Fear

The Ten Plagues- Exodus 7:14-12:32

Theme: When life is scary…God is good

Bible Verse: Psalm 23:4- “Even when I walk through the darkest valley; I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”

Introduction:

          Have you ever been scared? When is a time you were scared? (Ask kids to raise their hands and call on a few.)

          In our story today, God caused some really scary things to happen to the Egyptians.

          Who remembers what the Egyptians did to the Israelites in yesterday’s story? (punished them, didn’t give them the straw they needed to make bricks)

          In today’s story, God is watching out for the Israelites.  He will do some amazing things to show how powerful He is.

          How powerful is God? Just wait and see.

Bible Story:

          Moses looked at the towering golden pillars of Pharaoh’s palace and thought, I can’t go in there again!

          The last time they had asked Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, Pharaoh had refused and made life harder for the slaves by forcing them to gather the straw for the bricks. What would Pharaoh do when they asked again today?

          They entered the dazzling throne room. Even though he had lived in this palace as a boy almost eighty years ago, Moses was afraid. He was glad that his older brother Aaron was there to do the talking.

          Pharaoh was not glad to see them. “You again?” he roared.

          “The God of Israel says to let my people go,” Aaron said.

          “Perform a miracle so I know you really are from God,” Pharaoh said.

          So Aaron threw down his staff, and it turned into a writhing snake.

          Pharaoh snapped his fingers and called for his magicians. They threw down their staffs which also turned into snakes.

          “See, your God isn’t so powerful,” Pharaoh sneered. “We can do it too.”

          Then Aaron’s snake swallowed up their snakes. Whose God was more powerful now?

          But it didn’t matter to Pharaoh. “I will not let your people go!”

Scary Thing #1

          So God told Moses and Aaron to join Pharaoh on the banks of the Nile River the next morning.

     Moses told Pharaoh, “The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you saying, ‘Let my people go.’ If you do not, then I will turn the water of the Nile into blood.”

     Aaron raised the staff over the Nile River. Immediately, the water turned to thick red blood—not only the river, but the ponds and the streams, even the water in buckets at home. The fish died. The water smelled so bad that people could not drink it.

     But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. He spun around and went back to his palace and would not let God’s people go.

Scary Thing #2

     Seven days later, since Pharaoh would still not let them go, when Aaron raised his staff, frogs came out of the streams and canals and ponds and covered the land. There were frogs in their beds, in the ovens, on their heads, and in the bread dough. Frogs everywhere. It was disgusting!

     So Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. “Pray to the Lord and ask Him to take the frogs away, and then I will let your people go.”

     “When would you like me to pray?” Moses asked.

     “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. (Doesn’t that seem strange to you? I would have wanted them gone today!)

     So the next day Moses prayed, and the frogs died in the courtyards and in the fields. They were piled in heaps, and the land reeked of them.

     But when Pharaoh saw that the frogs were gone, he hardened his heart and would not let the people go after all.

Scary Thing #3

     So then God told Aaron to stretch out the staff and strike the dust, and when he did, the dust turned into gnats—tiny little biting insects with wings that flew in everyone’s eyes, noses, and mouths.

     But Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not let the people go.

Scary Thing #4

     So the next morning Moses and Aaron again met him by the water and warned him that if he did not let the people go, God would send swarms of flies on the Egyptians, but not on the Israelites.

     Dense clouds of flies poured into the palace and into the houses of his officials, and throughout Egypt—black, buzzing, biting, crawling and flying on everyone and everything.

     Pharaoh still wouldn’t let the Israelites go.

Scary Thing #5

     The next plague was all of the livestock of the Egyptians dying- every horse, donkey, camel, cow, sheep, and goat. But not one Israelite animal died.

     Still, Pharaoh would not let the people go.

Scary Thing #6

     Next, Moses took handfuls of soot from the furnace and tossed it in the air, and the people and animals broke out in boils all over their bodies—oozing sores that were very painful, so painful that people couldn’t even get out of bed. But the Israelites didn’t have a single boil.

