Monday, August 6, 2012



Human Author  -  Moses
Place  -  Egypt and Canaan
Date  -  1400s BC

I stated earlier that to have a good understanding of the Bible, one must have a complete understanding of the book of Genesis, which is true.  But Exodus must also be clearly understood.  Exodus can be to the Old Testament what the Gospels are to the New Testament.  It's not a difficult comparison to comprehend.  The Exodus is God's greatest saving act for the nation Israel in the Old Testament, as His ultimate saving act in the New Testament was the giving of His dear Son for all the people in the world.  Beyond Exodus, all the rest of the Old Testament rests on the idea that Israel was God's chosen people.  He chose them, delivered them, and made a covenant with them.  Israel exists for God, for fellowship with Him, and for His glory.  Many basic ideas of the Bible are found in Exodus:

 1.  God acts in the History of His world
 2.  God acts in the lives of His people
 3.  God calls people to serve Him in many ways
 4.  God makes covenants with His people
 5.  God is adequate both for daily life and the crises of life
 6.  God's actions cannot be predicted;  He is free to act as He chooses
 7.  God gives laws to guide people in life
 8.  God personally leads people through life in many ways
 9.  God hears and answers prayers
10.  God forgives people's sins

Looking back we saw in Genesis where God promised one man, Abraham, that He would build a great nation through him.  God offered a covenant that if Abraham and his people would follow God in obedience and faith that God would make Abraham and his descendants into a special people that would bless  the world.

Also in Genesis we saw Abraham's great-grandson Joseph become a very high official in Egypt.  During a great famine Joseph brought his entire family, about 70 people, into Egypt.  Joseph and his entire family were welcome in Egypt and were treated with utmost respect.  Over the years, things changed.  Joseph and his sons were dead.  The Pharaoh who loved Joseph so much was dead, and the famine was long forgotten about.  The covenant family (Hebrews) were just a large group of people in Egypt that were not Egyptians.  And this is where Exodus begins.

Like Genesis, I encourage you to read the chapters first.  Then have your Bible with you when you read the text that is posted.  This will make for a better understanding.

Vss 1-5 give a listing of the sons of Jacob, which will be the division of the 12 tribes of Israel.  It will be many generations later when the tribes are to be assigned their territories in Canaan, but families kept track of family members, and very accurate records were always kept among the Hebrew people.  Vss  6 and 7 say that the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful and multiplied to the point that they "filled the land".

Then in vs 8 it says a new king (pharaoh), to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.  {We're going to see the Scripture refer to a number of pharaohs in Egypt, not giving names to most, not even the pharaoh that was so gracious to Joseph and his family.  Many Bible scholars have concluded that the pharaoh of the Great Hebrew Exodus from Egypt was Rameses II.  That would probably mean that either Seti I or Rameses I was the first pharaoh to enslave the Israelites.  Seti I may have been the first to enslave the Israelites, but Rameses I was ruler during their enslavement at
some point in time because of the mentioning of the building of Pithom and Rameses as store cities.  Pharaohs and kings love to name cities after themselves.}  Anyway, Pharaoh began to speak harshly of the Israelites and poisoning minds against them.  He knew it wasn't difficult to turn the entire Egypt nation against a group of "foreigners", especially since the Israelites were more prosperous than the Egyptian citizens.  {For those of you who have studied the rise and fall of the third riech, Hitler did very similarly.  People are more strongly united when they have a common enemy than
they are when they have a common cause.  Sad but true.}  Pharaoh wasn't being cunning or smart.  He exposed himself as the poor leader that he was.  But he presented a good case:  They will soon out-number us and possibly rebel and take over; or if a neighboring country wages war against Egypt, the Israelites might fight against Egypt from the inside.  So he was appealing to the Egyptians' common sense and playing on their fear.

Vss 11-->  So they enslaved the Israelites and oppressed them.  The Egyptians worked them ruthlessly (without mercy).  The Egyptians decided to start building things because of free labor.  {We have never lived under oppression, and I hope we never do.  But think of what living under oppression means.  You are constantly being forced to do a level of work beyond your capabilities.  Punishment is frequent, unfair, and severe.  Not only must one endure backbreaking work and punishment, but must stand by helplessly while watching his family members suffering the same abuse.  When there have been instances of oppression in the world it has generally lasted longer than two generations, which means that some of the people were born into it and died in it.  Think about what that life would have been like.  Our freedom should never be taken for granted.}

Vss 15-->  These following verses show us just how drunk with power a person can be allowed to become.  Pharaoh started to really get desparate when he saw that the Israelites kept multiplying in spite of the oppression.  So then he decided to command the Israelite midwives (Shiphrah and Puah) to kill all the male babies delivered by the Hebrew women.  {I think this is not only evil, but very stupid.  Why would he want to kill the males?  If he wanted to slow down the growth of their multitude, it seems like he's thinking backwards.  Also, the males were stronger and more capable
of toiling in the fields and working as builders.  Evil people do evil things, desperate people do desparate things, and foolish people do foolish things.  When there is a leader of many people, who is evil, desparate, and foolish, many innocent people will suffer immensely, and disaster is around the corner.}

The midwives just couldn't bring themselves do such and evil thing.  When Pharaoh saw that the birth of males continued he confronted the midwives about it.  The midwives were quick-witted.  They said that the women were delivering the babies so quickly that the midwives didn't have time to get to them before the boys were born.  Vss 20,21 - So God blessed the midwives with families of their own because they were more obedient to God than they were to Pharaoh.  And, the Israelites became even MORE numerous, which of course made Pharaoh even MORE desparate.  So, then (vs 22) he ordered every Hebrew boy to be thrown into the Nile, but let every girl live.  So, according to this new law, all people, Egyptian and Hebrew were ordered to make sure every Hebrew boy was killed.  Anyone even knowing about a boy being born and allowed to live would be breaking the law, and would be punished.  This made the survival of a baby boy almost impossible.  But none of the Pharaohs ever could defeat God and His purpose.

Next post  -  The Birth of Moses

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