Today we are continuing the life of Moses in Exodus, Chapter 3. Moses, you will recall, had been called of God to be the deliverer of Israel. The first call came when he was 40 years old. He was then the son of Pharaoh's daughter, a totally active person in his own right. According to the Scriptures, he was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was a man of power in both words and deeds. According to "Antiquities of the Jews" by Josephus, he was also a general with a good track record, and had once saved Egypt from the Ethiopians. So he knew he was good. He had always been at the top of the heap, always been adequate for every situation and had proven his ability to command, to lead, to combat, and had already once been a deliverer. So when God comes to him at forty years of age, at the height of his power and prowess and says, "You are to be the deliverer of Israel," it is quite natural for him to go out in his own skill, his own strength and his own resources and seek to do the kind of delivering he has always done. When he did, as you remember, he was not only rejected by the Israelites and the Egyptians, but he became a target of Pharaoh and had to flee. He fled across the Sinai Peninsula to the other side of the Gulf of Aqaba, and we find him there as a shepherd among the Midianites who are also Semites. They came right from the loins of Abraham. Moses has now spent forty years as a shepherd. As he is herding his flock in the summer pasture on Mt Sinai, he is drawn aside by a burning bush which burns but is not consumed. For years up there he has been burning those same bushes for warmth and cooking, and this is a marvel to him. God then speaks to him out of the bush, and this is where we pick it up.
When the LORD saw that he [Moses] turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Do not come near here; [Stop coming near here] remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." [This, I think, is where Moses begins to get nervous. When God begins to move in on him though, the first thing God does is fully identify Himself] He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. [Acts 7:32 literally "He shook with fear."]
I think part of the fear was the presence of God. But I also think part of the fear was what was coming next. When God calls a man the first thing He does is what? Moses has been forty years in the desert. He is a shepherd, an occupation loathsome in the eyes of the Egyptians. For forty years he has tolerated an occupation despised by his former culture, and also he is shepherding his father-in-law's flock. He has nothing of his own. He is really beaten down and has very little self-esteem, very little self-worth. All this prowess he was once so proud of has no value out in the wilderness with a bunch of dumb sheep. Well maybe he could chase off a wolf or two.
So God calls this man who is now eighty years old. He is beginning to feel the problems of age. Even though he lives to be 120 and his eye is still bright, Scripture points out that that is unusual. He is 80 years old now and his body is deteriorating. Like me. I am getting near 60, and I just don't have the old zip anymore. I'd rather sit and soak in a spa than get up and drive around like I used to do. Moses is that way. It is peaceful out there in the desert being a shepherd with no responsibilities. It is good having a father-in-law who is the priest of Midian which puts a person in the upper bracket of the lower class. It is a restful time. His blood pressure is maybe 120 over 60, and his cholesterol is down. If God permits it, he can live to be 120 right out there in the desert. It is acceptable, and he has no desire to get involved again with people who have rejected him and who want to kill him. Therefore, the first thing God does when he calls a man is what? What does he do in this passage?
Class comment: He identifies Himself.
Bob's response: Yeah! God directs your attention toward Himself and away from yourself. He does it here in a beautiful way for a Semite. He says, "I AM the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." I like that. He did not say the God of Israel. Remember Jacob had his name changed to Israel when he strove with God and became a prince of God. His name was changed by God. What does Jacob, his original name, mean?
Class comment: Usurper.
