Today we begin the Exodus Era in Egypt where Joseph and all of his family members have died. But the Israelites have grown “exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.” However, the new Pharaoh doesn’t know the history of Joseph’s loyalty to Egypt. He sees the Israelites as a threat, so he puts them to hard labor. “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” Then Pharaoh orders the midwives to kill all the male Israelite babies that are born. The faithful midwives who fear the Lord, Shiphrah and Puah, refuse to kill the baby boys, so Pharaoh commands his people to throw all the Israelite baby boys into the river. But the Lord blesses the God fearing midwives who obeyed the Lord instead of man by giving them families of their own.
This is when we meet Moses, a descendant of Levi. The Lord is working behind the scenes and spares the life of this baby boy, but before the Lord uses Moses, Moses endures some hardships himself. Moses is rescued as a baby by the daughter of Pharaoh and raised in Pharaoh’s house after his mother weans him from nursing.
When Moses is forty years old and sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, he takes matters into his own hands and kills the Egyptian. Now fearing that Pharaoh is going to kill him, Moses flees into the wilderness, to the land of Midian. There Moses marries Zipporah and they have two sons, Gershon and Eleazer. He spends forty years in the wilderness as a shepherd where he is stripped down to no longer depend on his own abilities. He will learn to depend upon the Lord.
God has heard the cries of His people in Egypt, and He is about to take action using the now eighty year old Moses. But when God calls Moses from the burning bush that is not consumed, Moses responds – “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.” God tells Moses that it doesn’t matter who he is – what matters is who I AM and I AM “The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” The Lord is the One who will be doing the work. Moses will just have to obey and trust Him.
God warns Moses that Pharaoh won’t let the people go into the wilderness to worship Him. Thus the Lord will strike Egypt with His mighty wonders, then the king will eventually let them go. He tells Moses when he lets you go, “you shall not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” Then the Lord shows Moses signs of His powers to help build Moses’s faith. However, Moses pleads with the Lord to send someone else. Moses, thinking of all the reasons why he wouldn’t be sufficient to be the tool in God’s hand, says he does not speak well. Although God assures Moses that He is the one who control’s how one speaks or hears, the Lord sends Aaron, Moses’ brother who speaks well, with Moses as his spokesman.
Tomorrow, Moses and his brother Aaron travel to Egypt to display the Lord’s mighty power. Keep reading to see how God delivers His people from the oppression in Egypt. (Exodus 1:1-2:25, 1 Chronicles 6:1-3a, Exodus 3:1-4:17)