Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exodus Bible Study Notes Chapter 4

Exodus 4

-The conversation between God and Moses takes a turn as we begin chapter 4. Moses’ fear surfaces as he communicates concern over the acceptance of his (or really God’s) message. The LORD lovingly gives him three miraculous signs, which he can use to demonstrate that the power of God is with him. *Application* When God is in something, He will provide the power and authority to accomplish it. He will not let it fail. He always comes through.

-Then Moses begins to use excuses for why he is not a good candidate for this particular mission. He states that he is slow of speech and slow of tongue. This once again revolves around fear and the thought of being embarrassed or rejected. God reminds him that He is the maker of the mouth and the eyes. He is in control and will bring His purposes to pass. *Application* In what ways do we make excuses in trying to get out of what the Lord is telling us to do? Often we are just like Moses in our fear and trepidation.

-Moses flatly attempts to get out of his God-given assignment by the end of the conversation. He wants someone else to do this task, which draws the LORD’s ire and a solution to the excuses Moses is making. God will call Aaron, Moses’ brother, and he will be his mouth piece. Moses will speak all the words of the LORD into him and Aaron will speak out to the audience. God makes a promise that He will teach them (the plural form of you is used here in the Hebrew) what they are to do. *Application* God is persistent with us sometimes and bears with us giving us the adequacy with need to accomplish the tasks that He has called us to. Thank the LORD for His forbearance.

-Moses goes back to Jethro and gets permission to go as the LORD had commanded him, and his father-in-law tells him to go in peace. This is not insignificant. Moses goes through the proper procedures and protocol to do his assignment. Thankfully Jethro gives him his blessing, which shows his willingness to help his son-in-law accomplish the will of the LORD.

-The time comes when the LORD speaks to Moses again in Midian and tells him to go to Egypt because the ones that wanted him dead are deceased themselves. So Moses takes his wife and sons, mount them on a donkey, and returns to the land of Egypt with his staff in hand.

-The LORD assures him of his destiny and that the power is his from Him, but He also warns that Pharaoh will harden his heart and not let the people go. God, who sees the end from the beginning, gives the final analysis for Pharaoh to Moses from the start. He will kill his firstborn son because of his hardness in not letting God’s children go to serve Him (Exodus 4:22-23). This ends up being the final act of the plagues God brings on Egypt (Exodus 11, 12:29-30).

-A strange portion of Scripture for interpretation now comes in Exodus 4:24-26. What is going on here is that God was about to kill His servant for not obeying His covenant of circumcision. It is understandable that Moses would have had limited knowledge of this law of the LORD since he was raised in Pharaoh’s household and the other half of his life to this point had been spent in the wilderness of Midian. The requirements of the covenant with Israel (Genesis 17) had not been carried out in 400 years. He also had a foreign wife who apparently from the reading opposed circumcision. The key point here theologically for us here is that Moses could not effectively serve as deliverer of God’s people until he had fulfilled to conditions of God’s covenant, and one of these conditions was certainly circumcision. Moses and his family had to follow the LORD’s commands completely before he was allowed to move forward. What we must understand is that failing to circumcise your son was to remove yourself and your family from God’s blessings. Moses had to learn that disobedience towards the LORD was even more hazardous than dealing with the Egyptian Pharaoh.

-Now Aaron is called by God and meets his brother in the wilderness in a sweet reunion. Moses told him all the words of the LORD that he had been sent to deliver and the signs that He commanded him to do. Then Moses and Aaron went to the land of Egypt and told the elders all the words of the LORD and then Moses performed the signs (1 Corinthians 1:22). So the people believed and realized that God was about to do something incredible in their generation and they bowed low and worshipped Yahweh, the great “I AM.”

Verse to Memorize: Exodus 4:15

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