Posted tagged ‘Jethro’

Exodus 15-18

May 25, 2009

The Israelites are free!  You would think they would be happy… and yes, they are for a while.  But when the hardships come, they are quick to tell Moses what a stupid idea this whole escaping from Egypt thing was.

Exodus 15

  • The Israelites sing a song of praise to God.  It basically says God is great and powerful, he will lead them where they need to go, and about how He destroyed the Egyptians for them.
  • Miriam, a prophet and Aaron’s sister, also sang a song praising God.
  • Once in the wilderness, the people went three days without water in the Shur Desert.
  • They came to Marah (meaning ‘bitter’), and the water they found there was bitter.  The Israelites complained to Moses.  Moses asked God what to do.  God told him to throw a branch in the water.  After Moses did this, the water tasted good.
  • God said he would keep the Israelites from suffering the diseases that the Egyptians did if they would just obey his commands.  (Side note: The same is true today!  A lot of God’s commands actually keep us from harm rather than just being commands to rule over us.  Take for example, not having sex before marriage, or not murdering, etc.)

Exodus 16

  • The people of Israel left Elim and went to the Sin Desert (this is between Elim and Mount Sinai… my study Bible says this is not to be confused with the English word sin).  They got there about a month after they had left Egypt.  The Israelites were bitter with Aaron and Moses, because they were hungry.  Moses told the Israelites they were grumbling against God, not him.
  • God provided manna in the morning and quail in the evening for the Israelites to eat.  Each day, just enough for one day’s worth of food was out on the ground.  Moses told them to take exactly as much as they needed each day except for the sixth day.  Then they would take two days’ worth of food, because the seventh day was the Sabbath.
  • Some people took more than they needed.  The next day, maggots infested their food and it smelt awful.  This made Moses angry.
  • After the sixth day, the extra food the Israelites had taken did no have maggots.  It was still good.
  • Some people still went out to get food on the Sabbath.  The Lord asked Moses why they would not listen to him.
  • Moses ordered the people of Israel to take two quarts of manna and keep it forever so that future generations could always remember what God had done for them.  Moses and Aaron did this themselves and put theirs in the Ark of the Covenant.
  • The Israelites ate this food from God for forty years, until they arrived in Canaan where they could eat crops.

Exodus 17

  • The Israelites left the Sin Desert and eventually came to Rephidim.  There was no water there, and the Israelites once again grumbled at Moses.
  • God told Moses to take his shepherd’s staff and strike a stone at Mount Sinai.  Moses did this and water came out of the rock.  Moses named this place Massah (“the place of testing”) and Meribah (“the place of arguing”).
  • The Amalekites (descendants of Amalek who was one of Esau’s grandsons) decided to attack the Israelites.  Moses told Joshua to assemble an army and go fight them.
  • While the Israelites fought, Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of a nearby hill.  Everytime Moses raised up his staff in his hands, the Israelites started winning; otherwise, the Amalekites started winning.  Moses arms started getting tired, so he sat on a stone while Aaron and Hur held up his arms.
  • Joshua and the Israelites eventually crushed the Amalekites.

Exodus 18

  • Word reached Jethro about Moses.  He came to greet Moses with Moses’ wife and two sons (who had been sent to live with him some time before this).
  • Moses told Jethro everything God had done.  This convinced Jethro that God was greater than all other Gods.  He offered sacrifices to God.  Aaron and the leaders of Israel joined Jethro with a sacrificial meal.
  • Moses had been listening to the Israelites’ complaints for some time.  This took him from morning to evening.
  • Jethro told Moses it might be wise to get some honest, God-fearing men to be judges over a certain number of people.  This would reduce Moses’ workload; he would only have to listen to the most important cases.  Moses followed his father-in-law’s advice, and it worked well for him.
  • Soon after Jethro gave his advice, Moses had to part ways.
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Exodus 3-6

May 21, 2009

God is getting concerned for Israel’s welfare.  The Egyptians are becoming worse than ever, and it is about time for a Biblical… ‘hero.’

