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January 1, 2022 1:00 pm
You pick up your Bible and wondered, is there more here than meets the is there something here for me.
I mean it's just words printed on paper right it may look like just print on the page but it's more than Inc. join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our as we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than he knows about that story at the burning bush talked about talk about the burning bush, then right after that we today okay well good morning this wonderful morning Jim, Dorothy and I were glad your back with us on this brand-new 2022. This verse, we just hope you're up to this time on New Year's Day but this Thursday and glad you're with us and we are proceeding through Exodus. The great rescue and we got up to the point last time were were Moses went through all of his objections right and God patiently for God patiently put up Tillman now now or at this point that we seem to have gotten over the willingness hump and now he's going to act.
So today, as we is right in the middle of chapter 4 Moses decides okay here we go.
He's been out at what was called the mountain of God, which is another term for Mount Sinai Sinai region with Sinai as and so he's a little ways from home and he's got go back and talk to his father right right so in a very respectful and courteous way. He begs the leave of his father-in-law who all this time for decades. Moses been tending his became part of Jeffers household.
Yup yup now it's time to pull up stakes and go back to Egypt. According to God's instruction so that brings us to chapter 4 verse 18 and Moses is going to take his first baby steps back to Egypt. Say what you want to refer the strangest couple of verses Moses went back to Jeff and his father-in-law and said to him, please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they still live in Jefferson did Moses go in peace, and the Lord said to Moses in Midian go back to Egypt for all the men who were seeking your life are dead. So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them right in the donkey and went back to the land of Egypt and Moses took the staff of God in his hand, just stopping place for some kind of impressed by the fact that Moses doesn't rain pouring ganja through his father-in-law. He ask she goes and asked permission to leave, which to me seemed like a small thing, but that kind of courage that kind of respect shows me something about the humility that has been broadened Moses through all this time. Remember when he left Egypt, he was part of Pharaoh's household, he could he could command anyone do anything.
Here he is with the Midianite father-in-law sin please can okay remember the chapter was identified as a priest and because of his ancestry from Abraham. He has some knowledge of the one true God and peace will see later in Exodus, that he actually comes and advises Moses's wilderness when he's been followed by an Moses Lee Wallace's advice right so so Jethro must've been a godly man.
This is but it's a nice respectful thing. I mean if I had just seen God in the desert. I come back to Jethro and today I'm on a mission from God God and I'm leaving because God told me to and you can't stop me, you would kinda you just now. I think that's 1/21 century reading anyway so you so he has to leave and want to go back and save his brothers to life, but now has anybody ever thought about the fact that Moses had children right right we hear very little reference to them. But here we are in now is waxing with zipper Abbott here we have his son sons later on in Exodus will learn their right that's right yes out they actually it's during the time when Jethro comes back just to sons and there is a point in the story and we might, it might be what's coming up here when Moses decides not to take his wife with him right to the rest of the way to Egypt and send them back.
He says that Jethro yeah so it's kind of interesting but here he puts money. Donkey and let them ride you heads back to each head back to Egypt with them is never been there is not going back Midianite. This is foreign travel for her and in the in the two sons as well. Well, it was push ON Ben. By the way, as I mentioned last time, the famous staff right, and Moses took the staff.
The staff of God was with the staff right. It's a symbol of authority as a symbol of identity right and God had God had said now take this staff.
Your staff and that's the means by which you do these things because the people is going to be a vehicle of authority Christ assigned science to get what God will do associated with it. However, it's also nice double meaning because there is a scepter that the king use the right and it's always very ornate and very big and very very imposing looking and this is just a stick but Moses is using it kind of in that same sort when God wants them to well and it had been at the beginning the story, God said now take the staff that's in your hand had been Moses's staff. Now it's staff of God right in Moses he is the staff of God. Knowing God's going to use this common thing like the common man Moses to do an extraordinary thing. Well, should we put $10.21 return there in the Lord said to Moses, when you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power, but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go and then you shall say to Pharaoh thus says the Lord Israel is my firstborn son. And I say to you, let my son go, that he may serve me and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son okay so would you not be quaking in your boots.
I mean, that's a pretty in-your-face threat to totally hears the words.
I want you to say let go of my son are all comers. What this is clearly a note to challenge the power to Pharaoh, absolutely. Who is your God, and he might just want to call his bluff, which he certainly does when this happens it goes down. So when you go back to Egypt, see that you that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles and then you tell him so the miracles will actually authenticate Moses in terms of coming from God having a message from God and God's authority and bring his people back.
