Moses, Pharaoh, and the Israelites
Recap: What happened
As the Israelites multiply and are enslaved by Pharaoh, we will look at the story of Moses, Pharaoh and his hardness of heart, and the exodus and creation of the Israelites. Through this narrative we will look at the and graciousness of God and His demand for obedience as he liberates the nation of Israel.
Recap: What happened
We ended last with Jacob and his family being moved to Egypt to be with Joseph, the right hand of Pharoah, in
Jacob’s family settled in Goshen, the best land of Egypt
Because the famine was so severe, the people of Egypt sold their livestock and their land to Pharoah in exchange for grain. Established 20% land tax (20% crop goes to Pharoah, 80% to sower)
Jacob/Israel about to die, wants to be buried outside of Egypt
Jacob blesses two of Joseph’s sons, Manasseh, and Ephraim.
This creates 13 heirs, but only 12 tribes of Israel? How
Levi, the priesthood
Reuben preeminence removed due to defiling father’s bed (sleeping with father’s concubine)
Simeon and Levi blessing removed due to their wrath and anger because of Dinah.
Judah, next in line
He will rule over brothers
Lion of Judah (Jesus)
Everlasting Kingdom (scepter will not depart from his hand)
Joseph proceeds to bless the rest of the sons
Pharaoh lets Jacob leave to go bury his father in the land of Canaan (different Pharaoh eh?)
Brothers afraid of Joseph’s wrath/revenge since father is dead
Joseph points to the providence of God, you meant evil against me but God meant it for God.
Understanding Exodus -
The Theme of Exodus is to establish Israel as the people of God
starts with the people of Israel exceeding and growing greatly.
New Pharaoh who did not remember what Joseph had done and they enslaved the Israelites for fear that if war broke out the Israelites would join the enemy
Obeying God before Government
Hebrew midwives disobeyed Pharaoh and lied to Pharaoh to protect the image of God
What are other things that you could think of that may be worth disobeying the government for?
Story of Moses
Levite woman hid baby boy from Pharaoh
When 3 months old and could not hide, sent baby down Nile
Not necessarily the wisest but desperate/trusting in God’s providence
We all can probably think of times when we did something foolish but God was still faithful.
Pharoah’s daughter has compassion on baby and adopts him
Moses sister (Miriam) sees that he gets picked up and asks Pharaoh’s daughter if she needs a midwife for the baby
Goes and gets mother, so mother can nurse and be with son
Moses kills an Egyptian beating a Hebrew
Moses sees two hebrews fighting and asks why they are fighting, finds out they know he killed an Egyptian
Moses is afraid that Pharaoh will find out, and flees to Midian
Stays with Jethro, gets a wife Zipporah, and son Gershom
God calls to Moses through burning bush
God introduces himself as God of his Fathers
(Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God)
How much has Moses’ relationship with God Changed! He is the one who requests to see the face of God!!!
God commissions Moses to be the one to lead the people out of the hand of Pharoah
Moses is afraid/worried/doubts
God prophecies that he will strike Egypt and after he will let them go, and they will be given by their neighbors silver and gold and the Egyptians shall be plundered.
Moses still doubts
God & moses enter into a questioning and proving scene until God eventually “wins” and Moses obeys.
I want to pause here and set the stage to look at the two main themes for this bible study.
I want us to take a look at the battle between Pharaoh & God -
I want us to look at the journey/call/obedience of Moses
The theme here to follow is - what is the relationship like between God and those who are with him (Moses) and those who are against him (Pharaoh)
Part 1: Moses
Moses is called
Moses has started a new life with Jethro
God miraculously appears to Moses in burning bush
God reveals his glory/holiness to Moses (take of sandals)
3:6 Moses hid his face - moses feels afraid to look at God
The Lord commissions Moses to be used to free his people from the Egyptians
V10 come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people… out of egypt
Moses questions his ability (Who am I)
God affirms his own ability (I am with you)
Moses questions his character (people won’t believe him)
God gives him words to speak & let’s Moses know what will happen
Moses tells God that people will accuse him of being a fraud
The Lord uses Moses’ staff (serpent), hand in cloak (leprosy), Nile (blood) to perform miracles to convince them
Moses says he’s not competent (slow of speech/tongue)
Lord asks him - who has made man’s mouth? Asserts his own ability and affirms Moses that he will be his mouth and teach him what to speak
Moses asks and attempts to defer the responsibility to somebody else
God gets angry with Moses, commissions his brother to help, and affirms that He will be with Moses
What can we learn about being called to serve God and our response?
