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Part 5 - Moses And The Nation Of Israel

  1. Many historical events happened between the time of Abraham and the days of Moses, far too many to mention here in this blog. However, through it all the Almighty God creator of heaven and earth was faithful to His people, the nation of Israel. It was during a time of great famine, the nation of Israel travelled from their Promised Land to the land of Egypt to find relief. This was because the Pharaoh found great favor with Joseph an Israelite who served the Pharaoh well. Once arriving in Egypt, the Pharaoh questioned the Israelites asking what their primary livelihood was and they then told the Pharaoh that they were shepherds. Pharaoh said, "Since you say you have raised livestock ever since your youth then you will be allowed to settle in the land of Goshen, since all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians" (Genesis 46:33-34). "Thus the Israelites settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen acquiring property there and becoming fruitful and their population increased greatly in number" (Genesis 47:27).

    "Now Joseph (the Israelite) and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were fruitful and increased abundantly; they multiplied and became exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them" (Exodus 1:6-7). The nation of Israel had now become strong as a people, yet over time they had forgotten the Almighty God and how He had delivered them from famine and hardship many years before. Moreover, the Israelites had learned to live just as the rest of the world lived forsaking the Almighty God. Just as Satan and his followers had done in the past, they once again caused the eyes of mankind to be fixed on this world and no longer on their creator.

    Thus, wickedness found its way into the lives of mankind and they lived their lives under the influence of the spirit of this world. Now it was at a time when a new king of Egypt who knew nothing about how Joseph and the Israelites had found favor with the Pharaoh who granted them a place to live in Egypt's region of Goshen. Therefore, the new king said, "Look, the Israelites have become too numerous and too powerful for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase even more; and if a war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country" (Exodus 1:9-10). Because of the Israelites continued disobedience to God, they once again had fallen out of His favor. Thus, the spirit of this world took this opportunity to go to work and harden the hearts of mankind toward their Creator.

    Consequently, the Egyptians quickly appointed taskmasters over the Israelites intended to oppress them with forced labor to build great cities for the new Pharaoh King. However, the more the Egyptians the oppressed Israelites their plan backfired as the Israelites continued to multiply and flourish. This is turn caused the Egyptians to dread the very existence of the nation of Israel. This further caused the Egyptians to work the Israelites ruthlessly making their lives bitter with hard labor. From that time on everything they made the Israelites do was harsh. Finally, the king of Egypt told his Israelite midwife servants that when they help the Hebrew women give birth to a son to kill him, but if it is a daughter let her live. Although these midwifes may have feared the king of Egypt, they feared the Almighty God more. Therefore, they disobeyed the king and let the Israelite boys live. Once the king of Egypt learned of this he commanded, "Every son born to the Hebrews must be thrown into the Nile, but every daughter you may allow to live" (Exodus 1:22).

    It was during this edict that an Israelite woman gave birth to a son and hid him for a period of three months. However, when she could no longer keep him in hiding she placed him in a papyrus basket coated with tar and pitch and set the basket among the reeds along the bank of the Nile in hopes he would be found by someone who would take him in. The young child's older sister then stood at a distance to observe and report to the Israelite mother what would happen to her baby brother. It was at that time the daughter of Pharaoh was going down to bathe in the Nile and seeing the basket among the reeds had one of her maidservants retrieve it. Opening the basket she saw the baby boy crying and had compassion on him saying, "This is one of the Hebrew children" (Exodus 2:6). Then the young boy's sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?" "Go ahead," Pharaoh's daughter told her. And the girl went and called the boy's mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages." So the woman took the boy and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses (meaning drew out) and explained, "I drew him out of the water" (Exodus 2:7-10).

    Moses grew up enjoying all of the pleasures of life of royalty in Pharaoh's household and for many years was unaware that he was an Israelite and instead he thought he was an Egyptian. However, once he learned the truth his life changed forevermore to include how he perceived his fellow Israelites. One day while he was out among his people, he observed the hard labor and poor conditions they lived with. During one of these visits, he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite and Moses struck down and killed the Egyptian and then hid the body in the sand. The next day Moses went out and saw two Israelites fighting with one another and confronting the one in the wrong said, "Why are you attacking your fellow Israelite?" But the man replied, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you planning to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and thought, "This thing I have done has surely become known" (Exodus 2:13-14).

