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May 25, 2011

The Prayer Life of Moses

Exodus 12:12

Part Ten

Striking Down the Firstborn

“For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments–I am the LORD.”

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Eternal Life

God brought ten plagues upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, just as He showed Moses that the deliverance of His people would take time.  Pharaoh had hardened his heart against God and God continued to harden Pharaoh’s heart with each new plague.  As part of His plan of deliverance, God gave Moses life-saving instructions about offering a sacrificial lamb, and then spreading that blood upon the doorposts and lintel of each home of the people of God.  God would pass over each home marked with the blood of the lamb.  But the firstborn of the Egyptians would be slain by God that night.  Through this picture of plagues and judgment, we see the plan of God in offering Christ as the perfect sacrifice for sin, so that judgment would pass over our lives hidden under the blood of Christ.

       The Last Plague.  God had brought nine plagues upon the Egyptians, and each time Pharaoh had hardened his heart.  Furthermore, God also hardened the heart of Pharaoh (Exodus 11:10).  With the last plague, God will work so that not even a dog would bark against the sons of Israel, so that His people would know that God makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel (Exodus 11:7).  A great cry would go up from the land, such as never was heard before or since (Exodus 11:6). God commanded each household of the people of Israel to take an unblemished lamb, a male one year old, and together the entire nation would kill their own lamb at twilight.  Immediately then they would take some of the lamb’s blood, and apply it to the two door posts and the lintel on their home (Exodus 12:1-8).  This blood would allow the tenth plague of death, brought by the destroyer (“הַמַּשְׁחִית”) sent by God, to pass over that home and everyone inside would live (Exodus 12:23).  But every firstborn of the Egyptians would die that night, as a judgment upon them for holding the people of God in bondage.  In this picture, we see one lamb killed by each household so that its blood could be applied to that home, so God’s judgment would pass over that house.  In the same way, Christ died and now by faith we apply the blood of Christ to our lives, so that it covers our sin, and we live free from the judgment of God upon our sins.  Christ died once and for all men, for all their sins, so that whoever will apply that blood of Christ by faith may be saved from the destroyer sent by God.

       The Judgment of God upon False gods.  I see people today caught up with false gods.  I see Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhists, Muslims, and all kinds of people clinging to a form of religion, and often invoking the name of Christ.  But all of those religions do not honor Jesus Christ as equal to God, as always having been with God, and always God Himself.  God revealed Himself as being One God, eternally existing as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Are all religious people praying to the God of Moses?  We know the God of Moses by looking at Christ, the Yahweh of the Old Testament (John 8:58).  Moses wrote about Christ (John 5:45-46).  Likewise, Jesus said that “Abraham rejoiced to see my My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).  All false religions sprinkle their lies with a little truth, and ignore the truth of God’s Word about Jesus Christ.  God specifically pronounced judgments upon the false gods of Egypt (Exodus 12:12).  As believers, we know that our struggle in life is not against flesh and blood, but against powers, world forces of darkness, and the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).  The Lord Jesus Christ, however, has already defeated every false god, and now reigns victoriously over every god and every lord and every king (Deuteronomy 10:17; 1 Timothy 6:14-16; Colossians 2:15).  Through our faith in Christ, we too have become victorious overcomers (1 John 5:4).

       Rise Up and Get Out.  After Moses received the message of deliverance through the last plague, God immediately judged Egypt. The LORD struck all the firstborn of Egypt, so that there was a great cry in Egypt (Exodus 12:29-30).  Pharaoh then summoned Moses and Aaron at night, and told them to rise up and go.  Pharaoh said: “go, worship the LORD, as you have said . . . and bless me also” (Exodus 12:31-32).  As six hundred thousand men on foot, plus children moved out from Egypt, the prayer life of Moses would now center upon God leading these people to the promised land.

So we learn more about the prayer life of Moses.

       ●  Prayer means that as we pray, we remember the power of God to sway every government on earth to do His will. He can inflict judgment upon them, according to His predetermined plans. They ultimately have no power to resist His ultimate will for them.  We know how the world will end–with Christ reigning supreme and doing away with this earth, and bringing new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-8).

       ●  Prayer means that we pray and expect God to fulfill His plans in His time.  We know that God is not slow about His promises, but is willing for all to come to repentance. As with Egypt, God intends to release His people from every captivity, and lead captive every oppressor. 

       ●  Prayer means that we know that Christ reigns now in the hearts of every believer.  In the spiritual realm, Christ has already achieved every victory on the cross of Christ.  In the timing of God, the full impact of that victory will be implemented not only on earth, but in heaven as well.  Through our faith in Christ, we pray as victors before the Victor, and listen to Him explain His plans for our lives.  Through Him, we really live in power and victory.

Application for Today

        As we pray today, consider the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses.  Through Moses, God revealed Himself to His people as Yahweh, the God who brought them out of oppression.  As we close this deliverance from Egypt, recall that Moses learned to pray before God during very dark times.  Through that darkness, the light of liberation and holiness shone first upon Moses in the wilderness near Mt. Horeb, and then through the darkness of the night in Egypt when God struck down the firstborn.  We pray about serious matters, and we all have been in the middle of times of oppression.  We know about oppression, and we have seen in Moses how God deals with it and liberates people from it.  As we pray, we can remember the greatest victor in history, the Lord Jesus Christ, and humble ourselves before the King of kings, and Lord of lords.  God struck down His unique Son, Jesus Christ, so that we might live in Him and pray today.