Bob's response: Right! Supplanter. He double dealt his brother, who had muscular power but not too much upstairs, out of his birthright and also his blessing. Even though they were twins, since Esau was born first, he was head of the family. With the head of the family went the birthright. In patriarchal times that meant the right to be priest and mediator between the family and God. Esau sold his birthright for a mess of lentil stew just because he was hungry. He despised his birthright but figured, "I'll get the blessing. I am daddy's favorite. I am the hunter. Jacob is mama's boy. I'm Isaac's first born and his favorite, and I'll get the blessing." The blessing was an all binding contract that a father gave when he was dying. He parceled out rights and privileges and all his property to his sons. So Esau would get out of all that nonsense about God and still get all the material possessions. Hebrews 12 calls him irreligious, literally secular, profane. He had no concept of spiritual life and could care less. Jacob, the supplanter, deceives his blind father and thus gets not only the birthright but also the blessing. Jacob is a crook. Esau is a much nicer guy. He is not as bright, but he is a much nicer guy. However, God sees Jacob when God gets through with him. He deliberately calls Himself the God of Jacob, the failure, the double dealer, the man who has to be broken even to the point of a dislocated hip which leaves him crippled the rest of his life. He has to strive with God to the point where he realizes it is God and demands and wants the blessing of God so much that he is willing to hang on and get slain if necessary. Therefore, God changes his name from Jacob to Israel because he strove with God when he knew it was God. God calls Himself the God of Jacob, "Hey, I can work with a supplanter. I am the God of Jacob. I am proud to call Myself the God of Jacob." That was not because Jacob was a supplanter, but because what God turned out as a final product was a man called Israel, the father of the Jewish nation.
So right off God focuses Moses on Himself and off the circumstances.
Verse 7. Here is a man who is trembling and shaking with fear and the Lord says:
And the LORD said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.
Now we know the people of Israel were into idolatry up to their ears. There are a number of references indicating that in Egypt they fell into idolatry and worshipped the gods of Egypt. All during the wilderness wanderings they kept longing to go back to Egypt, the lifestyle of Egypt and the gods of Egypt. The first chance they got, with Moses a little too long on the mountain, they made a golden calf and went back to worshipping idols and the orgies that went along with it. And yet what did God call them?
Class comment: My people
Bob's response: My people! And why is he responding to them? Why is he making this move at this time? What have "My people" finally done?
Class comment: They cried out.
Bob's response: They cried out to God instead of crying out to Ra or Thot or Isis or any of the other gods of Egypt. They have finally cried out to Yahweh, the God of their forefathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In spite of their track record of up to 400 years of idolatry, the moment they cry out to Him God responds. He sees their affliction and has compassion for them. He is a God who doesn't care about your track record. He is a God who only cares about your relationship. You cry out to Him for help, and I don't care what your past has been, He will help. He is trying to tell Moses, "I don't care what your past has been, I am a God who is going to help."
Then He moves on from there and brings in His purpose.
"So I have come down to deliver them [That is where He began to really touch Moses because that is the verb used 40 years ago. God said, "I have called you to deliver Israel." Remember? For 40 years I am sure Moses has been dreading ever hearing that word again, but here it comes] from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, [Remember a "broad land." Egypt is a long narrow oasis that runs the length of the Nile in the middle of a barren desert but extremely lush down in the Delta area] to a land flowing with milk and honey, [The word literally means "oozing" with milk and honey. It pictures a cow whose udder is so full that milk is oozing out of the teats. That is how lush the land is. And honey. There are flowers all over the place. The bees just get fat and sassy and make all kinds of honey. It is a Hebrew idiom for the most fertile idea you can think of in an agrarian economy] to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite." [Now these are vicious tribes]
Why do you suppose God names these vicious tribes for Moses and later on to the Israelites? He says, "I am going to give you this land. I know it is the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites" and later on the Girgashites and a few other ites? Why does God deliberately name these vicious tribes when He tells Moses and the Israelites, "I am going to GIVE you this land?" Myself, I'd respond, "No way?"
Class comment: Wants them to recognize it will be God doing it in His strength and not them in their strength.
Bob's response: Yeah! Even more than that. What is He recognizing about the country He is sending them to?
Class comment: That He is aware of the problem.
Bob's response: Yeah! He is saying, "I know there are Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites, Girgashites and even the Rephaim." He doesn't mention the Rephaim here actually. They are the giants. There are all sorts of names for them, Anakim, Rephaim, Emin, Zamzummim, Nephilim. They are a race of giants that are evil, wicked, terrifying and demonic. The very names indicate this.
Incidentally there was a whole megalithic, mega - big, lithic - rocks, society all up and down the Jordanian valley. We have discovered big rocks, huge buildings built for giants. There is a femur of a nine foot man in the British Museum right out of that area. They were real, and they were big. Og, king of Bashan, had a 12 foot bed. I have dreamed of that all my life. In World War II they shipped me in a 6 ft bunk, an upper bunk at that. I had to sleep diagonally.