These are God's people. So you start with the sign which Bridget authority, and then you and then you lay out the challenge.
The challenges let my firstborn go or your firstborn will be in danger.
What about firstborn for second go-ahead firstborn is an important idea. It's important because in the in the ancient world, the firstborn was kind of the content is the continuity of the father in many respects his will and his inheritance the future in such a family is trying to write effective firstborn before the father died connection, make contracts on behalf of his father's… This identity.
So here went when God looks at Israel and calls Ms. firstborn. He's basically saying this is the continuity of my purpose a continuity of who I am. The inheritance of my purpose where I'm going.
Everything you know the future. This is the future. In these people and they embody that for me and so well and he saying to Pharaoh you know these if these people don't belong to you right along today belong to my future heritage exactly will carry my name, for I have a plan and a purpose rice people and you see them just as slaves to wash dishes and build buildings. But that's not what they are. They are my people so they are my firstborn son. And in that. That's a very big deal to kill the firstborn son of somebody is a huge front and so he saying look if you have if you have designs on my firstborn son. I have designs on your firstborn son so it's it's really it's chilling is what is it also explains why it is that the last plague was the what the last rites was and you lose sight of that is the plagues go on later on. So this is just a big deal. This is really thrown down the going from God to Pharaoh and challenging Pharaoh's authority in his position and his ownership of God's people in his power to resist the God I mean it's it's it's blue it's in your face right here at the wrist and got says right here. I will harden Pharaoh's heart yeah say this to him I will harden his heart so that he won't let you go.
Which is interesting because he saying to Moses you can do the signs and you can say what you and say but you know what he's knocking right. Nothing you say is very noisy when God raises some of the sum of profits in all the major prophets.
This is what I want to do what you say Ray not to listen to right is he saying about Pharaoh you can do all these things be still, I can listen to. Don't be surprised when that happens. Did you talk about the hardening of the heart. Well get to that in the next couple weeks.
As it happens over and over and over again and I would just encourage your listeners to start paying attention whenever this phrase comes up. The hardening of the heart is the heart in Hebrew thinking is the whole inner percentage of mind will the inner self from which your outer actions, seed, and so were not talking about just Pharaoh's emotions were talking by his whole inner self, the inner you drive your initiatives right at your purposes them and everything is about that in the end, there is there is kind of an ongoing question the people have when they read to axles about this hardening and this is what you can be clued in to watch for is the fact that so who did the hardening hears is God hardened within and other passages says it will harden his heart and in other places where it says Pharaoh's heart was hardened passively so we don't you go back and forth and so you always asked the question. So who did the hardening here will.
That's a good question to ask hold a little bit as as the as the story unfolded, but is very clear that God is sovereignly directing the direction of hearts right.
Proverbs says that Christ the King is like water in hand, the Lord, he directs them wherever he will. That's right, God's doing something bigger than just dealing with Pharaoh. That's right. Let's push on okay 24 okay so this segment and miss 21 to 26. Is it is a mysterious as to range thing and I and from our modern understanding. We it's just a weird story and will make you comment John, 24, 24, at a lodging place on the way the Lord him and sought to put them to death. Then zipper it took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses his feet with that and said surely you are bridegroom of blood to me. So he let him alone. It was then that she said a bridegroom of blood because of the circumcision, so there's something going on here that we don't fully understand. By the way, we have no clues anywhere else in Scripture about this now. I mean it just raises a question. But before we ask questions. Maybe we should talk just a little bit about circumcision. What is it me or do you want to start into that justly have your comments as well.
I've got some to you know I this is something that's been in place for God's people for hundreds of years. At this point Emma started with Abraham in Genesis 19 right and it was it was an outward sign of the fact that you are God's people that you belong to him right was an actual mark in human flesh that indicates that there they belong to God, and so presumably even when they went to Egypt way back sunrise ago and they were still living there amongst Egyptians. Presumably, they were still doing circumcision was a way of showing the right belong to got a part of God's people, and God was very adamant that the that the fathers circumcise of the signs and even the sons of the servants that are so right was a big deal. This is a way of God saying you are my people, and this is how you showing up outwardly so the fact it looks like we get here in the midst of going back to Egypt and Moses son nor sons are not, that's crazy well and back in Genesis 17, when God had given the sign of circumcision to him. He said now an uncircumcised male is not circumcise in the flesh. Ms. foreskin, that person shall be cut off my people broken my covenant right right so if you're brain is rattling around in your head in verse 24 when it says on the way the Lord met him sought to put them to death. Well, I wonder, is that not because he's carrying along his uncircumcised son Moses himself has disregarded the stipulation of the company having his son circumcise and God can have Moses going back to retrieve his first and not have his son marked as one of the people. So ask the question why did he feel the circumcise son.
