How we got to the Exodus of Israel from Egypt
Moses the Murderer (Exodus 2:11-22)
Moses grew up in the Palace with the Egyptians but always knew that his people were the Hebrew people. One day he saw an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrews so Moses murdered him and tried to cover the murder up by hiding the body.
He thought no one saw it but later when he was trying to break up a fight between two Hebrews they asked him if he was going to murder them as well. When he realized that his secret was out he was scared that there would be ramifications from Pharaoh so he fled into the desert. It was in the desert that he saw some women being harassed by some shepherds so he beat them up and drew water for them. The women arrived home so early that their father questioned them what happened and so they told about how Moses defended them and even did all their work for them so they could get home quicker. The father of the women asked where he was and so they sent for Moses and he went to live with them and even married one of the women.
Burning Bush (Exodus 3)
In the desert God shows up to Moses to tell him the assignment that He created him to accomplish. Notice the sin of murder was not going to hinder the goal God had for Moses. The good news for us is that even though sin can set us back from where we are supposed to be, God is always able to use us even after a horrible sin.
Moses was doing the same thing for 14, 600 days in a row and then God shows up and changes his routine. It is a personal encounter with God that Moses has and a personal relationship that is formed with Moses and God.
Moses ask two questions: Who am I and Who are you? Those two questions are the main questions everyone needs to answer before they pass through this life. Everyone has an answer to those questions but not all people know the right answer. How you see yourself and what you know about God will determine your eternal outcome. If you believe that you are good enough to make it into Heaven on your own then you have no need for a God that can save you. If you know that you are doomed without some help then you know you can call out to God through Jesus Christ and recieve salvation. If you believe you are here on this earth by chance and that God does not exist then you will find out one day that you were wrong.
God answered Moses question about Himself by saying “I am” because there is nothing else to compare Himself with. God is God and He will do all He can to make Himself known that He is the God who is worthy of worship and praise.
Then God told Moses that he would go before Pharaoh and speak on behalf of God. Moses tried to make excuses about his limitations but God is not worried about someones limitations only thier willingness to submit to His plan. God does not need us but He wants us to be a part of His plan.
God even gave Moses powers to do miraculous signs in front of Pharaoh to show Pharaoh that there is only one true God.
Shepherds were an abomination to Egyptians and so Moses presence would have been an irritant to Pharaoh. Moses would have known that his being in his presence would have irritated Pharaoh and so his fear may have been heightened therefore, he made more excuses. So God gave Moses Aaron to help him.
Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh (Exodus 5)
When they first spoke to Pharaoh Things went from bad to worse for the children of God. You can be in the will of God and things may not go your way. The Children of Israel were having to make bricks daily and they were to meet a certain quota. Because Pharaoh was angry with Moses he took out his anger on the very people Moses was trying to help. The Egyptians no longer provided them with straw to make the bricks and yet still expected them to keep up with the same number of bricks each day.
Moses cries out to God because God has not done what He said He would do. The People are now mad at Moses and it seems to be getting worse. God promises Moses that He is going to show Himself to Pharaoh and will punsih Pharaoh for what he has done to the Children of Israel.
A) Gods Protection from Punishment
As we begin to look at some of the punishments God started pouring out on Pharaoh and the Egyptians, many people wonder why God would do such a thing. God was trying to get Pharaohs attention and He did so by attacking the very gods they worshiped. Each one of the plagues was a direct assault on one of the gods that the Egyptians worshiped. Starting with Pharaoh himself who believed himself to be an earthly form of a god and the Nile River which made life possible. The sun that they viewed as a god and all the animals that they had attached religious significance to. We will see God attack all of these notions for one purpose and that was for them to know there is only one true God.
The Plagues (Exodus 7)
God is not surprised by any of the actions taking place by Pharaoh and God knew exactly how he was going to act ahead of time. Even when it seems that things are getting worse God knows exactly what is taking place and He has a plan.