So God recognizes the situation. He says, "I know who is in the land. Don't sweat it. I know what I am doing. I recognize fully what is sitting out in front of you, and I am still going to GIVE you the land." He doesn't play games. "Now I am going to take you out of bondage into a beautiful broad and spacious land which is oozing with milk and honey."
Have you ever noticed this principle in Scripture? When God calls you to give up or to leave or to leave behind something about your present life, He doesn't just ask you to do it blindly. He always shows you first all what is potentially yours if indeed you obey Him in this area of your life. God does not ask you to stop something without a reason. He appeals to the mind. Satan appeals to the emotions. God doesn't. He always starts with the mind. He says, "If you will leave the bondage of this, I will give you a broad and spacious land oozing with milk and honey. Here is the price. Now, you make the choice, a valid, rational, willful choice." He won't force the will, but He doesn't ask you to just leap out into space either. He'll never say, "Stop this, period!" He never acts that way. His principles are for dealing with the flesh. Romans 6 says, "Stop doing what you are doing and once and for all cast yourself upon Me, and I will make you something different." He does exactly the same thing here. There's a price for leaving Egypt. The Israelites are settled there. Out ahead is a howling wilderness and at the end of that wilderness a bunch of wild tribes. God says, "You leave and walk with Me in obedience, and I'll give you a broad and spacious land." That is the same thing He offers us.
Then in verse 9 comes the thing Moses has been dreading to hear.
"And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; [One reason He is going to move is the cry of His children] furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. [There comes a time now when you'll be relieved of your oppression and will crush the oppressor] Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt."
That is the last thing Moses wants to hear. Do you notice though how God expresses it. "I will send you to Pharaoh so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt." He understands Moses whose pendulum has swung from way over here in self-confidence to way over here in lack of self-worth. So God gives him a guarantee. You would think this would be enough, but Moses is really crushed.
Moses begins a dialogue with God. Although shaking with fear before this Holy Being, he proceeds to offer five objections as to why he will not and cannot go. This is what is known as playing Russian roulette with God. What is intriguing though is he won't go because #1 he fears Pharaoh, #2 he fears the Egyptians and #3 he fears the rejection of his people. Who doesn't he seem to fear?
Class comment: God
Bob's response: God! Have you ever thought about that? When God calls you to something and you object or drag your feet, you are saying, "I am more afraid of that which you have called me to or that person you have called me to go to than I am of You, the Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth." Now that is a pretty ridiculous statement. But that is exactly what we do all the time. When I refuse to step out by faith when God calls me to do something, I am saying, "I am more afraid of my circumstances than I am of the God of those circumstances. I am more afraid of that creature over there than I am of the Creator who made him. I am more afraid of the attacks of Satan or the problems of the flesh than I am of the God who has already given me victory over them."
Just last night I had a formidable battle. The old flesh was really tormenting me, and I like the flesh. I didn't become a Christian until I was about thirty. I spent years building into my life desires, lusts and urges which are there and are not ever going to leave. Last night I had a severe struggle with one, an awesome battle, almost physical. While God finally had the victory, I'm telling you it was a rough time. But I finally decided, "I'm teaching this stuff, I had better start believing it and acting like it is true." I began by saying, "O.K. I do not have to succumb to these thoughts. I do not have to be a loser. I am fighting a battle already won. I am guaranteed by Scripture that my flesh has been rendered inoperative. It only lives by my choice. I can choose God and, in a sense, be more afraid and have more reverence for Him than I have for the flesh and whatever the enemy is trying to do with it." And, my friends, it worked. I ended up having a good night's rest. God was victor. We are fighting a battle already won. Now, if we'll believe that and fear God more than our circumstances, we will have victory. Proof! Bob, the Slob, had it last night. I was afraid to go to bed because I knew the struggle that was going to occur the moment the lights went out and I had nothing to look at except my thought life, but God was victor.
Anyway, here we have Moses trembling in fear before his God and yet really fearing Pharaoh more than God. so here comes objection #1 "Who am I that I should go?"
But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?"
Do you notice anything about that statement that indicates where the focus is, where the problem lies?