What did Moses do wrong?
How can we relate to Moses?
, Moses & Pharaoh’s first encounter
Moses & Aaron approach Pharaoh with the Lord’s request to let the people of Israel go worship Him
Pharaoh “who is the Lord” I do not know him and I will not let Israel go
Pharaoh sees himself as the ruler of the world at this time, as God. Why would he obey anybody
Pharaoh then increases the workload of the Hebrews, to make same # of bricks, but they have to collect straw themselves.
People of Israel complain and blame Moses & Aaron
Moses complains to the Lord
The Lord basically is repeating/affirm what he said before
The Lord will remember his covenant
Talk about theme - God repeats himself to remind Moses of his promise/covenant, we are prone to forget
When we take communion, do this in remembrance of me, we are called to remember what the Lord has done and what he will do.
Lord tells Moses to go tell Pharaoh to let people go (again)
Moses says nobody listens to him
Themes so far:
Remembering/believing the promises of God, even when they don’t seem to be coming true
It is not us who does the work/qualifies us, but it is God
God never tells Moses, you are good enough, but says I am good enough, and I will be with you
Part 2: The plagues - specifically focus on God & Moses and God & Pharaoh
Hardening Pharaoh's Heart
Chazaq - strengthening heart (can be used as encouraged etc)
Does this look like God is strengthening Pharaoh’s heart to be hard towards God
Is God changing Pharaoh’s heart to be hard towards God
Observe Pharaoh’s pattern of false repentance
First (blood) Plague
Pharaoh is unable to recognize superiority of the Lord (Moses serpent eats other serpents conjured by magicians
Note: God tells Moses Pharaoh won’t listen, but still tells him to do it.
Sometimes obeying the Lord may initially produce futile results
Second (frogs) Plague
Pharaoh pleads for frogs to be removed and will allow for people to go sacrifice
Upon seeing relief (respite) Pharaoh went back on his word
Sometimes we want to obey God just to take away suffering, but when suffering is gone, we return to our old ways
3rd (gnats) & 4th (flies) Plague
power of magicians limited, they cannot replicate gnats
Pharaoh does not listen to the testimony of his counselors
Pharaoh attempts to bargain with God
Go sacrifice to your God within my land
Pharaoh asks Moses to plead for him, and allows the people to go sacrifice, just not very far
Pharaoh hardened heart again once flies were gone
Sometimes we attempt to bargain with the will of God, not true repentance
5th (death of livestock) & 6th Plague (boils)
Livestock of Egyptians died, and Pharaoh sent people to see if any of Israel’s livestock had died
Pharaoh investigated to see the power of God but did not want to submit to it
Pharaoh stood alone before Moses because his counselors/magicians couldn’t come because of boils
Pharaoh’s stubbornness/hardness of heart results in him standing alone
7th (hail) plague
Moses tells Pharaoh that God could have killed him by now, but it isn’t in God’s plan
V20 then whoever feared the word of the Lord hid in houses with slaves and livestock
Hail began to fall
Pharaoh calls for Moses and Aaron, seemingly to repent
First time admits fault
Once again upon seeing relief from pains, Pharaoh hardens his heart.
8th (locust) plague
Pharaoh’s servant plead to Pharaoh to obey the Lord
Pharaoh attempts to bargain with God again, tries to keep women/children in Egypt (leverage to ensure that he has power of Hebrews)
Pharaoh only allows men to go
Locust come and eat the remaining crop in the ground
Pharaoh realizes that this is going to result in famine in the land, quickly calls Moses and confesses again
The Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart
9th (darkness) plague
Pharaoh bargains with the Lord again - you all can go, just let your livestock (wealth) remain
Pharaoh gets angry with Moses
, 10th (firstborn) plague
People of Egypt give silver and gold to hebrews
Moses warns Pharaoh that every firstborn in Egypt will die - livestock + slaves + egyptians
Pharaoh not even given a chance to respond, is about to be under the wrath of God
Pharaoh allows for them to leave, even asks for a blessing
Egyptians want Hebrews to leave
Passover is instituted
Feast later is instituted to remember when the Lord’s judgement passed over them
Firstborn consecrated as God’s
Feast of unleavened bread instituted to remember it
God led the people as a pillar of fire by night and cloud by day
Didn’t lead them through philistines because they may change their minds when they see war
Brought to wilderness of red sea
Crossing Red Sea
What can we learn about obedience/faithfulness to God from Moses? What can we learn about false repentance from Pharaoh?