    After the Pharaoh had heard what Moses had done, he set out to have him killed, but Moses escaped fleeing for his life and settling in the land about 300 miles from Egypt called Midian. While living there he met his wife Zipporah who gave birth to their son Gershom. Moses then said, "I have become a stranger in a strange land" (Exodus 2:22). Eventually, the Pharaoh of Egypt when Moses had fled died and yet the Israelites continued to groan crying out to God for deliverance from their bondage. In spite of the Israelites many years of disobedience, God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and took notice of their bondage. It was at that time Moses went to Horeb, the mountain of God, where the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from within a bush. God called out to Moses from within the bush, "Moses, Moses!" "Here I am," he answered. "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Then He said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (Exodus 3:4-6).

    The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I am aware of their sufferings. I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached Me, and I have seen how severely the Egyptians are oppressing them. Therefore, go! I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt" (Exodus 3:7-10). Therefore, God once again was prepared to keep His promise made with Abraham four hundred years earlier. This was just one more step in a much larger plan that God has designed to redeem mankind back to Himself in spite of their disobedient wicked and sinful ways.

    Therefore, just as God wanted, Moses went before Pharaoh and spoke to him saying, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Let My people go, so that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'" But Pharaoh replied, "Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go" (Exodus 5:1-2). Moses then explained that God would strike Egypt with plagues and even the sword if the Israelites were not set free. However, this new king of Egypt with a hardened heart told the Israelites to get to work commanding the taskmasters and foremen: "You shall no longer supply the people with straw for making bricks. They must go and gather their own straw. But require of them the same quota of bricks as before; do not reduce it. For they are lazy; that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' Make the work harder on the men so they will be occupied and pay no attention to these lies" (Exodus 5:7-9).

    Hence, because of the Egyptians continued to have hardened hearts toward Him, God punished all of Egypt with many plagues causing pain and death. Finally, the Pharaoh summoned Moses and told him, "Get up, and leave my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested" (Exodus 12:31). Thus, the Israelites exodus from Egypt took place with about 600,000 men on foot, besides women and children along with great droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. The duration of the Israelites' stay in Egypt was 430 years. Accordingly, because the LORD kept a vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt (the Passover) this night continues to be held in honor to the LORD by all the Israelites for the generations to come. However, in spite of this deliverance the grumbling of the Israelites continued as well as their disobedient ways toward the Almighty God.

    Consequently, because of the Israelites disobedience and self-centered ways God had them wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Finally, after the 40 years of wandering the Promised Land was before them. It was now time for Moses to pass his title of leadership on to Joshua who appointed by God would take the nation of Israel into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thus, Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo where it faced the city of Jericho. Here the LORD showed him the whole land—from Gilead as far as Dan, all of Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negev and the region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, and all the way to Zoar. Moreover, the LORD said to him, "This is the land I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you will not cross into it" (Deuteronomy 34:4). Moses lived to be one hundred and twenty years old, yet his eyes were not weak, and his vitality had not diminished. The nation of Israel grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning for Moses finally ended.

    Therefore, after the death of Moses, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, saying, "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore arise, you and all these people, and cross over the Jordan into the land I am giving to the children of Israel. I have given you every place where the sole of your foot will tread, just as I promised to Moses. Your territory shall extend from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great River Euphrates—all the land of the Hittites—and west as far as the Great Sea. No one shall stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give these people the inheritance of the land I swore to their fathers I would give them. Above all, be strong and very courageous. Be careful to observe all the law My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may prosper wherever you go. This book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do. Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:2-9).

    After many years of countless trials, God had now finally called His people out from this world to live in His Promised Land to serve Him according to the law He established through Moses. However, the nation of Israel proved just how difficult it was for them to fulfill this law as they were compromised by the sinful nature of their flesh and the continuous plots and ploys of the spirit of this world, Satan and his many followers. Yet, God's plan of redemption was still in action as He was preparing the way for what the Jews would call their Messiah, a savior, to finally bring all of God's people, all of mankind for that matter, back into a right relationship with Him. The next part of God's plan was to foretell His plan to His people through the prophets. However, the questioned remained of whether or not His people would listen to His messengers as they went out to prepare the way.

    About Author

    I grew up in New York as one of ten siblings. Once graduating high school in 1976, I entered the United States Air Force. On June 6, 1982 I personally met my savior Jesus Christ. In spite of my many shortcomings, the Lord has continued to shape my life to serve alongside others who have experienced spiritual rebirth and are part of the Church, the Body of Christ. I now reside in New Jersey and am blessed with a beautiful family, wonderful fellowship, and best of all eternal life found in Jesus.


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