Class comment: I
Bob's response: Yeah! Let me read that again with a little emphasis on the right syllable. "Who am - I - that - I - should go to Pharaoh, and that - I - should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" What did God just get through saying in verse 8? He said, "I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them up..." The first thing Moses looks at when he gets the assignment is Moses instead of God. God has just told him God is going to do the job. And so here is Moses with his focus in the wrong place again. He is still hurting. 40 years later he is still hurting from that rejection, "How can I go to Pharaoh. He wants to kill me. Why should I go to the sons of Israel? They rejected me before. They said, 'Who made you a prince and judge over us?'" For 40 years the flesh of Moses hasn't changed. The self-pity sticks out like a sore think, and it has blinded him, of course, to the God of the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
We have the same problem. Every time we focus on ourselves, on how tough things are in our lives, how we have been rejected and people don't appreciate us, we sink right down into this pit of self-pity with Moses. So, when God comes with a beautiful offer of what He will do through us, we are too busy looking at ourselves to understand. Moses is no exception. When God gets through with him, he is going to be an outstanding man of God but right now he is just like the rest of us.
And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you [God is going to give Moses proof positive now.] that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain."
"Moses, I'll give you proof what I am behind you. When you bring the people out of Egypt you are going to bring them right back here to Sinai, and you and the whole nation are going to worship right here at this mountain." Remarkable proof. Only one thing wrong, Moses has to say, "I believe You, and I am going to act like it is true," and he doesn't want to do that.
So, first objection. "Who am I?" Second objection, "Who are you?"
Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?"
They worship a whole smorgasbord of gods in Egypt. Every circumstance of nature or of animal life has a god in Egypt. There's a list of gods a mile long. Just take your pick. After 40 years I'm suppose to walk in there with another god? My generation is either eighty years old or dead, and I am to walk back there and say, "The God of your fathers has sent me?" They are going to say, "Who is he?"
In the Old Testament during patriarchal times, whenever God appeared in some kind of saving relationship he got a new name that described the relationship. For example: when Abraham sacrificed Isaac and God provided a ram for the sacrifice, he immediately called God, Jehovahjireh - "God that provides." Remember when Hagar ran away and got lost in the desert and God appeared to her saying, "Go back to your mistress, and I will bless you. I will make a nation out of you. 12 princes will come out of you. I will give you a son whom you are to call Ishmael - 'God hears.'" What did she call the place? Beerlahairo - "The well of the God that hears," in the sense of cares. It would be very natural for the Jews to wonder, "'What's the name of this God, Moses? This is a revelation. We haven't heard from God in 400 years, but you claim to have heard from him twice in the last 40 years. O.K. who is he?' and there I will stand with egg on my face."
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" And God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'The LORD, [Yahweh, the I AM] the 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, [This is what he wants to always be proven to be] and this is My memorial-name to all generations. [This is what he wants to be remembered as by all the people]
Yahweh starts all the way back in Genesis 2 saying, "I am the eternal existing God who is always there." It comes from the Hebrew verb "to be." It can either mean "I am what I am" or "I will be that I will be." "'I am the eternally existing God who is always present, who is continually coming more and more into being in the sense of revelation. I am a self-revealing God who continually and increasingly reveals Myself.' You go back and tell them that. You tell them also, 'I am the God of the covenant with their fathers, the God Joseph warned them about, the God who would deliver them someday and that is why he wanted to be embalmed and set in a coffin not a tomb. When they left he wanted to have his coffin carried to the Promised Land and buried there.' You go tell them that." And God goes on to lay out the program as an encouragement to Moses.
"Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, 'The LORD, [Yahweh, the I AM] the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, 'I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt.' So I said, 'I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing [or oozing] with milk and honey.' And they will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders [You are not going to have to go alone] of Israel will come to the king of Egypt, and you will say to him, 'The LORD, [Yahweh, the I AM] the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.'"
