Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleGod's Israel Shall Have Light
Bible TextExodus 10:21-23
Synopsis While men of this world dwell in thick darkness, God’s Israel shall have light. Listen
Series Exodus 2016
Article Type Sermon Notes
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc
Audio HI-FI Listen: God's Israel Shall Have Light (32 kbps)
Audio CD Quality Listen: God's Israel Shall Have Light (128 kbps)
Length 37 min.

Series: Exodus

Title: God’s Israel Shall Have Light

Text: Exodus 10:21-23

Date: April 15, 2018

Place: SGBC, NJ


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.


This darkness stands as a good illustration of the condemnation upon all men by nature due to our sin.


Proverbs 4: 19: The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.


Notice, the darkness came from the LORD—“And THE LORD SAID unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand TOWARD HEAVEN, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt…”


Just as God warned Pharaoh, God warned Adam that in the day he disobeyed God—“thou shalt surely die.” Like Pharaoh, Adam disobeyed and Adam died. Adam died a three-fold death.  Spiritually—Adam lost the Light of God when God withdrew communion from Adam. He was plunged into spiritual darkness.  Physically—Adam’s body began to die immediately as soon as sin entered and death by sin.  Eternally—If God had not intervened, Adam would have died eternally under the wrath of God in hell.


Since, Adam was the Head of all his race, we all sinned in Adam and died this three-fold death. It is pictured in our text in that—“there was a thick darkness in ALL the land of Egypt”


1 Corinthians 15: 22…in Adam all die,


Romans 5: 12: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:


Due to sin, we all are born spiritually dead. We shall all die physically.  And but for God intervening, we would have all died eternally under the wrath of God forever.




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:


The darkness over all Egypt was “even darkness which may be felt.”  Sin is felt darkness. We are all by nature, Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron.” (Ps 107: 10)  We feel the chains of sin. Within and without sin is felt darkness.


Sin is blinding darkness—“They saw not one another.”  By nature as we come into this world we are all blind to the triune God and to all things spiritual.


Job 5:14: They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night.


1 John 2:11: But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.


Sin is debilitating darkness—“neither rose any from his place for three days.”  The darkness of sin prohibits sinners from doing righteousness. We have left “the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.” (Pro 2: 13) The darkness of sin prohibits us from doing anything but sinning. It even prohibits sinners from coming to Christ the Light that we might be saved. Christ said,

John 3: 19: And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20: For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.


Back before the days of electricity a little girl was riding a train with her parents.  The conductor began lighting lanterns in the train car. The little girl asked her mother, “Why is he lighting the lamps when it is light outside?”  The mother said, “Just wait and you will see.” Soon the train went into a dark tunnel and the little girl saw the wisdom in lighting the lamps. These scriptures which declare that all we are is sin and darkness are the light of truth like those lamps in the train.  But sinners only see and only take sides with God against ourselves when God brings us into the dark tunnel, making us see the darkness of our sin in the light of these scriptures.  Then these lamps shine and we are made to confess what we truly are.  I pray today that God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, might shine in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4: 6)




Exodus 10: 23:…but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.


While all Egypt was in darkness, God gave light to the children of Israel. Who are the children of Israel? They represent God’s Israel, God’s elect, the children of promise whom God chose to save and to whom God gives light.


Romans 9: 6: Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8: That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9: For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.


Children of promise are God’s elect, born of the Spirit of God from among Jew and Gentile. Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.  Isaac was a child of promise born of God the Holy Spirit according to God’s promise.  Ishmael was a child of flesh. God promised to produce a child in Sarah’s dead womb.  But Abraham and Sarah grew weary of waiting on God to fulfill his promise.  So Ishmael was produced by the will and work of Abraham and Sarah when Abraham took Hagar his handmaid and produced Ishmael.  Later, as promised, God produced life in Sarah’s womb and Isaac was born.  So it is that not all the children of Abraham, not all Israel, are God’s Israel.  Those which are the children of the flesh are not the children of God.  Only the children born of the Spirit of God are children of promise and counted by God as his Israel. That is why Gentiles born of the Spirit of God are called children of Abraham. They are God’s Israel who are born of the Spirit of God and given faith in Christ whether they be Jew or Gentile. 


He gives another example using the sons of Rebecca and Isaac.


Romans 9: 10: And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11: (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12: It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13: As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.


These were twins of the same father and the same mother. There was no difference made by the twins. They were not yet born neither had they done any good or evil. Yet before they were born God told Rebecca the elder, Esau, shall serve the younger, Jacob.  God had chosen Jacob and passed by Esau. The reason is given.  The purpose of God in electing whom he will unto salvation is so that salvation is not of our works but of God that calleth. So God’s Israel are those God elected unto salvation, not of our works, but of God that calleth.


Knowing what unregenerate sinners will say to this, the Spirit of God moved the apostle Paul to answer all objections.


Romans 9: 14: What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 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.


So the children of Israel are not all the Israel of God. God’s Israel are those God chose to save by his grace not based on anything in us.


While in darkness, sinners hate the doctrine of election. But when God makes you know the darkness of your sin then you see that the only thing any sinner deserves from God is to be cast into hell.  If God reveals to you that he chose you then you cease hating God for choosing to save some. Then you realize had God not chosen to save some then all would have remained in the darkness of sin and death. 


