Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 7
MOSES, THE DELIVERER OF ISRAEL
Once again, let’s pick up where we left off last lesson. And as you are turning to Exodus, I’ll remind you that the only reason I teach, is to help people understand what they read. And I think we are making some headway. I had a young man the other night tell me how thankful he was for my Bible teaching, because he had never understood what he read. Well, hopefully, this is what we can accomplish. What does the Book really say. In Exodus Chapter 6, we left off at verse 6, where God speaks of redeeming the children of Israel out of Egypt:
“And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”
Here again, is the Abrahamic Covenant. A nation of people; land; and one day their King. That was all in the Abrahamic Covenant.
“And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob (Now those three names pop up all the way through your Bible; well into the New Testament – well into the Book of Acts; everything is based upon that promise God gave to those three men.); and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.”
He is the Creator, the Sovereign God.
“And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.”
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.”
So everything is getting ready now for God to move. We won’t go through the next series of verses, giving the names of all the tribes and the heads of them and etc. But I do want you to see something in verse 26:
“These are (In other words, all these families) that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.”
Not armies as we understand, because they had no weapons. As I pointed out sometime ago, they were just like the locust I gave you an example of, that was wrapped in the spider web. They had no way of doing anything. They had no arms, swords, spears, or shields. They had no way of overthrowing the Egyptian slave masters. They had to wait completely for the power of God to come in on their behalf.
But, I think we must understand even as you look back into the holocaust and other aspects of Jewish history, they had a resilience, and I think a lot of it was based on their tribal organization. Even here in Egypt, they had an organization. They didn’t have loud speakers, or radios, phones in their cars, and yet how did Moses communicate with those several million Jews.? Through an organization. He would just bring the heads of the tribes together, and they would go out like a military command; communication would go down through the chain of command.
So, you never see Israel coming out of Egypt, in just a mob. They were organized. And when they get the Tabernacle set up (and we’ll be coming to that in future lessons), God organized them in such a way, every time they set up camp the same three tribes are on the East, West, North, and South. When they moved out, they always moved out in the same order. They were a nation of orderly people.
“These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron.”
Now, we are going to come and confront Pharaoh, and I want you to come on over to Chapter 7
“And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.”
We are going to see the use of signs again, only now, why are they being used? To convince Pharaoh that God is the God of Israel. But we see something interesting happen. And I think we are living in a time that we had better see what the Scripture says.
“Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers (Those who practice the occults, they drew their powers from the powers of Satan): now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.”
“For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents (They had the Satanic power to copy what Aaron had just done by the power of God.): but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”
Now, God is the Creator of life, the Sustainer of life, the very God of life. But Satan is not the Sustainer of life, he is the sustainer and giver of death! Death came by sin. Death is on the scene everyday because of sin. Sin and death are synonymous. Let’s see what happens in that same connotation in our New Testament. Turn with me to I Corinthians 15. Don’t forget what we just read. As Aaron placed his rod on the ground it became a serpent. The magicians did the same thing, but Aaron’s serpent swallowed up the magicians serpents.
Now, what is the picture? The New Testament will always tell you. Verse 51, and we think we are getting closer and closer to the day all the time, as we see the world falling apart. Governments on shaky grounds and turmoil all around the planet. I got a kick out of one of the world seismologists again the other day. He was explaining the increase in earthquakes, and they know there is a tremendous increase, but of course they don’t know why. We do. The Bible tells us there will be an increase in the number of earthquakes, and so everything is coming on, just piling up for the soon return of Christ. Paul describes it here:
I Corinthians 15:51-54
“Behold, I shew you a mystery (He reveals a secret, and you want to remember the Scriptures give no indication of a group of living people who will suddenly be gone and translated, until Paul writes about it. And that’s why he calls it a mystery or secret. Jesus never mentions this; the Old Testament never mentions it; but Paul does.); We shall not all sleep (or die physically), but we shall all be changed,”
The reason, of course, is that we can’t go to glory in this old body. Those who are dying and will experience resurrection, we can understand that they will have a new body. But what about us who are alive? Well, our body has to be changed. And that is what Paul is teaching here. I didn’t mean to make this a point of lesson, as we will come to this later, but we can’t pass over it lightly. Now verses 52,53:
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we” (believers) shall be changed.” Suddenly! Why?
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption (this body that is prone to die), and this mortal must put on immortality.”
We have to be made fit for eternity in God’s presence. We have to be given this new body. This is what I really wanted you to see. I wanted to point out what took place back there with Aaron and the magicians’ rods. Remember Aaron’s serpent swallowed up the magicians’ serpents; that was representative of Satan and his death. Verse 54:
“So when this corruptible (this body that we have, that is prone to corruption) shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written (now look at it), Death is swallowed up in victory,”
Oh! Do you see how it all fits together? As those serpents of the magicians of Egypt were lying on the ground, and Aaron’s serpents swallowed them, it was the picture, of exactly how God is finally going to control the situation. And death is swallowed up in victory. Where was the victory over death accomplished? At the Cross. That’s where Satan was defeated, and since Christ has now been put to death, has been buried, and He has risen from the grave, that’s the power that separates us from the power of sin and death, and Satan. We could go on and spend some more time on this, but we need to get back to Exodus before we complete this lesson. So let’s go to Exodus once again to Chapter 7. In spite of what Pharaoh saw happen:
“And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart”
It says here that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. This throws a curve at a lot of people, and they say, “Is God being fair with poor old Pharaoh?” That, contrary to anything that Pharaoh may have wanted to do, God is making him become the rebel. That’s not the way it is. Come back to Romans Chapter 9 because, after all, the only way we can do these things is search the Scripture, and compare. The apostle Paul is writing–
“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God (Can God be unfair?)? God forbid.”
