Bible Study

Exodus II: Moses

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The book of Exodus begins with enslaved Israelites in Egypt. Joseph was no more and his good deeds for Egypt was a thing of distant memory. The Pharaoh decided to oppress the Israelites and ordered the midwives to kill the male children. Later, the Pharaoh became even crueler in wanting to kill the male children. God’s people felt deserted and in need of a leader.

And then a baby was born.

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Moses kills the Egyptian within him

Scripture in focus: Exodus 2

2:1-2 > Moses is born. He is healthy and utterly beautiful. His parents’ names are listed later in Exodus 6:20 as Amram and Jochebed. Moses was hidden for three months as an act of faith (Hebrews 11:23). The 3 months that he was hidden reminds me of Christ’s 3 days in the tomb.

2:3-4 > The ark was a vessel of divine deliverance and when Moses is placed in an ark of bulrushes (a floating basket), we see God’s hand in every detail. God sealed Noah in the ark for safety; Moses is placed in an ark of safety. It was placed where the Egyptian women of the palace came to dip as part of their religious ritual so it was no accident that she placed her son there and had big sister Miriam to guard it from afar off.

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2:5-6 > Pharaoh’s daughter eventually comes along, sees the basket and have one of her maidens fetch it. Upon opening it, the princess realizes that it was a Hebrew baby. But then that baby wept and it melted her heart. She accepts this baby as if it was a gift from Hapi, god of the Nile. The flags mentioned were weeds that grew near the bank in the water.

2:7-9 > Moses’ mother trusted God in hiding him for 3 months, and she trusted Him again in setting her baby out on the river. God rewarded her faith wonderfully! Jochebed gets to train him in the early years and get paid for it, no background check needed.

2:10 > After the child is fully weaned, he is adopted by the princess and is called Moses because he was drawn out of the water. A fitting name for later, he’ll draw God’s people out of Egypt.

2:11-12 > Moses is 40 (Acts 7:23-25) when he witnesses an Egyptian slave driver beating a Hebrew slave and something just snaps in him. He feels the need to avenge his brethren and so, he kills the slave driver and buries the body in the hot, unforgiving sand. This was a hasty act upon Moses’ part.

That day, Moses kills the Egyptian inside him and buried it in the sand, but he was yet to find his identity as a Hebrew. He went from being a prince to a fugitive in that very moment.

It's time we recognize The Prince of Egypt as the greatest ...

2:13-14 > When Moses tries to intervene in a violent dispute between two Hebrew men, he is put in place: “Who made you a prince and a judge over us?” First, he is a murderer and then a meddler? Moses was in fact a great prince and judge for Israel, but they did not want him. Here, we see Moses being rejected by his own people as a type of Christ for when Jesus came into the world, He was rejected by His very own people despite His royal background. Just as Jesus had to come out of the Palace and into a humble place before delivering mankind, Moses had to come out of the glorious palace and into a humble place.

Moses had intended for no one to see him kill the Egyptian, but as the saying goes, “be sure your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

2:15 > When the Pharaoh learned that Moses killed an Egyptian, his heart changed rather quickly. Moses might’ve been adopted by the princess and given an Egyptian upbringing, but he was not born an Egyptian. He flees to Midian (meaning “brawling” or “contention”) which becomes a place of refuge for him.

2:16-17 > Coming to Midian, Moses meets the daughters (7) of a priest in Midian. Moses helped them water their flocks. This is a BIG change from the life Moses enjoyed as one of the royal family and being waited on hand and foot. The desert was his working years. It was in the desert that he learned humility; how to serve.

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2:18-20 > The priest of Midian was Reuel (meaning “friend of God”) also known as Jethro (a title meaning his excellence), a worshiper of the true God. Since Moses still had his Egyptian clothes on (after all, he fled Egypt with the clothes on his back, and he was a well-educated Egyptian), the women assumed that he was Egyptian.

2:21-22 > Moses becomes part of Jethro’s family by marrying Zipporah (“sparrow”) and having a son Gershom (“refugee”). He settled in Midian and now had a family. He was a shepherd, an utmost humbling occupation.

2:23-25 > God hears the cries of the Israelites and remembers them. After all, He is the One Who hears, remembers, and sees. 400 years of misery comes to a climax after Thutmose III (1483-1450 B.C.) dies. Why do we wait until things get badly out of hand to cry out to God?

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God calls Moses to lead His people

Scripture in focus: Exodus 3

3:1 > For 40 years, Moses lived as a shepherd in the desert. Even at this point in his life, he doesn’t even have a flock to call his own. He is now 80 and God has a special task for him.

3:2-3 > The Angel of the LORD appears in the burning bush. This messenger is the Lord Himself taking to Moses (Acts 7:30). This fire was not consumable and it was probably the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:11). The sight was so unusual that Moses had to investigate why the burning bush was not… burning.

3:4 > Our Lord is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29)! 🙌 Notice that God did not speak to Moses until He had his full attention. Sometimes, His Word doesn’t touch our heart as it should for we neglect to give it full attention; I can testify to this. Also, note that the first words God spoke to Moses were his very own name reminding him that although he might’ve been forgotten by men, he was important to God. God remembered him even after all of these years. The double call (Moses, Moses) implies a sense of urgency, just as when God called Abraham (Genesis 22:11), Samuel (1 Samuel 3:10), Simon (Luke 22:31), Martha (Luke 10:41) and Saul (Acts 9:4)

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While Moses was tending to his father-in-law’s flock of sheep in the mountains of Midian, God spoke to Him via a burning bush. A few years later, Moses recieved the 10 Commandments there.