In other words, you are to go to Pharaoh and say, "The issue is not between Moses and Pharaoh. It is between Yahweh and the gods of Egypt. Our God has met us, and our God has demanded that we go out three days journey and worship Him." Do you see what God is making the Hebrews do? He is saying, "Make a choice between the gods of the Egyptians and the God of Israel." It is not a fight between Moses and Pharaoh or Moses and the Egyptians or Moses and the Israelites. The battle is between Yahweh, God of the Hebrews, and the gods of the Egyptians. When God is finished, a great number of Egyptians realize that. A mixed multitude leaves. A group of Egyptians go along when the people of Israel leave. God loves the Egyptians. They may be oppressing Israel. They may look at Israel as trash, but God loves those Egyptians. God loves Pharaoh. We are going to see that He allows Pharaoh to harden his own heart seven times before He steps in and passes judgment. And God wants them to be able to make a choice. The issue is the God of the Hebrews or the gods of Egypt.
He begins with a typical Semitic bargaining offer, a typical eastern custom. In any bargaining situation always give your opponent the easiest possible way to agree with you and still save face. This is not some wild deceit. It was just part of mid-eastern bargaining in that day. It still is today, as a matter of fact. So God says, "Just ask for three days to go out and worship your God." Now, Moses is not lying. Both Pharaoh and Moses know the Hebrews are going to leave forever, but this is the way they bargained in the mid-east. Face meant everything. So Moses gives Pharaoh the easiest way to agree with him without losing face, and only asks for three days. Pharaoh knows what he means. Pharaoh is an ancient easterner too. You can see him giving in a little more and a little more each time Moses asks, but he knows Moses wants to leave permanently.
"But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. So I will stretch out My hand, and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. And I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians."
Class comment: I have a little problem with that. Is the Lord encouraging Moses to be deceitful?
Bob's response: No, No! That is just what I was saying. This is a typical way of bargaining in the eastern culture. You are expected to bargain in the middle-east.
Class comment: Would that open the door to us to tell half truths, do you think?
Bob's response: No! We are not in that culture. Moses knows what he is saying, but so does Pharaoh. We'll see that in the context later on. Pharaoh says, "I know what you want, Moses. You want to get out of here. No way!" Then he gives in a little more, "All right, let all males go but no women and children." Pharaoh knows exactly what he means and so does Moses. We have to put ourselves back 3500 years into another culture. This is how they bargained. In a culture where face was everything you made it as easy as possible for your opponent to agree but still save face. So you start low and work your way up. Neither one of them is speaking in openness. That is the way they lived in those days. Pharaoh knew exactly what Moses wanted and so did Moses. You can see Pharaoh resist immediately. Had Pharaoh just agreed to the 3 days in the wilderness, he would not have lost face, Egypt would not have been plundered and destroyed and Pharaoh might even have come to know the Lord.
So God tells Moses, "The king of Egypt will resist you, but I Myself will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with miracles. After that Pharaoh will let you go." The Hebrews did not believe in "miracles" as you and I do. Today we think of a miracle as an interruption of nature. That was not true for the Israelites. To them there was no such thing as secularization. There was no secular portion over here and spiritual portion over there. All things were Yahweh's. And all they saw as a miracle was the God of Creation doing His thing within His creation, running His creation according to His own terms. If He chose to speed it up or make it cataclysmic, there was no break between the natural and the supernatural to the Hebrew. The God of the covenant was the God of anything. That is the tragedy of our modern life. We now have a secular life, and we have a spiritual life, a religious life. What we are on Sunday is different many times from what we are on Monday. That wasn't true for the Israelites. God was God of everything in their lives. There was no secular in the Hebrew life. There was no transcending His creation by some outward force disrupting it. It was simply God taking control of the creation and doing it in a different way, but it was still the same God. So the miracles He is going to do here will act to destroy Egypt, but it is going to do more than that He says. In those days when you won a battle and conquered a nation, you plundered it. Now the God of the Hebrews is going to crush the gods of the Egyptians, and in order to make an impact on the people that live in that culture, He has to conform to the culture of the day. So He says, "I am going to plunder Egypt completely. When the time comes, your women, not your men with swords, but your women, are to go to the Egyptians living in your house or next door or around you, the Delta was extremely crowded, and ask for gold, silver and clothing. You have been working without payday for a long time. This is payday for you Israelites. I want your women to do this, and the Egyptians will give it to you gladly. When you walk out of Egypt you will walk out having despoiled Egypt, having plundered it. The people are going to understand that My victory over the gods of Egypt is complete and total."