     Still, Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not let the people go.

Scary Thing #7

     Then God sent the worse storm Egypt had ever seen. Lightning flashed back and forth. Thunder rumbled, and hail—big, heavy round pieces of frozen ice—beat down every plant and knocked all the leaves off the trees.

     Still, Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not let the people go.

Scary Thing #8

     This time blowing in on the east wind were flying locusts like black grasshoppers. They covered the ground until everything was black, and they ate every green leaf that had not already been destroyed by the hail.

     Still, Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not let the people go.

Scary Thing #9

     Next, God sent darkness over the land for three days, darkness so thick that you could not see your hand in front of your face. People stayed in their houses. But the Israelites had plenty of light.

     Still, Pharaoh would not let the people go.

Scary Thing #10

     So God sent the worst plague of all, the one that would finally make Pharaoh change his mind. All the firstborn, or the oldest child or animal in a family, would die.

     Moses met with the Israelite leaders and gave them God’s instructions to keep their families safe. If they put the blood of a perfect lamb, without spot or blemish, on the tops and sides of the doorframes, when the Lord passed over their house that night, He would not kill them.

     At midnight, every firstborn Egyptian died, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of the livestock. There was a loud wailing in Egypt for in every house, someone had died.

     During the night, Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go! Get your people and their livestock and leave!”

     The Israelite slaves didn’t waste time. They gathered their families and all they owned. About two million of them followed Moses. They were leaving forever. No more slavery. God had rescued them and set them free.

Conclusion:

     Why didn’t the Israelite’s firstborns die that night?

              Because of the blood of the lamb on their doorframes.

     It was the blood that protected them.

     This is a beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us. Listen to what John 1:29 says, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

     What was Jesus called? The Lamb of God.

     How is Jesus like a lamb?

              The lamb that the Israelites killed had to be perfect, without spot or blemish. Jesus was perfect, without spot or blemish because Jesus had never sinned.

     The sacrificing of lambs was important to the Israelites. When they did something wrong, they brought a perfect lamb without spot or blemish to the priest. The priest killed it on an altar, and the blood spilled out. The blood was supposed to cover their sins. The trouble was that the next time they sinned, they had to kill another lamb for the new sin.

     Jesus was like the perfect lamb. When he died on the cross, His blood was spilled out for your sin. But this time His blood covered all your sins. No lamb ever had to be sacrificed again.

     So, how are your sins forgiven? You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you, you must tell Him you’re sorry for your sin, and invite Him to come and live within you. When you do, your sins are gone, and you will be perfect enough to go to heaven when you die.

     (Give a salvation invitation.)

Application:

     Can you imagine how scared the Egyptians would have been when these plagues started happening?

     Imagine needing a drink and pouring blood out of the water bucket. Disgusting!

     Imagine having frogs under the sheets in your bed.

     Imagine having tiny gnats buzzing around your eyes and going up your nose.

     Imagine having clouds of biting black flies around your head.

     Imagine having painful sores all over your body.

     Imagine the biggest thunder and lightning storm ever with huge hunks of hail falling.

     Imagine swarms of black grasshoppers covering the whole land, eating every green thing in sight.

     Imagine thick darkness for three days where you could not see your hand in front of your face.

     Imagine the firstborn in your house dying.

     Most of these things would never happen to you today, but three of them could— a terrible lightning and thunder storm, scary darkness in your bedroom, or the death of someone you love. These are real fears.

     So, what should you do when you’re afraid?

     The Bible gives us some good advice:

Psalm 56:3- “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

     Who is the You referring to? (God). When you are afraid, pray to God. Ask Him to protect you and help you not be afraid. You can trust that He will.

Why? What does this verse say?

Psalm 23:4- “Even when I walk through the darkest valley; I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”

          If you have asked Jesus to come into your heart, He is always with you. He is there. He is good, and He is in control. He will help you.

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Beth Livingston

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