Last Updated November 28, 1998
Chapter 2: 7, 8
2:7-8 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter,
Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse
the child for thee? "And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid
went and called the child's mother.
This text focuses on Jocebed, the mother of Moses as she acted
in blind faith to put her son in the hands of God.
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Historically Israel was a subject nation of the African nation
called Egypt at the time of this writing. For nearly 400 years Israel had
been the subject of its African oppressors. God heard their cries for deliverance
and sent them a deliverer in the person of a baby child. Hearing
that a deliverer was to be born among the Jews, Pharaoh ordered every new
born male child of the Jews to be drowned in the river. Babies by the hundreds
and thousands were drowned in the river. In face of the penalty of
disobedience to the Pharaoh, an entire generation of men was drowned
in the river, except for the child Moses.
Jocebed was the wife of Amram, a Levite, whose outstanding faith
and trust in God, resulted in the birth of a Son that changed the course
of history for her people. The way God worked in this mother's life and
her response reveals to other mothers the mysteries of God's providence.
Jocebed was a woman of poor means, living in the most difficult period
of Jewish History. She was a slave woman who became famous for example
of motherhood and trust in God.
Chapter 8: 9,10
8:9-10; "And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me,
when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people,
to destroy the frogs from thee and they houses, that they may remain in
the river only? And he said, Tomorrow. And he said, Be it according to
they word, that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the Lord
Our text first considers Moses as he stood before Pharaoh to give to
him the demand of God, that he would "let my people go."
Moses appeared before Pharaoh on several occasions, each being followed
by a demonstration of the power of God through plagues. Among the plagues
were: locust, water that turned to blood, darkness, hail and death of the
But one of the most humiliating of the plagues was the plague of the
frogs. According to Exodus 8:3 the frogs were everywhere. They were in
the house,in the bed chamber, on the beds, in the maids house, on the people
and on their bread boards. Every where they looked there were frogs.
Pharaoh observed, what had to be, a national catastrophe. There were
frogs every where. Thousands upon thousands of them.
The cries of the people were heard in the palace. Screams and demands
for relief came from every corner!
But in the midst of this national disaster Pharaoh remained a stubborn
man. He knew why the frogs were there. He knew the impact they were having
upon his country but he held out as long as he could from acknowledging
the power of an almighty God.
Moses came to Pharaoh and told him that the frogs could be removed immediately.
They had been brought by God and they could be removed by God, because
he was in control of all things.
Moses waited for Pharaoh to acknowledge God! Moses waited for Pharaoh
to recognize the presence of God in the activities of his nation!
Pharaoh could have acknowledged the power of God and removed the frogs
instantly! But Pharaoh's response was TOMORROW!
He chose to wait until another time, and by his own decision, chose
to spend another night with the frogs!
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Chapter 13: 17, 18
13:17-18; "And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people
go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines,
although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent
when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about,
through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel
went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt"
This text considers Israel as it prepares to leave the Egypt and travel
to the promised land.
Israel spent 400 years in bondage in Israel. During this time they prayed
constantly that God would bring them out of the enslaved condition and
deliver them to freedom. Their desire was to return to the land that God
had promised Abraham, a land that was flowing with milk and honey. However,
during their long enslavement the people had lost their sense of independence.
Their food, clothing and shelter were provided by their masters. Every
major decision of their lives was made by their masters. Their ability
to govern, provide for and protect themselves had been completely lost.
When God decided to free them from slavery and bring them into the promised
land their survival abilities had diminished to the point of nonexistence.
They had become comfortable with their slave status to the point that the
smallest obstacle they faced would defeat them. Since God knew their weaknesses
more than they themselves, he lead them on a journey that was more difficult
and would take them longer than usual. This longer route would provide
a strengthening period for Israel. It would also insure that they understood
clearly that their liberation was the result of the power of God.
The journey from Egypt to The land of Canaan should have taken about
a month at the longest. Initially Israel would have marched out of Egypt
into Canaan, engaged in battle with the Philistines and would have been
in the promised land. However, God led them on a different route. It was
a difficult route that challenged them both mentally and spiritually. It
was a route that took them down in a valley, across the red sea, and through
a wilderness. They would avoid war with the Philistines but would be snared
by conditions that would make it obvious to them that their salvation came
from the Lord.
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Chapter 16: 15
16:15: " ...And they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto
them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat." --
This text focuses on Israel as it wandered in the wilderness for 40
years after leaving slavery. Though freed from slavery the Jews quickly
found that they were in the wilderness without food or water and they complained
to God about their condition. God answered their prayer by causing the
appearance of small wafer shape flakes that were tasty, nutritious and
in great enough supply to feed nearly a 500,000 people daily. When the
Israelites saw the first appearance of the flakes they called in "manna"
or bread from heaven, because they didn't know where it came from. All
they knew is that when they needed it, it appeared each day.