Do you notice what they were not allowed to ask for? If you were a human general who was about to take 2.5-3 million people into a howling wilderness at the end of which waited Canaanites, Hivites, Jebusites, Perizzites, Amorites, vicious warlike armed people, what would you ask for?
Class comment: Arms
Bob's response: You bet! I would ask for food, cattle, arms, chariots, horses, Sherman tanks, flame throwers, machine guns, you name it. But God says, "No way! I want you to take all the valuables of Egypt so Egypt is despoiled and there is no doubt about who won this battle. However, you are not going out in your own strength, and you are not going to live in your own strength. I am going to provide for all your needs. I am Yahwehjireh, 'the God that provides,' and I will take care of your needs in that howling wilderness. You are to be wholly dependent upon your Lord." And that is exactly what happened. Think of the impact on those people walking out of Egypt unarmed but loaded with the gold, silver, jewels, clothing, etc. Incidentally who was to wear all the finery?
Class comment: Their children
Bob's response: Their kids! "Let your kids dress in all the finery of Egypt." What is God trying to tell the Israelites about the wilderness experience and about the Canaanites at the end of the line? Why does He go into this detail? What is He trying to prove to the Israelites and those who go with them?
Class comment: That He can provide.
Bob's response: Yeah! Using females, unarmed females, He will plunder the greatest nation in that area of the world of that day, and they will walk off scot free with the women carrying all the gold and silver and their kids dressed in all the finery of Egypt. Yahweh is God!
Now, that should convince anybody, wouldn't you say? Not Moses. Chapter 4 next week. Third objection verse 1, fourth objection verse 10 and the fifth objection, where he gets in real trouble, verse 13. This fellow Moses is unbelievable. He fears his God and yet he knows his God. He knows he doesn't have a capricious tyrant up there. He has a God that is a father. He has the unmitigated gall and yet the complete security of knowing that he can argue, refuse, cajole, wheedle and try anything to avoid obeying his God, and he will not get truck down, broken into little pieces or hit by lightning. The God of the Hebrews is very different from all the gods of the Egyptians.
Class comment: Where did Moses learn this history of his people and this God since they had been away from it for 400 years.
Bob's response: Moses was brought up by his mother, remember? Amram and Jochebed, the father and mother of Moses were so godly they defied the edict of Pharaoh. Also Pharaoh's daughter had given Moses back into the keeping of his own parents to be nursed by his own mother until probably the age of 12. That was the normal age to go into the palace to be educated. He probably had 12 years of grounding in all the knowledge of the God of the Old Testament.
Class comment: You mean these people worshipping Egyptian gods still kept this history current?
Bob's response: It was still there. That is why God afflicted them. They knew better. So He let them go down the tube until finally they cried out to the God they knew, and He responded just like that.
Class comment: We don't have any history of great elders or leaders in that 400 year period do we? It's sort of a void.
Bob's response: There is no record of any appearance of God to them, but the knowledge of God was there. God always works through a remnant. The oppression that we are talking about occurred toward the end of the 400 year period. So for 400 years that revelation of God as seen in Amram and Jochebed was there. There were believers around, just not many.
Next week chapter 4
Father, we do thank you that you are a God just like the God that Moses had and as I look at Moses, I just sit there and think to myself, there is no way that a guy can be that bold and that obtuse and that willful, Father, without you really getting mad and striking him down and yet you don't. There is a problem coming up here, Father, when you do take away something from him that he could have had, but you do that in love too. Father, we just don't understand your forbearance, your long-suffering, your patience with us, but, boy, are we glad you are. Thank you, Father, in Jesus' name.
Copyright © 1980 Discovery Publishing, a ministry of Peninsula Bible Church. This data file is the sole property of Discovery Publishing, a ministry of Peninsula Bible Church. It may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. This data file may not be copied in part, edited, revised, copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications, recordings, broadcasts, performances, displays or other products offered for sale, without the written permission of Discovery Publishing. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Discovery Publishing, 3505 Middlefield Rd. Palo Alto, CA. 94306-3695.