Bible Study

Exodus III: The return to Egypt

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I’m happy to finally return to the study of Exodus after the lapse in concentration due to severe headaches. Praise God for this period for despite the pain, I got to truly enjoy rest. To pick up where we’ve left off, let’s turn our Bibles to the fourth chapter.ย 

Aaron joins Moses

Scripture in focus: Exodus 4

4:1 > Even after the lengthy conversation/explanation that Moses had with God in 3:14-22, Moses is still doubtful. Although God promised that He’ll be with him, Moses panics over the people not believing him.

4:2-5 > Miracles are signs for those that didn’t believe, and God gives Moses the power to work miracles so that His people may believe starting with the rod that became a part of the many miracles pertaining to the delivery of God’s people. Here, we see it become a serpent that Moses runs away from, but when God commanded him to take it by the tail which is the most dangerous place to handle a snake, Moses had enough faith to do so and come away unharmed.

We might ask, where was this faith in the first place when God came to him? God was building it up. And why snakes? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that the Egyptians had a fascination with snakes… as I do.

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4:6-8 > Leprosy was a dreaded disease that was thought to be incurable. In these verses, we see Moses puts his hand into his bosom and when he takes it out, it’s leprous. Again, he places said hand in the same place, but this time when he takes it out, it’s back to normal. A thing or two I took away from this:

* Moses was never to work miracles by his own power or for his own praise. He was supposed to work them by the power of God and for His glory.

* By the power of God, Moses would bring diseases upon Egypt.

4:9 > If the two miracles were doubted, then the water would become blood. This foreshadowed the first plague. Since Egypt was dry land, water was of utmost importance to them, so much, that they worshiped the Nile.

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4:10-12 > After all of these things, Moses comes up with another excuse: “I can’t speak well.” What he means is that he is unable to articulate his thoughts in flowing speech, and I can relate for I write better than I speak. However, Moses was brought up in an Egyptian palace and was exposed to one of the best education systems in his time, and he was indeed mighty in words and deeds (Acts 7:22). He didn’t need a translator or a course in public speaking, all Moses needed to do was trust the Lord.ย If the Lord could’ve spoken to him through a burning bush, God could speak through him in front of Pharaoh.

God is not interested in our abilities for He’s the One Who gives them to us anyway. He’s not interested in our eloquent speeches, just our willingness.

4:13-16 > Moses tries to wriggle out one last time by saying that he’s up to the task if God insists, but it’ll be better if God sends someone else. God is rightly angry at Moses’ unwillingness, but He commissions Moses’ brother Aaron for the role of spokesperson. God already knew that Moses was going to throw the Book of Excuses at Him, so He already had Aaron on his way.ย 

4:17-18 > Despite Moses’ unwillingness, he had the “staff of God” and was given the power to perform the signs and miracles. Aaron was just the mouthpiece. Moses then seeks permission from his father-in-law to leave, so he could go and accomplish God’s purpose.ย 

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4:19-20 > There was no one waiting to kill Moses upon his return to Egypt for the ones that sought his life were all dead. Moses takes his wife, sons, and the “staff of God” to return to the dreaded Egypt.

4:21 > God tells Moses how events will unfold in Egypt. The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart shows God’s direct involvement in the affairs of men so that His purpose will be accomplished. Pharaoh refuses to believe in the One True God, for he was a god himself, and so, God had to harden his heart – later on, Pharaoh will harden his own heart – to bring judgement upon a mortal masquerading as a god on earth and for resisting His will.

4:22-23 > The firstborn son was special and sacred to the ancient Egyptians and God considered the nation of Israel his firstborn son and the Pharaoh was not going to have it. Who was this God? Why is an entire nation special to Him? Pharaoh was considered the favored son of his false god Ra, but God was going to let the mortal ruler know that Israel was His covenant people, and He was going to reveal Himself through them. In order for Israel to truly serve God, they needed to leave the world (Egypt) behind.

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4:24-26 > God inflicts an illness upon Moses for he had neglected his duty by not circumcising his second son. Zipporah didn’t approve of this practice as we can see from these verses, but Moses is the head of the household, and he knew the importance of this rite, so he shouldn’t have listened to his wife. Zipporah eventually performed the rite swiftly for she understood the danger of her husband’s life albeit repulsed. She threw the skin at Moses’ feet showing her disapproval of him as a husband because of this blood covenant with God. God let Moses go, but Zipporah was in her feelings still expressing her dislike for the Hebrew practice.

4:27-28 > Aaron and Moses reunites on Mount Horeb and became brothers in ministry that very day. Moses told his brother everything concerning the mission from God and the signs he has been given.ย 

4:29-31 > The brothers met with the elders and everything functions smoothly: Aaron the effective mouthpiece, Moses the demonstrator. The people believe, and they humbled themselves before God and worships Him.

Related scripture reading:

^ John 14:11 > Believe in Jesus for the very works’ sake. Because of the many signs and wonders, the people who followed Jesus believed.ย 

Additional Notes

^ To expand a little on 4:2-5 where God uses the simple shepherd’s staff in Moses’ hand, God likes to use what’s in our hands to bring glory to Him. In John 6:9, God uses the five loaves and two fishes in a boy’s hand to feed many. He used the stone and sling in David’s hand to bring down Goliath (1 Samuel 17:49). There are a few other examples throughout the Bible.

^ The book of Exodus attributes the hardening process ten times to God (verse 21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17), and nine times to the Pharaoh himself (7:13-14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34-35). The first two references (verses 21 and 7:3), state that God โ€œwill hardenโ€ the Pharaohโ€™s heart without specifying when that will be. The next ten references (the only exception is in 9:12), indicate that the Pharaoh hardened his own heart (via bible-studys.org).

Reference/Aids

* Prayer

* The Holy Spirit

* The Holy Bible

* Historical research

* The ever trusted bible-studys.org

Thank You

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