This is a message that I preached at King’s Grant Baptist Church. As children, we often look for ways to be disobedient, and dealing with God there is often no difference. From the life of Pharaoh, we can learn six creative ways to disobey God…
Postponed Obedience – Exodus 8:1-15 – Put it off until tomorrow.
- Water into blood did not work, so here comes plague #2
- Frogs are everywhere – (Exodus 8:3) – in your house, your bedroom, your bed, the houses of your servants, on your people, in your ovens and kneading bowls; covering the land of Egypt (Exodus 8:6).
- Magicians’ response – (Exodus 8:7) – more of the same, status quo
- Moses’ response – (Exodus 8:9) – empowering others to make decisions
- Monarch’s response – (Exodus 8:10) – “tomorrow” = procrastination
- Knowing what to do and waiting until some other day is the same as disobedience; just as deciding later is really a decision not to.
Practical Obedience – Exodus 8:25 – We rationalize in order to do what we want.
- What we want to do is more practical and doable than what God wants us to do, sacrifice within the land…
- There are dangers outside of Egypt, and I can’t protect you.
- There are logistical problems in moving so many people so far away.
- There are old people and infants, it will be a hard trip on all the people, I care about them.
- We often desire to walk by sight rather than by faith
- Another example is King Saul:
- 1 Sam 13:8-13 – performing the sacrifice when Samuel was late.
- 1 Sam 15:9-11, 19-22 – sparing King Agag, the people taking the spoil to sacrifice to God. To obey is better than sacrifice!
- Doing what is practical may be nothing more than disobedience. Obedience may not be doing what is practical, but doing the will of God!
Partial Obedience – Exodus 8:28 – I’ll go so far and that’s good enough
- We must go three days into the wilderness (Exodus 8:27)
- “I will let you go, just don’t go far away” (Exodus 8:28)
- Moses says it’s not good enough and sends the plague of flies (Exodus 8:29)
- What has God called you to do and you tell him that you will go so far and no more?
- I’ll give to your kingdom, but not sacrificial giving
- I’ll go to a Sunday school class, but not teach anywhere
- I’ll hand out bulletins on Sunday but not hand out meals at the shelter
- I’ll teach an adult class but I won’t serve in the preschool or children’s areas
- I’ll pray for missions but not give to missions
- I’ll give to missions but will not go on a mission trip
- I’ll invite people to church but not share my faith with people
- I’ll sing in the congregation but not in the choir
- How do you define where to draw the line – to obey or not?
Pivotal Obedience – Exodus 9:34-35 – I surrender all, and then change my mind and take it all back
- The hail came down until Pharaoh admitted that his people were the wicked ones (Exodus 9:27)
- Pharaoh was in a tough spot; “Pray to the Lord for the hail to stop and I’ll let your people go” (Exodus 9:28)
- Moses said he would stop the hail as soon as he was out of the city (Exodus 9:29)
- The thunder and hail stopped, and Pharaoh changed his mind (Exodus 9:34-35)
- How many times has this happened in life?
- I forgot I had a test today, God help me to pass, and I’ll do anything you want…
- We promise God all sorts of things if only I can get that promotion: If you get me the promotion… I’ll start tithing, I’ll be more faithful in church attendance, I’ll serve on a few committees.
- We make a vow when we pray for a family member to be healed
- Please God get me out of this mess and I’ll serve you faithfully
- This method of disobedience is basically lying to God!
Parental Obedience – Exodus 10:10 – the men and parents may go to serve the Lord but not the children
- Some time after Pharaoh goes back on his offer to let them go, Moses is asked, “Who are the ones going? (Exodus 10:8)
- With our young and old, our sons and daughters, our flocks and herds! (Exodus 10:9)
- Pharaoh said to take only the men (Exodus 10:11) which is unacceptable to Moses
- God wants all of us involved in his mission in the world.
- It’s not just for men, all people are called to salvation and service
- It’s not just for the women, so often men feel that Christians follow a wimpy Jesus always talking about love, rather than a manly Jesus who was a skilled craftsman & carpenter, with strong morals, firm convictions, strong social skills.
- He attracted people to his message and held them with a charismatic personality where men wanted to follow him, and eventually gave their lives for his mission.
- Children and youth may very well say that Christian service is for my parents, not me. I have too much to do right now, I’ll serve him later. God can’t use me, I’m just a youth Think about the call of Jeremiah – Jeremiah 1:5 or Timothy – 1 Timothy 4:12 – let no one look down on your youthfulness…
- Be an example to others, perhaps older people (1 Timothy 4:13)
- Read and teach the Scripture (1 Timothy 4:13)
- Exercise your spiritual gift (1 Timothy 4:14)
- Live out loud where people see your progress (1 Timothy 4:15)
- Persevere is sharing the message of salvation (1 Timothy 4:16)
- How often do young people feel that it is the older generation’s responsibility to serve the Lord?
Phony Obedience – Exodus 10:17 – Going to church with no real conviction, and a false sense of security
- After the locusts Pharaoh had enough, he declares to Moses and Aaron that he has sinned against God and them (16)
- He begs forgiveness (just this once) and their prayers, to remove this death from him (17)
- Pharaoh makes some sort of phony confession with intent of not following through; he hardens his own heart in 10:20.
- It may look good on the outside but God is not fool with such phony foolishness.
- A youth wants to date a Christian girl so he makes his confession
- A woman does not want to loose her potential finance’ so she attends church with him
- A prisoner before his parole board claims to now be a believer
- A businessman wants to increase his business through church people so he joins the church to make contacts
- A husband has a brush with death and he vows to be in church from now on
- Jesus said…
- That a tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 7:16)
- If you love me you will keep my commandments (John 14:15)
- Not everyone who calls him Lord will enter the kingdom (Matthew 7:21) EVEN those who served him and performed miracles; depart from me I never knew you (Matthew 7:22-23)
- Remember that Samuel told Saul that to “obey is better than sacrifice.” We cannot go through religious motions, playing games with God. “A call to come to Christ is a call to come and die” (Dietrich Bonheoffer). That’s not a popular message, but Jesus is the Lord and is to be obeyed or he may very well say to us, “I never knew you.”
- Look over the list of creative ways to disobey God. What is your favorite excuse? How are you going to get right with God? Don’t wait until tomorrow!