and so Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he refused to listen to Moses and Aaron—just as the Lord had predicted. 23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. He did not pay any attention to this. 24 All the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the Nile.
25 Seven full days passed after the Lord struck the Nile. 8:1 (7:26) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord has said: “Release my people in order that they may serve me! 2 But if you refuse to release them, then I am going to plague all your territory with frogs. 3 The Nile will swarm with frogs, and they will come up and go into your house, in your bedroom, and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading troughs. 4 Frogs will come up against you, your people, and all your servants.”’”
5 The Lord spoke to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals, and over the ponds, and bring the frogs up over the land of Egypt.’” 6 So Aaron extended his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.
7 The magicians did the same with their secret arts and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt too.
8 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord that he may take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will release the people that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor over me—when shall I pray for you, your servants, and your people, for the frogs to be removed from you and your houses, so that they will be left only in the Nile?” 10 He said, “Tomorrow.” And Moses said, “It will be as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will depart from you, your houses, your servants, and your people; they will be left only in the Nile.”
12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the Lord because of the frogs that he had brought on Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did as Moses asked—the frogs died in the houses, the villages, and the fields. 14 The Egyptians piled them in countless heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.
16 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your staff and strike the dust of the ground, and it will become gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.’” 17 They did so; Aaron extended his hand with his staff, he struck the dust of the ground, and it became gnats on people and on animals. All the dust of the ground became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt. 18 When the magicians attempted to bring forth gnats by their secret arts, they could not. So there were gnats on people and on animals. 19 The magicians said to Pharaoh, “It is the finger of God!” But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.
20 The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and position yourself before Pharaoh as he goes out to the water, and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord has said, “Release my people that they may serve me! 21 If you do not release my people, then I am going to send swarms of flies on you and on your servants and on your people and in your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground they stand on. 22 But on that day I will mark off the land of Goshen, where my people are staying, so that no swarms of flies will be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of this land. 23 I will put a division between my people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.”’” 24 The Lord did so; a thick swarm of flies came into Pharaoh’s house and into the houses of his servants, and throughout the whole land of Egypt the land was ruined because of the swarms of flies.
25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “That would not be the right thing to do, for the sacrifices we make to the Lord our God would be an abomination to the Egyptians. If we make sacrifices that are an abomination to the Egyptians right before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go on a three-day journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God, just as he is telling us.”
28 Pharaoh said, “I will release you so that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness. Only you must not go very far. Do pray for me.”
29 Moses said, “I am going to go out from you and pray to the Lord, and the swarms of flies will go away from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow. Only do not let Pharaoh deal falsely again by not releasing the people to sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 31 and the Lord did as Moses asked—he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained! 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also and did not release the people.
9:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has said, “Release my people that they may serve me! 2 For if you refuse to release them and continue holding them, 3 then the hand of the Lord will surely bring a very terrible plague on your livestock in the field, on the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. 4 But the Lord will distinguish between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, and nothing will die of all that the Israelites have.”’”
5 The Lord set an appointed time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” 6 And the Lord did this on the next day; all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but of the Israelites’ livestock not one died. 7 Pharaoh sent representatives to investigate, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of Israel had died. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not release the people.
8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a furnace, and have Moses throw it into the air while Pharaoh is watching. 9 It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt and will cause boils to break out and fester on both people and animals in all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh, Moses threw it into the air, and it caused festering boils to break out on both people and animals.
11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted to Moses.
13 The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh, and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has said: “Release my people so that they may serve me! 14 For this time I will send all my plagues on your very self and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with plague, and you would have been destroyed from the earth. 16 But for this purpose I have caused you to stand: to show you my strength, and so that my name may be declared in all the earth. 17 You are still exalting yourself against my people by not releasing them. 18 I am going to cause very severe hail to rain down about this time tomorrow, such hail as has never occurred in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 So now, send instructions to gather your livestock and all your possessions in the fields to a safe place. Every person or animal caught in the field and not brought into the house—the hail will come down on them, and they will die!”’”
