Posted tagged ‘Moses appoints judges over Israelites’

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.