Aaron threw down his staff and it became a snake but the magicians, wise men and sorcerers were able to do the same thing. Of course Aarons snake swallowed all their snakes showing Gods power was greater. I personally believe that there was demonic activity taking place in this and that is why the magicians were able to match what Moses and Aaron did.
This shows that miracles do not necessarily cause anyone to believe like most people think. Many people will say if God would only do this or that, then I would believe. That is not true. If you are not looking for truth but only to justify your beliefs and lifestyle then you will not believe anything even if God makes it clear to you that He exist. (I do believe God has done all He can to make you believe in Him)
God started with Pharaoh and if he would have let the people go they would not have seen the terrible destruction and death that is about to come their way. People always suffer under bad leadership and especially when that leadership never sees themselves as being wrong.
Water Turned to Blood (Exodus 7:14-25)
God saw that Pharaohs heart was hardened so God was going to do even more to prove Himself to Pharaoh. The water of the Nile was struck so that it turned to blood and all the fish in the river died and the water was undrinkable. Pharaohs magicians did the same thing so Pharaoh did not believe.
We are not sure if all the water in the Nile was turned to blood or just some of it in front of Pharaoh. His magicians and wise men obviously had to have other water that they could turn into blood to show Pharaoh that it was not from God.
Because the water of the Nile was contaminated the people went and dug wells to get water. This may have been the very place the magicians and wisemen got the water from.
What is amazing is that instead of reversing what was done they made things worse. If they wanted to really prove something they could have reversed the process and made everything better.
The Nile was one of their gods they worshiped so God struck it for all the people to see that Pharaoh was not their God.
Frogs (Exodus 8:1-16)
Frogs take over the whole place and get into everything ruining it. Pharaoh magicians do the same thing but this time Pharaoh notices this is from God and ask Moses to tell God to stop. The frogs died and they had to scoop them all up and haul them off which made a terrible smell.
But after Pharaoh knew it was over he hardened his heart again and would not let the people go.
Gnats (Exodus 8:16-19)
So God sent gnats and it covered all the land (some say lice) The magicians could not produce gnats and they said “This is the finger of God ‘ (8:19) But Pharaoh would not listen to them and would not let the people go.
Flies (Exodus 8:20-32)
So God sent flies but the Bible tells us that the Hebrew people who lived in Goshen did not have flies. God protected the Children of Israel from the flies. The Bible says the land was ruined by the flies and so Pharaoh told Moses he could go out into the desert and worship God with his people if he would pray the flies would be removed.
Moses did ask God to remove the flies and when God did Pharaoh did not keep his promise and let them go and worship.
Livestock Die (Exodus 9:1-7)
Again, Moses told Pharaoh what God was going to do yet Pharaoh would not listen and refused to let the people go. All the livestock were killed except the livestock of the people of Israel. God protected their livestock to show Pharaoh that he was in charge. Verse 3 is specific to say that it was the livestock that was in the field because as we will see there will be more livestock killed in the Hail storm. So the livestock that was in shelters or barns were spared from Gods wrath.
Boils (Exodus 9:8-12)
Then God asked Moses and Aaron to take soot and throw it in the air in front of Pharaoh and everyone’s skin had boils appear on it immedietly. The magicians left because of the boils.
Hail (Exodus 9:13-35)
Once again Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh and warn him what is going to happen if he does not listen to God. Anything that was in the field would have been killed by this hail and so God sent a warning to everyone. Those that feared God protected their animals and slaves, but those who did not paid a price by seeing the rest of their livestock and slaves die in the field.
Pharaoh repents and says he will let them go but again once God removes the plague he changes his mind.
Locust (Exodus 10: 1-20)
Pharaohs servants plead with him to let the people go because the land was ruined by all the plagues. The plague was so bad that we are told not one green thing remained. The way it must have looked when Pharoah looked out must have been devastating. To once be a place of such beauty and growth was now looking more like a war zone.
Pharaoh repented and the plague was lifted but once again he would not let the people go.