By God choosing to save some in and by Christ Jesus, God manifests that he alone puts a difference between the children of this world and his elect.  God illustrated this using Egypt and the children of Israel in Exodus 11. God declared that he would pass through Egypt and smite all the firstborn sons. God said, “But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” (Ex 11: 7)


So the one who makes the difference so that his Israel shall have light is God alone! Therefore in our salvation, God gets all the glory.




Exodus 10: 23: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days:


When we read “three days” in connection with darkness, we are pointed to the three hours of darkness in which Christ suffered on the cross and the three days in which he was buried then rose again.


Matthew 27: 45: Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46: And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?


Like as God provided a Passover lamb to die in place of the firstborn sons among the children of Israel, God provided his firstborn Son to die in place of all God’s elect.  And what a death our substitute had to die in order to give us the light of life.


The first Adam brought in spiritual, eternal and physical death. In order for God to satisfy his own justice, he had to pay the last Adam (Christ Jesus his Son) the wages of sin which is death.  (Rom 6: 23) This was an absolute must in order for God to be just and for God to be the Justifier of his people. Christ had to die this threefold death. And with all his people in him, we died this death in him under God’s justice.


Spiritual death is due to God removing his presence from a man due to the man being made sin. For a mere man, it defiles. It makes him impotent to good. It makes him a servant to evil.  But Christ is the GodMan.  We see his faithfulness to God the Father.  When he bore the sin of his people, God separated himself from Christ and he died spiritually for three hours in darkness on the cross.  The darkness gives us some idea of the darkness and distress of soul that he bore. It was a total lack of spiritual joy and comfort. It was only agony. Christ said, “his soul was sorrowful even unto death.” But scripture says Christ “resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Heb 12: 4) It is what he was doing in the garden of Gethsemane when “being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Lu 22: 44)  And it is what he was doing on the cross when Christ said “my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.” (Ps 22:14)  Our Substitute remained holy and faithful to God in his heart even when God removed his presence from him. So Christ died spiritual death and his people died that death in him.


Eternal death is everything Christ endured while he was alive on the cross which was equal to the sufferings of the wicked in hell for eternity.  Hell is the loss of God’s presence, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.” Hell is the loss of God’s presence which is to “be punished with everlasting destruction FROM the presence of the Lord, and FROM the glory of his power.’ (2 Thess 1: 9)  This is the eternal death, the everlasting destruction, Christ was dying for his people when he cried, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me.” (Ps 22: 1)  This eternal death also includes the keen sense of God’s wrath and displeasure for eternity expressed by “everlasting fire” and where “their worm dieth not.”  Christ experienced God’s displeasure when God’s wrath was poured out like fire upon him and Christ said, “the sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snare of death prevent me.” (Psalm 18:5).  But Christ being both Man and eternal God, he was able to satisfy the eternal punishment of hell in those three hours of darkness and separation on the cross. And his people being in him, we died the eternal death justice demanded.


Physical death—then our Savior commended his spirit into the hands of the Father and gave the Ghost and died physically and was buried.  But three days later he came out of the tomb alive having conquered our last enemy which is death.  (1 Cor 15: 26)


So our Savior put an end to death for his people when Christ died spiritual, eternal and physical death for all God’s elect. Now, that same justice of God demands all for whom Christ died be freed from this three-fold death. 


Spiritual death—the justice of God demands that each of God’s elect be delivered from spiritual death in regeneration.  Remember, how we would not come to the Light because we loved darkness? God raised Christ the GodMan and gave him the glory of bringing each of his redeemed under the preaching of the gospel, “That THOU mayest say…to them that are IN DARKNESS, Shew yourselves.” (Is 49: 9) Then, as Christ said, “he that doeth truth cometh TO THE LIGHT, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (Jn 3: 21) Therefore, when regenerated and given the gift of faith, we come to Christ the Light confessing he worked all our works for us and in us.  And that is the reason God saved us by Christ, “that ye should shew forth the praises of HIM WHO HATH CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELLOUS LIGHT” (1Pe 2:9) “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor 4: 6)


Brethren, sanctification is in the heart in the new man which “after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” It is being called and separated from vain works to Christ our Righteousness and Holiness by the washing of regeneration. Now, by Christ’s Light we distinguish between grace and works, between the Voice of Christ and the voice of strangers.


Physical death—the justice of God demands all for whom Christ died be delivered from physical death in resurrection.  Our spirit goes to be with Christ immediately when our body dies. And when Christ returns he shall raise our bodies incorruptible.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15: 55-57)


Eternal death—the justice of God demands all Christ’s redeemed be delivered from eternal death in the great and final judgment. Our judgment was settled on the cross when we died that eternal death in Christ being forsaken of God for three hours. Christ said when the Holy Spirit is come he convinces all Christ’s redeemed, “Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (Jn 16: 9)


You see, all false christs only make salvation possible. The Christ of scripture accomplished it.  This is the reason that while men of this world dwell in thick darkness, God’s Israel shall have light.  Christ said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (Jn 8: 12)