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Uprooting Israel from Egypt - Life of Moses Part 4

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
April 29, 2024 7:00 am

Uprooting Israel from Egypt - Life of Moses Part 4

So What? / Lon Solomon

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You know, in 1971, I was a young Jewish college student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

That's me. And I was led to Christ by a street preacher there in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. And when I gave my life to Christ, I honestly thought, man, I was home free. I thought all my troubles were over, all my suffering was over, all my problems were over. I thought the rest of my life was going to be smooth sailing, just mashed potatoes and gravy, just peaches and cream, you understand?

And, you know, that didn't happen. Instead of all mashed potatoes and gravy, well, I got a lot of liver and brussel sprouts kind of thrown in there, if you understand what I mean. Trouble and difficulties and tough times. And this really threw me for a loop. It took me a while to figure out, God, if I'm a follower of yours now, why would you be doing this to me? Well, if you're a follower of Jesus here today, maybe you're struggling with the same issue. Maybe you've got some liver and some brussel sprouts in your life right now, and you're trying to figure out why in the world the Lord would do that in your life.

Well, if that's your issue today, you've come to the right place. Because we're going to talk about that, and we're going to answer that question, and we're going to do it based on the example that grows right out of our study of the life of Moses. You know, we're in this new study called The Life of Moses, and we've gone back for the first couple of messages, and we've answered some preliminary questions. Number one, how did the Jewish people come into being? Number two, how did the land of Israel become their unique inheritance, the promised land, if you will? Number three, how did the Jewish people end up in Egypt in the first place so that they even needed Moses to lead them out? Number four, how did the Israelites grow from the small number of individuals that we read about in the book of Genesis to the massive nation that we read about in the book of Exodus?

Now, we've answered all those questions, and if you missed any of that, you can go out and get the tape or the CD in the bookstore. Today we're ready to move on and jump into the book of Exodus itself. And so if you brought a Bible, I want to ask you to open your Bible to Exodus chapter 1, the second book in the Bible. If you did not bring a Bible and you're here in the main auditorium, reach right under the armrest next to you, and you will find a copy of the Bible. We're going to be on page 40. Page 40 in our copy, Exodus 1 in your copy.

And while you're turning, let me give you a little bit of background. The book of Exodus is a wonderful book. Not only does it tell us about Israel's deliverance from Egypt, not only does it contain the Ten Commandments and all the other biblical laws that form the basis of American jurisprudence today, but the book of Exodus also provides the theological framework and foundation for the plan of salvation that the Lord Jesus came here to earth to fulfill. Remember that in the book of Exodus, God establishes the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.

He teaches us about the centrality of the blood for the forgiveness of sin. He builds the tabernacle with the Ark of the Covenant and the mercy seat and the Holy of Holies. The book of Exodus is one of the most pivotal books in all of the Bible. Now the book of Exodus forms 20%, one-fifth of what is commonly referred to as the five books of Moses, the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Scholars refer to these books as the Pentateuch, meaning literally in Greek the five books.

Jewish people refer to these books as the Torah, meaning literally the law. And the Bible claims that the Pentateuch, the Torah, was written by one singular author, the man Moses. For example, Exodus 24 verse 4 says, Moses wrote down everything the Lord had said, Numbers 33 verse 2.

At the Lord's command, Moses recorded all the stages of the Israelites' journey through the wilderness. Today, sadly, there are very few scholars in our world today who accept the fact that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. It's even worse that this is questioned in many evangelical seminaries in our world today. Now I'm not going to take time this morning to defend for you the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, but I am going to tell you that his authorship of the Pentateuch is totally and utterly defensible. Suffice to say that I believe without equivocation that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible just the way the Bible claims.

I believe that the Pentateuch is a completely historical document, just like the Bible says. And this is the way we're going to approach the book of Exodus. This is the way I'm going to teach you the book of Exodus over the next few months. Now with that little bit of background, let's dig in to Exodus chapter 1. Verse 1, these are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family. Verse 5, the descendants of Jacob who came to Egypt number 70 people in all, for Joseph was already in Egypt. Verse 6, now Joseph and all of his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous so that the land was filled with them. Verse 8, then a new king who did not know about Joseph came to power in Egypt. Look, he said to his people, the Israelites have become too numerous for us.

Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Now let's stop for a moment and ask two questions. Our first question is who is this new king, this new Pharaoh the Bible talks about in Exodus 1, who did not know about Joseph? And second, we want to ask the question, does this fear of his that he expresses here, namely that the Israelites might join up with some invading enemy, some invading army, does this fear fit well with the historical situation that existed in Egypt at the time the Bible says Exodus 1 took place? Or to ask that question a different way, is Exodus chapter 1 historically accurate?

Well, let's answer those two questions. First of all, who's our new Pharaoh here the Bible mentions? Well, according to the Bible's chronology, the Exodus occurred in 1445 B.C., give or take a year.

How do we get to that number? Let me show you, 1 Kings chapter 6 verse 1 says in the 480th year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt, which happened to be the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, blah, blah, blah, then it goes on. But what we know is we can date Solomon's fourth year with great accuracy to within a year or so 965 B.C. Now, the Bible says if we add 480 years to this, we'll get the date of the Exodus. And so when we do that, we come up with 1445, give or take a year as the date of the Exodus. Now, remember, Moses was 80 years old when he led the Exodus. So to date Exodus chapter 1 where we are, we've got to add 80 more years to this because this is when Moses was born.

And when we do that, we find that the date of Exodus chapter 1 was 1525 B.C. Who was ruling from Egyptian records? Who do we know was ruling Egypt in 1525 B.C.? Well, his name was Thutmose I.

Here's a little picture of him on the screen. Thutmose I who ruled Egypt from 1530 to 1517 B.C. And so that's the answer to our first question. Our new pharaoh here is Pharaoh Thutmose I. Now, the second question is based on what we've discovered from archaeology about the situation in Egypt during the reign of Thutmose I, should Thutmose I have been worried about an army invading Egypt and the Israelites mutineering and joining up with them?

Well, friends, you betcha he should have. We know from archaeology that just before Thutmose I came to the throne, the Egyptians succeeded in throwing off the yoke of a people named the Hyksos. Here's a picture of them from a tomb wall. The Hyksos were a foreign people who had invaded Egypt and controlled Egypt for just over 100 years. And here in 1525 B.C., even though they had been run out of the land, the possibility that the Hyksos would reinvade was still very real. Moreover, you should know that when the Hyksos invaded Egypt the first time, they came from Canaan right through the land of Goshen where the Israelites were living.

Let's show you a map. And what this means is that this made the Israelites prime candidates to mutiny and join this invading army because this army was coming right through their territory. The point that I want to make here is that during the rule of Thutmose I, this was the only point in Egyptian history for the next 1,000 years where an imminent invasion by foreigners was even a possibility in Egypt. And so archaeology, my point is archaeology has proven that here in Exodus chapter 1, the words of Thutmose I line up perfectly with the historical situation that we know existed in Egypt at the time that Exodus 1 was supposed to happen. Or to put it another way, as I like to say, the more we dig out of the ground, the more the Bible proves to be right.

Now let's go on, verse 11. So the Egyptians put slave masters over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. But the more the Israelites were oppressed, the more they multiplied and grew so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and they worked them ruthlessly.

They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields. In all their hard labor, the Egyptians abused the Israelites ruthlessly. Now once again, archaeology confirms the historical accuracy of the Bible. Archaeology tells us that Thutmose I, here in Exodus 1, who ruled from 1530 to 1517, his son, Thutmose II, who ruled from 1517 to 1504, and finally his grandson, Thutmose III, who ruled from 1504 to 1450, almost right up to the Exodus, that all of these rulers were fanatical builders, just as the Bible says. We also know from archaeology that all three of these pharaohs used immense amounts of slave labor to build their building projects, just like the Bible says. And finally, we also know from archaeology that the building material that these particular pharaohs used was not stone like other pharaohs had used before them, but were clay bricks made by mixing clay and straw and letting them dry in the sun, exactly the way the Bible says. In fact, we've actually found the tomb of a fellow named Rechmeyer. He was the chief architect for Thutmose III.

