Sunday Evening Bible Study
February 16, 1997
The nation of Israel had been rescued from famine when Joseph brought the family down to Egypt.
Yet now, four hundred years later, they found themselves slaves in the land that once had rescued them.
God has called a man named Moses, a man raised in the court of Pharaoh, to deliver His people from their bondage, but first after putting him through a forty-year school of humility, shepherding sheep out in the wilderness.
After getting past all of Mosesí excuses, God has brought Moses back to Egypt, ready to do the work.
:2 Who is the LORD,
Or, "Who is this "Yahweh" person?"
:3 let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert,
Is this a lie?
They're not promising to come back, are they?
The quota of bricks to be made.
:9 Let there more work be laid upon the men,
It gets harder before it gets easier with deliverance.
I've seen this over and over with various people delivered from different things.
From the horrid nightmares of growing up in an abusive home, to drugs, to sexual temptation...
When you cry out to God for help, it might get worse before it gets better.
After all, the enemy isn't exactly going to give up without a fight!
:13 as when there was straw.
They are required to make the same quote of bricks, but now having to collect straw on top of all the other work.
Kind of sounds like your job, huh?
:21 The LORD look upon you, and judge;
It isnít fun being part of the deliverance.
If you are involved in seeing people delivered from their "Egypt", you're going to get plenty of nasty stuff thrown at you.
You would think they would love having you around.
Just expect it.
:22 Moses returned unto the LORD,
Moses is handling this correctly at least.
He is coming to the Lord with his problems.
:23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people;
There are times when you wonder if youíre doing any good.
You can get just as frustrated at the situation as those in bondage.
But youíve got to hang in there and continue with the process.
:1 Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh:
Up to this time, itís only been Moses doing anything for the people.
Now itís Godís turn to do the work.
Let God do His work.
It has to be Him.
Stay out of His way.
Heís the only one strong enough to do any real help.
:3 by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
God Almighty - El Shaddai - the strong or powerful God
Jehovah Ė Yahweh.
The patriarchs had known of Godís name, because they used it.
But as far as they were concerned, there was nothing unique about Godís name, God went by a lot of names (El Shaddai, El Elyon, Yahweh, etc.)
Now they were going to start getting a special attachment to Godís name, Yahweh.
:9 they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.
Sometimes itís too hard to hear.
Sometimes people are so overwhelmed by their problems that itís just hard for them to hear what youíre saying.
Itís not that the words youíre saying arenít true, itís just that sometimes people donít respond immediately to what youíre saying.
Does that mean we shouldnít say anything?
No. Keep sharing. Godís Word doesnít return void.
:12 who am of uncircumcised lips?
of uncircumcised lips -unable to talk eloquently.
If the people arenít going to listen to me, how will Pharaoh listen to me?
This is a brief genealogy of Moses and Aaron Ö with a few highlights.
It starts with the sons of Reuben and Simeon, but after getting to Levi, it just deals with Moses and Aaron.
:16 Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari:
These are going to be the three main groupings of Levites.
:20 Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife;
So Mosesí mom was his fatherís auntÖ?
:24 the sons of Korah;
This guyís going to be a big nuisance in a year or so.
Heís a relative of Moses and Aaron, heís going to lead a rebellion.
:1 I have made thee a god to Pharaoh:
Not in the sense of deity, but in the sense of authority, in speaking to Pharaoh through a mouthpiece, through a prophet, like as Aaron.
:3 I will harden Pharaoh's heart,
This might cause you to struggle
It makes you think that Pharaoh had no control over his own heart.
But just stay tuned.
:7 Moses was fourscore years old,
80 years old - This gives us a piece of chronological data, showing that Moses had been in the wilderness for forty years.
Aaron, his brother, was four years older, at 84 years old.
:11 the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Pharaoh wants to know if this Yahweh is anything special, or if his own magicians are just as powerful.
The world has a few tricks.
The world has the ability to imitate, to some extent, the works of God.
There are some things in the world that can actually benefit a person, so a certain extent.
Some people say, "Well, what harm can it do, it is helping them!"
But itís only going to go so far, and certainly not far enough to save them.
The names of the magicians were Jannes and Jambres.
