The 5 Things That I Learned From The Ancient Egyptians (Part 5)
In our text today we see the conclusion of a build up from the two previous chapters leading to this very moment. The ancient Egyptians have spent time denying God’s people the ability to spend with The Creator due to pride and arrogance. The scripture today deals with the last encounter between the ancient Egyptians and the Hebrews. What lesson can we learn from this final show down?
V. THEY WERE EVENTUALLY DESTROYED BY THEIR OWN PRIDE & UNBELIEF
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so.”
A. They Couldn’t Let It Go
Because of pride the Pharaoh was internally motivated to chase after the Egyptians and destroy them. Why? Because he was the great Pharaoh of Egypt and no one dared to defy him and his country or land. When God hardened Pharaoh’s heart he probably thought “Why did I let the Hebrews go? They don’t even have an image of God. I have let them disrespect me and all Egypt because of a few isolated incidents. I will go and kill Moses and bring the rest of them back as slaves and corpses.” It was this type of pride that led the Egyptians into a path of doom and destruction. All of this happened because the Pharaoh couldn’t let it go and move on.
Spiritually, speaking we must let the past go and move on. Notice that the Pharaoh said “It is enough” a few chapters earlier in Exodus 9:28. This means that he grew tired of the constant conviction and trials from God but, he refused to change his behavior. When we decide in our hearts that it is enough, but refuse to let go of the things that God has given us conviction to let go, we develop an anger towards God and His people. I remember a that God had told me, many years ago, to let go of a specific habit that I enjoyed more than Him. I knew that I had to let it go but because I was stubborn and prideful, I didn’t want to let it go. So He began to send people in my life to confront me, much like Moses and Aaron confronted Pharaoh. I actually got mad at them because they listened to God and told me what God wanted me to hear. Eventually, I listened and avoided judgement but it was a hard lesson to learn. We fail to let things go because it takes humility to let a situation go. Since Pharaoh was in such a high place, it was extremely difficult for him to show humility, especially since all those who came before him showed him humility. In our lives, we will never be able to let go of the past when we keep opening the history books. In order to let go of the past we must first put the history book back on the shelf. Do you have a hard time letting go? Are you are history professor that studies and reads into the past with a critical eye and spirit? Let It Go!
“And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled:and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel:and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon. And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid:and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.”
B. They Didn’t Honor Their Part Of The Deal
We see that the Pharaoh and the other Egyptians didn’t honor their word after allowing God’s people to leave. In fact the bible says that the heart of both Pharaoh and the his servants was turned against the people. Why? Well we have to look back and discover, from the bible, why they were so wroth with them. There were a few reasons:
“And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”
- The Hebrews Spoiled The Egyptians. The touch of God was so real on their lives that they wanted nothing to do with God’s people but to be rid of them. Today, the same thing happened whether you know it or not. People come to church and hear the Word of the Lord and it is real and it hurts them so they thrust everything out that pertains to God. Then later, after they think about it, they criticize and then attack God’s people with harsh arrow like words and an army of accusation. They call us hypocrites that only want money. Notice that the Pharaoh told the Hebrews to take the spoils. Could it be that the Pharaoh saw the Hebrews as hypocrites only after money and to laugh at the Egyptians. You decide that for yourself, but after 400 years of slavery, I wouldn’t hold back any words or laughter.
- The Hebrews Stole From The Egyptians. This of course is not true but I can image Pharaoh saw this whole ordeal as a very bad transaction. The Hebrews left with their first born and their herds plus the spoils of Egypt. Could it be that the Egyptians saw this as a plain sight theft? They probably felt that they had been swindled and they wanted a refund. However, the bible says in Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death:” hey they earned that themselves and not at the hand of the Hebrews.
“And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily:so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians:and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.”
C. They Didn’t Believe That God Would Really Free God’s People
The Egyptians believed that the children of God were at their own mercy and pleasure to do with as they pleased. They had seen all of the plagues and the disasters and destruction that God had caused upon their land yet they still refused to believe in God as God! Their hardened heart caused the army to follow after the Hebrews and become destroyed. I believe that God even gave them a chance to turn around and leave the Hebrews alone before their destruction. How? Watch this!
i. Exodus 14:21-22 “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground:and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.”
They Hebrews crossed on dry land while the Egyptians crossed on muddy and sinking land.
ii. Exodus 14:23-25 “And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily:so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.”
God protected His children from the enemy and even broke the spirit and the will of the enemy to pursue after the righteous. Remember in your life that whatever you are going through that God has a Red Sea parted for you to cross on dry land while your enemy may follow, they will not overtake you. Notice that the East wind that came to part the sea was probably a bother but the same annoying wind that bothered them was the same wind that was their salvation. Instead of looking at bad situations as something that is plaguing you, try to see it as a method for God to help you. This week as you walk with the Lord, remember that He loves you and is fighting for you. However, just because God is fighting for you, doesn’t mean that you will have an easy pass. What are you doing when God moves? Are you standing still waiting for Him to push you or are you following the man of God as he is led by God? We will continue our Lessons From Exodus Characters next week as we see the children of Israel cross over into the wilderness. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.