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The Servant of God. Moses. Ex 5-6: Let my People go. Moses’ 1 st request. Exodus 5:1-2. 1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'"

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moses

The Servant of God

Moses

Ex 5-6: Let my People go

exodus 5 1 2

Moses’ 1st request

Exodus 5:1-2

1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'"

2 And Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go."

Pharaoh will know who the Lord is when God is finished with him!

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moses s 1 st approach to pharaoh
Moses’s 1st approach to Pharaoh
  • This Pharaoh might have been Thotmes, the grandson of the original persecutor of the Pharaoh in Ex 1
  • He was located in Tanis (or Zoan) – Psa 78:12, 43
psalm 78 12 43

This Pharaoh may have been in Zoan

Psalm 78:12, 43

12 Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

43 When He worked His signs in Egypt, And His wonders in the field of Zoan;

moses s 1 st approach to pharaoh1
Moses’s 1st approach to Pharaoh
  • This Pharaoh might have been Thotmes, the grandson of the original persecutor of the Pharaoh in Ex 1
  • He was located in Tanis (or Zoan) – Psa 78:12, 43
  • God designed this for 2 reasons:
    • Let the Jews see Pharaoh’s mind about them leaving
    • Test the Jews: to see if they have the faith that saves
  • “who is Yahweh”: seems Israel was not using this name for their God, or Pharaoh would at least have heard of Him
  • Moses asked for 3 days: this would not have been very damaging to Egypt
  • “Lest He fall upon us”: began with threat of punishment of Jews, but soon became plagues on Egyptians
exodus 5 3

Moses’ request to sacrifice

Exodus 5:3

3 So they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go three days' journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword."

3 days would not have damaged Egypt much

pharaoh s response
Pharaoh’s Response
  • Attempts to punish Israel for asking for 3 days off
  • Tries to drive a wedge between Moses & Aaron and the Israelites
  • Taskmasters = Egyptianslave masters
  • Officers [or foremen] = Jews(5:14) who recorded the amounts of bricks made each day
  • Many times God makes things worse for a while before He brings deliverance
    • Joseph charged by Potiphar’s wife (Gen 39)
    • David finds Ziklag burned & families gone (1Sam 30)

The testing of our faith produces patience (Jam 1:3)

exodus 5 4 9

Pharaoh’s response

Exodus 5:4-9

4 Then the king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people from their work? Get back to your labor." 5 And Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are many now, and you make them rest from their labor!"

6 So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmastersof the people and their officers, saying, 7 "You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And you shall lay on them the quota of bricks which they made before. You shall not reduce it. For they are idle; therefore they cry out, saying, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' 9 Let more work be laid on the men, that they may labor in it, and let them not regard false words."

God tests their faith!

taskmasters implement pharaoh s demands
Taskmasters implement Pharaoh’s demands
  • Israelites must get their straw
    • “to gather stubble instead of ‘for’ straw”
    • Probably from harvested corn stalks
    • May be around April (spring) – time of sand winds
  • Israelites still had to fulfill the same daily quotas as before
  • When the production decreased, the officers were beaten by taskmasters

Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.(Eccl 7:13-14)

exodus 5 10 16

Officers of Israel bear the blame

Exodus 5:10-16

10 And the taskmastersof the people and their officerswent out and spoke to the people, saying, "Thus says Pharaoh: 'I will not give you straw. 11 Go, get yourselves straw where you can find it; yet none of your work will be reduced.'" 12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. 13 And the taskmasters forced them to hurry, saying, "Fulfill your work, your daily quota, as when there was straw." 14 Also the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, "Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?"

15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, "Why are you dealing thus with your servants? 16 There is no straw given to your servants, and they say to us, 'Make brick!' And indeed your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people."

But Pharaoh doesn’t give in at all!

israelites appeal for help
Israelites appeal for help
  • Officers appealed to Pharaoh (v.15)
  • They put the fault on Pharaoh’s people (v.16): “but the fault is in your own people” [NKJV]
  • Pharaoh responds by claiming they were too idle – didn’t have enough to do – so they thought up the idea of a 3 day journey to sacrifice! No quota reduction!
  • Officers met Moses & Aaron as they left Pharaoh – blamed Moses & Aaron for the trouble

When we don’t trust God’s work in our lives, it’s easy to blame others for our situation

don t play the blame game
Don’t play the blame game!
  • Take responsibility for your own mistakes
  • Trust what God brings into your life
  • Examine challenging situations to see what we should learn from them

Blaming others really amounts to blaming God

numbers 14 1 4 11 12

Complaining about others

Numbers 14:1-4, 11-12

1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 So they said to one another, "Let us select a leader and return to Egypt."

11 Then the Lord said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they."

Our complaints about others are really complaints to God & lack of faith in His ways

exodus 5 22 23

Moses puts it back on God

Exodus 5:22-23

22 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, "Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all."

Moses blames God for causing this trouble and letting the people down

notice god s patience
Notice God’s Patience!
  • He could have blasted Moses for blaming Him
  • He could have given up on the Israelites and just saved a few out of Egypt
  • He could have brought fire down on Pharaoh and destroyed him & his palace
  • He could have raised up a foreign nation to attach Egypt

(Romans 11:33-34)

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?"

exodus 6 1 9

God’s plan has another level!

Exodus 6:1-9

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land."

2 And God spoke to Moses and said to him: "I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them. 4 I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: 'I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.'" 9 So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.

