Theme: The deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt demonstrates God s power

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1 Title: THE LIBERATING POWER AND LOVE OF GOD Theme: The deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt demonstrates God s power Bible Basis: Genesis 15:13-15 CEV; Exodus 1-12* Introduction: We have been learning what the Bible says about the Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Israelites (or Hebrews) were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. The kings of Egypt were cruel to them. God saw the suffering of his people, and raised up a man named Moses to free them. Moses story is found in Exodus 1-12 in the Bible. I will tell this story now. God ordered Moses to speak to the king of Egypt. Moses told the king that the Israelites needed to worship God in the desert. He told the king to let the Israelites leave Egypt to do this. But the king refused. He said the Israelites were his slaves. They could not leave. He told them to get back to work! Moses warned the king that God would send many terrible plagues** on Egypt if the king disobeyed God. But the king laughed at them and told the Israelites to work harder. He made their work as slaves more difficult than before. So God sent nine plagues on Egypt: Moses turned the water of the Nile river into blood. Many of the fish in that great river died. God covered the land of Egypt with frogs, gnats and flies. But these pests did not harm the Israelites. God caused the Egyptians animals to die. But the animals of the Israelites did not die. God made boils (sores) appear on the skin of the Egyptians. But the Israelites did not get boils. God made hail* rain from the sky on the Egyptians. But it did not hail on the Israelites. God covered Egypt with locusts which ate the crops. But they did not eat the Israelites crops. God caused a deep darkness to fall on Egypt for three days. But the Israelites had sunlight. Space for Notes: (Yours and ours) * Exodus 1-6 tell of Moses birth, the slavery of the Israelites and the time God called Moses. Exodus 7-11 tell of the ten plagues God sent on Egypt. Exodus 12 tells of the Passover and the Exodus (departure) of the Israelites from Egypt. **Plagues are any diseases or disasters that harm or kill a large number of people. * Hail is rain frozen into little stones made of ice. It harms crops and animals. Try to imagine the annoying and destructive impact of these plagues! The Page 1

2 Egyptian people suffered greatly. Before each plague Moses went before the king. He told the king to let the Israelites go to worship God. But the stubborn king refused. He spoke harshly to Moses. He was defiant. He said to Moses, Get out and stay out! If you ever come back, you re dead! * Even after all of these plagues the king did not listen to Moses. * Exodus 10:28. Each of these plagues was God s way of mocking Egyptian gods. The Egyptians had frog gods, locust gods, sun gods, gods that protected the Nile river and gods that protected crops. God was showing everyone that those gods were not real. Only the God of the Bible has power to control animals, stop the sun s light or protect crops! After the first nine plagues, God was ready to send the tenth and final plague. It was the worst plague of all. Listen to this account in the Bible: Moses went to the king and said: I have come to let you know what the LORD is going to do. About midnight he will go through the land of Egypt, and wherever he goes, the first-born son in every family will die. Your own son will die, and so will the son of the lowest slave woman. Even the first-born males of cattle will die. Everywhere in Egypt there will be loud crying. Nothing like this has ever happened before or will ever happen again. But there won t be any need for the Israelites to cry. Things will be so quiet that not even a dog will be heard barking. Then you Egyptians will know that the LORD is good to the Israelites, even while he punishes you. Your leaders will come and bow down, begging me to take my people and leave your country. Then we will leave. Moses was very angry; he turned and left the king. Exodus 11:4-8, CEV God instructed the Israelites to prepare for this plague. He told the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb in each of their homes and cover the sides of the doorways of their homes with the lamb s blood. God also told them to eat the meat of the lamb in a special meal called the Passover. They Page 2

3 must eat it quickly because that same night they would leave Egypt. While they were eating they must wear clothes that they would wear for a journey. This is the Bible record. The Lord is speaking through Moses: That same night I will pass through Egypt and kill the first-born son in every family and the first-born male of all animals. I am the LORD, and I will punish the gods of Egypt. The blood on the houses will show me where you live, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. Then you won t be bothered by the terrible disasters I will bring on Egypt. Remember this day and celebrate it each year as a festival in my honor. After you have entered the country promised to you by the LORD, you and your children must continue to celebrate Passover each year. Your children will ask you, What are we celebrating? And you will answer, The Passover animal is killed to honor the LORD. We do these things because on that night long ago the LORD passed over the homes of our people in Egypt. He killed the first-born sons of the Egyptians, but he saved our children from death. At midnight the LORD killed the first-born son of every Egyptian family, from the son of the king to the son of every prisoner in jail. He also killed the first-born male of every animal that belonged to the Egyptians. That night the king, his officials, and everyone else in Egypt got up and started crying bitterly. In every Egyptian home, someone was dead. During the night the king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, Get your people out of my country and leave us alone! Go and worship the LORD, as you have asked. Take your sheep, goats, and cattle, and get out. But ask your God to be kind to me. The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them to do. They had gone to their Egyptian neighbors and asked for gold and Page 3

4 silver and for clothes. The LORD had made the Egyptians friendly toward the people of Israel, and they gave them whatever they asked for. In this way they carried away the wealth of the Egyptians when they left Egypt. Exodus 12:12-14, 24-27, 29-32, 35-36, CEV God freed the people of Israel from their slavery in Egypt! The Israelites left Egypt and never went back. They followed God to the land God promised to give to Abraham s descendants. In this story we learn about God s power. 1. God has power over all gods. The Egyptians turned to their gods for protection, but their gods could not stop the one, true God. God controls the whole world: frogs, flies, sickness, crops, sunlight, even life and death. 2. God has power over all nations. The king of Egypt was the greatest leader of the greatest nation in the world. But he was powerless to stop God. 3. God has power to protect and free his people. God sent the plagues but the plagues did not harm the Israelites. God protected them. God also powerfully freed the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. They left Egypt with their hands full from the gifts the Egyptians gave them. God loves his people and can do anything to help them. Have you put your trust in God s saving power? The Passover is an illustration of God s salvation. Today our lamb is not an animal but Jesus himself. The Bible says that Jesus is now the Passover lamb of God.* He died on a cross to suffer God s punishment for our sin.** His death protects us from God s judgment just like the lamb s blood protected the Israelites from the angel in Egypt. God loves us so much he gave us a way to escape his judgment for our sins. * John 1:29, 1 Corinthians 5:7 ** 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 4:25; Colossians 1:22 * 1 Corinthians 11: Christians today celebrate Jesus protection with a joyful meal just like the Israelites celebrated the Passover meal. The meal Christians celebrate is called the Lord s Supper. Jesus told his followers to celebrate the Lord s Supper until he returns from heaven.* The Lord s Supper is a celebration of God s love for us. It is our way of thanking God for sending his Son Jesus to die for us. Page 4

5 Conclusion: What a comfort to know how powerful God is! He is able to protect and save us from oppression and evil powers. Let us now thank God for his power, love and protection. Prayer: Dear God of Moses, I thank you for being such a powerful God. I thank you for using your great power to show your great love to me. I love you, too. I want you to deliver me from sin and protect me from evil. In Jesus name, Amen. Page 5

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