3:5 > Wherever the presence of God is, it is considered holy. The area near the bush was God’s house and it had to be treated with great respect. Moses was coming even closer to inspect this burning phenomenal when God told him to do two things:

1. Don’t come any nearer: God is holy and there’ll always be a distance between God and mortals. No matter how beautiful, rich, or perfect we might be, we’ll never be equal to God.

2. Remove your sandals: In Afro-Asia culture, people do not wear shoes inside a home. Moses was in God’s house, and he had to show respect by the removal of his shoes. 

3:6 > The great I AM! God’s opening words take us back to 2:24 showing that He has remembered His people. Moses hides his face in reverent fear.

3:7-10 > God explains His plans to Moses and what Moses’ place in the plan will be. God is compassionate and He cares for His people. I love where He says “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians” (v. 8), for it points to a future  incarnation of Jesus coming to deliver us from worldy bondage to salvation (John 1:14). Here, God is going to deliver His people through Moses who’ll be an instrument. 

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3:11-12 > Moses’ answer is a question, and we immediately see that he has some doubts about taking on the task that God has set before him. All God wants is a willing vessel, and He’ll do the rest, so when/if He comes to us with a task, remember that with Him, ANYTHING is possible and reply, “Here I am, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). We need to be willing to be used by God; humble and willing in His presence, and He’ll do the rest. God didn’t answer Moses’ “Who am I?” question, instead, He takes Moses’ focus off himself and places it where it should be – on Him. When Moses questions his ability, God promises to be with him. He was very patient with Moses. 

3:13-14 > Moses wonders what he’ll tell the Israelites about Who has sent him. There are 3 primary names of God:

1. Elohim (God) – This name emphasizes His strength and creative power and it occurs 31 times in Genesis 1

2. Jehovah/Yahweh – Often translated as Lord in the KJV, this Name is used to express God’s self-existence.

3. Adonai (Lord) – Simply “master”.

Moses did not understand enough about God’s authority, but that is soon solved when God reveals Himself as “I AM” (Yahweh). This name shows that God simply is, and points to His self-existence. He is unchanging, uncreated, and eternal. “I AM” speaks of absolute presence, breathes of His timelessness, and cements His existence. With a statement so powerful as “I AM”, how then, can we gloss over His existence as we LITERALLY see His intimate woven detail throughout His wonderful works of Creation. He is! (Hebrews 11:6)

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3:15 > “The LORD God of your fathers”This ain’t no new god. This is the God that placed Noah in an ark to keep him safe, that walked with Abraham, the One that kept His promise to Hagar, and Who was with Joseph in Egypt. He is everlasting and eternal. He’ll never die for He is the same throughout (Hebrews 13:8). In times of despair, “I AM” becomes what we lack: when we’re hungry, He says, “I AM the bread of life”. When we’re in the dark, He says, “I AM the light”. “I AM” announces His presence and invites the interested to get to know Him (Revelation 3:20), to taste and see that He is good.

Life in Him is eternal (John 8:24).

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3:16-17 > God instructs Moses what to tell the elders of Israelites. His plan is to deliver His children from bondage so they could worship Him and be established as His chosen people. If we want to start a new life in Christ, we must believe that there is a Promised Land and be willing to leave the world (Egypt) behind. We cannot serve God while we’re caught up in the world (Egypt); we must leave worldliness behind if we truly want to worship God.

3:18 > God instructs Moses what to tell Pharaoh.

3:19-20 > God warns Moses that Pharaoh will not listen, but he’ll let the people go after God performs His miracles. God already knew that Pharaoh wouldn’t let His people go easily, so He’ll bring great judgment against Egypt to persuade him. He shows Moses that it’s going to be a battle. The great symbolism here shows that we, Christians (Israelites) too, are in a spiritual warfare fighting against principalities (Ephesians 6:12). Satan is fighting with all his might to keep us in the world, but we can overcome the world through Christ and follow God. Pharaoh (symbolic of Satan) would fight to keep the Hebrews under subjection to him.

3:21-22 > God tells Moses how the Israelites will plunder the Egyptians; they were not going to leave empty-handed (Genesis 15:14; Deuteronomy 15:12-14). After all, the Hebrews’ fight was not with the Egyptian people, but against the cruel rulership which made them slaves. Most likely, they would’ve come into favor with some of the Egyptians. Since the Hebrews were slaves and without resources, the silver and gold were definitely necessary to finance the building of the tabernacle.

Related scripture reading:

^ Acts 7:22 > Moses was educated in all things Egyptian given that he was raised as a prince.

^ Hebrews 11:24 > When he becomes of age, Moses is refused to be called “the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”.

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Additional Notes

^ Moses in Egyptian most likely meant “to give birth to/born”; the Hebrew equivalent means “to be drawn out”.

^ The Midianites, who were descendants of Abraham and Keturah (Gen. 25:1-4), settle in the Arabian Peninsula along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Aqabah.

^ In 3:1, we see Moses leading the flock of sheep to Mount “Horeb” (Sinai). This is also the place where God gave Israel His gift of the Law.

^ The Israelites must be willing to be delivered. They have to want Moses to deliver them before he could deal with the Pharaoh. We must be willing to give up the world (Egypt) before Jesus can deliver us. Just as Jesus had to deal with Satan to defeat and deliver us from our sinful bondage, Moses had to deal with the Pharaoh (Satan) to deliver the Israelites.

^ God had planned for the deliverance of both Moses and for the Israelites. The details in His plan was flawlessly executed. God did this.

Reference/Aids

* Prayer

* The Holy Spirit

* The Holy Bible

* Historical research

* The ever trusted bible-studys.org

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