"MOSES IN EXILE!" & "THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT!"
IN CHAPTER 8 IT WAS TOLD HOW JACOB AND HIS ENTIRE FAMILY, 66 IN ALL, CAME TO JOSEPH IN EGYPT, TO ESCAPE THE 7–YEAR FAMINE. They were received most pleasantly by Pharaoh, who extended all the courtesies of the kingdom to them. The land of Goshen was turned over to them exclusively. Jacob died in Egypt and Pharaoh furnished a military escort to take him back to Hebron for burial, remember? Then Joseph died some years later.
MORE YEARS LATER A NEW KING CAME TO THE THRONE THAT KNEW NOT JOSEPH! He noted the rapid increase of the population and demanded slavery for them, and eventually that every male child be killed. He figured that the girls couldn't fight a battle very well if he killed off all the boys, and with only the girls left, why‚ pretty soon the whole race would become extinct!
THEN MOSES WAS BORN, AND HIDDEN. He was found by the king's daughter and spared. In the meantime, Pharaoh continued to make slaves of the Children of Israel, and laid heavier burdens upon them continually.
1. HERE WE SEE ANOTHER PICTURE OF THAT BEAUTIFUL RIVER NILE, with one of those traditional pleasure sail-boats cruising up and down the river. This is a boat of some very wealthy person—much like one that the Pharaoh might have cruised along in.
MOSES WAS REARED AS A MEMBER OF THE KING'S FAMILY, like a prince in the very house of royalty! He, no doubt, played about on the shore of the Nile with other boys of his caste, and heard many taunts from them regarding his brethren being slaves in Goshen. Maybe he pretended not to understand that he himself was an Israelite or a Jew. Though from what he did afterward‚ he certainly knew that he was and was conscious of that fact from then on.
2. IN NUMBER 2 WE SEE SOME STATUES OF THE PHARAOHS OF EGYPT. Moses had surely been taught something of the Jewish religion and his family history by his mother. He must certainly have watched with keen disapproval the erection and dedication of the hundreds of Pharaoh's gods throughout the land.
THEY WORSHIPPED NOT ONLY MANY GODS, BUT THEY WORSHIPPED THEIR OWN PHARAOHS and made statues and idols of them. Of course, we don't have to go that far back to find people worshipping statues of their national heroes and national leaders. We are somewhat prey to that ourselves, even in our own country sometimes.
GOD'S WORD SAYS WHAT ABOUT MAKING GRAVEN IMAGES? "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image of anything in heaven, or earth, or in the sea." (Ex.20:4.) So these idols or statues, even of national heroes, are against the Law of God!
3. HERE ARE THE RUINS OF A TEMPLE ERECTED IN MOSES' DAY. He must have witnessed the erection of some of these very temples by his enslaved brethren the Jews.
4. IN NUMBER 4 YOU CAN SEE THEM BUILDING under some terrible slave conditions.
5. MOSES COULD HAVE BEEN KING, BUT HIS SYMPATHY WAS TOO GREAT FOR HIS OWN BRETHREN. Of course God was in that, for as God's Word says, "It came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren‚ and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren. "
MOSES, WHO WAS CALLED THE MEEKEST MAN, WAS NOT ALWAYS MEEK! This was too much for him: When he saw this Egyptian taskmaster beating up one of his Jewish brethren he slew the Egyptian on the spot and buried him right there in the sand!
6. IN NUMBER 6 WE FIND SOME OF HIS BRETHREN, WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN LOYAL TO MOSES, COMING AND TELLING THE KING. As informers, they showed their lack of appreciation of Moses. Throughout his entire life, the Children of Israel always seemed to show their lack of appreciation of him!
MOSES SAW THESE TWO BROTHERS FIGHTING THE NEXT DAY, after he had slain the cruel taskmaster. When he mildly reprimanded them‚ they joined each other in carrying the news to Pharaoh, that Moses had slain the Egyptian. When he tried to stop a fight between them, instead of them appreciating it, they turned on him, and said‚ "We're going to tell on you, how you slew an Egyptian!"
