Exodus 8:1; 25-32
Some people here probably remember an old game show that was on television for many years called Let’s Make A Deal. The show debuted in December 1963. The premise of the show involved guests, wearing crazy costumes, winning merchandise and being offered the opportunity to trade that merchandise for something else. If they wished to, they could take the items they had already won and traded them for items they could not see. Sometimes the items were hidden behind doors or in boxes and the contestant had to make a choice. If they chose to trade the prizes they had already won, they might get something better, or they might get a “Zonk.” That is, they might leave with something worthless. The show succeeded because there was always someone there who was willing to make a deal.
You may wonder what that has to do with our text. Well, the answer is simple. The Lord sent a man named Moses down to a place called Egypt to speak to a king called Pharaoh. Pharaoh had enslaved the people of God, the children of Israel, and God wanted Pharaoh to let them go. When Pharaoh refused to let the people go, God sent awful judgment upon Pharaoh and his people in the form of ten devastating plagues. During the course of these plagues, Pharaoh offered to let God’s people go. But, he wanted them to go on his terms. Four times he offered to let them leave, but each time he attached a condition and a compromise to their leaving. He was saying to Moses, “I know God said to let His people go, and I will, but first, let’s make a deal.” He wanted Moses and Israel to trade that which God had promised them for something less.
Now you may be wondering, “What does this have to do with us?” Again, the answer is very simple. You see, in the Bible, there are many types and symbols, where one thing stands for another, 1 Cor. 10:6; 11. Pharaoh is a classic type of the Devil; Egypt is a type of the world; Israel is a type of the church or those who are saved by grace. When the Lord sent the Spirit of God to convict us and save us; He also called us to leave the world and our old master, the Devil, behind, 2 Cor. 5:17; 6:17. That sounds easy enough, but every time we try to make the break with Satan and the world, we will find that he wants us to make a deal with him. But, with the Devil, there are no upgrades, only “Zonks.”
My friends, God wants to lead you to a life that is Spirit-filled and blessed. The Devil wants to get you to trade the blessings of God for the rubbish of this world. He will offer you every compromise at his disposal to attempt to lead you astray. Sadly, many of the Lord’s people fall for Satan’s tricks. Today, I want to point out the four offers Pharaoh made to Moses and Israel. These are a clear picture of the compromises Satan will offer you to trap you if he can. The Devil is always looking for someone willing to make a deal. Learn the truth today that his desire is for you to trade gold for stones and glory for sorrow, as I teach on the subject Let’s Make A Deal.
Deal #1 – WHY DON’T YOU JUST SACRIFICE HERE?
A. Pharaoh is saying, “Let’s make a deal Moses, you can serve your God, but you don’t have to leave Egypt to do it. Serve the Lord, but do it here.”
(Note: This is the same deal offered to many believers. The Devil comes by and he says, “Let’s make a deal. Go ahead and be a Christian if you want to, but don’t change your lifestyle! You can be saved and still be just like everyone else.”)
B. Moses refused Pharaoh’s deal for two reasons:1. Their Sacrifices Would Have Offended The Egyptians. The Egyptians considered cattle to be sacred animals. The bull represented their god Apis and the cow their goddess Hathor. If the Israelites had sacrificed those animals in Egypt to Jehovah there would have been rioting and violence. The Egyptians would have never understood the worship of the Israelites.
(Note: Nothing has changed! The world cannot possibly understand the worship of the Spirit-filled Christian. After all, they find the cross a symbol of scandal and foolishness, 1 Cor. 1:18. For believers to attempt to worship God in Spirit and truth before the world would cause problems like you cannot imagine. Why? The buzzword of the day is “tolerance.” We are supposed to accept people as they are and affirm their right to be who they are. We are not supposed to be narrow-minded and intolerant. However, the message of the cross is not a message of tolerance; it is a divisive message that the world does not want to hear.
Now, I realize that many are attempting to blend the sights, sounds, and feel of the world with the message of the cross. They are attempting to do this to reach more people for Jesus. And, I am convinced that many do it out of a pure motive. But, the problem is this: the message of the cross and the music, methods, and means of the world are like oil and water. They simply do not mix! Satan will tell you that you can have Jesus and the world too. He is a liar! You will either embrace Jesus and Him alone or you will embrace the world. You cannot have it both ways, Matt. 6:24. If you are really living for Jesus, then your commitment to Jesus will be offensive to the world. If you are committed to the world, then your lifestyle is offensive to Jesus. Sadly, we are living in a day when radical, sold out believers are hard to find!)
