PESTILENCE FALLING UPON US
Exodus 5:1 ¶ And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
Exodus 5:3 ¶ And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. 4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.
The strong issue in this segment of God’s providential dealings with the church and her enemies is a heightened awareness of God’s name! It was even found in Pharaoh’s reply to Moses. “Who is the LORD?” And also Moses had asked this question of God earlier in this writing.
Exodus 3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
And implied within the response of Moses’ answer to Pharaoh was the implication that ‘if you don’t let us go, you are going to find out exactly who the LORD is by the pestilence (same word “plagues” in Hosea 13:14), he will send on you!’
Does that sound familiar, America? For who else is powerful enough to presently stop all the earth’s commerce; prevent all assembly; separate families; and put hundreds of thousands of humans into body bags? Joshua 24:20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Acts 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. Even the prince of darkness (Satan) cannot raise a hand for evil except he obtain permission from the Lord God! See Job 1:12, 2:6.
And then we come to see in the midst of these pestilences and plagues upon Egypt, while Israel was in their midst, that this is the very time when the Almighty God would increase the revelation of his name! Consider the following passage:
Exodus 6:1 ¶ Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
Exodus 6:4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
Again! It was within the occurrence of the pandemic in Egypt in which the Lord chose to exalt his identity to Israel! He was not known as “Jehovah” (“the LORD”) to Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob! He had not chosen to reveal Himself in this more glorious way to them. And as a beautiful work of art requires a proper, lovely frame to enhance its appeal, so the Lord required this time of the ten plagues of Egypt to set forth His greater glory! He ‘framed’ his increased revelation with the darkness of Egypt’s judgments. For there is always “darkness upon the face of the deep,” before the Spirit moves and the Light appears! (See Genesis 1:1-4)
And his new name is “LORD.” Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
And this new name is eternally inscribed upon those who have lived by faith, having endured unto the end, and therefore receive the final purpose of their faith – eternal salvation! They are now to dwell in eternal light without darkness ever appearing to them again! Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. Revelation 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
The Psalmist writes of those who dwell in, and trust only upon, the “most High in the secret place.” He states twice that the “pestilence” may fall, as it were, into Egyptian darkness, but not in the dwellings of the Hebrews land of Goshen! Exodus 10:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: 23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
Consider the Psalmist’s understandings concerning the pestilence. Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome (the ‘wicked,’ or ‘perilous’) pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
And Egypt’s pestilence did “stalk” them in darkness. Exodus 11:4 And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.
But notice the Psalmists insights given by the Holy Spirit concerning the pestilence. The key is to continuously abide in the personal faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. For those who do are ‘delivered’ from the snares of Satan, and kept from the fear that grips those aware of the pestilence of the darkness of sin.
And then the LORD speaks of the Psalmist in verses fourteen through sixteen. And he gives the determining factor for the believers deliverance from this deadly pandemic of sin. He states that it is, “because he hath known my name.” Therefore here again are we given to see the connection to the pandemic and the increased revelation of the name of Jehovah! For it is only when we are forced to endure such fearful things as “terror” and “pestilence” that we really come to know who the Lord God is!
It was only when Jacob had to flee from home as a ‘Mama’s boy’ alone in the darkness, that he was introduced to his father’s and grandfather’s God! Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
Elisha may indeed get across Jordan by the faith and power of Elijah. But he can only return by his own faith! 2 Kings 2:14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
The benefit of knowing the Lord God is of eternal value! John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
That God had orchestrated this entire situation in order to reveal his exalted name is plainly evident. For in Exodus 9:15,16 we read that God instructed Moses to relate this even to Pharaoh himself! For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. 16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
And then we still read of it as the Holy Spirit inspires the Apostle Paul to relate it to the believers at Rome. Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
And then in Romans nine, verses twenty-two through twenty-four we read that this was the Lord God being willing to reveal his personality to us! Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Dear Reader the Lord God has ‘gone to the trouble’ of presently raising up a world wide pandemic. And it shall have great and eternal benefit to your soul, if you come to rest in His Person! If you come not to lean upon your own understanding, but in every way to acknowledge him, he shall surely personally direct your daily paths! Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
DON’T WASTE YOUR PANDEMIC! This your hour to strengthen your faith. It is not enough that you may have had godly parents! It is not enough that you may have been brought up to become familiar with the scriptures! Psalm 22:4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. And as he said to Jacob, I was with your father and grandfather, so I will be with thee! Therefore it your time to live by faith. For without your personal faith expressed, you cannot please Him! Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
He will not fail you! He has never failed anyone who expresses true faith towards him! Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Pastor Gene Breed
April 29, 2020