7. NOW WHEN PHARAOH HEARD THIS, HE SOUGHT TO SLAY HIS ADOPTED SON MOSES. But Moses fled from the face of the king and dwelt in the land of Midian. As you can see here on the map, he journeyed from the city of Memphis, and probably crossed the Red Sea in a boat—here at the tongue of the Red Sea called the Gulf of Suez.
LATER ON THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL CROSSED HERE ON DRY LAND—BY A MIRACLE OF GOD! He fled across the Sinaitic peninsula and clear over here in the vicinity of what is now called Elath, in the land of Midianites.
NOW THE MIDIANITES WERE RELATIVES OF HIS, do you remember who they were? They were children of Abraham's last wife, Keturah—the children of Midian. Midian is about 300 miles east of the Nile on the Gulf of Aqaba.
8. IT MUST HAVE BEEN A VERY DIFFICULT JOURNEY for a man alone across that terrible desert! He probably went afoot and his route lay across this Wilderness of Shur. It is a most desolate country and absolutely destitute of vegetation or life of any kind!—A vast desert!
THE SINAITIC PENINSULA‚ AS IT'S ALSO KNOWN, IS WHERE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL LATER WANDERED AROUND in their wilderness wanderings—perhaps over this same route. Therefore, Moses knew where he was going when he led the Children of Israel later on, because he'd been over that route before.
9. HERE WE SEE ANOTHER VIEW OF THAT LAND—A WADI NEAR SINAI. He wandered down the dry bed of a waterless wadi‚ as they're called, with the hope of getting somewhere—anywhere away from Pharaoh & Egypt!
10. HE PERHAPS OCCASIONALLY CAME ACROSS A STAGNANT POOL OR AN OASIS, but even these were few and far between. Inhabitants and travellers were very rare. These are actual photographs takes in the very territory through which he crossed, during his flight from Egypt.
11. HERE IS THE WAY THE PEOPLE OF THAT TERRITORY STILL LIVE. He may have come across an occasional family of Amalekites, who were living there at that time, who may or may not have divided their curds and dates with him—because they were not always friendly with the Israelites. But God took care of him through this terrible territory!
12. HE'S GETTING INTO THE ROUGHER COUNTRY NOW, NEAR THE MOUNTAIN OF SINAI, between Egypt and Midian. Later on he received the Law from the hand of God on top of Mount Sinai.
13. HERE'S A DESERT SPRING. Wells are not known in the Sinai peninsula‚ When at last he found one, there was evidence of civilisation. He was now in the land of Midian.
14. HERE'S A PICTURE OF A WELL IN THAT COUNTRY, one of the wells of Abraham. The Midianites were distant relatives of his and he hoped to find friendship and comfort there, and sure enough he did. who did he meet first, do you remember? He met the daughters of Jethro, a priest of Midian, who had come out to water their father's flocks at the well.
MOSES THROUGH AN ACT OF GALLANTRY‚ MADE A FAVOURABLE IMPRESSION UPON THE PRIEST AND HIS ENTIRE FAMILY. What actually happened, do you remember the story? (The shepherds came and they were trying to drive the girls away, `cause they wanted to water their flocks.) These men were evidently pretty rough and selfish. They drove the weaker women away to water their own flocks.
EVIDENTLY THIS VERY MEEKEST OF MEN, AS HE WAS SOMETIMES CALLED, COULD LOSE HIS TEMPER IN RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION, and when the occasion demanded it, he could fight for the rights of the poor and the oppressed! He never seemed to fight for himself, but he fought for others! Here he drove these other shepherds away with his staff‚ so that the girls could water their flocks.
WELL, HE WAS IMMEDIATELY A HERO TO THE GIRLS and they all promptly fell in love with him! As far as we know, he only married one of them, however, Zipporah. Although they mistook him, at first, for an Egyptian—because of his clothing and the style of his hair, no doubt—they took the stranger in and soon found him to be a worshipper of the one true God‚ and actually one of their own distant relatives!
