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029 Moses – An Introduction

“And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.”

Acts 7:22

Key Verse:

‘By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment’ Hebrews 11:23

(Exodus 1,2)

As you should know, there are five books in the Pentateuch which God’s prophet, Moses, wrote. In our last lesson we finished the book of Genesis, and crossed over into the second book which is called

Exodus.

Our heart’s desire and our prayer to God is that He will enlighten our minds and our hearts in all that we read in this interesting book that is full of valuable instruction.

We have already seen how the second book of Moses begins where the first book ends. Thus, we saw how the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that is,

the Israelites, settled in Egypt,

far from the land of Canaan that God had promised to give them.

In Exodus 1:1-14 we read: 

“Now these are the names of the children of Israel, who came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Isachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; for

Joseph was in Egypt already.

And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose a new king over Egypt,

who knew not Joseph.

And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when war occurs, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Rameses. But the more they afflicted them,

the more they multiplied and grew.

And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor”

Let us pause here. More than three hundred years had passed since the death of Joseph.

Another Pharaoh was reigning over Egypt,

a king who had forgotten all that Joseph had done for the people of Egypt. This Pharaoh oppressed Israel terribly, making them his slaves. How hard he made them work! Perhaps the Israelites thought that God had forgotten what He had promised their ancestor Abraham about their becoming a powerful nation. However, God hadn’t forgotten a thing! God was, in fact, in the process of fulfilling what He had promised so long ago.

Truly,

God is faithful!

He keeps His covenants! What God promises to do, He will do, even if man thinks He is slow!

God was the One who conceived the plan to create a new nation from which the prophets and the Redeemer would come forth—and nothing would hinder the accomplishment of His plan!

You remember that when God first revealed His plan to create that new nation, He started with an elderly couple, Abraham and Sarah. When Abraham was one hundred years old, he begot Isaac; Isaac begot Jacob; and Jacob begot

twelve sons

who produced the tribes of Israel. When they moved to the land of Egypt, they numbered seventy people. But now, after some three hundred years, they had become a great multitude, more than a million people! Did God do what He had promised long ago? Did God make of Abraham a new and great nation?

Yes, He did!

God is faithful, and cannot go back on His Word. He is worthy of glory forever!

In today’s reading, we see how Pharaoh oppressed the tribes of Israel, making them his slaves. However, we also see that every time Pharaoh tried to dominate and decrease the tribes of Israel, God would cause them to flourish and multiply. Thus, the Scriptures record that Pharaoh became very angry and gave this command to the Israelites: 

“Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river!” (Exod. 1:22)

What do you think about this? Who was leading Pharaoh in this wicked plan? Satan, that’s who! Why did Satan want to oppress and destroy the people of Israel? Because Satan knew that God had promised to send into the world a Redeemer who would deliver the children of Adam from the power of sin and hell.

And Satan knew that this coming Redeemer would come through

the nation of Israel!

That is the reason Satan told Pharaoh to persecute the people of Israel and even attempt to wipe them out by having all their baby boys thrown in the Nile river.

But God, who is stronger than Satan, planned to use a man from within the tribes of Israel to deliver His chosen people from the hand of Pharaoh. Do you know the name of this hero? Yes, it is the well-known prophet of God,

Moses.

But Moses’ parents, Amram and Jochebed, were also heroes because “they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.” (Heb. 11:23; Exod. 6:20). In the second chapter of the book of Exodus, we read about

the early years of Moses’ life.

The Scripture says:

(Exodus 2:1-10) “And there was a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bore a son; and when she saw him that he was a beautiful child,

she hid him three months.

And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and painted it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s bank. And his sister stood afar off, to see what would be done to him. And

the daughter of Pharaoh

came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child; and, behold,

the babe wept.

And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrew’s children. Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and

I will give thee thy wages.

And the woman took the child, and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called him Moses; and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.”

This is the story of the birth of Moses.

Think of it!

While other male babies were being killed, baby Moses was being nourished by his own mother and protected by Pharaoh, the wicked king! God had His hand on all that happened in the life of Moses. God planned to use Moses to deliver the children of Israel from their slavery. How deep is the wisdom of God, far surpassing the wisdom of Satan or man.

Do you know where Moses grew up after he was weaned? He grew up

in the house of Pharaoh

who, as you know, was oppressing the people of Israel! Yet God intended to use Moses to deliver the Israelites from the hand of Pharaoh.

God, in His plan, chose to use the daughter of the cruel king to protect Moses. God knew that

the king’s house would be the safest and best place for Moses.

God also knew that there were many things Moses needed to learn and understand so that he would be properly prepared to lead the children of Israel. Thus, the Scriptures say: “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” (Acts 7:22) But

Moses still had much to learn.

The Scripture says: (Exod. 2:11-15) “And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens; and he observed an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man,

he slew the Egyptian,

and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together; and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? Intendest thou to kill me, as thou didst kill the Egyptian? And

Moses feared,

and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But

Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh,

and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.”

Thus, we see how, at first, Moses tried to deliver the children of Israel by his own power. However, that is not how God wanted it done. God wanted to use Moses as an instrument to liberate the children of Israel. Israel’s deliverance was not to come from Moses,

but from God.

Moses, in himself, was only a man, and had no power to free the children of Israel from the hand of Pharaoh unless God gave it to him.

Thus, the Scriptures tell us that,

for forty years,

Moses lived in the desert, in the land of Midian. God had many important lessons to teach Moses in that hot and dry wilderness. There is a verse in the Word of God which says: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is also in much.” (Luke 16:10) Before God could commit to Moses the weighty task of shepherding the whole assembly of Israel, Moses first needed to show himself faithful in little tasks. Thus, the Scriptures relate to us that, there in a land far from Egypt, Moses became a shepherd, got married and had two children. For forty years,

Moses was a faithful shepherd.

There in the desert–while Moses was shepherding his father-in-law’s flock–God was preparing Moses for the day when he would shepherd the nation of Israel. God had great plans for Moses and His people Israel!

Next, the Scriptures say: (Exod. 2:23-25) “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and

their cry came up unto God

by reason of bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God knew their condition”.

The children of Israel remained slaves for a very long time. Oh how great was their oppression! But

God had not forgotten them.

God planned to deliver the people of Israel from their slavery. We might ask: Why did God plan to free the children of Israel from the hand of Pharaoh? Was it because they were better than others?

No!

The Israelites were sinners, like the people of Egypt, like all people. Why then did God have such special plans for the children of Israel? Simply because of

His faithfulness and His mercy.

Let us read again the last verse. We read: 

“God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob (Here we see God’s faithfulness!). 

And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God knew their situation (Here we see God’s mercy!). (Exod. 2:24,25)

Yes, God,

in His faithfulness and mercy,

remembered His covenant which He had made with Abraham when He said to him, And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee … and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:2,3) “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a sojourner

in a land that is not theirs,

and shall serve them …;” (Gen. 15:13,14)

In the next lesson, Lord willing, we will see how God appeared to Moses in a very unusual way and called him to go to Egypt to deliver the Israelites from their slavery, just as He had promised Abraham long beforehand.

God bless you. We finish with this word from the Psalms: 

“Oh, give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples … He hath remembered his covenant forever … which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac.” (Psa. 105:1,8,9)

We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have

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