Chapter 1 – Now Joseph, all his brothers and all that generations died but the Israelites were fruitful, multiplies, became exceedingly numerous, increased their land, so that the land was FILLED with them. YES… that generation had indeed died. It has been 400 years since Genesis ended with Joseph’s death (wow… seems like just yesterday 🙂 ). Jacob came to Egypt with a total of 70 descendants and NOW there are 2 -3 million Hebrews/Israelites!!
Joseph had reminded his descendants (Gen 50:24 “God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land HE promised an oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”) He reminded them of the Abrahamic Covenant that he KNEW would come to pass. BUT… 400 years is a long time… just think about our history within the last 150 years … look how much people have forgotten even though we have access to SO much information. The 400 years is significant because it is PROPHESY FULFILLED. Take a look at Gen 15:13-14
Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come outwith great possessions.
Their trial would be long and harsh BUT it would not be permanent. God told them that He would provide an exodus!!!
So, Joseph is a thing of the past. There is a new Pharaoh who has NO idea who Joseph was. All he sees it that these Hebrews who the Egyptians detest and find disgusting, are growing, increasing in size, taking up more and more land. He becomes afraid thinking if there were war then the Hebrews would certainly join his enemies and the Egyptians would be slaughtered. Because of his fear, he decides to put them into slavery. He is tortuously brutal, but the harder he is on the Israelites, the more they prosper. Although the Hebrews are in Goshen, separate from Egypt (which is why Joseph wanted them there). However, Egypt is 96% desert so 100% of the people live on 4% of the land!!! If Pharaoh could kill all the male children, eventually the Hebrews would HAVE to have children with the male Egyptians. The same thing happens during Jesus’ life, see Matt 2:13
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
He tells the Hebrew midwives (Shiphrah meaning “fair” and Puah meaning “splendid”) to kill the Hebrew baby boys when they are born. Out of the “fear of God” (God=Elohiym=The TRINITY) they did not kill the babies. When Pharaoh confronted them they tell him the Hebrew women are different from the Egyptians and have the babies before they arrive for the delivery. Yes, the midwives lied to Pharaoh and they were not obedient to his orders. YET… LOOK at what God does…. “God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God He gave them families of their own.“ Exodus 1:20-21. This spoke to me personally about how very important LIFE is to God. He is very concerned about preserving innocent human beings out of reverence to HIM. Just because something is “legal” or a law of the land, it does not make it the right thing to do in the eyes of God.
God is beginning to prepare the Hebrew Nation as well as Egypt for the Israelites to move out of Egypt. Think about it. Prior to wanting the male babies murdered, things were going pretty well for the Israelites. They knew the Egyptians were not fond of them. But they were increasing in size, increasing in land, eating well, had water to give their animals, plants, and themselves and living on the delta of the Nile where the land was fertile for their crops and livestock. WHY would they want to leave unless things drastically changed? And changing they were. Since the midwife idea of Pharaoh’s did not work… he COMMANDED that all the Hebrew boys be cast in to the Nile!!
Exodus 2 — Now God begins to prepare the man who will lead the Israelites out of Egypt. I can’t help but think about the movie “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston as I read this!! Acts 7:20-39 tells us a lot about Moses. The books of Acts opens our eyes to Moses’ life being divided into 3 forty year segments. He spent the first 40 years of his life thinking he was somebody (being raised by royalty, living in the palace, and having access to all the best Egyptian training possible.) The second 40 years he learned he was nobody (as a murderer on the run learning to become a shepherd). And the last 40 years, Moses discovered the mighty deeds God can and will accomplish through a nobody (as he lead, with God’s direction, his people towards the Promised Land.)
Moses born to his father (Exod 6:20), Amram, and his mother, Jochebed (Amram’s Aunt)… I KNOW.. don’t think about it too hard J … kind of wigs me out too, but things are different in our blood lines today than in that era because of the effects of sin. Amram and Jochebed are from the tribe of LEVITES!!! When Moses is born he had an older sister, Miriam (7-12 years older than he), and his older brother Aaron (about 3 years older). A couple of other descendants of the LEVITE tribe are Eli, and John the Baptist!!