15. HERE WE HAVE SOME MODERN-DAY MIDIANITES, who are descendants of Abraham, who mingled together with the descendants of Ishmael, Esau, Moab‚ Ammon and so on, to become the great Aran nations of today—most of them descendants of Abraham.
MOSES WAS CONTENT TO DWELL WITH JETHRO HERE IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN. Jethro gave Moses Zipporah his daughter, and they had a son, whom they called Gershom. This is now the 2nd Chapter of Exodus.
REMEMBER THAT MIDIAN WAS A SON OF ABRAHAM BY KETURAH AND WAS A RELATIVE OF MOSES. Their religion at this time may have been very similar, if not identical. Her skin‚ incidently was very dark, mixed with Arabs.
LATER SHE WAS CALLED AN ETHIOPIAN BY THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL‚ whom Moses brought out of the land of Egypt. They criticised him for marrying a coloured girl and he rebuked them for it. So he was not a segregationist by any means! She was a very beautiful woman, very intelligent and the daughter of a priest.
16. HERE'S A STATUE OF MENEPTAH II. In the meantime back in Egypt‚ Ramses II died and was succeeded by his son Meneptah—a man, if possible, more obstinate and more heartless even than his father! It is he with whom Moses will have to deal, when he returns to deliver Israel!
17. HE REACHES MOUNT SINAI WHILE TENDING HIS FATHER JETHTRO'S FLOCKS. Moses, the king's adopted son, prince of Egypt‚ skilled in the arts and sciences and knowledge of the Egyptians—a mighty man, a civilised man—becomes a mere shepherd out in the hills of the desolate country of Sinai! This certainly must have been a tremendous humbling for Moses! It took 40 more years before God had him ready to become the deliverer and the saviour of the Children of Israel of 80 years of age!
HE WAS 40 YEARS OF AGE WHEN HE FLED FROM EGYPT, and was just about to become the king of Egypt at that time, according to secular history. He was reared by the king's daughter. The king of Egypt accepted him as a grandson and had no other heir, and was counting on Moses to take over Egypt as the next king. Instead he turns out to be nothing but a shepherd in the land of Sinai! It must have been a very deeply humiliating thing for this great man!
GOD MUST TEACH US HUMILITY BEFORE WE ARE ABLE TO LEAD OTHERS! He must teach us to be willing to be led by God Himself before we can lead others also!
MOSES HAD TO BE HUMBLED; he had to be taught to know God better and be drawn close to God and depend utterly upon God—not his own prowess, intelligence, education and knowledge of the Egyptian culture, language, habits, customs, civilisation, sciences, arts and so on—but just to depend upon God! I'm sure that his natural abilities and his knowledge of the language and all must have come in handy, in his dealings with Pharaoh; but nevertheless, he must depend utterly upon God if he was going to be used of God!
SO GOD HAD TO TAKE 40 MORE YEARS OF HUMBLING HIM! That's a pretty good lesson for all the rest of us‚ isn't it? Never despise the humble place! Never despise the lowly place! For it thou art faithful in the few things, God's Word says, He'll make thee ruler over many things! (Mat.25:21.)
(Opening prayer of the next evening's Bible in Pictures class:)
"OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, we thank Thee for this wonderful and glorious peace that Thou hast given us through Thyself, through Thy Word and through Thy Son. We thank Thee Lord for the peace that thou hast always given thy children, throughout all ages, in the midst of raging storms of this world, and in the midst of the rage of man, the rage of the elements! Thou hast always given peace within our hearts, if not without! We thank Thee Lord for this peace through Thyself, through Thy Word and through Thy Son Jesus, our Messiah.