God’s plan involves defeating the gods of Egypt & testing the faith of the Israelites!

god promises to redeem israel
God Promises to Redeem Israel
  • Some time went by & the Israelites were extremely challenged
    • God needed to bring rough times on the Israelites so they would want to be saved!
    • John 13:6 “What I’m doing now you don’t understand, but you will later!”
  • Note the reasons God gives for redeeming His people now:
    • He remembers His covenant to Abraham (Gen 15)
    • He hears the groaning of His people – what a compassionate God we have! He will redeem them from their bondage.

God is always faithful to His covenants

god remembers his covenant
God Remembers His covenant
  • God Almighty = El Shaddai – means power to both destroy & nourish. God will nourish his people and destroy their enemies
    • God revealed himself to Abraham as El Shaddaibecause He was beginning a family with Abraham
    • At the time of the Exodus, God now had a family of millions & He chose to be revealed as Yahweh: “He who is and was and is to come”
    • In the N.T., God is revealed by Jesus as “the Father”
  • “I am the Lord” should be “I Yahweh” – He will do it!
  • But the Israelites were too discouraged to appreciate what God was about to do for them

Faith Endures!

depression can ruin our spiritual lives
Depression can ruin our spiritual lives
  • We lose our confidence and trust in God
  • We lose our motivation to more forward
  • We lose our enthusiasm to be involved in God’s ecclesia
  • We become complainers and grumblers
  • Our faith in God dissipates like smoke and leaves us with no hope

Ps 37:23-24

When a person's steps follow the Lord, God is pleased with his ways. If he stumbles, he will not fall, because the Lord holds his hand. (NCV)

god wants us joyfully working in his family but for the right reasons
God wants us joyfully working in His family, but for the right reasons!

God’s Plans

God’s Effort

God’s excitement

God’s success

Our Plans

Our Effort

Our excitement

Our success

God brings events into our lives to help balance our understanding & appreciation of God’s work

Remember Elijah!

philippians 2 12 16

Our part & God’s part

Philippians 2:12-16

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

Complainers won’t be in God’s Kingdom

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Phil 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

All our complaints are really against God

exodus 16 1 8

People later complain to Moses & Aaron

Exodus 16:1-8

1 And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. 2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the children of Israel said to them, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."

6 Then Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, "At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt. 7 And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord; for He hears your complaints against the Lord. But what are we, that you complain against us?" 8 Also Moses said, "This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord."

Think before you complain!

exodus 6 10 13

God now makes demands

Exodus 6:10-13

10 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 11 "Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go out of his land."

12 And Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, "The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?"

13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

God now demands that Pharaoh let them go!

god now make demands v 10
God now make demands (v.10)
  • Tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go
  • Moses doesn’t want to be involved
    • The Israelites don’t listen to Moses
    • How will Pharaoh ever listen to Moses
    • He feels he is a man of uncircumcised lips (that he cannot speak very well) – remember that he grew up and was trained in Pharaoh’s palace!
  • God issues a command:
    • directed at the Israelites: to leave Egypt
    • directed at Pharaoh: he must let them go

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.(Prov 3:5-6)

the genealogy of moses aaron vs 14 26
The genealogy of Moses & Aaron (vs 14-26)
  • Recorded now, as God is about to elevate Moses & Aaron above the Pharaoh of Egypt
  • Clearly shows that Moses & Aaron had no right by natural descent to lead
  • God chose them and elevated them to lead His people – He is the potter!
  • This genealogy only lists “the heads of their fathers’ houses” – not all the family members

God’s election in action!

exodus 6 18 21

How does Amram fit in?

Exodus 6:18-21

18 And the sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred and thirty-three. 19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of Levi according to their generations.

20 Now Amramtook for himself Jochebed, his father's sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven.

Either the Amram of v 20 is a different Amram, or he had other wives before Jochebed

numbers 3 27 28 nasb

Kohath’s family numbered 8,600

Numbers 3:27-28 (NASB)

27 Of Kohath was the family of the Amramites and the family of the Izharites and the family of the Hebronites and the family of the Uzzielites; these were the families of the Kohathites. 28 In the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, there were 8,600, performing the duties of the sanctuary.

If ¼ of Kohath’s family were of Amram, Amram would have already numbered 2,150

slide32

The 430 and 400 years

430 years from the Promise to the Law (Gal 3:17)

400 years Abraham’s descendants to be sojourners (Gen 15:13)

60

Somehow in this period Kohath’s descendants came to number 8600

slide33
A solution with only one Amram: from The Exodus of Egypt by T. R. Birks [in HP Mansfield’s Exodus Expositor]
  • Kohathites at Exodus numbered 8600 (Num 3:27-28)
  • Amramites should have been about ¼ of the 8600, or about 2150 men
    • That would mean Moses had 2,150 brothers and brothers’ sons
    • It is possible that the Amramites were a smaller group, but still numbered over 1,000
  • So, it’s possible Amram had other wives before Jochebed, and many children, and that Jochebed was a late daughter of Levi – she may have been younger than Amram
lessons from today
Lessons from Today
  • God must test our Faith: to prove it genuine and develop patience
  • Don’t blame others for our lives – trust God
  • Appreciate the patience of God
  • God is always in control – sometimes we just can’t see it
  • Depression is devastating – meditate on God’s faithfulness & goodness
  • All complaining is really against God, so stop!
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