1. The LORD God Almighty and his firstborn son.
2. The Pharaoh and his firstborn son.
This is the latest installment of a great cosmic battle, raging since Genesis 3. A battle between “The seed of the woman” and “The seed of the Serpent”. Between God’s son and the devilish tyrants. Battles like Abel vs. Cain – firstblood to he serpent.The Sons of Noah vs. Nimrod the tyrant who built Babel. Abraham against an earlier Pharaoh… David vs. Goliath. And so on. When you go up against the LORD and his firstborn there’s really only one winner. Pharaoh is guaranteed to lose. He’s oppressed God’s firstborn, forgotten God’s past salvation of his people… his time is up. The LORD will win.
There’s almost nothing more scary in the world for a Christian than the idea of our hearts becoming hard to God’s word. We’re warned to check our hearts daily in Hebrews 4. Here we see that Pharaoh’s time is up. 4v21 - The LORD will harden Pharaoh’s hard heart so that when Aaron speaks the Word of God he will scoff and reject it. The tyrant will die. God and his firstborn will walk out of slavery or Pharaoh and his firstborn will die trying to stop them.
Two things are going on here, both point beyond themselves to something bigger:
1. Evil Defeated
Moses and Israel look at an impossible mission, as we might faced with the evils of people opposed to God and the devil who has bewitched people with his lies, enslaving them to sin. Moses and Israel can no more save themselves than we can win this city to Jesus ourselves. Obama said “Yes we can” – we all say “No we can’t” but God says “Yes, I have”. Is your Christianity big enough for that?
Evil in the form of Pharaoh, will be defeated in events that turn rivers to blood, coin the term “Biblical plague”, darken the skies and even part the reed sea. Much more, ultimate defeat of evil is accomplished by the LORD God Almighty and his firstborn, after the pattern of the book of Exodus. Under the darkened skies of divine wrath, and with the spilt blood of Jesus’ crucifixion, overthrowing the curse of sin, death and Satan and bringing new life to his people. There will be a remaking of the world, through the cosmic intervention of God Almighty and his firstborn son. Is your Christianity big enough for that?
That is the ultimate wonder and word to which all others wonders and words point. Contrary to our emotions, perceptions and those of the world around us, Christianity is no private faith or personal belief. The whole universe is laden with the salvation plan of God and his firstborn. Evil defeated means that the devil is now disarmed and defeated. And though he has the world in the grip of his lies, the word of God is power to save.
Believing that the LORD has defeated evil means we can believe that he can save this city. On the cosmic scale of things, what is winning Exeter for God? Makes you want to go and shout and sing – which is exactly what Israel will do in Exodus 15 – as God’s people always do in victory. Stop and sing. The heart overflows.
A couple of weeks ago the BBC screened a programme called The Narnia Code. The scholar at the centre of the documentary is Michael Ward. He suggests that a good summary of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is “winter passed and guilt forgiven”. The shape of the story echoes the great plan of God A long winter of death, oppression and injustice is about to end for Israel. Evil defeated, and yes guilt forgiven, but more: it’s going to be sonship received. Evil defeated and sonship received.