"WE THANK THEE FOR THE PEACE THAT THOU HADST GIVEN TO THY SERVANT MOSES. For 40 long years as he tended sheep in the midst wilderness until he was 80 years of age, and it seemed the time for rescuing Israel must surely be passed. Yet, Lord, there he had peace because he trusted in Thee, because he believed Thy Word—that Thou hadst promised and that Thou wouldst do what Thou hadst spoken, and surely thou didst do! Thou didst accomplish thy Word and didst fulfill thy promise unto Israel, and unto Thy people, Lord, and unto thy servants and Thy leader Moses.
"40 LONG YEARS OF TRAINING IN THE HOUSE OF PHARAOH, then 40 more years of training and humiliation and humbling there in the desert. Just a mere shepherd tending the sheep at the foot of that great mountain, little realising that some day he would receive thy Law from Thy own hand, the hand of God, upon the summit of that very mountain—because he was willing to believe and trust, and be patient and be faithful!
"HELP US, O GOD‚ AS WE FOLLOW HIS LIFE FROM THAT ERA OF PEACEFULNESS AND TRUST AND REST AND PATIENCE, INTO THE ERA OF CONFLICT AND THE RAGE OF MAN. We thank Thee Lord for that peace which Thou didst give unto Moses, Thy servant, that went with him even into the land of Egypt—the land of spiritual darkness, the land of demon power, the land of the worship of demonic, devilish, fiendish gods. We thank Thee Lord that Thy peace went with him, to confront the rage and the wrath of man, and that he did not lose that peace and that faith and that trust, from that hour on!
"HE WAS NO LONGER THE IMPATIENT MOSES; he was no longer the one to pick up the sword and wield it violently, suddenly‚ impatiently and in anger. Lord, now he has patience and willingness to wait upon Thee & upon Thy will.—To stand back and see Thee fight, for this was Thy battle, not his, but Thy battle Lord!
"HELP US‚ LORD, TO LEARN SOMETHING FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF MOSES: to be willing to be humbled, humiliated, a prophet without honour to save his own country! We thank Thee Lord for thy faithfulness. Give us patience, Lord even as You gave Moses patience—until the hour came and Thou wast ready to bring him forth into his full ministry. Thank You Jesus! In Jesus' Name, we ask it for thy glory. Amen."
TONIGHT, A VERY THRILLING STORY—THE STORY OF MOSES! Now no longer the babe in the bullrushes, no longer the impulsive, impetuous young man in the court of Pharaoh, and now no longer to be a patient shepherd in the hills of Sinai. Now Moses is to begin the ministry that was to be his greatest job!—The Exodus!
PIC. 17 IS AN ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPH OF A SHEPHERD TENDING HIS SHEEP AT THE FOOT OF MOUNT SINAI. Moses received the Law later from God upon this summit of this great, tall, rugged and forbidding mountain! Here Moses tended sheep at the foot of the mountain for 40 years, until God had him ready for the great job that he was to do!
18. HERE WE SEE HOW GOD INTRODUCED HIM TO HIS MINISTRY: When he was out here with his father-in-law's flocks the angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush‚ and yet the bush was not consumed! What a miracle of God!
18A. IN PHOTO 18A, WE SEE A BUSH‚ sort of a manzanita or a sage brush, in that very rugged desert territory‚ possibly the same kind that Moses saw on fire!
20. THIS TYPE OF SAGE BRUSH IS READILY CONSUMED BY FIRE! But the one that Moses was viewing that night did not burn up!—A miracle of God!
21. FOR THAT NIGHT THE LORD SPOKE TO HIM OUT OF THE FLAMING BUSH, and said, "Now therefore, behold, the cry of the Children of Israel is come unto Me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the Children of Israel out of Egypt." Exodus 3:4—10 tells us the story.
22. HERE WE SEE THE VERY LAND IN WHICH MOSES AND AARON MET, the land of Sinai. For awhile Moses was very reluctant to face Pharaoh, who had certain serious charges against him. Remember he'd killed the Egyptian‚ when the Egyptian was persecuting one of his brethren.