This is were speculation. I don't have an answer but that's a question it's just lingering speculation is that the poor being a Midianite you know she was resistant to the process. They also were descendents of Abraham. They were poor but yet so that's all speculation.
We don't know about you but she does. We do know she is she's a little freaked out about the fact that Moses life is in danger right right here you know God's gonna put them to death. So some poor picks up the flint knife and takes action herself so she knows that it was an issue right sure that this is what it figured out right but she has to be actions of Moses records fascinating and you can think about this for weeks and it's ahead Scripture truly had Scripture, but what we do know is that God is not going allow them to go back into the into Egypt and bring back God's people right part of Moses household were not marked as God's people right were going to do that so that's that's very clear here. Why is it poor is the one who takes initiative why Moses failed to do that we don't know the answers to any of that kind of stuff and we find out later. Many chapters later that she had that Moses had sent her away and we wonder if this is not the event that caused that because there's nothing about her from here. I think Rancho until she shows up to inspect you through her father like Exodus 18 it's his way.
After this, so she just disappears from the narrative. At this point, so maybe this is what caused that we don't know, but it's an interesting thing you not to go retrieve my people as your marked as my people, so it might also be helpful that we know from Exodus 18. The names of the sentence. The first name Gershon, which translates as a summer intern or right because SI was it one Moses is still feeling acutely that he's not. He's a stranger.
His eyesight and sons named Ellie as their God is my help right so we don't know how old these young men were at this point bold enough to be shocked by circumcision of pressure and and and you know it's this a fascinating picture is a poor takes the blood and in marks Moses with her so there's some tension and some cultural stuff going on here. We, donors, and this is this is a little bit of turmoil here, but got serious about making sure the question that lingers in my mind. Maybe we need to take a minute or two about this is what was the deal with circumcision, why so important because that's a picture that comes clear forward into the New Testament when were told that in Christ we are circumcise and separated from our body of flesh, that physical circumcision is no longer acquired right right but it comes out comes out strongly as a metaphor for separating us from the flesh and relishes is a image for the sin that inhabits us right of separation from that. So even got way back, way back in Deuteronomy Numbers says you know what I was interested in. Is that your heart your heart so yeah, I actually have an open frenemy on Deuteronomy 10, 11 and 12 are 16 when Moses said circumcise then your heart and stiffen your neck no more right right so he by that time they newly understand you were talking about heart issue.
It's a hard issue. It's a hard issue of being separated from the contamination of sin and being devoted so I wonder if you know God is sending Moses back to Egypt to bring out his covenant people. The people who are marked as his own and yet Moses has been living in disregard of the covenants could just as God remembered his covenant. Moses apparently didn't.
While he was way off in Midian right because people are way off in Egypt. There, but right the wrong time so that remembered means not that they forgot about it, but they work commemorating. It was not had not been important enough to Moses to follow through on that particular stipulation and I know you mentioned last time that we see the growth of Moses to write a story and this is interesting because you always see that Moses is like this should pray I get everything right the very beginning, but no is no example is just fascinating history specimen always push on the 27th. Okay, you get really really fun here. Okay, so the Lord said to Aaron go into the wilderness to meet Moses. So we went and met him in the mountain of God, and kissed him, and Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord, with which he had sent him to speak in all the signs that he had commanded him to do. Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel and Aaron spoke all the words of the Lord spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people and the people believed and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bow their heads and worshiped.
Yeah, the fulfillment of Exodus 318.
They will listen to your voice and there it is. Now they had as yet no clue how things were going to appear to go from bad to worse for buy database and shall presentation of the Redeemer.
The promise that God's redemption being fulfilled right right they believe in the worship and they worship you know I think for generations and been in Egypt and things went from bad to worse for for close to two centuries there were enslaved things were really bad and and you wonder. Are we God's people in all regards to what happened to God to CCR affliction does he know what's going on right. Maybe he's forgotten all about us.
