In Exodus we see God's faithfulness to His people, His control of all the elements in the natural world, and astounding miracles in deliverance. All the heroes that we have known, heard of, and admired, all the heroes of our entertainment are the weakest of reflections of our eternal hero who delivers us from every thing that is not good, including our thoughts, into everything that is exceedingly abundant beyond anything we can imagine.
1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.
- Exodus means to exit, to leave.
- The book of Exodus is about God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and by analogy it is about God’s deliverance of mankind from slavery to sin.
- All deliverance is by God’s hand and by God’s grace.
- This deliverance was predicted in BC 1911 in Genesis 15:13.
- Each one of these people is a unique masterpiece from the hand of God. Each one is loved infinitely by his Creator.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him not perish, but have everlasting life.
6 And Joseph died, and all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, increased abundantly, multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now a new king rose up over Egypt that did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we are: 10Come on, let us deal wisely with them; so that they not multiply, and when war occurs, they join our enemies, and fight against us, and leave the land.
- The Israelites were free slave labor to the Egyptians.
- They Egyptians sought to protect their own easy way of life at the expense of the Israelites.
- This same motive crucified Christ. The Pharisees extorted money in name of God.
- But God uses oppression to open our ears so that we listen to Him.
- Israel was blessed so mightily because they were God’s children.
- Everyone on earth can be God’s child. It’s a choice.
- Persecution cleanses our hearts of pride and self-sufficiency. It causes us to lean on God and His strength.
- Job 36:15 He delivers the poor in his affliction, and opens their ears in oppression.
- John 11:48 If we let him alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.
- Galatians 3:26 you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
11 So they set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with harshness: 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, in brick, and in all kinds of work in the field: all their work, in which they made them serve, was with severity. 15 And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, the name of one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16 And he said, When you midwife the Hebrew women, and look on the birth stools; if it is a son, then you kill him: but if it is a daughter, she can live.
- The children of Israel built monuments and shrines in Egypt that can still be seen today.
- Satan attacked the line of descent for the promised Savior from the beginning when God promised the world a Savior in Genesis 3:15.
- First Cain killed Abel in Genesis 4.
- Then the ‘sons of God’ intermarried with the human line in Genesis 6.
- The flood preserved the human line intact.
- Here in exodus, is another attempt to prevent the entrance of the promised Savior into the world.
- And look at the evil in this Pharaoh. The ruler of the nation is solving what they think is a potential problem by killing innocent babies.
- He did the exact and extreme opposite of God who gave His only Son to save us all.
17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, Why have you done this thing, and have saved the male children alive? 19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; they are lively, and have delivered before the midwives come in to them. 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. 22 But Pharaoh charged all his people saying, you will throw every son that is born into the river, and every daughter you will save alive.
- God dealt well with the midwives.
- These ‘houses’ that God made them are probably eternal dynasties, large and blessed ruling families.
- In 1 Chronicles 17:10 God promised David a ‘house’ a dynasty that would rule forever.
- Do you see God’s ruling hand as eternal Sovereign over the affairs of men? He rewards mightily those who follow Him above human rulers yet we are to obey the rulers over us unless they require us to go against God.
- Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
- 1Chronicles 17:10 Moreover I will subdue all your enemies. Furthermore I tell you that the LORD will build you a house.
- Matthew 19:29 And every one that has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive an hundredfold, and will inherit everlasting life.
God makes a way when there is no way
1 And a man of the house of Levi went and took a wife, a daughter from Levi. 2 And the woman conceived and bore a son: and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him three months. 3 And when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him and daubed it with bitumen and with pitch, and put the child in it; and she laid it in the reeds by the river’s brink.
- In Exodus chapter 1 it was against the law for Hebrews to keep the male children alive. This woman disobeyed Pharaoh, hid the child, committing him to God by faith.
4 And his sister stood far away to see what would be done to him. 5 And Pharaoh’s daughter came down to wash herself at the river; her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to bring it. 6 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 Hebrews’ children. 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call you a nurse of the Hebrew women so that she may nurse the child for you? 8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. 9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me and I will give you your wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.
- The Nile River was thought sacred with healing waters, so the people bathed in it.
- God is near and He is in control.
