Week 3, I started the book of Exodus. This book got its name because the word exodus means a mass departure. And that is exactly what happens in this book of the Bible. God calls Moses to lead an exodus of the Hebrews (600,000 according to Exodus 12:37) from out of the hands of the evil Pharaoh. This week I read chapters 1 through 34.
Exodus opens with the death of the old Pharaoh who had some kind of compassion towards Hebrews. However, this new Pharaoh all out hated the Hebrews and convinced the Egyptians to help him enslave them. As if that wasn't enough, he then ordered that all the newborn Hebrew babies that were boys had to be killed in an attempt to make sure they didn't continue to grow. After all, if their future generations only consisted of women and none of the Egyptian men took them as wives thus the Hebrews would have eventually died off.
Thankfully, Moses's mom was able to hide him for three months. After that she put him a basket and set him a river where his sister kept an eye out to see who would find him. Well, turns out Pharaoh's daughter found him. How ironic right? And genius too because Moses's sister then tells the princess that she knows a wet nurse who can nurse Moses until it's time for him to be weaned.
The wet nurse of course was his birth mother. So, Moses's mom did get to help raise him. Then when Moses was about 80 years old, God came to him as the burning bush and told him that He wanted Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand that the Hebrews be freed. However, Moses did not feel worthy of such a task saying, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt...." (Exodus 3:11).
I mean can you imagine being 80 years old and God telling you to go one of the most powerful men on the earth and telling him to let go of his slaves? I bet Moses was worried that Pharaoh would get angry and demand to have him killed. Not to mention, Moses told God that he wasn't and eloquent speaker. He got nervous and shy. So, God told him to take his 83 year old brother Aaron with him to be his mouth.
Of course, we all know that Pharaoh did not turn over the Hebrews easily. There were 10 plagues that were cast on only the Egyptians. The first plague caused all the rivers, ponds, streams and even stored drinking water to turn into blood for seven days. For the second plague, God caused Egypt to be overrun with frogs. Exodus 8:3 says, "So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls."
So, there was not a safe place from the frogs. The third plague was lice. I've never had lice but I hear they will make you itch worst than the chicken pox. Next came the plague of flies. After that was the plague of diseased livestock and the almost all of the Egyptians animals died. Yep, there meat supply pretty much went up in smokes you could say.
The sixth plague was boils that cover them from head to toe. I shutter just thinking about how painful that must have been. And don't even get me start of them bursting...just ewww! The seventh plague was hail. Now God did warn Pharaoh that any man or animal left outside would die if hit with a piece of the hail. However, some of the Egyptians didn't take that warning seriously and lost their lives and even more of their livestock.
The eighth plague was a swarm of locusts. The locusts pretty destroyed whatever was left of the Egyptian's crops that the hail didn't kill. So, not only did their meat supply take a hit but now they don't have wheat, herbs, etc. The ninth plague was darkness. It was so dark that you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. For three days the Egyptians couldn't even get out of bed for fear of running into something. They couldn't light fires or anything.
The tenth and final plague was the death of the firstborn which was also the start of the first Passover. It was only after Pharaoh loss his son that he freed the Hebrews and kicked them out of Egypt. I know you're wondering why he just didn't turn them over from the get go, but the Bible says that God hardened his heart on purpose. Why? Well, Exodus 9:16 says that God did so that, "I may show My power in you, and the My name may be declared in all the earth."
Sometimes, in order for people to be humbled they have to be broken down. I think that if Pharaoh would have had to let the people go on his own that he would have just as quickly changed his mind and enslaved again. In the end, God did kill Pharaoh and his army by drowning them in the Red Sea. Just goes to show you how God feels about discrimination and enslavement out of hatred. It also proved that when God makes a covenant of promise He keeps it.
He made a promise to Abraham to be with his future generations and deliver them into a land of milk and honey. Another interesting read in the book of Exodus is one of the first mentions of generational curses. Exodus 20:5, "..for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me..." So, there you have it folks. That sin that you do and think God forgot about could end up being atoned for by your children, grandchildren, great children and beyond. Be careful about what you think you're doing in the dark!
Overall, I think that reading the story of the Hebrews and the Ten Commandments has taught me to not complain and to trust God. The children of Israel did a lot of complaining and when times got hard they forsook God and created a golden cow to worship instead. That act cost three thousand men their lives. I don't about you but if God would have delivered me from an evil ruler, gave me food and water miraculously and I had witnessed the parting of the Red Sea, I would have NEVER doubted God for another second for all of my days! If something like that happened today my mind would be blown in amazement.
Do you think that you could do what Moses did if you were in his shoes?