It Wasn’t What God Had Commanded. The Lord told Moses to go to Egypt and bring His people out, Exodus 3:10. Anything less would have been to compromise the commands of the Lord. Friends, it must be His way! The servants of God are to separate themselves from this sinful, wicked world, 2 Cor. 6:17; 2 Cor. 7:1; Psa. 1:1. When God’s people continue to walk in lockstep with the world, it says some things about how they see God!
The fact is, you cannot have God and the world too! But, the Devil will offer you that deal if you will take it. Don’t fall for his tricks, my friend, that apple has a worm! If Israel had taken that deal, they would have never made it to the Promised Land. If you take that deal, then you can forget, victory, power and the glory of God in your life.
Deal #2 – WHY DON’T YOU JUST STAY CLOSE BY?
A. Pharaoh is saying, “Let’s make a deal Moses if you people must separate, then do not go too far away.” (Note: Again, this is a deal offered to many believers by the enemy. He says, “Let’s make a deal! You go ahead and be a Christian, but don’t take it too far. Don’t be a fanatic.”)
B. Here is the truth of the matter; Satan will give you as much rope as you want, as long as you are on it! Neither he nor the world cares if you claim to be saved or not. But neither one of them wants you to live it! A sold out Christian is an abomination to the world – 2 Tim. 3:12. A sold out Christian Is a threat to the Devil.
C. Satan wants us to live our lives like the world around us. He will say things like. “Be saved, but try not to stand out too much. Try not to be too different from the world around you. Go to church on Sunday morning, but no more than that. Be saved if you want to, but don’t talk about Jesus at work or at school. Don’t dress differently. Listen to the same music. Do the same things. Have Jesus if you want Him, but don’t take this thing to extremes.” Of course, this is worlds away from what the Lord wants from our lives. Luke 14:26-27; Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 6:19-20. He wants us to be radically different from the world around us. So different that there will be no confusion as to where we stand. He wants our lives to be a witness for Him and for His glory, Matt. 5:13-16; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thes. 2:11-12; Titus 2:10. What am I saying? If you are saved, you need to get as far away from the world as you can! “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD,” Isa. 52:11!
D. By the way, Satan will try the same thing around the church house. He will tell us that we need to be more seeker-friendly. He will say that we need to soften our message; change our music; lose our power and be sure the world feels at home when they come in. But, we need not try to make Jesus, the church or the Gospel more attractive, we just need to be real! We just need to get as far removed from the world, its ways and its attitudes as we possibly can.
Deal #3 – WHY DON’T YOU JUST SPLIT YOUR FAMILIES?
A. Pharaoh says, “Let’s make deal Moses. You can take the men and go serve God, but leave the rest of the family out of it.” (Note: Satan tries the same trick with you and me. He will say, “Let’s make a deal. If you want to live for God, then go ahead, but don’t try to change those around you. Why don’t you just leave the rest of the family out of it.”)
B. I don’t know if you have realized it or not, but Satan wants your family! He wants to devastate it, destroy it and doom it to Hell. He does not want you to have a godly, Christian home. He does not want you to control your children. He wants you to let them run wild. He wants you to leave all of life’s decisions up to them. He wants you to let them find their own way. But, you have better understand this truth: If you give your sweet children to the world, the world will give you back pagans. By the same token, Satan does not want you, husbands and wives, to get along. Men, he wants you to cast a wandering eye at another woman. Ladies, he wants you to desire another man. He wants to drive a wedge between the two of you, causing you to fight one another and see one another as enemies, instead of friends and partners. He wants to divide you, and in some cases, he has! Today would be a great day for you to take one another by the hand, get down before the Lord together, and heal what’s broken in your home!