Darkness (Exodus 10: 21-29)
For 3 days darkness fell so deep on the land that the Bible says the Egyptians could not even see one another but the children of Israel had light. One of their main gods was the sun so this is a direct assault on who was really God.
Death of the First born (Exodus 11- 12:32)
God did make a promise of protection for His people if they listened and obeyed. Passover is when the Israelites celebrate the death angel passing over them and sparing the first born of Israel.
It was at this point that Pharaoh allowed them to leave and not only that but all the people of Egypt helped them leave and gave them clothes and gold as they asked. So Gods promise was kept that the Egyptians would make them wealthy. Genesis 15:14 which was Gods promise to Abraham and Exodus 3:22 was Gods promise to Moses at the Burning Bush.
God’s protection comes as we listen to His word and obey it.
He did not give us His commands because He does not want us to have fun but because He knows that sin has consequences. The Children of God may still have consequences because of the sin around them but they will be protected from eternal death if they believe in Jesus Christ.
B) Gods Protection over Death
The Exodus (Exodus 13:17-22)
So the children of Israel left and what was left behind was a place that looked as though it had been destroyed by an invading army or worse. Land destroyed, nothing green on the trees, death of people and animals, and they also took the possessions of the people of Egypt. An invading army could not have done any worse to the people of Egypt.
Some Historians are attacking this notion that this even happened but we do have Egyptian documentation that describes very similar events to what the Bible describes. (Papyrus Leiden 344 is the name of the document)
People who do not deny they happened say that they are explained through natural circumstances described in the Bible to make it seem like it was God. Of course some of the plagues that happened in the story do happen from time to time but not all at once. And Natural disasters do not discriminate one land over another. You still have to ask why the land of Goshen was spared when Egypt was not. You also have to ask how the natural disaster knew who the oldest male of the house was and did not just kill everyone.
The old argument of people needed God to explain things because they did not have Science does not hold up to this story. There is no natural reoccurring elements that fit the description of the plagues. So over thousands of years nothing has been done on this magnitude. 2-3 things happening might happen by chance but 10 in this order would not have happened without a supernatural power behind them.
Archeology shows an abrupt stoppage of work which would explain the exodus. Although there is not a lot of proof and there is still more to be discovered, people that believe in Gods word can know that there is enough archeological evidence to show them that this story truly happened.
So God led them through the desert away from the Philistines and God led them with a Pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day.
Read Exodus 14: 5-31
Pharaoh did not learn his lesson and neither did the people. They lost their free labor, their land and many of their possesions and instead of repenting and believing in God they became angry.
Pharaoh gets his army to go after them and the Children of God thought for sure they were going to die. God was not done demonstrating His power to Pharaoh.
God was going to show Pharaoh once and for all that He was God and that no amount of human effort could keep God from acting out His will.
Remember, you may walk through difficult circumstances as a Christian but it is so God can show others Himself. God allowed Pharaoh to continue down his path of destruction that led to death but for the children of God He provided a path to life.
The parting of the Red Sea was a miracle of God to allow His people to live. God showed Himself not only to Pharaoh and his army, God showed Himself to the Children of Israel.
The Christian story is about Christ conquering death and allowing us to pass from death to life. Jesus parted the Red Sea of death for us to cross safely. Thos who try and do it on their own will wind up like the army of Pharaoh who will find themselves destroyed.
The main thing God protects us from is eternal death through Jesus Christ but we must also see that God will only allow you to reject Him for so long. There is strong evidence in the Bible that if you continue to reject God you will become so hardened that there will not be a time of repentance.
Did God harden Pharaohs heart or did Pharaoh harden his own heart? YES. God tried to show Himself to Pharaoh and everytime Pharaoh rejected God Pharaohs heart became harder. Six times Pharaoh hardened his heart before God began to harden Pharaohs heart.
Hebrews 3:15 Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.
What things in your life have you been ignoring the voice of God?
What areas are you thinking there will not be any consequences for?
If you do not believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior what questions do you need to have answered to discover that He is our Savior?
Who am I and Who is God? That is the ultimate questions you must answer.