And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord. — Exodus 10:2
The pages of the scrapbook were yellowed and a bit tattered around the edges, but each page held a wealth of memories. I studied the precious old photographs that chronicled our family’s history. There was my dad as a young man (with hair!) on skis. That brought back memories of childhood trips to Mount Hood and skimming down the slope on the back of Dad’s skis, my arms tight around his waist. There was my uncle, smiling at the camera from behind his typewriter. He’s been in Heaven for so many years now that I can hardly picture his face, but I do remember his deep laugh, his love for God, and saying goodbye to him as he left for his final missionary trip to Africa. And that round-faced little toddler in a shepherd’s robe, clutching his stuffed lamb — could that really be my brother, the competent, respected building contractor? I clearly remember him singing, “I Wish I Could Have Been a Shepherd,” in the Sunday school program, even though I was only a child myself at the time.
Think of the memories Moses could have related! As a participant in one of the greatest dramas in Biblical history, Moses witnessed events that many have heard of but very few actually saw.
In our focus verse, God told Moses that He wanted him to tell his son and his son’s son about the mighty things God had wrought in Egypt so that generations to come would know that God is the Lord of all. In essence, God was saying, “Take a mental snapshot, Moses. Preserve this event for those who will follow after you. Do not let them forget.” Moses did just that, and we see throughout the Old Testament how the Children of Israel were reminded time after time of God’s deliverance from Egypt.
Has God blessed you with memories of what He has done in your life? Can you recount times when the Lord himself has intervened in your personal history? It is vital for us to tell what the Lord has done for us in our past and what He is doing for us now. The stories we relate and how we present them will help shape the next generation’s belief in God and knowledge of what He can do. Like beloved snapshots in an old family album, our memories of how God has worked in our lives are meant to be shared. Let us pass them on, that they may inspire and refresh those who come behind us.
The Children of Israel were nearing the end of their bondage as Egyptian slaves. God had appointed Moses to lead them out of Egypt, and He sent plagues on the Egyptians because of Pharaoh’s refusal to let the Children of Israel go. Seven plagues preceded today’s text, with each plague bringing more devastation to the land of Egypt.
The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart is mentioned twenty times in chapters 4 through 11. Exodus 9:16-17 and Romans 9:15-18 tell us that God raised up this particular Pharaoh to show the world the power of God. Pharaoh had exalted himself among the people, and God used the plagues to demonstrate how powerless Pharaoh really was when confronted by the true God.
The Children of Israel were a valuable asset to the Egyptians, and Pharaoh was unwilling to let go of such a resource. Their free labor had built Egypt’s great cities. By the time the eighth plague came, Egypt had already suffered incredible damage, yet Pharaoh still refused to let the Israelites go.
Moses often told Pharaoh ahead of time what the plague would be, giving ample warning of the results to come if Pharaoh refused to give in. Pharaoh first tried to compromise with Moses by offering to let only the men go. Later he offered to let all the people go if they would leave their livestock behind. However, his attempts to negotiate failed.
When the plague of locusts engulfed the land, Pharaoh quickly called for Moses and Aaron to come and entreat the Lord to take away the locusts. God hearkened to the prayers of Moses and Aaron just as He had after each preceding plague, showing God’s mercy even toward Pharaoh.
Of all the plagues, the plague of darkness was the biggest insult to Egypt’s many gods. Ra, the sun god and chief of all the Egyptian gods, was proved powerless to end the oppressive darkness. However, the true God of Heaven made sure His children, the Israelites, had light in their dwellings. God was proving to the Egyptians that He alone is the true God.
In Exodus 11, God outlined the final plague to Moses. This plague would cause Pharaoh to beg the Children of Israel to leave Egypt. God told Moses to have the Israelites ask the Egyptian people for silver and gold. By this time, the Egyptians had a great fear of Moses and the Children of Israel, and they were more than willing to give the Israelites whatever they wanted. The death of all the firstborn males in Egypt, including Pharaoh’s son, would be the final blow to Pharaoh’s egotistical attitude that he was above God.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The oppression of Israel in Egypt
C. The struggles with Pharaoh
3. The judgments on Egypt
b. The plagues on Egypt
(8) Locust (10:1-20)
(9) Darkness (10:21-29)
(10) The last plague announced (11:1-8)
c. Summary (11:9-10)
Our life experiences will not be like those of Moses, but they are unique and they matter. What were the turning points in your life? Where did you see God work? What is He doing for you right now? Pass it on! The stories you share today may be the building blocks for someone’s faith tomorrow.