Pharaoh’s Compromises

Text: II Corinthians 6:14-7:1


I.         Most of here, even the little children, can tell the story of Moses and the ten plagues.

            A.        It is exciting to read about the wonders God wrought against the Egyptians

            B.        And even more amazing to see how stubborn a man, Pharaoh, can be despite the overwhelming evidence arrayed against him.

            C.        But today I would like us to focus on a part of the story we all know is there, but it is easy to skip right over and miss the significance of what is being said.

II.        The demand of God through Moses was that Pharaoh allow Israel an opportunity to worship God - Exodus 7:16

            A.        Pharaoh’s initial response was to not listen and to ignore the demand - Exodus 7:13, 23

                        1.         Think how many people do the same in this world

                        2.         We are here to serve God - Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

                        3.         Our whole purpose in existing is to serve God, yet many in this world simply will not listen nor concern themselves about God, church, or worship.

            B.        After the plague of frogs, Pharaoh said he would let the people worship (Exodus 8:8), but once the problem was solved, he returned to not listening (Exodus 8:15)

                        1.         We see this as well. People who become “religious” in fox holes.

                        2.         When troubles come upon them they will pray to God, but you don’t see them in church when life calms down.

                        3.         The flaw is such worship is no worship at all. God doesn’t heed sinners

                                    a.         God doesn’t hear sinners - John 9:31

                                    b.         God finds their prayers disgusting - Proverbs 28:9

                                    c.         God sees that the words do no match the action - Isaiah 1:15

            C.        After the plague of lice (or gnats), Pharaoh’s own magicians said this was the work of God - Exodus 8:19

                        1.         Do we not see this as well? People who only see and accept what they want to accept. Nothing else matters to them.

                        2.         The Greeks had ignored the evidence - Romans 1:18-21

                        3.         It continues today. Evidence against evolution and for creation is abundant, but people ignore it.

                        4.         Mention is made by even secular people about the benefits of worship and attending church, but it make no impact.

            D.        After the plague of flies, Pharaoh offers a compromise - Exodus 8:25

                        1.         Moses rejects it - Exodus 8:26-28

                        2.         How many today try to worship God in the Devil’s territory?

                        3.         A lot of people think they can worship God anywhere on the Lord’s day: in a boat while fishing, or in car heading back from a vacation, or even laying in bed after sleeping in on Sunday morning - Hebrews 10:23-25

                                    a.         A essential point of worship is coming out of the world to join with others called out of the world.

                                    b.         God wants us out of the world - II Corinthians 6:14-18

                        4.         Some imagine that one church is good as another.

                                    a.         To Pharaoh, it didn’t matter whether their worship was here among his idols or elsewhere.

                                    b.         But it should be different. Jesus only founded one church - Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:23

                        5.         In a sense Pharaoh is asking Moses not to be so extreme. But God’s worship is distinctive from the world.

            E.        It was after the plague of hail that Pharaoh offered another compromise - Exodus 9:27-28

                        1.         He offered sorrow, as if that was enough to satisfy God

                        2.         Moses pointed out that it was not real - Exodus 9:30

                        3.         It was a sorrow without change - II Corinthians 7:10

                        4.         It is the type of service many people try to offer. They cry, they moan, they bewail how sinful they are ... but they never change their life.

                        5.         Much like Esau - Hebrews 12:17

            F.        During the plague of locust, Pharaoh offered to let the men go and worship, but the women and children were to be left behind - Exodus 10:8-11

                        1.         Pharaoh knew that if he retained control over Israel’s families, it didn’t matter what the men did.

                        2.         Moses’ response was that all the people, young and old, must go.

                        3.         God wants everyone

                                    a.         Church is not a club for old people - Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1

                                                (1)       Young people have work to do - I Timothy 4:12

                                    b.         Some look at church as only for young people

                                                (1)       Youth groups, social activities, all push the elderly aside

                                                (2)       The elderly should be honored - Leviticus 19:32

                                                (3)       They should be relied upon for wisdom - I Peter 5:5

                        4.         True worship and service to God requires everyone

            G.        Finally, after the plague of darkness, Pharaoh offered one last compromise - Exodus 10:24

                        1.         Pharaoh realized that if he retained control of Israel’s wealth, he still had leverage over Israel.

                        2.         Moses again refused - Exodus 10:25-26

                        3.         Again we see people who think the same way. As long as they are not required to make too great of a sacrifice, they are willing to be Christians.

                                    a.         It is not possible to hold to both - Matthew 6:19-21, 33

                                    b.         When we make something, we intend for it to be used for the purpose we designed it.

                                    c.         When God created us, He had His purpose for us - Isaiah 64:8

                        4.         God wants us entirely

                                    a.         Romans 12:1-2

                                    b.         The Macedonians first gave of themselves - II Corinthians 8:1-5

                                    c.         We take all that God has blessed us to use in His service - II Corinthians 9:6-11

III.       Moses was addressing Pharaoh’s argument for compromise on behalf of Israel’s worship, but those statement tell us something about the nature of worship

            A.        Will we follow the path of righteousness, living and worshiping in the way God has laid out for us?

            B.        There is no better time that the opportunity we have at this moment.

Based on a lesson by Wayne Walker