Here's a picture of him, a handsome fellow. We've also found his tomb. And in his tomb we found on the wall a painting of slaves making clay and straw bricks.

Here it is. And would you notice then that the slave that is circled is actually mixing the clay and the straw together. And also notice in this picture that there is an Egyptian slave master watching over them, armed with a billy club, just like the Bible says. In fact, we've even found from the time of Thutmose III one of these brick molds where slaves would take a trowel and fill it up with clay and straw, let it dry in the sun, and immediately then take it off and they would have a brick, just like the Bible describes in the book of Exodus they were doing.

Friends, what do we say? The more we dig out of the ground, the more the Bible proves to be right. Now you might say, Lon Lon, okay, okay, wait, wait, stop, stop, stop, time out, time, time, time. You know, God bless you up there, son.

You're working hard. We can see that. But you know what? We didn't come here for a history lesson today. We don't want to know all this historical stuff. I mean, what difference does all this historical stuff make anyway? I mean, as long as I believe in the New Testament, as long as I believe in Jesus and that he died on the cross and that he rose from the dead, I mean, what difference does all this historical mumbo jumbo make anyway? Well, friends, it makes a huge difference.

And let me tell you why. If we cannot trust what the Bible tells us historically about Moses and the Exodus, if we cannot trust what the Bible tells us historically about Abraham and Isaac and David and Solomon, if we cannot trust historically what the Bible says about the Canaanites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Moabites and the Hittites and the Termites, if we can't trust what the Bible says about all of these things, then how do we know that we can trust what the Bible says about Jesus Christ and about what he did on the cross and about his rising from the dead? You see, my friends, the trustworthiness of the Bible is an all or nothing deal. The Bible is either completely trustworthy in everything it says at every point or it is completely suspect in what it says at every point. And there is one place where we can subject the Bible to a rigorous scientific examination and that is when it comes to historical facts, to historical accuracy.

And it stands to reason. The logic is that if we can show that the Bible is historically accurate, it just stands to reason that the Bible is spiritually accurate as well. I mean, why would the writers of the Bible tell us the truth when it comes to everything relating to history and then lie to us when it comes to everything related spiritually? It's illogical.

It makes no sense. And so historical accuracy is very important when it comes to the Bible because, friends, it is the one place where we can establish an intellectual foundation to defend the things in the Bible we cannot defend or prove. But if we can prove and defend the things that are possible to check out, it lends credence to the idea that the Bible is telling us the truth on the things we can't prove.

You understand? And so here, as we've seen today, when it comes to the Bible's historical accuracy, here in Exodus 1, archaeology has vindicated the Bible with remarkable and uncanny precision. Now, let me say, if you're here today and you've never given your life to Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, and one of the things that's been hanging you up is that you've got doubts as to whether or not the Bible is really accurate, whether it's really trustworthy, whether it's really telling you the truth, well, friends, I'm here to tell you I can put that concern to rest. The Bible has been subjected to greater scrutiny archaeologically, historically, scientifically than any other book in history, and the Bible has come through smelling like a rose with flying colors. You do not have to worry that the Bible is untrustworthy.

It is completely trustworthy, and therefore, my friends, when the Bible says to you that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for your sins and if you will trust Him, He will take your sins away and give you eternal life, friends, you can believe that. I hope you will. And I hope you'll get over your concern about the Bible and just believe what it says so that you can become a recipient of eternal life, something to think about. Well, that's as far as we want to go in Exodus 1 today because we've got a really important question to ask, and everybody knows what our question is, yes? Yes, yes, okay. I want to hear you way up there. I want to hear you now, nice and loud. Here we go.

One, two, three. So what? Thank you. You say, yeah, so what, Lon? You say, you know, history schmistory. I don't care about all this history stuff, and it's great that it proves the Bible, but big whoop. I mean, when I walk out of my house Monday morning, what is everything we've talked about today? What difference does that make to my life?

