Summary: A study of the exodus
THE FIRST NINE PLAGUES
At the end of Exodus chapter 2 we’re told:
“Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out, and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God.
So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
And God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.”
Reader, if you are one who has placed his trust in the shed blood of Christ and you belong to God, rejoice. Your groaning rises up to His divine heart of compassion. He remembers His promises concerning your eternal good. He takes notice of you.
What a blessed, wonderful thought. The sons of men have all turned aside. There is no fear of God before their eyes. They ignore Him, and they do not care that He ignores them. They struggle through life in their own strength, giving no thought, or giving wrong thought, concerning their eternal destiny. They are entirely lost and undone, and in their sinful rebellion they prefer false gods to the One true God. They scoff at His coming wrath, and they reject His ever-present offer of love.
But the child of God is remembered, and noticed; and when God takes notice, my friend, things happen.
Chapter 3 ends with, “...and God took notice of them.” Then chapter 4 begins with, “Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.”
As Moses penned this account, he wasn’t skipping from one subject to another, reader. God noticed. The pre-incarnate ‘Lion’ turned His noble head to catch the groaning of His people, and in response to their pleas He rose and set out toward Horeb, to meet there with His chosen man.
Read chapters 3 and 4 of Exodus, and bear in mind that this is our Savior Himself, prior to His physical birth, meeting face to face with Moses on Mount Horeb. (Ex 3:2 says the “angel of the Lord” appeared to him, and in verse 6 that visitor says, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” We know this is God’s Christ, because He is the ‘Angel’ or the ‘sent One’, Who proceeds from the Father to do His will.)
In response to his calling on Horeb, Moses fetches Aaron and fills him in. Then, according to the Lord’s instruction, he and Aaron go to the elders and tell them also, showing them signs to help their belief. Ex 4:31 says:
“So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshipped.”
I cannot help wondering if deliverance might have come sooner, had they believed without seeing; known without being told that God was concerned about them; bowed down and worshipped because of Who He is, rather than for what He could give.
A lesson for us to take to heart, believer. In any case, Moses and Aaron were about to embark on the adventure of their lives. Next stop; the throne room.
In chapters 4-6 we can see the progression and growth of Moses’ confidence in God.
If you read the account of his calling, when the Lord met him at the burning bush, you know that he was so self-debasing and hesitant to receive the commission, that he angered the Lord (4:14).
These chapters document God’s instructions for their first meetings with Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s initial rejections. You will see Aaron doing all the work, but receiving his direction from Moses because Moses is the man through whom God has chosen to speak.
God answers Moses’ fears with encouragement, promising action:
“Then the Lord said to Moses,
‘Now you shall see what I will do
to Pharaoh; for under compulsion
he shall let them go, and under
compulsion he shall drive them out of his land’.”
As the plagues progress, you can notice Moses coming more and more to the forefront, until by the end there is no mention of Aaron, although Aaron was with Moses at each of his meetings with Pharaoh.
When we go out to do the Lord’s work in our own strength and self-confidence, disaster is sure to follow. But when we go in obedience to His commands and in His timing, our confidence in His strength will grow until with boldness and an assuredness that is contagious, we can say, “Stand fast, and see the salvation of the Lord!”