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The true power of the Word

Exodus 8:16-24

Pastor David Ernst

Third Sunday in Lent
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Mar 15, 2020 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Our reading of the Old Testament speaks of a time of plagues. Today we live in a season of plague. The purpose of the 10 plagues of Egypt has been revealed to us. God sent Moses for the liberation of the people of Israel from slavery. Today we are not sure of the purpose of this plague. However, we trust that everything is under God's control.

We will continue to gather together for prayer, the Word of God and the sacrament of the altar. This is our confession of God is with us and protectsu in the way of the light of which Saint Paul speaks in the epistle (Ephesians 5: 1-9). Let us take reasonable precautions. We should avoid unnecessary trips outside the house. Let's maintain a healthy diet. We look forward to the day when our high schools and grade schools can open again.

When God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, He gave Moses everything that was necessary for his mission. Moses complained that he didnot speak well, so God gave him his brother Aaron as a spokesman. He also gave Aaron the power to cast his rod on the ground and become a serpent. Furthermore, He revealed to Moses His holy name, I AM, which is what Jehovah means, to say to the people that he came in the name of Almighty God.

But when Moses and Aaron confronted Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and told him to set his people free, Pharaoh called his sorcerers and the sorcerers imitated the serpent sign. Also when Aaron by the power of God changed the water of the Nile River to blood, the sorcerers by a trick changed water to blood. Also with the plague of frogs, although the sorcerers could not remove the frogs that God sent.

Finally, in our text for today, “Jehovah said to Moses: Say to Aaron: Extend your rod, and strike the dust of the ground, so that it becomes lice throughout the country of Egypt and they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and struck the dust of the ground, which became lice, both in men and in beasts; all the dust of the land became lice throughout the land of Egypt, the enchanters did so also, to remove lice with their enchantments; but they could not. And there were lice as well in men as in beasts. Then the enchanters said to Pharaoh: This is God's finger. ”

This phrase, "finger of God" is very particular. It is also found in Exodus and Deuteronomy when the finger of God wrote the Law of God on stone tablets for Moses. In our gospel (Luke 11: 14-28), Jesus cast out a demon out of a man. "But some of them said: ByBeelzebub, prince of demons, he casts out demons." The name Beelzebub appears the first time in the Old Testament, in 2 Kings 1: 1-16, as the name of a Canaanite god. At that time of Jesus, Beelzebub meant Satan, the prince of the rebel angels. Beelzebub means "The Lord of the flies", because as flies appear where there is physical decay, evil spirits gather around spiritual corruption.

Jesus answered them thus: "Every kingdom divided against itself is devastated; and a house divided against itself falls. And if Satan is also divided against himself, how will his kingdom remain? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebub. For if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, your children by whom do they cast them out? Therefore, they will be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, certainly the kingdom of God has come to you."

The same phrase, "the finger of God." The devil can quote the Scriptures, as in the temptation of Jesus. Devil's agents, sorcerers, and false prophets to a degree can imitate God's miracles by tricks. But, we can distinguish between God's messengers and those of devils because their words do not have true power. First, they do not have the power to reveal God's judgment against the wicked. False prophets can only deceive people with prophecies and doctrine that people want to hear. But these things are in vain.

The Word of God is like a knife that penetrates the heart. First, it penetrates the heart with the Law that convicts us of sin. No one can match the justice and holiness of God, but Christ. Therefore, after showing us the reality of our sin, the Word of God proclaims the good news of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who paid the price of our sin on the cross, to satisfy the justice of God. The revelation of the Word of God was accompanied in the beginning with signs and wonders, but without the truths of the Word, miracles do not matter to us.

False teachers can only say you must do something to win God's favor. But we know in our hearts that we don't deserve anything from God. But the true preacher says Christ has done everything for you and in Him there is the promise of eternal life.

Why panic about coronavirus? Because people don't trust God, so they don't have confidence in the future. We trust Jesus, because He is the stronger man than the master of the house, who is Satan.

Satan denounces us against God, saying, they belong to me, because they are sinners. But Christ took this weapon from the devil, because we are sinners, but at the same time holy because of Christ. In this promise of God, we have the peace that passes all understanding. Amen.

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