AFTER GOD HAD SENT AARON HIS BROTHER TO MEET HIM IN THIS WILDERNESS, TO ACCOMPANY HIM CONTINUALLY, HE WENT BACK TO EGYPT without further delay! Moses had begged off and said, "Lord, I cannot do it! I'm no speaker, I'm no orator. I have not the eloquence necessary to persuade the people—to become their leader." So God said‚ "I know that thy brother Aaron has a ready tongue and I will send him to be thy mouth, and thou shalt speak unto him all the words I tell thee, and he shall tell the people."
23. NOW IN 23 MOSES RETURNS TO EGYPT, and to the Children of Israel, in the land of Goshen—where they are slaves under the new Pharaoh. Moses and Aaron first went to the Children of Israel, to try to convince the Israelites that God had really sent them, and that He would deliver Israel if they would only follow his leadership.
24. THEN MOSES WENT WITH AARON BEFORE PHARAOH. Moses asked for the Israelites to be released from their slavery, that they might go back to their home country. Pharaoh ridiculed it and said‚ "Who is this God, this Lord God, that I should obey Him? We have other gods, I know not this God of Israel, I will not let them go!"
HE BADE HIS TASKMASTERS TO IMPOSE EVEN HEAVIER BURDENS UPON THE ISRAELITES. This therefore incensed the Israelites against Moses. It was only God that Moses did not abandon his great mission to deliver them!
25. BUT GOD SEEMED WILLING TO DEAL KINDLY EVEN WITH PHARAOH and was inclined to offer him a miracle‚ to convince him that he should release Israel and believe Moses. We are told that Aaron's rod was turned to a serpent and swallowed the several rods of the magicians, who had performed the same feat. Pharaoh only looked upon the incident lightly and turned a deaf ear to the pleas of Moses and Aaron!
THE ART OF MAGIC WAS RAMPANT AMONGST THE EGYPTIANS of that day. They were able to do many feats of black magic, as it's called, or supernatural magic—fiendish, devilish magic—inspired by Satan himself! Undoubtedly real miracles, not miracles of God, but miracles of the Devil!
THEIR RODS, YOU REMEMBER, ALSO TURNED INTO SNAKES BUT GOD'S SNAKE WAS MORE POWERFUL THAN THOSE OF THE ENEMY and he gobbled up the serpents of the magicians of Pharaoh! Still Pharaoh would not believe and would not let them go!
26. HERE YOU SEE THE WOMEN GETTING WATER FROM THE RIVER NILE. Because of the unbelief of Pharaoh and his unwillingness to let them go, God begins to send great curses upon Egypt! First of all the water becomes blood; the water of the Nile turns to blood, and the fish in the river died. The people were at the point of famishing, because they could not drink the water!
THIS WAS VERY SIMILAR, NO DOUBT, TO THE RED TIDE OFF THE GULF COAST OF FLORIDA, which has appeared many times and killed many fish. Scientists cannot quite explain it, they don't understand what the red tide is, whether it's bacteriological or geological or mineralogical or what! They say they think it's perhaps microscopic animals, but they don't know for sure.
GOD DID THIS MIRACLE AND BROUGHT THIS CURSE UPON THE EGYPTIANS, IN ORDER THAT THEY MIGHT LET THE ISRAELITES GO! But Pharaoh would not give his consent to let Israel go, he still refused!
26A. NEXT WAS THE PLAGUE OF FROGS! The houses, the bedchambers, were filled with frogs. The conditions became frightful! These stinking frogs everywhere they went, in everything, even in their beds—but Pharaoh would not let the people go!
27. THEN CAME THE PLAGUE OF LICE, third the plague of flies. At what interval these plagues succeeded each other, we're not told exactly‚ but finally Pharaoh seemed to be willing, after this series of incidents, to let the Israelites go. He sent for Moses and Aaron; but when the plagues were stayed by them, Pharaoh changed his mind and refused their request again!