20 Those of Pharaoh’s servants who feared the Lord’s message hurried to bring their servants and livestock into the houses, 21 but those who did not take the Lord’s message seriously left their servants and their cattle in the field.
22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward the sky that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on people and on animals, and on everything that grows in the field in the land of Egypt.” 23 When Moses extended his staff toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire fell to the earth; so the Lord caused hail to rain down on the land of Egypt. 24 Hail fell and fire mingled with the hail; the hail was so severe that there had not been any like it in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 25 The hail struck everything in the open fields, both people and animals, throughout all the land of Egypt. The hail struck everything that grows in the field, and it broke all the trees of the field to pieces. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was there no hail.
27 So Pharaoh sent and summoned Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time! The Lord is righteous, and I and my people are guilty. 28 Pray to the Lord, for the mighty thunderings and hail are too much! I will release you and you will stay no longer.”
29 Moses said to him, “When I leave the city I will spread my hands to the Lord, the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.”
31 (Now the flax and the barley were struck by the hail, for the barley had ripened and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are later crops.)
33 So Moses left Pharaoh, went out of the city, and spread out his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain stopped pouring on the earth. 34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder ceased, he sinned again: both he and his servants hardened their hearts. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not release the Israelites, as the Lord had predicted through Moses.
10:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, in order to display these signs of mine before him, 2 and in order that in the hearing of your son and your grandson you may tell how I made fools of the Egyptians and about my signs that I displayed among them, so that you may know that I am the Lord.”
3 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh and told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has said: ‘How long do you refuse to humble yourself before me? Release my people so that they may serve me! 4 But if you refuse to release my people, I am going to bring locusts into your territory tomorrow. 5 They will cover the surface of the earth, so that you will be unable to see the ground. They will eat the remainder of what escaped—what is left over for you—from the hail, and they will eat every tree that grows for you from the field. 6 They will fill your houses, the houses of your servants, and all the houses of Egypt, such as neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since they have been in the land until this day!’” Then Moses turned and went out from Pharaoh.
7 Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will this man be a menace to us? Release the people so that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not know that Egypt is destroyed?”
8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. Exactly who is going with you?” 9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our sheep and our cattle we will go, because we are to hold a pilgrim feast for the Lord.”
10 He said to them, “The Lord will need to be with you if I release you and your dependents! Watch out! Trouble is right in front of you. 11 No! Go, you men only, and serve the Lord, for that is what you want.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.
12 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up over the land of Egypt and eat everything that grows in the ground, everything that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses extended his staff over the land of Egypt, and then the Lord brought an east wind on the land all that day and all night. The morning came, and the east wind had brought up the locusts! 14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and settled down in all the territory of Egypt. It was very severe; there had been no locusts like them before, nor will there be such ever again. 15 They covered the surface of all the ground so that the ground became dark with them, and they ate all the vegetation of the ground and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Nothing green remained on the trees or on anything that grew in the fields throughout the whole land of Egypt.
16 Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you! 17 So now, forgive my sin this time only, and pray to the Lord your God that he would only take this death away from me.” 18 Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 19 and the Lord turned a very strong west wind, and it picked up the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. Not one locust remained in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites.
21 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness so thick it can be felt.”
22 So Moses extended his hand toward heaven, and there was absolute darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see another person, and no one could rise from his place for three days. But the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord—only your flocks and herds will be detained. Even your families may go with you.”
25 But Moses said, “Will you also provide us with sacrifices and burnt offerings that we may present them to the Lord our God? 26 Our livestock must also go with us! Not a hoof is to be left behind! For we must take these animals to serve the Lord our God. Until we arrive there, we do not know what we must use to serve the Lord.”
27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to release them. 28 Pharaoh said to him, “Go from me! Watch out for yourself! Do not appear before me again, for when you see my face you will die!” 29 Moses said, “As you wish! I will not see your face again.”