The first twelve chapters of Exodus set the up the Road Trip. The Pharaoh was an evil, stubborn man who had no fear of God…Truth was the Pharaoh did not know God. It is through the mercy, grace, and love of our Father that we learn and have mercy, compassion and love for people, the gods of Egypt and the Pharaoh and his people knew none of that.
Here is a quick review of the first three chapters as God prepared His people for a Great Road Trip.In the first chapter of Exodus we are made aware of the history of these people before they became a nation. Moving on to chapter 2 we read of God preparing for the salvation of his people… God always is in charge and has a plan. “Moses is born, and exposed on the river. (1-4) He is found, and brought up by Pharaoh’s daughter. (5-10) Moses slays an Egyptian, and flees to Midian. (11-15) Moses marries the daughter of Jethro. (16-22) God hears the Israelites. (23-25) In chapter 3 God makes known his presence and plan to Moses. “God appears to Moses in a burning bush. (1-6) God sends Moses to deliver Israel. (7-10) The name Jehovah. (11-15) The deliverance of the Israelites promised. (16-22)
This week we move to chapter 4. We will break it down into four sets of verses, as follows. God gives Moses power to work miracles. (1-9) Moses is reluctant to go, Aaron is to assist him. (10-17) Moses leaves Midian, God’s message to Pharaoh. (18-23) God’s displeasure against Moses, Aaron meets him, The people believe them. (24-31) In the first nine verses Moses objects that the people will not believe or accept his word alone. As in the NT to come, Moses cited a need for a sign. God gave him power to work miracles. I had a bit of a problem here but further research got me over the hump. I asked myself, but what of us today? What power do we as messengers of God’s word have…what or where is our power? Our Power lies in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Remember that old saying and Hymn… “there’s power in the blood”? The word of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit can and will cast out the sins of man. When we accept Christ as Lord and savior, our power lies in our faith. Not to be to hard on Moses but to state the situation as it was, In verses 10-17, William Henry leaves little to ponder… “ We must not judge of men by the readiness of their discourse.” Moses wasn’t quick with his tongue, he was not a great orator but God often choses those that seem to be unlikely, so that His Glory and Power may be seen in their actions. We must not blame Moses from shrinking from the task. Moses knew the heart of the Pharaoh and the danger to him and his family as he undertook to do God’s calling. Step back and wonder at the wisdom of God as he gave Arron to assist Moses to take on the mission to free his people. The tongue of Aaron, with the head and heart of Moses, would make one complete team fit for this errand. God’s constant teaching and help along with God’s Divine grace, assured their success. God spoke to Moses often after the burning bush. The Pharaoh had harden his hearts against the cries and moans of despair of the oppressed Israelites and in righteous judgement God hardens His heart to the terror of the plagues and other judgements being put upon the Pharaoh and his people. Will Pharaoh respond? God commands Moses to tell him… Thus saith the Lord. He must demand a discharge for Israel, Let my son go; not only my servant, whom thou hast no right to detain, but my son. It is my son that serves me, and therefore must be spared, must be pleaded for. In case of refusal I will slay thy son, even thy first-born. As men deal with God’s people, let them expect so to be dealt with.
Over time nations and people over all the world have put aside the teachings of God, Christ and the council of the Holy Spirit, blind to the need of salvation, forging ahead in a rush for power and putting self first. Pharaoh does just that and does not heed God’s command. One interesting thing in these last verses (24-31) that stand out to me is the need to make ourselves right with God. When things are wrong in our lives we would be wise to correct them quickly. These things that are amiss in our lives are calling out to us to return to God and his precepts. God sent Arron to Moses and the elders of Israel met with them and believed. Then Israel welcomed the tidings of their deliverance, and worshipped the Lord, how should we welcome the glad tidings of redemption?…Embrace it in faith, and adore the Redeemer! When through faith, prayer and Divine intervention we too should worship the Lord and stand strong in the faith.
There are always consequences when we follow God…In the NT Jesus on several occasions made it very plain that to follow Him would not be easy, it would be a perilous path not without personal cost. The Israelites here in chapter 5, OT, are about to pay a price for their faith and obedience to God’s call.
Bricks without straw…Pharaoh treated all he had heard with contempt. He did not know God and he did not fear Him; he refused to obey Him. Can you remember a time in your life that you refused to obey? Did your pride, ambition, covetousness, and lack of knowledge, hardened your heart which in turn led to a bad time? What Moses and Aaron ask is very reasonable, they wished only to go three days’ journey into the desert, where they would sacrifice unto the Lord our God. Pharaoh had no intention of that happening. In our lives today we often experience the rejections of a good thing on the basis of those opposed misrepresenting our intent. This can be read in different ways but the first thing that bothered the Pharaoh was the fact that the people would not be doing his work. This is my other thought and is my opinion. We know that he had no knowledge of God and certainty no understanding of the Jews and their beliefs. When he was told they wanted to go into the wilderness to worship and sacrifice unto the Lord our God, he immediately took that to mean people would die. He said no and used this as a pretense to add to their burdens. This added to the burden of Moses and Arron by causing physical distress and hardship on the very people they were sent to free. The quota of bricks per day was not reduced and to maintain that they would have to get their own straw. To do all this would be a physical strain that would break many of the men. In the closing verses 10-23 we know the task mangers of the Jews were very severe in their treatment of those who failed to meet the quota that had been set for the bricks due per day. The head workman with just cause complained to Pharaoh but received only his destain and taunts. There were many who worked harder to meet the quotas and their previous complaining to Moses and Arron brought home to them their previous sins and left them in shame. Mosses, I am sure was shaken by this turn of events that brought more misery on the people. But being diligent in faith Moses returned to the Lord. He knew that what he had said and done, was by God’s direction; and therefore appeals to him. The key here is Moses returned to the Lord. In life today we are often left disappointed in a task that becomes difficult. We must not let that drive us from the direction God has given us. We may well be confused as to why something has happen but faith in God will overcome when we to go to God, and lay open our case before him by fervent prayer.
Thank you for staying with this series from Exodus. Next week we will close out this series but not the book of Exodus. We will have traveled through the first 12 chapters and there are 38 chapters in the book. That gives us the chance to return to this important book in the future.
Life is Good