So this good news that comes to them through Aaron and Moses that God God has visited his people. He senior affliction all along. And so they became think about the fact that this God still loves us and cares worse and he hasn't forgotten us and so their automatic response is worship.
They bow their heads and we been told a couple of times already and only these first three chapters of Exodus that God saw them.
God heard them right femur and you their suffering and he came to their rescue. Yes, yes, I have come down to deliver them. He said yeah. So God sees and you know we are is is creatures of time or easily prone to conclude that if something in our experience, which is bad is prolonged and goes on for a long time that somehow got us forgot about us or God's not seeing or something is wrong and limits her temptation because the pain and the suffering is acute but God never stops eating and he never overlooks where you're at and his heart is always to rescue us out of those things in this that's exactly what happens right here as well well and you know they should have if they were really keeping the word that had been delivered to them through Abraham. They should have known the deliver is kind deliver. Scott had told Abraham in Genesis 15, your people are going to Egypt and then going to be enslaved to their for 400 years, but I will bring them back right right and even Joseph you know as soon as the CEO of Egypt, near the end talks about his bones don't die okay.
That was many years before I was 400 years before that exactly but even Joseph says to them you're going back right so that's always been the back of their minds.
This is going to happen to just wondered so so here their responses God visited us this is seen that he's seen us in the worship. Yeah, it's nice to think that God affirmed for Moses in the process of going back to Egypt.
Having Aaron come out because remember he told Moses like you to meet your brother.
He's really happy to see you be glad to see and then God independently goes to Aaron says you need to go out and meet Moses out there, and so I you know what a wonderful scene that is to have Aaron and Moses meet each other after all these years probably about four decades, but to to have Moses say you know God put this plan in action and step number one was I was gonna rendezvous with Aaron in the desert and look it. You are yeah yeah it's it's such a great encouragement. Just at the beginning of the thing that got to get this thing going and he's in control of all this, and you can ask you go ahead of me and he's already gone ahead of me and having Aaron come out. I just think it's a marvelous thing on God's part just encouraged Moses a little bit that things are going according to plan.
Well I'm here we see it working right as his Aaron in verse 30 spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people for the signs. Did Moses and Aaron. It's a little ambiguous ambiguous because Aaron Everett God had said to Moses give you the words I'll put the words in your mouth and you will be like God to Aaron right and he'll speak the words that you give him the words that I give you so you know. Here the system is working yeah yeah because Moses may have claimed they didn't have the lips and God said, while Aaron does on.
We both with both your list plenty eloquent, but interestingly enough, regardless who speaks the content is going to go from God to Moses and Moses to Aaron so that's why he says you know he spoke the things that most of told him so that's that's kinda cool.
So things working out what no we haven't met with variable we have met with all the people of Israel. And therein there they're actually completely on board right here there ready to go and they they don't see this is a rescue of Moses they see this is a rescue from God. And that's exactly the right position. We got been at this point the story because when we turn the page into the next time we meet. You know you turn the page.
Now it's time to confront Pharaoh, but all visuals on board and remember Moses biggest problems when he is talking to got in the previous chapter was there knocking form you not believe me in and Moses last experience with his own people were them saying. So what you do you kill me like you know you are you who made you ruler and so in just a couple of verses were passed that threshold. It's all behind us now, so the people of God are on his side, and they're willing to follow in their willing to go with the plan that's been revealed by God to Moses and now Moses through Aaron to the people of their sin wherein were totally because it's been a generation and conditions have gotten much much worse going to get more hours exactly.
And for having to go the initial generation that remembered Moses as a murderer. Whatever he did was either gone or no longer active.
Yeah, he had a pretty bad reputation, and respect for decades later so so it's actually going according to plan.
Had some will say no, then they are very receptive.
I'm just I'm marveling at that a little bit. I don't Moses that I know where it just it just happens in such a few verses is just astonishing to this is the hand of God moving through the plan. So next time we get together much come back were going to have our first confrontation with where oh, and these are the famous confrontations and interestingly enough for many of your plots boiler at the end of this first confrontation, Moses has second thoughts about ever getting involved in this plan. Can you believe so you're going to want to come back and find out why because things just don't quite the way Moses had expected them to, and even tells God. Is this a good night. Yeah the first confrontation with Pharaoh and there will be more after that. So I'm Jim and I'm doing, and we went to Joy's next time as we venture our way through Exodus rate rescue executed and designed by God's command to help see next time on Main Street church is solely responsible to contact us with your questions or comments will just right