- This was a stunning miracle for the family. At a time when male Hebrew children were to be killed, this one was raised in his family, under the protection of Pharaoh’s own daughter, and were paid to do it.
- Ephesians 3:20 Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
- Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses saying, Because I drew him out of the water. 11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brothers, and looked on their burdens: and he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he killed the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews struggled together: and he said to the one that did wrong, Why do you strike your brother? 14 And he said, Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Are you going to kill me as you killed the Egyptian? And Moses was afraid and said, surely this thing is known.
- Moses was educated in the ‘Temple of the Sun,’ which was the most modern university of that day.
- He knew the distance from the earth to the sun, and that the earth was round.
- Joseph, Moses, and Christ all were rejected at first by their brothers.
- Acts 7:22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged the one that was oppressed, and struck the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brothers understood that God would deliver them by his hand: but they did not understand.
15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
- The correct Hebrew translation for the word “fled,’ is to flee without looking back.
- Moses tried to deliver the Hebrews his way and failed pitifully.
- Moses knew God’s plan for him but tried to do it in a way that wasn’t God’s way or God’s time.
- When God is in a work it is wonderful and high above our ways (Isaiah 64:4).
16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock. 18 And when they came to Reuel their father he said, How is it that you have come so soon today? 19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew enough water for us and watered the flock. 20 And he said to his daughters, And where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him so that he may eat food. 21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. 22 And she bore him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a foreigner in a foreigner land.
- Moses, whose exploits had shaken the foundations of power in Egypt because he was to become heir to the throne, now was not even head of his own household, but under his father-in-law.
- God used the desert, not Seminary, to train Moses, Paul, and John the Baptist.
- He trained Joseph.
- God has to remove our pride and self as center of our lives so He who is life can be center.
- Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
23 And it happened 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 to God because of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God knew them.
- Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. (Righteousness is not sinless ness but rather seeking God and His provision for our failures. Only Jesus Christ was sinless).
The Angel of the Lord Appeared to Moses
1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and saw the bush burned with fire but the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
- This was not just any bush, but from the Hebrew word we see that it was a thorn bush.
- Thorns were the result of the fall. The desert was covered with these thorn bushes.
- This symbolizes the truth that God can use anything worthless.
- The burning thorn bush is a picture of Israel, afflicted, but never consumed.
- The worthless when indwelt by the holiness of God burns beautifully without being consumed in the flame…that’s us!
- Ezekiel 1:26-28 describes what God looks like: the form of a man of fiery amber flashing forthrainbows sitting on what appears to be a sapphire throne high above all.
God sees our affliction and He knows our sorrows
4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here I am. 5 And he said, Do not come near here: take your shoes off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the LORD said, I have definitely seen the affliction of my people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry/shriek because of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
- God revealed something of Himself to Moses.
- When we respond to what God reveals to us, He then reveals more.
- God’s unchanging holiness requires that the wicked be treated differently than the righteous.
- The same sun melts wax but hardens clay.
- The change is not in the sun but the object it shines upon.
- Psalm 50:1 The mighty God, even the LORD, has spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun to its going down.
- Isaiah 63:9 In all of heir affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
8 And I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good land and a large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me: and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.
- He sees our oppression.
- He comes to deliver us from all trouble.
- He plans good for us.
- Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
- Deuteronomy 8:7 For the LORD your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; 8 A land of wheat and barley, vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of oil olive and honey
10 So come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt. 11 And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12 And he said, I will definitely be with you; and this will be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will serve God on this mountain.
- Moses resisted God’s will and made excuses.
- God is bigger than our excuses.
- It doesn’t matter who you are when God is with you.
13 And Moses said to God, Look, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; they will say to me, What is his name? What do I say to them? 14 And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, You will say this to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.
- This word ‘I Am’ is JHWH, the name of God that the Jews considered so holy that they wouldn’t say it, but called it ‘the name.’ It means intense, eternal, self-existence.
- God alone exists unsustained by another.
- He sustains all. He holds all things up and together.
- The self-existent One who reveals Himself. Continuing, ever-increasing revelation…” Gustav Oehler
- Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (are held together).
15 And moreover God said to Moses, You will say this to the children of Israel, The LORD 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, and this is my memorial to all generations. 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, I have definitely visited you, and seen what is done to you in Egypt: 17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, into a land flowing with milk and honey.