28. SO THEN CAME THE SCOURGE OF MURRAIN, A PLAGUE UPON THE CATTLE CAME. Sometimes like the hoof-and-mouth disease. There was death everywhere‚ people went mad and Pharaoh cried to Moses for relief! But immediately when the relief came, the king rescinded his promise! This was followed by a terrible scourge of boils upon the people themselves.
28A. IN 28A WE FIND THE GREAT DELUGE OF HAIL, such as had never been seen by man before! It carried death and destruction all over Egypt! All this is in Exodus chapter 9.
29. NOW IN PICTURE 29 YOU SEE THE SCOURGE OF THE DEVOURING LOCUSTS, which came upon the land and stripped all the vegetation. They covered the earth until it was hidden, and filled the houses—there were locusts everywhere! A similar scourge to this has struck Israel and Egypt and that area many times in the past, and at present there is a similar scourge of these locusts striking that general area frequently.
30. IT'S A TERRIBLE SCOURGE, IT JUST STRIPS EVERYTHING CLEAN! If you have ever passed through a land where the locusts or the grasshoppers had gone through first, it's an awful sight! I went through southern Kansas in Missouri after a terrible wave of locusts and grasshoppers. There wasn't a green blade of grass‚ a green blade of corn, there wasn't a green leaf! Nothing but dry ground and bare stalks, that's all—a pitiful sight!
31. HERE'S ANOTHER PICTURE OF HOW THE LOCUSTS JUST COVER THE GROUND and cover everything! The whole country was covered like this, in this terrible scourge!
32. HERE'S A CLOSE-UP VIEW OF ONE OF THOSE LOCUSTS. He resembles our ordinary grasshoppers, but he has a much more voracious appetite and is much more destructive! Notice his wings are in a little different position also. Grasshoppers's wings go straight along their bodies, but the wings of a locust are raised.
33. THE 9TH GREAT PLAGUE WAS THE CURSE OF DARKNESS! Then darkness shrouded all of the land of Egypt. The sun and the moon seemed to have been blotted out for a time! The darkness was so dense that it could almost be felt! Great excitement and concern prevailed over all the land!
34. FINALLY MOSES APPEARS BEFORE PHARAOH, AND FOR THE LAST TIME PHARAOH WAS GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO YIELD‚ but he refuses to let Israel go! Though he had promised to do so nine times, each time when the plague was lifted, he broke his promise!
SO GOD IS THROUGH WITH PHARAOH NOW, and for the last time allows him to break his promise! Pharaoh says if Moses should ever see his face again that he shall surely die—that Moses will die! Moses says, "Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more, " He left Pharaoh's presence for ever, and these two were never to meet again!
Review Questions for Chapter 9.
1. In whose family was Moses reared?
2. Did he know he was Hebrew?
3. Who probably taught him?
4. Was he in sympathy with Pharaoh?
5. Did he love his people?
6. How did he look upon his kin?
7. Why did he slay an Egyptian?
8. Did his brothers appreciate him?
9. Who reported his murder of the Egyptian?
10. What did Pharaoh do?
11. Where did Moses go?
12. Where is Midian?
13. Who are the Midianites?
14. Across what desert is Midian?
15. Who did he meet at a well?
16. With whom did he live?
17. Who was his wife?
18. How many sons did they have?
19. Name them.
20. What was Jethro's profession?
21. Did Jethro worship God?
22. Who succeeded Rameses II in Egypt?
23. What did Moses do in Midian?
24. Near what mountain was his pasture?
25. Who spoke out of a burning bush?
26. What did he tell Moses?
27. Did Moses want to go back to Egypt?
28. Why did Aaron meet Moses?
29. To whom did they first go?
30. Did Moses go before Pharaoh?
31. What was Pharaoh's attitude?
32. What did Aaron do with his rod?
33. Did it convince Pharaoh?
34. How many plagues came upon Egypt?
35. Name them.
36. Why did Pharaoh not let them go?
37. What was Pharaoh's last word to Moses?
38. What was Moses' reply?