The Story of Moses
While Genesis saw the children of Israel ‘tucked’ safely away in the land of Egypt with God through Joseph watching over their needs in a time of famine, Exodus opens with the descendants of Joseph and his brothers now enslaved and in bondage to the Egyptians. God knew this would happen and His provision was met in the life of Moses. The story of Moses is rich and his life and its many twists and turns unfolds throughout the book of Exodus.
As a baby, when Pharoah (the king of Egypt) saw that, “the people of the children of Israel [were] more and mightier than . . . ” the Egyptians, he commanded the midwives to kill the male infants as they were born. “But the midwives feared God. . . ” (Ex. 1:17) Eventually, Moses had to be hid in an ark of bulrushes (a basket in the form of a cradle). His sister, Miriam, watched over him from a distance and God did a miracle; Little sister, Miriam, when she saw the daughter of the Pharoah rescue the baby from the floating ‘ark’, she ran and asked if she should get the baby a wet-nurse. So Moses mother was able to nurse her baby and even watch him grow. As a mother, I imagine this was such a relief! (Side bar: Noah’s Ark saved eight people at the time of the flood, Moses was saved in an Ark made of the bulrushes; the Ark of the Covenant held the ten commandments, Aaron’s rod and Manna from the desert. (Ex. 25:10)
Moses lived forty years as a prince among the Egyptians, then for forty years, he was a shepherd in the desert learning how to lead a very large group of people (603,550 Men, over the age of twenty (Ex. 38:26)). Then he spent forty years wandering and leading his brethren, all the time circling the promised land (Acts 7: 23, 30, 36). There are so many great texts and lessons found in Exodus. Here are a few highlights of this book:
- Moses killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand… (Ex. 2:12) Yet, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” (Ex. 3:4) I’m amazed that God still used Moses, despite his sin.
- How amazing that the ten plagues were the Egyptians Idols, the Gods they worshipped! What a blessing that we see that God was in control: “The Lord hardened Pharoah’s heart and he would not let them go.” (Ex.10:27)
- A wonderful promise: “And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord (14:13) . . The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Ex. 14:14)
- The cost of a slave is 30 shekels (Ex. 21:32) and this is what Judas was paid for his betrayal. (Matthew 26: 15)
- That Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights to get the ten commandments written with the finger of God (Ex. 24:18, 31:18). (Just as Noah was in the Ark and Jesus was tempted in the Desert forty days and forty nights).
- “And Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. . . the pattern of the tabernacle. . . (25:8-9, 26:30), “Since there are priests. . . who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. . . ” (Hebrews 8:4b- 5)
- “. . . Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord, who sanctities you.” (31: 12, 13)
- “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend.” (Ex. 33:11)
- “I will put you in the cleft of the rock and will cover you with My hand…”(33:22)
- Names of God found in Exodus: “YAHWEH-RAPHA: The Lord Who Heals” (Ex. 15:26) “. . . The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (34:14) , “The Lord our Banner (understood to be a rallying place.)” (Ex. 17:15)
There is so much more, it’s hard to end here. Just one more thing, “And Moses, Aaron, and his sons would wash their hands and their feet with water from it (the Laver).” (Ex. 40: 31) Moses and his family were Levites and so they were the priestly tribe. It’s interesting to me that at the last supper, a band of disciples had their feet washed by our High Priest. (Jn 13:1-17) and were instructed to ‘do this in remembrance of me’. “We are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. . . (1 Peter 2:9) It’s interesting to me that the Priests washed their feet in Exodus, Jesus washed the disciples feet ( and He was our High Priest) and we are called to do this as an act of humility (an ordinance of humility). And it all started in Exodus.
Reading Genesis and Exodus has been like learning roots! So very eye-opening. Thank you for giving me this place to review, high light, and pull together important aspects to this book. And, like the ending of Genesis, here too, the ending was warm and leaves the reader with the picture of a strong relationship (in Genesis, between the 12 sons /tribes of Israel). Here the picture is of the relationship with God and His People: “For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.” (Ex. 40:38)
“If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keeping all His statutes. I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” (Ex. 15:26-27)