Exodus 3

  • One day Moses was tending Jethro’s flock (Reuel also goes by Jethro).  Near Sinai (the mountain of God), Moses saw a bush covered in flames, but it was not being burnt up.
  • God spoke to Moses from the bush.  He told Moses to take off his sandals; he was on holy ground.  He also told him that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses’ ancestors.
  • God proceeds to tell Moses that he will rescue the Israelites from Egypt (he should appear before Pharaoh) and lead them to the Promised Land — Canaan.
  • Moses had plenty of doubts.  God told Moses He would be with him.  As proof, God said that Moses would return to Mount Sinai to worship Him after the Israelites had left Egypt.
  • Moses said the leaders would not believe him.  God told Moses to tell the Israelites that “…’I AM has sent me to you.'” (Exo. 3:14)  God said the leaders of Israel will accept Moses’ message, but the leaders of Egypt would not… they would not let the Israelites go on a three-day journey to the wilderness to make sacrifices to God.
  • God also said that He would work miracles through Egypt (plagues!) and at the end of the whole ordeal, when the Israelites left Egypt, they would plunder the Egyptians just by asking for stuff (the Egyptians would give it away happily now that the Israelites were leaving).

Exodus 4

  • Moses is still doubtful.  God shows him three signs he can show to the Israelites that will make them believe his message is from God.  Moses could throw his staff on the ground and make it a snake (picking it up made the snake a staff again), put his hand in his robe and pull it out to make it leprous (do this again to make it normal), and take water from the Nile and pour it on dry ground to make it blood.
  • Moses still hesitates, saying he is not a good speaker.  Even after God confirmed He would help him speak, Moses still hesitated.  At this point, God just said Aaron, Moses’ brother, would be with him to speak.
  • Moses gets Jethro’s blessing to go to Egypt to visit his family.  So Moses heads off to Egypt with his family.  God also tells Moses not to be afraid, because everyone who was wanting to kill him has died by now.
  • God told Moses to show the signs to Pharaoh when he got to Egypt (but Pharaoh would not accept them according to God).
  • On the way, God was about to kill Moses, because he had not followed God’s covenant.  After Zipporah circumcised their son, the Lord left Moses alone. Moses had to follow all of God’s commandments — remember that any family that did not circumcise their children was removing themself from God’s blessings.
  • Aaron went to meet Moses in the wilderness.  When they both got to Egypt, Aaron told the Israelite leaders what God had told Moses, and Moses performed the miarcles.  The leaders believed.

Exodus 5

  • Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh to ask him to let the people go worship God for three days.  Pharaoh was very rude.  He instead insisted that the Israelites now must produce the same amount of bricks in a day and find their own straw to use.
  • The slavemasters carried out Pharaoh’s brutal order.  Israel’s foremen in charge of work crews went to Pharaoh to plead with him.  Pharaoh insisted that they were lazy, because they had enough time to talk about making sacrifices to God.
  • On their way out, they met up with Aaron and Moses.  The foremen condemned them, saying they had given the Egyptians an excuse to kill the Israelites.
  • Moses protested to God, saying he had not even started to rescue the Israelites yet.  (Side note: Remember how the Simeon and Levi were very angry about Dinah getting raped, and killed Shechem’s people?  I just realized, not only does Moses — a Levite — seem to have an attitude with God, but he also killed that Egyptian…)

Exodus 6

  • God told Moses to tell the Israelites that they would be God’s special people.  He would bring them into the land of Canaan (which he swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and free them from their slavery.  However, the people of Israel would no longer listen (due to their heavy workload).
  • God told Moses to tell Pharaoh.  Although he resisted, the Lord ordered it.
  • The story digresses for a second for a brief family tree.  We learn that Amram is Aaron’s and Moses’ father, and Jochebed is their mother.