Transcript for Radio Program 31 May
I am back to work and over my vacation. It was two weeks of not thinking about work, but busy and I did a great deal of driving.
I prayed over my thoughts this week and God revealed to me that I should continue into Exodus because the first few verses of Exodus 1 tie it into Genesis.
So let’s begin.
Overall view of Exodus is that God demonstrates that he is aware of the suffering of his people and he is preparing them for deliverance.
This focus in the first eighteen chapters of Exodus is on the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. In these chapters the Exodus is projected through Moses (Chapter 1-4) obstructed by Pharaoh in Chapter 5-11 and effected by the Lord (Chapter 12-18) The first four chapters we’ll cover tonight are speaking of the situation which necessitated the Exodus, as well as the anticipation of that event. Three pictures of God in these chapters drive home the point that God was aware of the suffering of his people and was working behind the scenes to prepare for their deliverance.
Chapter 1 is a sequel to Genesis. This chapter is carefully connected with what precedes in Genesis.
After Joseph’s death the Israelites multiplied phenomenally in accordance with God’s promise to Abraham.
Let’s begin with prayer and read chapter one.
The Israelites Oppressed
1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. 5 The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy[a] in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7 but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.
8 Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. 9 “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”
11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”
20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”
Exodus is linked with Genesis by the introduction. God’s promise to Abraham is fulfilled by Israel’s fruitfulness.
The Pharaoh is afraid of the numbers – Israel is growing and harder to control. So this multiplication of Israel leads to their oppression by the Egyptians.
This was a new dynasty. They had set new policies regarding the Israelites. The King was afraid of invaders and he was afraid that Semitic Israelites might aid invaders from the north. So the persecution intensified – Struggle between an early King (pharaoh) and heavenly King – In spite of Egyptian effort to thwart the, the Israelites continued to increase. God’s countermeasure in of support of his people was working.
Egyptians worked the Israelites ruthlessly, forcing them to engage in hard labor in bricks and mortar and also in the fields. Josephus (great Jewish writer) indicates that they were forced to dig canals and on irrigation projects.
The Egyptians resorted to population control as well. The chapter speaks of two godly women who would not commit themselves to the killing of infants .
God blessed the courageous midwives with families of their own
Israelites continued to increase in Egypt. Then finally the Pharaoh gave the order to throw Israelite male infants into the river. Israelites were subjected to the order and no doubt were under a death sentence if they did not carry it out.
As persecution intensified, also did God’s countermeasures. The Exodus is anticipated by the preparation of a leader through whom God would affect the deliverance of his people. So let’s look at Chapter 2
The Birth of Moses
2 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.
3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket[a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.
7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses,[b] saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
Moses was born about 1525 BC – his brother Aaron was about 3 years older, Miriam older still. The faith of his parents – they were not afraid of the king’s command. They son was to be special and God had a plan for him.
Moses Flees to Midian
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”
14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”
19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[c] saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
Moses flight to Midian can ve viewed as an act of faith, in that he made no effort to defend himself or reconcile himself to Pharaoh. The next forty years in Moses’ life he lived in Midian.
4 developments in Moses’ life during this period are clear:
- Moses continued to champion the cause of the weak and helped Reuel’s daughters with their flocks.
- Moses lodged in a godly home – Reuel (friend of God) and was a priest of Midian. Reuel is called Jethro in Chapter 3, name which means “highness.” He was a worshiper of Yahweh. His people were descendants of Abraham through his son Keturah. Reuel was so impressed with Moses he invited him to live with him and mange his flocks. Moses agreed and for next forty years
- Moses eventually married Zipporah, one of the daughters.
- Moses tended the flocks and learned the discipline of the desert for forty years.The Pharaoh died, but the government of Egypt did not change. At this point the people of God turned with one accord to the Lord. They groaned and cried out to God for help. God heard their groaning, he remembered the covenant with the patriarchs, and he looked on them and was concerned about them. Divine concern translated into action when God called a prophet to deliver them. As we see in Chapter 3
Moses and the Burning Bush
3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[d] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[e] will worship God on this mountain.”
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[f] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[g] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.
16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’
18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.
21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”
Moses observed the bush, while it was on fire it was not consumed, he moved closer to investigate and when he did he heard of the voice of God speak six words.
- He called Moses name 2 times – God not his attention – personal acquaintance with him
- A word of warning. – holy ground, he must show respect and take off his sandals.
- A word of identify. He identified himself as the God of your father (singular) and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- Word of compassion. God is concern for his people’s welfare.
- Word of promise – God promises to bring his people out of Egypt and bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey.
- A word of challenge – Moses was informed he will be the one to lead his people out of Egypt.Moses did not exactly jump at the chance to assume the leadership of a nation of salves. This was an awesome task, and he shrunk from it. He objected with “Who am I that I should go to the Pharaoh but God promised to be with him, His source of power does not come from within him, but from who is with him… God.
- Then God follows up with the plan Moses continues to fear that the people of Israel will not listen to him, but l read Chapter 4
- Moses continued to cite his ignorance and lacked authority, but God again – answered his objection by telling Moses his name: I am the statement “I am who I am” renders he is the self-existing one, the Eternal, the one without beginning or end. Yahweh – He who is throughout the generations.
4 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
2 Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
3 The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
6 Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.
7 “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
8 Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”
10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”
Moses Returns to Egypt
18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive.”
Jethro said, “Go, and I wish you well.”
19 Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’”
24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses[b] and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it.[c] “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)
27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 Then Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and also about all the signs he had commanded him to perform.
29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.
Moses once again pleas that someone take the role besides him – his unwillingness to serve angered the Lord, Aaron his brother would serve as his mouth. Staff would become a symbol of authority from God.
Five factors reinforced Moses’ reluctant decision o accept the divine challenge.
- Moses received no protest from his father-in-law when he requested to leave
- He set out for Egypt with his wife and sons (plural) – Moses would perform his wonders not just to Israel but to Pharaoh too.
- Moses was discipline by not having had his son circumcised –he was in jeopardy but his wife saved him by circumcising her son.
- Aaron met his brother in the wilderness – joyous reunion.
- The elders showed favor on Moses and Aaron just as God promised.