Moses was commanded by God to take a tenth of what was collected and
to put it in a pot and keep it before the Lord in the Ark of the Covenant.
For the entire journey that "manna" that was kept before the Lord never
spoiled from the first day, even after they entered the promised land.
Since they were hungry from their journey they were excited about the
"Manna" as it was called. They collected just enough to last each day because
it would spoil otherwise. On the sabbath God preserved what they collected
so that it would last without spoilage. In this manner, for forty years,
the Israelites were fed and kept alive. Quail meat, manna and water were
the essentials of the diet of two generations of Jews. Miraculously, they
neither died, of suffered because of it, but in fact remained strong and
grew in numbers.
However, there were some that complained that they were tired of the
manna. They wanted some the fine delicacies they enjoyed in Egypt such
as garlic, cucumbers, and leeks (tasty vegetables). They tired of "manna."
They began to complain about their simple diet of manna and yearned for
a good plate of leeks or green vegetables. They complained that all they
had before them was this "manna" or bread from heaven and it was not enough.
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17:12 But Moses hands were heavy; and they took
a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed
up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side;
and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun
Our text considers Moses in the wilderness as Israel begins
the first of five wars it would fight on the journey to the promised land.
Moses, almost eighty years old, tried to lead the people to the promised
land but complaints from Israel within and enemies without slowed his pace.
In this text Moses encounters the Amalekites and Israel engages them in
war. Perched atop a high mountain Moses held high his hands and his rod,
a symbol of the presence of God. As long as Moses was able to hold his
hands high the people, led by Joshua were victorious in battle. When his
hands came down, Israel suffered losses.
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Realizing that the fate of Israel depended heavily upon Moses'
ability to hold high the rod of God, Aaron and Hur came to his side. They
placed stones underneath them and held his hands high until Israel had
completely won its victory.
Moses learned from this experience and Numbers 11:16 records
how he selected seventy men to help him carry the burden of the people.
These 70 men shared the same spirit and vision as Moses. God empowered
them to help him lead the people. In a similar sense the Apostles,
in Acts 6, appointed the first seven deacons, and laid hands on them. They
consecrated them as men dedicated to the same spirit for the expansion
of the Lord's kingdom.
Whether in the old or New Testament, God has provided for men
of the same spirit to help hold up the hands of those who proclaim his
word. In the Old Testament Moses held up the rod of deliverance. In the
New Testament the Church holds high the cross of Jesus. In the old testament
they fought as long as they could see the rod. In the new, every Saint
wants to Jesus and the vision of hope. Those who help him, do a great work
because "without a vision, the people perish."
Chapter 40: 4
40:4 And thou shalt bring in the table, and
set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt
bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof.
God gave Moses a set of detailed instructions concerning the building
of the Tabernacle. Included in those instructions were rules about the
table of the showbread which was physically located within the Tabernacle.
In Exodus Moses ordered that the table and the showbread be placed in order.
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What was the correct order? A detailed account of the proper
order of things is found in Leviticus 24:5-9. The bread was to be baked
of fine flour and rolled into 12 cakes. The cakes were to be stacked on
top of each other in two rolls of six and atop of them was to be a container
of pure frankincense. They were to be placed on a pure table and the frankincense
was to be placed in a pure container. The bread was to be eaten only by
the priests and this
was to be done every Sabbath.
There was an emphasis upon purity. The table had to be a pure
table. This table was covered with pure gold and it was handled with
the greatest of care. When the Tabernacle was moved from place to place,
there were strict
instructions for moving the table. It had to be covered with blue cloth
which was then covered by a layer of Badger's skins. The purity of the
table was important. Likewise the frankincense holders had to be pure,
made of pure gold to present
no fault before God.
Setting the table required special attention to the placement
of the cups and the golden candlestick. The Mosaic law gave special emphasis
to the order of things, there were countless rules to remember about colors,
clothing material and sacrifices.
The priests of the Old Testament were the Emily Post's of their
time, seeing to it that every spoon and cup was in the right place, that
the table was spotless and insuring that only priests participated in the
eating the holy meal.
The Old Testament emphasis was on the ritual of preparing the
table alone and little attention was paid to anything else.
Looking at the table alone caused Israel to miss something!
Looking at the table of alone is like:
--Missing the beauty of the forest because you are concentrating
on one tree.
--Missing the strength of the words of a song because you concentrated
on the music and the beat.
--Missing the beauty of the Christian life because you concentrated
on simply going to church.
They suffered from an acute case of misplaced priorities! Things
which should have been placed high in importance were placed low, and low
things were placed high.