Ancient Egypt at its Zenith fifteen centuries before Christ was awesome. The Pyramids were over a thousand years old, and stood towering ominously over this proud and powerful people. The ‘God-Kings’ or Pharaohs as we call them, were sons of Khnum, descendants of RA and the bearers of divinity to the masses. Astride the Mighty Nile, Egypt knew prosperity, fertile and productive agriculture and great peace.But, a nation had grown up in their midst for 400 years. It had started with just an old man and his twelve boys. Jacob and his twelve sons, his daughters and their families had flourished. In Goshen they now numbered nearly three million. As God had promised to his grandfather Abraham, his descendants would be as numberless as the sands of the sea. From one man to three million is a vast multiplication. And so, the stage is set:
THE GREATEST ANCIENT EMPIRE: EGYPT vs. THE ENSLAVED PEOPLE OF GOD: ISRAEL
But, it was even more than that. It was also:
God’s People vs. Satan’s People
God’s Promise vs. The Curse
God’s Power vs. The Kingdom of Darkness
Two eighty year old men vs. Pharaoh, his armies and the entire religion of Egypt
Shy Moses vs. Proud Pharaoh
The Whole Plan of God for Redemption vs. The Whole Plan of Satan for Rebellion
Why? These were the: Covenant People; Bearers of God’s Promises; Vehicle of God’s Written revelation; And, Ultimately, the only way Christ could come in God’s plan!
The Jews were and are so important in God’s plan. And so in about the year 1445/46 BC God told Moses to GO. And that is where we start this morning. In lightning fast flashes, we have a succession of TEN POWERFUL imprints upon the fabric of Egyptian Society. A land of mystery and false worship of false gods — brought face to face with the TRUE God of the UNIVERSE. Turn to Exodus 6:1-7; 7:3
One cannot help but be awed by the splendor of the ancient Egyptian temples. Even the remains of many merely represent the fragments of past glory, the crumbling ruins are a testimony to the splendor that Egypt once enjoyed. The multitude of shrines, inscriptions and religious objects are a constant reminder as are the massive temples and tombs now in ruins are so vivid a reminder that the grandeur of it all, must have been marvelous. However, the myriads of statues that now adorn the museums of the world found in excavations are a grim reminder of the folly of their idolatry. To think those people feared and followed these lifeless gods when faced with the Living and True God of the Universe is tragic, eternally tragic. Nothing we can imagine can come close to what happened on Passover Night. Life was going on in Egypt. The pest Moses had caused some problems but, nothing that couldn’t be forgotten. From cradle to stall, all the firstborn, known only to God, were struck. The wail and moans must have been indescribably chilling.