Exodus 4:18-31 ESV
18 Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 19 And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand. 21 And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.'” 24 At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision. 27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him to speak, and all the signs that he had commanded him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. 30 Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.
I. SAME STORY, DIFFERENT ENDING (18-20)
A. Moses returned to Egypt to do what he dreamed of doing years earlier, but this time he has the staff of God with him.
II. MESS WITH MINE, I’LL TAKE DOWN YOURS (22-23, 27-31)
A. Return and reunion are the themes that dominate this text.
B. God sees Israel as a son, a firstborn son, and it’s time for His son to come home.
C. God feels the deepest fatherly love for us, which causes Him to react like a true Papa Bear when His kids are being oppressed.
III. GOOD GOD, SORRY SONS, & THE SATISFACTORY SON
A. Both Israel in the past and the church in the present are failures as God’s sons, and yet God loves us anyway.
B. God had to send His perfect Son because Israel was such a failure as God’s chosen adopted son. (Matthew 3:16-17)
C. Jesus came to make it possible for the masses to become sons of God, the kind of son that He is. (Romans 8:29)
D. Exodus & the Gospel are the true story of a Father’s love for His sons, and what He has went through to bring His lost family home.
IV. THE ICY HUMAN HEART (21)
A. God hardens the heart of Pharaoh, for the sake of His glory, and to win countless Egyptian souls to Himself.
B. Pharaoh hardened his own heart, too. God did not make Pharaoh’s heart hard as much as He just didn’t let it go soft.
1. The human heart is impenetrable ground that God must soften for the Gospel to break through.
2. Fall into God’s Papa Bear arms of grace, come home to God, and then stay there forever.
NEXT WEEK: Rest — Exodus 5:1-22