I am so amazed each time I read about the birth of Moses as to exactly how God was in EACH and EVERY DETAIL!!
- His mother is able to hide him for three months.
- She then puts him in a basket made of papyrus that is covered with tar and pitch to make sure it was watertight. Note, she did “obey” the Pharaoh in that she did place her son in the Nile.
- She KNEW where to place the basket so that it would be discovered/heard by Pharaoh’s daughter (which means she had to have been watching Pharaoh’s daughter’s patterns as to where she bathed).
- She had Miriam stand watch so when the baby was found, the young Hebrew girl could suggest ” that she could go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you” verse 7.
- Moses was able to be with his birth mother until he was approximately 4-6 (ages varied as to when they weaned their children during this time.) This would mean he would have strong memories of his heritage.
When Moses is about 40 he kills a cruel Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew man. Moses did not pray about what to do in the situation. He knew he did wrong, watched to see if anyone was looking then COVERED up his sin. BUT… SOMEONE SAW>>>AND TOLD!! When Moses heard that the Pharaoh was going to kill him for killing the Egyptian he runs for Midian. While in Midian he takes his first act of having a servant’s attitude when he stood up to help the women at the well water their flock. He meets the father of these women who was a Priest of Midian named Reuel (means “friend of God”) who was also known as Jethro (means “his abundance”.) He married one of Midian’s daughters named Zipporah (means “bird”) and they have a son named Gershom (means “foreigner”.) Reuel/Jethro being a PRIEST is very important. Since he was a PRIEST, his land was NOT owned by the Pharaoh … it was land allotted to the PRIESTS. I KNOW… God works out some amazing things doesn’t he??
In case you are wondering who the Midianites were, they were the descendants of HAM (Noah’s son who knew his father had become drunk the night before, saw him naked in his tent the next morning and MOCKED his father’s nakedness, and Noah curses him). The Midianites were Arabians just as Ishmaelites are Arabians. Ishmael is known as the father of the Arab nation.
The Pharaoh dies and the Israelites cry out for help and God (Elohiym — the HOLY TRINITY) hears their cry.
Chapter 3 – Moses hears God call out to him. Verse 2 “THE ANGEL (the theophanic angel) of the LORD (YEHOVAH – which is the proper name of the ONE TRUE GOD) appeared to him in a burning bush…. But the bush was NOT burning!! I try to place myself in Moses sandals… and I don’t know what I would have done if a burning bush that was not burning began to speak to me!!! YES… God told him to remove his sandals because he was standing on HOLY GROUND!!! Moses then hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. WE COULD learn a lot from Moses’ attitude toward God from this. Our God is the ONE and ONLY TRUE God. Rather than treating him so casually, we might want to take off the sandals of our hearts as we enter our prayer time with HIM. HE IS AN AWESOME GOD!!!
In verses 7 – 10 The LORD (YEHOVAH) tells Moses: “ 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. 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. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. SO now, go. I am sending YOU to Pharaoh to BRING MY PEOPLE THE ISRAELITES OUT OF EGYPT.
In verses 11-15 God and Moses have a conversation — my version
- Moses—Who am I?
- God—I will be with you.
- Moses – When I return to my people and they ask what is HIS name, what do I tell them?
- God—I AM WHO I AM (this indicates his ETERNAL, EVERLASTING, UNCHANGEABLE CHARACTER, see Hebrews 13:8 “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever”. God KNOWS the future. The Hebrew translation is Yehweh or “I will be what I will be”. There is not even a word to describe him, he is limitless! I AM WHO I AM….He is everything. The real spelling is YHWH meaning :”the One who is” “the Self Existing One”. Means He never Changes, He never fails, He is faithful!
- God – Tell them – The LORD, the God of your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has sent me to you!!!
- God—Oh and by the way — you will be able to plunder the Egyptians before you depart.
This final idea seemed impossible to Moses. However, the Egyptians would be so glad to see the Israelites (the detestable people who were stealing their land and growing too quickly) go and would WANT to send them out with gifts …. Here take this… PLEASE GO!!
So many nuggets of things to pray on and learn from today!! What stood out to you? Did you have any “ah ha moments’? Did you have any favorite scriptures?
Sharing HIS love,