C. Parents and not T.V., the school system or peers are to train the children – Pro. 6:22. They might not go the way we point them, but at least their blood will not be on our hands. We are to tell them that certain things are just plain wrong and that wrong thing is off-limits. We are to decide what will and what will not be done in our homes. Parents and not children are to set the standards and make the rules. Children ought to be taught – Word, Salvation, Obedience, etc. If we raise a child for Satan, we have:
1. Stolen a soul;
2. Added a body to Hell;
3. Dishonored the Lord;
4. Given Satan a part of ourselves to use!
D. While I am on the subject, I’ll say this: men ought to take the lead in the home. Men need to lead their families far from the world and into the path of righteousness. Sir, God has placed you as the head of your home, Eph. 5:23. You have a responsibility to set the example. It is not your wife’s responsibility to see that the family gets off the church, it’s yours! It is your responsibility to lead that family and that home in the right way! It is an awesome responsibility and one that we need to take very seriously. E. Now, I realize that some ladies may have spouses that will not lead the family. Dear lady, you live your life for Jesus, do the best you can to train your children and live out Jesus in front of them. I believe God will honor your effort, in His Own time and in His own way. The Bible calls on you to do your best to live for Him, 1 Pet. 3:1-4. IV. 10:24-26
Deal #4 – WHY DON’T YOU JUST SURRENDER YOUR POSSESSIONS?
A. Pharaoh says, “Let’s make a deal Moses. If you must serve God, then go ahead, but leave your possessions behind. Take yourself out of Egypt, but leave your money here.”
(Note: This is the same trap that many fall into. Satan says, “If you want to be a Christian, then go ahead and be one, but leave your resources in the world. If you want to give God your heart, go ahead, but give your living to the world.”)
B. Israel’s flocks and herds represented their earthly possessions. Pharaoh wanted Moses and Israel to leave their resources behind. When Moses heard this offer, he rejected it too. He said, “We are taking everything. We are not leaving as much as a hoof behind. We are taking all we have because we will not know until we get there what the Lord would have us to offer to Him. And, what we have was given to us by the Lord and it is not for your use!”
C. It is sad, but many fall for this compromise of the Devil in our day. If we are saved, there is nothing he can do about it, but if he can, he will try to keep all that we have invested in the world. And sadly, many have nothing left after the world gets finished taking from them. We ought to be like Moses and refuse to leave anything we have in the world. Friends, God must have it all! He wants everything we have. He wants our time, our tithes, and talents. He doesn’t just want the tenth, He wants it all! He wants the ten percent and He wants to tell us what to do with the ninety! In the final analysis, God wants you; lock stock and barrel. When He has you, and all you have and are, He is satisfied. When He has you, you will have what you need to make it through this life, Matt. 6:33.
D. We must beware that we do not leave anything at all behind for Satan to use. Do not leave your money; use it for the glory of the Lord. Avoid the trap of debt that so many have fallen into. Their lives are so burdened and strapped down that they have nothing left for the Lord. Honor the Lord with your money and He will bless your life, Mal. 3:8-10.
(Note: Many condemn the church and say, “All they really want is my money.” Fact is a friend; we don’t want your money. It does take money to operate the church and a lot of it. But, that money is to come from the free will offerings of people who love the Lord. It isn’t to come from garbage sales, bake sales and car washes. It is to come from people who realize that everything they possess is a gift from the Lord and they want to honor Him by investing in His Kingdom’s work.
The Bible tells a story of two brothers named Jacob and Esau. Esau was the oldest and as such, he was entitled to a double portion of his Father’s estate and he was entitled to take over as the head of the family when his father passed away. One day Esau had been out in the field and when he returned home, he was hungry. His brother Jacob was cooking soup. When Esau asked for a bowl of soup, Jacob said, “Let’s make a deal. You give me your birthright and I will give you a bowl of soup.” Only a fool would have made that deal, but Esau did just that and traded away that which was priceless for a bowl of soup. He despised his birthright and paid a terrible price.
Many are guilty of doing the very same thing! They have heard the Devil say, “Let’s make a deal.” And, they have traded something precious for something worthless. They have left a big part of themselves in the world. They have traded their testimony for empty promises and wasted years. Well, that can be changed today. If you have made a deal with the Devil and if things are not what they ought to be in your heart and life, you need to get that straightened out today. If you will come to Him, He will forgive you and cleanse you. He will restore your life. If you have listened to the lies of Satan and have never been to Jesus for salvation, you can do that today.