Read the Bible in 2023 ◊ Week 14: Monday
Monday’s Bible reading of Exodus 1–4, introduces Moses, one of the dominant and most dramatic figures of the Old Testament.
Exodus 12:40–41 tells us that when the nation of Israel left Egypt, they had been there 430 years; Moses is born when the descendants of Jacob had been in Egypt for almost 400 years and at a time when the Hebrews had been enslaved and used for forced labor.
The continued growth of their families caused Pharaoh to decree the killing of all the baby boys by the Hebrew midwives. These two women, however, feared God more than Pharaoh, and did not do this. At Pharaoh’s questioning as to why they had not killed the baby boys, they told him the Hebrew women gave birth too quickly before they could get there. At this point:
Ironically, Pharaoh was setting the stage for Moses to be found by his own daughter and to grow up as her son.
Philip Ryken writes that when Moses was educated:
“This was the finest training the world had to offer—a first class secular education…it was customary for foreign princes to be reared and educated in the Egyptian court. The “children of the nursery,” they were called; and as a child of the nursery, Moses was trained in linguistics, mathematics, astronomy, architecture, music, medicine, law, and the fine art of diplomacy… With this kind of background, it is no wonder that he came to be “highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people” (Exod. 11:2). There was a divine purpose in Moses’ education, for God was preparing him to lead his people out of Egypt.”1
Moses’ strong personality and character flaws are evident in Exodus 2. Committing assault and murder, he has to flee for his life to Midian. Here he becomes a shepherd, marries and might have lived his entire life in obscurity except one day God arrests his attention with a burning bush.
God tells him He has seen the affliction of His people and heard their cries, but when He tells Moses He is sending him to Pharaoh to them out of Egypt, Moses balks, not only about going to Pharaoh, but about going back to his people. Israel.
In God’s Name to His People, I quoted the translators of the Legacy Stancard Bible on the meaning of God’s covenant name, given to Moses:
“In the LSB, God’s covenant name is rendered as Yahweh. The meaning and implication of this name is God’s self-deriving, ongoing, and never-ending existence. Exodus 3:14–15 shows that God Himself considered it important for His people to know His name. The effect of revealing God’s name is His distinction from other gods and His expression of intimacy with the nation of Israel. Such a dynamic is a prevalent characteristic of the Scriptures as Yahweh appears in the OT over 6,800 times.”2
Moses, yet continues to protest that he doesn’t have any speaking ability, even after God tells him three signs to use for the Israelites: his staff turning into a snake and back again, his hand turning leprous and then whole again, and that when he takes water from the Nile and pours it on the ground, it will turn into blood. Moses appears to have run out of excuses, because he then tells God, “Please, Lord, send now the messageby whomever You will.”
John Davis writes,
“for the first time we have an expression of the anger of God (v. 14), for it now became apparent that Moses was not speaking out of weakness, but out of a lack of obedience.”3
Phililp Ryken believes:
“Moses rebellion is evident from the way he addressed God: “O Lord,” This may sound respectful enough, but it lacked genuine reverence…Moses did not use the name that God had revealed to him, the special divine name Yahweh…and thus he failed to acknowledge God’s full sovereignty and majesty.”4
Moses desists and begins his journey back to Egypt with his wife and sons. Turning the water of the Nile and all the bodies of water in Egypt into blood will be the first plague that God sends on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. God also tells Moses what Moses will find out will be final plague.
Silvesterzug Laterne: Bk muc. (CC BY-SA 4.0).
The Birth of Moses: Jan van’t Hoff. Gospel Images. Exodus 2:5-6.
The calling of Moses: Jan van’t Hoff. Gospel Images. Exodus 3:6.
Moses and the Burning Bush: Richard Simon: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic
1,4Philip Graham Ryken, Exodus: Saved For God’s Glory (Crossway Books, Wheaton IL: 2005) 53, 120.
2Foreward to the Legacy Standard Bible. Retrieved 03 January 2023.
5John J. Davis, Moses and the Gods of Egypt: Studies in Exodus (BMH Books, Winona Lake IN: 1971, 1986 Second ed.) 76-77.
I’m using Michael Coley’s Bible reading plan (one page PDF to print) to read through the Bible in 2023. Each day my posts are on different books because he divides Bible readings into seven categories, one for each day of the week: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy and Gospels. There’s more information on his plan and other ones at Read the Bible in 2023.
Copyright ©2021–2023 Iwana Carpenter