Well, let's see if I can't connect the dots for you, okay? There's a very interesting verse, Psalm 105, verse 25. Here's what it says. It says, God turned the hearts of the Egyptians to hate His people. Now, you know what this verse is really saying? This verse is saying that God, the suffering we read about in Exodus chapter 1, God didn't just allow this suffering to happen to His people. This verse tells us that God orchestrated it. This verse tells us that God caused it. This verse tells us that God wanted it to happen to the Israelites. And you might say, well, Lon, if the Israelites were God's special chosen people, if He loved the Hebrew people so much, why in the world would God want the Egyptians to treat them like this?

Great question. And to get the answer, we've got to go back into the book of Genesis a little bit. Genesis 15, God said to Abraham, Know for certain that your offspring will be strangers in a land that's not theirs, where they will be enslaved and mistreated for 400 years, but I will judge that nation, and afterwards I will bring your offspring, Abraham, back to this land. What land? Well, the land of Canaan with great possessions. Before he died, Joseph told the Israelites, Genesis 50, He said, I'm about to die, but God will surely come to your aid and take you out of this land.

Where's that? Egypt. And take you to the land He promised by oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the land of Canaan. Friends, you see, from the beginning, God never wanted the Israelites to sink their roots deeply into Egypt. He never wanted the Israelites to get comfortable in Egypt because Egypt was not their home. Egypt was not their land. Canaan was their land.

Canaan was their home. And yet, in spite of all of this, the Israelites became quite cozy in Egypt. Egypt offered the Israelites safety and security and food and protection. Frankly, before the suffering in Exodus chapter 1 that we read about happened to them, before that, the Israelites were not in a great hurry to leave Egypt and go anywhere, much less out into the middle of the Sinai wilderness on their way to a promised land that they had never even seen before.

In fact, the Israelites had developed quite a deep love and affinity for the things of Egypt. If you don't believe that, just remind yourself what happened out in the wilderness once they were out of Egypt. Every time something went wrong, every time there was trouble out there in the Sinai wilderness, what did the Israelites say? They said, let's kill Moses and go back where?

To Egypt. Listen, friends, can't you see the need for what God did here to the Israelites? God brought this suffering on them that we read about in Exodus chapter 1 because He wanted them, He wanted to make them anxious to leave Egypt. He wanted to uproot their hearts from Egypt.

He wanted to break their love affair with the things of Egypt. He wanted to deepen their desire to go back to the promised land because, friends, it was in the promised land that God had promised to bless them. It was in Canaan that God had promised to exalt them. Canaan was their home. Canaan was their inheritance. Canaan was their sanctuary, not Egypt. The fulfillment of God's great plan for Israel depended on them being in Canaan, not Egypt.

And so God afflicted His people, not because He hated them, but because He loved them and needed to uproot them from Egypt so He could take them back to the land that He really had for them. Now, the point I want us to see today that as followers of Jesus Christ in our modern world, if we're not careful, we can often be just like these Israelites in Egypt. What I mean by that is that as followers of Christ today, this earth is not our home any more than Egypt really was the Israelites' home. But if we're not careful, friends, we can begin sinking our roots way too deeply into this world just like the Israelites sank their roots way too deeply into Egypt.

We can begin to get far too comfortable in this world just like the Israelites got far too comfortable in Egypt. And so as followers of Christ, God often has to send into our lives pain and suffering and heartache and trouble for the very same reason that He sent it into the lives of these Israelites in Exodus chapter 1. He sends it into our lives so that, Hebrews 11 16, we will long for a better country, a heavenly country that God has prepared for us. He sends trouble into our lives so that, Philippians 1 23, we will desire to depart from this world and go to be with Christ which is far better. He sends trouble into our lives so that, Colossians 3 verse 2, we will set our affection on things above in heaven and not on the things of this earth so that our treasure will be in heaven and not here on earth. Friends, listen, as followers of Christ, you and I will never desire our home in heaven like God wants us to so long as He gives us a totally pleasurable and painless stay here on earth.

Let me repeat that. We will never desire heaven the way God wants us to if the stay here on earth God gives us is completely pleasurable and completely painless. And God knows that. And this is why life here on earth for us is not peaches and cream. God doesn't want it to be peaches and cream because God wants to make sure that while we're here on earth, we keep our eyes set on heaven.

