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3. Moses Returns to Egypt and Israel

June 26, 2009

Text:   Exodus 4:18-7:7

Outline:                       I. Moses Meets Aaron and Israel’s Elders      Ex. 4:18-31

II. Moses Meets with Pharaoh      Ex. 5:1-21

III. Moses Meets with God      Ex. 5:22-6:8

IV. Moses Meets the Israelites      Ex. 6:9-27

V. Moses Meets with Pharaoh Again      Ex. 6:28-7:7

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Actually there are two other meetings mentioned in this passage other than given in the outline. Moses meets with his father-in-law in Exodus 4:18 and then the Israeli foremen meet alone with Pharaoh in Exodus 5:15.

Moses gets his father-in-laws approval to take his family and go back to Egypt and see how his relatives are getting along. Those who wanted Moses dead are now dead themselves. God instructs Moses to perform all the miracles He had given him but not to expect a miracle from Pharaoh by letting Israel go because God was hardening Pharaoh’s heart. Moses was to tell Pharaoh that Israel was God’s son and they should be released to go worship their Him. Failure to let the people go will result in Pharaoh’s first born son being killed. Let us remember one important fact; God does not harden hearts of His own accord but failure to obey God results in hardened hearts. Pharaoh’s heart was already hard [Ex. 3:19-20] and his failure to let Israel go hardens his heart even more. Pharaoh believes he is god and refuses to bow to another god, the true God.

On the way to Egypt, Moses’ wife, Zipporah, intercedes on behalf of Moses by circumcising their sons. If they were to be Israelites, the Children of God, they needed to be circumcised. Moses had ignored this requirement of God’s covenant and God was angered again by Moses, enough to kill him.

God sends Aaron to meet Moses at Mt Horeb where Moses briefs Aaron on God’s instructions and his assignment. They travel together to Egypt and meet with the Israeli elders to explain what is to happen. The elders listen, believe, and they all bow to worship the Lord God together.

Next, Moses and Aaron meet with Pharaoh and ask him to let the Israelites go and worship God. But Pharaoh doesn’t recognize the God of Israel and he doesn’t want them to stop working. If fact, Pharaoh requires more work of the Israelites, saying they are lazy and have too much time on their hands to listen to these lies. As a result of the increased requirement to gather straw, the Israelites miss their quotas and their foremen [Israelites] were beaten. After losing their appeal to Pharaoh, they meet with Moses and Aaron, berating them and holding them responsible for Pharaoh’s new policy which is directed toward killing them.

Moses goes before God and accuses God for being the source of all their trouble and for not doing what He promised. But God responds telling Moses that now he is about to see His plan unfold. He knows what’s happening. He has a covenant that He will fulfill and He makes seven promises to Israel.

1. I will take you out of Egypt.

2. You will no longer be slaves.

3. I will redeem you.

4. You will be My people.

5. I will be your God.

6. I will bring you to the Promised Land.

7. You will possess the Land.

As Lord God, He is promising Israel a Relationship, Redemption, and a Reward. Moses takes this message to Israel but they refuse to listen. God tells Mosses to take this same message to Pharaoh but Moses objects, not understanding why Pharaoh would listen if Israel won’t.

The next verses [Ex. 6:14-27] are somewhat puzzling as to their meaning and need to be inserted here. I can only speculate that Israel expected their leader to come from the tribe of Judah and Moses is definitely from the tribe of Levi. Levi, we will see, is to become the spiritual leader of Israel. Israel needs to have a spiritual renewal before they can have a political renewal as a nation possessing the Promised Land.

Moses is instructed to go to Pharaoh as his equal with Aaron as his prophet to relay God’s original message, let the Israelites go or face the wrath of God. Soon Pharaoh will know who the true God is; the God is Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In essence, God has a threefold purpose in redeeming Israel from Egypt and it is the same purpose He has for each of us.

1. Redeem Israel; those who are lost but want to follow Him.

2. Judge Egypt for their sin as He judges all who refuse to confess their sin before Him.

3. Show He is God; that is to have His Name Glorified before all people, that all may know that He is God.

Lessons/Applications:

Section I.

1. It is acceptable and proper to ask for and accept your families blessing before taking steps of faith in answer to God’s call.

2. When beginning your own journey of obedience, carry a symbol to remind you of your journey, it’s purpose, and it’s promises. Moses had a staff. We have the Word of God.

3. When called to obey God, hypocrisy will bring His wrath. As parents, we are responsible to do all we can to enable our children to become His children. [Ex. 4:24-26]

4. God has performed many miracles for us to see and witness. Ours come in the form of transformed lives instead of transformed water or a transformed rod. Take note and bow in praise and worship before Him.

Section II.

1. When asking a favor for religious purposes from your bosses, don’t be surprised to receive a negative backlash. If your request is reasonable, be persistent, respectful, and patient, accepting the consequences and letting God do the work.

2. Don’t let work take priority over worshipping God. Don’t let the “American Dream” sidetrack you from occupying your heavenly mansion.

3. Once conflict [which cannot be resolved] arises in the workplace, the best solution is to part company. It may be difficult but blessing awaits.

Section III.

1. Trust God to have complete control over where you work and where you live.

2. A true leader cares for those entrusted to their care and intercedes on their behalf for their benefit.

3. Learn to trust God and believe His Promises. Look back and relive God’s blessings. See how the phrase “I am Lord” has been true in your life. Plug into and sense His awesome power. What He did for Israel can be done in and through you.

Section IV.

1. When moving to a different community to a different job, anticipate family disharmony and patiently deal with it, answering questions and providing a vision of the future while on your knees before God.

Section V.

1. God may not be fast but He is faithful. God’s patience is a sign of His grace.

Acting in obedience to God is not a cakewalk.

It usually brings hardships and exposes conflict.

Acting in disobedience to God hardens the heart and loosens God’s wrath,

assuring one of living without peace now and forever.

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