“For he saith to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.'”
“‘So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy (It all depends on God).'”
“For the scripture saith unto (Who?) Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.”
How many people, even on the earth today in this age of spiritual darkness, haven’t heard of the Exodus? How many people, even today, don’t know at least something about the plagues that came upon Egypt? Just about everyone. And out of it God has intended that He get the glory, not the blame. Now, the human race tends to say, “Well, that was God’s fault.” But that’s not the way God intended it to fall. He wants the human race to realize His power and Sovereignty, and, in it all, His righteousness, His mercy:
“Therefore hath he (God) mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will be hardeneth.” That’s hard to comprehend.
“Thou wilt say then unto me, why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
In other words, Paul is asking a question: if God is putting this man in this kind of a position, then Who is God to put the blame on him? Continue at verse 20. Paul is going to answer it for us:
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”
“Hath not the potter power over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”
“What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.”
“And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.”
“Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”
Now, that’s a tough one to explain, and don’t think that I don’t know it’s tough. Number one, God is Sovereign. He is absolute in His power. We are in no position to argue with what He does, or why He does it. The Old Testament says His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways, and it’s not for us to question. But, realizing that God is righteous, He can do no sin, or no wrong. He gives every human being that exercise of free will. So when Pharaoh was confronted with letting the Jews go, what could he have done? He could have done just that – he could have let them go. But you see, when God brought him to the point of making a tough decision, and like the average human being, how did Pharaoh decide? In his own direction. Undoubtedly, that was a tough economic decision to make.
As we come through each of these plagues, Moses goes back and, in so many words, says to Pharaoh, “Are you ready to let the Jews go?” What could Pharaoh have said? “Let them go.” But instead he says, “I’ll not let them go.” I think we see this even in the Hebrew nature today. When people are brought to a place of making up their minds, for or against God, and they say, “No.” The next time it’s easier for them to say no than it was the last time.
Consequently, their whole concept of rebellion grows. And their concept of recognizing God’s mercy get smaller. This is why when people get old (now this is not in any way pointing a finger at the elderly), but as people get old, and they get up into those 80’s and 90’s, if they are still a rebel against the grace of God, it’s hard to break through it. It is almost impossible.They have become so hard. I’ve talked to some of them, and you just can’t get through to them. Sometimes you can, but not often. Every time they have been confronted with that choice of BELIEVING the Gospel and they reject it, then it becomes that much harder for them at some future time to break down those barriers of resistance.
And so it was with Pharaoh. It was that much harder each time he had the opportunity to obey God. So the only way we can look at this, is when God hardened Pharaoh, He put him in this place of having to make a decision. We know that the plagues begin, and we are not going to take them one by one, because I think we are all aware of each one of them. Except, I would like to make this comment. A lot of people can’t believe the Book of Revelation. They just can’t believe that such things are going to come to pass upon the earth. But what I always tell them when I teach Revelation, is that these things have all happened before. Most of what takes place in the Tribulation and the Book of Revelation are almost a rerun of the plagues on Egypt. Only in the Tribulation it will be world-wide in its scale, where as here it was limited to Egypt. So if you can believe that these things happened back here in Egypt, then you shouldn’t have any trouble believing that it is still going to come upon the earth again. So let’s go to Chapter 8:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh (Now I’ve got to explain that. How did Moses and Aaron have such access to the king of Egypt? You have to depend on what other people write sometimes, on things like this. But I read, had this been Babylon they would have never been able to do it. The Babylonian Kings would never allow someone to come before them, except in their own court. But the Egyptians did. The Egyptian Pharaoh was open to people to come into his presence. Consequently, Moses and Aaron had no obstruction when they wanted to come before him.) lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.”
“Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon thy are.”
This is why we jumped this far. Look at verse 22, where God says to Moses and Aaron, and I’m sure they repeated it to Pharaoh:
“And I will sever in that day (evidently the first two or three plagues struck everyone including the Jew, but beginning with this plague) the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know (Here it is again, God is proving His point. He is showing the Egyptians that God can draw an invisible line around Goshen, that even the insects wouldn’t cross. This is something isn’t it?) that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.”
“And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.”
A division, a setting apart of the children of Israel, from those of Egypt. We will see this throughout Scripture, what was drummed into them. You are different. You are to be a set-apart people; you are the Covenant People, you are to have nothing to do with those pagan Gentiles all around you. There is a New Testament analogy in II Corinthians. Paul comes on the scene and he gives us the same set of directions. Remember, Paul writes in Romans Chapter 15, verse 4 that all these things were written back in the Old Testament for our learning. We are to learn from this. Now, just as sure as God put a separation between The children of Israel and the Egyptians, God puts a line of demarcation between the believer and the world. And God says you cannot serve two masters. We will either serve one and hate the other, or vice versa. Look at what Paul teaches here:
II Corinthians 6:11-15a
“O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.”
This is the apostle Paul, just pouring out his innermost being. Even though it’s by inspiration.
“Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels (or innermost being).”
“Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.”
In other words, have that same kind of a spiritual relationship.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with (who?) unbelievers:”
We don’t hear that much anymore, do we? We don’t hear much about separation. In fact, I maintain this is exactly why Christianity has lost its power. We can’t see any difference between the average Christian and the average person of the world. But God did not intend it to be that way. Just as sure as He separated Israel from Egypt, He wants to separate you and I from the world. As I have mentioned before, we are not to be odd-balls. We shouldn’t constantly be asking for persecution by our actions, but the world should know where we stand.
“And what concord (or what relationship) hath Christ with Belial? “ So all the way through we must be separated.