(2 Tim 3:8 KJV) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
:12 Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
A nice touch on Godís part.
Just to let you know whoís in charge.
:13 he hardened Pharaoh's heart,
This is an unfortunate translation.
(Exo 7:13 NASB) Yet Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.
Pharaoh was the one doing the hardening here.
:17 they shall be turned to blood.
There lots of explanations for this:
:18 the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.
Pretty amazing judgment, considering that the Egyptians practically worshipped the Nile River, in fact they DID worship the Nile River!
And it would become a loathing to them.
The plagues on Egypt are designed with something in mind.
Theyíre designed to show Yahwehís superiority over the gods of the Egyptians.
Each of the plagues is against a specific Egyptian god or goddess.
They had several gods and goddesses connected with the Nile:
Hapi (or Apis), the bull god, god of the Nile.
Isis, goddess of the Nile.
Khnum, ram god, guardian of the Nile.
:22 the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments:
Again the magicians are able to duplicate the miracle, taking water apparently dug from wells (vs.24), and turning it to blood.
I wonder why they didnít try turning the bloody water into fresh water!
But they are trying to show Pharaoh that Yaweh isnít all that special.
:22 Pharaoh's heart was hardened,
Pharaoh again hardened his own heart against God and the people.
The 2nd plague.
Heqet, goddess of birth, a woman with a frog head (lovely!)
From her nostrils, it was believed, came the breath of life that animated the bodies of those created by her husband, the great god Khnum, from the dust of the earth. Therefore, frogs were not to be killed.
:3 upon thy bed,
How would you like to roll over at night and squish a bunch of frogs when you do?
:7 the magicians did so with their enchantments,
Again, the magicians are able to somehow perform the same miracle with their magic.
:8 Entreat the LORD,
Pharaohís first half-hearted effort at responding to God.
Donít get excited about talk of God.
As weíre going to see, Pharaoh is going to change his mind pretty quickly.
When people we are witnessing to start to talk about God, donít think the battle is over quite yet!
:9 Glory over me:
Or, "Be pleased to command me."
A polite gesture on Moses' part.
Itís also going to demonstrate that these arenít just a bunch of coincidences, but are in fact miracles of God.
:15 when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart,
Pharaoh again hardens his own heart.
Does the change continue in good times too?
Itís not just what a person says when theyíre going through hard times, but how they hold to their word when the going gets easier.
The best way to see if a "jailhouse conversion" is real is to let the guy get out of jail, and see if he still follows the Lord.
I rejoice when I see someone turn to the Lord during hard times, but Iím beginning to realize that Iím not going to know for sure if itís real, until they continue to walk in the Lord AFTER it gets easier.
The 3rd plague.
The exact meaning is uncertain. They were perhaps gnats, sand fleas, or mosquitoes.
Set, god of the desert.
This plague comes without warning, unlike the other two so far.
:18 they could not:
Why the magicians keep trying to duplicate these miracles is beyond me.
I kind of wonder if the Pharaoh is relieved that they canít duplicate this one!
:19 This is the finger of God:
The magicians give up.
Perhaps they canít take the bugs any more.
:19 Pharaoh's heart was hardened,
Again, Pharaoh hardens his own heart.
:21 swarms of flies
Re, a sun god, and Uatchit, both represented by a fly.
:22 I will sever in that day the land of Goshen,
The land that the Israelites lived in would be exempt from this next plague.
God is going to further demonstrate to Pharaoh that this all is coming because of Israel, and that God is able to differentiate between Israel and Egypt.
:25 Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.
It looks as if Pharaoh is giving in.
Look closer, heís only offering a compromise.
Heís going to allow them to worship Yahweh, but theyíre going to have to do it in Egypt.
Donít settle for compromises.
The enemy will say things like, "Okay, give up your drugs, but you donít have to do anything so drastic as go to church every week."
But God wants a full work for His people.
:26 we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians
The Egyptians worshipped rams and cows and such.
And the Israelites were going to be sacrificing these animals.
This would make the Egyptians upset!
:28 only ye shall not go very far away:
Again, the enemy doesnít want you going too far with God.
He wants you to stay close to him, where he can keep an eye on you.
Get radical for God!
:32 Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also,