God wants to make sure we keep our tent pegs shallow here on earth. And so as followers of Jesus Christ, we should expect trouble in our life here. We should expect struggles in our life. We should expect heartaches and suffering and pain because these things are the mechanism. They are the tools that God uses to uproot our hearts from this world and to make us long for heaven, which is our real home.

God uses trouble in our life just like He did in the Israelites' lives here in Exodus 1. You know, as many of you know, I have a 13-year-old little girl named Jill who is severely mentally retarded. Jill has the mental capacity of about a one or a one and a half year old. And earlier this week, my wife Brenda and I were out at the mall for dinner. And after dinner, we were walking out of the mall and completely unsolicited, Brenda turned to me and she said, you know, she said, when it comes to Jill's condition and her disability, I think the hardest time for me of all is when I come to the mall. I said, really?

Why is that? And she said, well, I've always kind of dreamed of being here with my daughter, you know, walking through the mall together and laughing together and looking at clothes together and shopping together and doing life together and giggling as we go through store after store together. And she said, but that's never going to happen. And she said, I never come to the mall but that it doesn't hurt. Well, I knew a little bit about what Brenda meant because for me as a father, it's weddings.

Every time I go to a wedding and I watch a father walk his daughter down the aisle, I sit there and say to myself, you know what, I'm never doing that with my daughter. So I understood a little bit with what Brenda was saying and so I turned to her and I said, well, Brenda, sweetheart, let me just tell you something. I said, every time you come to the mall alone, I just want that to remind you of how sweet Heaven's going to be.

I just want you every time you come to the mall alone to remember that it's not always going to be this way, but that one day in Heaven, Jill's going to be whole and you and she can go shopping all day long, every day if you want to. And I said the best part about shopping in Heaven is going to be also that your Visa card has an unlimited credit line. Because it doesn't here on earth, dear.

I just had to kind of get that in just to remind her. And you know what, that's true. That's true, friends. God sends trouble into our life here so Heaven looks sweeter. God sends trouble into our life here so Heaven is something we long for and we yearn for.

And without trouble, we wouldn't. So I want to say to you in closing, beware of the gospel of peaches and cream. Beware of the gospel of peaches and cream. It's untrue, it's unbiblical, and it is unhealthy. God's plan for our lives, the true gospel, does call for a healthy portion of liver and brussel sprouts in our lives.

Because those are the things that create a true hunger for Heaven in our hearts. By the way, does anybody here like brussel sprouts other than me? I love brussel sprouts. Oh, about six of you. All right. How about liver? Disgusting food. Okay.

I think that's what they're going to serve someplace else, but I can't prove that. But you know what? God wants there to be trouble in our life. God wants there to be difficulties in our life because, friends, that's what creates the love and the yearning for Heaven. I think there's a prayer that we should all learn to pray in closing.

Here it is. Lord, send me just enough suffering to keep my roots shallow here on earth and send me just enough success and happiness to keep my lips praising You. That's the true gospel, my friends, and to that prayer we can all say amen. Let's pray together.

Lord Jesus, thanks for reminding us today that the gospel of peaches and cream is just flat untrue. That, yes, You love us and, yes, You care about us just like You did the Hebrews in Exodus 1. And, Lord, You love us so deeply that You actually take steps to keep our roots shallow here on this earth because this earth is not our home. Lord, You love us so deeply that You actually take steps to cause us to want to yearn to leave this place and go to our true sanctuary and that is Heaven. And so, dear God, rather than despising the mechanisms and the tools that You use to keep our tent pegs shallow here, help us to embrace them and understand that You have a bigger purpose than just our comfort. Your purpose is our focus, our focus on Heaven and on the things of Heaven. And, Lord Jesus, I pray You would change the way we live, change the very way we approach the circumstances of life because we were here today and we understood something about You and Your ways and how You work in our lives. We understood the true Gospel message today and we pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-29 08:09:23 / 2024-04-29 08:20:38 / 11

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