- He will bring us out of affliction.
- Notice who is going to do the work.
- Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
- Deuteronomy 11:11 But the land, where you go to possess it is a land of hills and valleys and drinks water of the rain of heaven: 12 A land which the LORD your God cares for: the eyes of the LORD your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
18 And they will listen to your voice: and you will come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you will say to him, The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us: and now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. 19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. 20 And I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders I will do in the midst of it: and after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians: and it will happen that when you go, you will not go out empty: 22 But every woman will borrow from her neighbor and from her that visits in her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing: and you will put them on your sons, and on your daughters; and you will plunder the Egyptians.
- God warned in advance that this deliverance wouldn’t be easy.
- Think how impossible this would be—for slaves to borrow jewelry and walk away with all the wealth of Egypt.
- God is ruler over all and He is fair.
- The Israelites have served the Egyptians as slaves for 400 years. God gave them back wages.
God calmed Moses’ fears
1 And Moses answered and said, But look, they will not believe me, or listen to my voice: for they will say, The LORD has not appeared to you. 2 And the LORD said to him, What is that in your hand? And he said, A rod. 3 And he said, Throw it on the ground. And he threw it on the ground and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the LORD said to Moses, Put out your hand, and take it by the tail. And he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: 5 That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.
- God gave Moses proof to convince the people that God had sent him.
- God patiently calmed Moses’ fears.
- Faith is a choice. God gives plenty of evidence.
- Moses wasn’t proud, just fearful.
- When Jesus was on earth He gave abundant proof that He was God. He turned water to wine, walked on water, healed the unhealable, cured the incurable, raised the dead, and was raised from death.
- Pride refuses to believe when it does not want to bow before its Maker.
6 And the LORD said to him, Now put your hand into your bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was as leprous as snow. 7 And he said, Put your hand into your bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and brought it out of his bosom, and behold, it returned like his other flesh. 8 And it will happen, if they will not believe you or listen to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 And it will happen, if they will not believe these two signs or listen to your voice, that you will take water from the river and pour it on the dry ground: and the water that you take out of the river will become blood on the dry ground. 10 And Moses said to the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, not before now, or since you have spoken to your servant: I am slow of speech, and slow of tongue.
- God was patient with Moses.
- Abraham, Elijah, Jeremiah, and Jonah all talked back to God.
- Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
11 And the LORD said to him, Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?
12 Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say. 13 And he said, O my Lord, I beg you, send by the hand whomever you will. 14 And the anger of the LORD burned against Moses and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And behold, he is coming out to meet you: and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart. 15 And you will speak to him and put words in his mouth: and I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what to do. 16 And he will be your spokesman to the people: and he will be as a mouth to you and you will be as a God to him. 17 And you will take this rod in your hand with which you will do signs.
- God can overcome any obstacle!
- God teaches us what we are to do.
- The supernatural signs were the proof that this was truly from God. Just like the miracles Jesus did.
18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law and said to him, Please let me go and return to my brothers that are in Egypt to see whether they are still alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace. 19 And the LORD said to Moses in Midian, Go, return to Egypt: for all the men that sought your life are dead. 20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 21 And the LORD said to Moses, When you go to return into Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh that I have put in you hand: but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 And you will say to Pharaoh, The Lord says this, Israel is my son, my firstborn: 23 And I say to you, Let my son go so that he may serve me: and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn. 24 And at the inn on the way the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet and said, Surely you are a bloody husband to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, You are a bloody husband, because of the circumcision.
- The sign of the covenant, circumcision, had not been observed.
- Moses children were to be included in the covenant.
- God is holy.
- In this great service that Moses was about to do for God, the sign of the covenant had to be observed.
- God comforted Moses that he was no longer on Egypt’s most wanted list.
- The shepherd’s rod, a tool of normal life, became miraculous in God’s hand.
- Genesis 17:14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.
God visited them and looked on their affliction
27 And the LORD said to Aaron, Go to the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs that he had commanded him. 29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: 30 And Aaron spoke all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
- Isaiah 63:9 In all of their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
SUMMARY: Exodus 1-4
- God delivers
- He dealt well with the midwives and made they dynasties
- He makes a way when there is no way
- The angel of the LORD appeared to Moses in the burning bush
- God sees our affliction
- He knows our sorrows