|Exodus 2 (NKJV™)|
|1||And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi.|
|2||So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.|
|3||But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank.|
|4||And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.|
|5||Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it.|
|6||And when she had opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children."|
|7||Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?"|
|8||And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." So the maiden went and called the child's mother.|
|9||Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him.|
|10||And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, "Because I drew him out of the water."|
|11||Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren.|
|12||So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.|
|13||And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, "Why are you striking your companion?"|
|14||Then he said, "Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?" So Moses feared and said, "Surely this thing is known!"|
|15||When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.|
|16||Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. And they came and drew water, and they filled the troughs to water their father's flock.|
|17||Then the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.|
|18||When they came to Reuel their father, he said, "How is it that you have come so soon today?"|
|19||And they said, "An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock."|
|20||So he said to his daughters, "And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread."|
|21||Then Moses was content to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses.|
|22||And she bore him a son, and he called his name Gershom; for he said, "I have been a stranger in a foreign land."|
|23||Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.|
|24||So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.|
|25||And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
What legacy will you leave when you pass into eternity? How will your faith influence those who come after you? As we consider the life of Moses from his birth to his banishment, we witness the providential hand of God and the impact of his parents' wholehearted faith.
Beginning in the brickyards of Egypt and ending in the tabernacle filled with God's presence, the book of Exodus chronicles the deliverance of God's people from Egypt and records the end of their oppression under Pharaoh. It also provides an account of the beginning of a prophecy fulfilled: God promised Abraham descendants beyond number, and on the pages of Exodus we see Israel become a great nation.
In this verse-by-verse study, Pastor Skip Heitzig presents an in-depth look at Moses, the ten plagues, the ten commandments, the desert wanderings, the construction of the tabernacle, and more. As we study, we'll see the grace of God, witness the glory of the Lord, and a catch a glimpse of Israel's coming Savior.
Visit expoundabq.org for more information on this series.
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Hebrew terms: tov - good, favorable, special, beautiful; tevah - box; Mosheh Moses mashah- drawn out; Gershom- foreigner there, banishment
Figures Referenced: Alfred Nobel, D.L. Moody, J. Vernon McGee,
Publications Referenced: The Jewish 100, by Michael Shapiro
Cross References: Genesis 15:13-14; Exodus 4:10; Exodus 6:20; Psalm 90:12; Proverbs 15:3; Isaiah 55:8-9; Luke 12:20; John 18:10; Acts 7; Hebrews 11:23; Hebrews 11:24-25; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 21:27
Keywords: Moses, Jochebed, Amram, Egypt, slaves, slavery, providence, murder, Jethro, Reuel, Zipporah, pharaoh
Let's pray together, Father in heaven, we honor you and you're our Guest of Honor. As we gather in this place, and we consider what happened at another time in another place, these things were written as we discovered last week for our admonition. And so Father, as we study tonight, these ancient events that have modern application, it's our prayer that you would give us the fuel needed to make it through this next week. Speak to the issues that we're dealing with, speak to the questions that we have deep in our hearts, and motivate us to be holy and godly people for your glory and for the sake of Christ, in Jesus name. Amen.
Well, turn in your bibles tonight to Exodus Chapter 2. That's what's in front of us, that's what we want to cover. How many of you remember the Peanuts cartoons in newspapers? How many of you remember that?
Okay, they ran in newspapers from 1950 to 2000, and then they're gone. But there was one Peanuts cartoon that showed Charlie Brown, do you remember him? He was like the main character having a conversation with Linus, one of the other main characters. And Charlie Brown just said, "Life is just too much, I've been confused from the day I was born. We're thrown into life way too fast and we can't get prepared for it.
So as he goes through this, finally, Linus says to Charlie Brown, "What do you want? Do you want a chance to warm up first?" And that's how the cartoon ends. Well, we can't warm up at life. There are no dress rehearsals for life. Whatever comes at you, you deal with it and you make choices. You go through it once, you make your choices, and it's all over.
Now, imagine if you could pick up a newspaper and read your obituary. Add your name in it and the day you were born, the day you died supposedly, and some words about you. What would it say? What kind of a testimony would you leave if that were the case?
That actually happened in history. There was a man named Alfred Nobel who picked up a newspaper one day. And mistakenly, the newspaper said he died and it gave a little obituary about his life. Alfred Nobel, the one who invented dynamite. When he read that, it disturbed him because he didn't want to be the guy remembered for making such a harmful substance that killed so many people or caused so much pain. And he looked at that article, that obituary, wrongly printed and he thought, "That's the legacy that I'm leaving? I'm going to be known for that forever?"
Well, that changed him, reading that obituary, and he decided he would make some personal changes in his life. He went on to become the one who founded what is called what is called the Nobel Peace Prize. Named after Alfred Nobel, named after himself, and given to people who makes strides of advancements in world peace. He changed it after reading that.
Now, we're dealing with the Hebrew people here, the Israelites or the children of Israel in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 and actually through the entire Book of Exodus. And these Hebrews, including Moses' parents, whom you're going to meet tonight, had to take life as it came to them. And they had to make some very important choices, by faith or not.
And they're going to find out they made some pretty incredible choices. Tonight, in effect, we're reading their obituary. Though, Moses' parents have been dead 3400 years, they leave, in print, a legacy for us to read. Now, if you remember from last week's study in Exodus Chapter 1, the Israelites in Egypt, for those few hundred years, 400 years almost, 350 years between Genesis and the Book of Exodus, that they were prosperous. They grew. They were numerous and they were prosperous. But one day, they woke up to a brand new world, everything had changed. Suddenly they were at slave status. There were taskmasters and they were abused by them and life got suddenly very, very difficult. And a new policy, a legal policy, mandating the death of all male Hebrew children.
That's how Exodus Chapter 1 opens up, "Goodbye to abundance and prosperity. Hello to servitude, hard labor, and the whip." In fact, you may be interested to know that archeologist have discovered several monuments in Egypt. Those obelisks, with hieroglyphics written on them and one of the pictographs, the hieroglyphics shows a group of people being beaten or oppressed by two supervisors who are holding heavy whips.
The crowd that they are supervising, the slaves were making bricks. And the inscription of those who were doing the oppression, these two supervisors was, "Work without fainting." That's what they were crying out to the workers, "Work without fainting." So we have pretty good archeological evidence to substantiate this whole story and it's all set up for the Exodus, the going out, the exit, as we called it last week.
If you'll recall, we pointed out that Abraham was told by God. That God was going to bless him and make his people great and make his name great. But he said, "Your people will be slaves in a land not their own and they will be afflicted by those people for 400 years." But then God says, "Then I will bring them out." That's the Exodus. God predicted the slavery as well as the prosperity that predated it and also the exit or the Exodus.
Now, we're dealing with Chapter 2. Chapter 2 is a pretty hefty chapter. What I mean by that is it covers 80 years. It's a short chapter with 80 years of history packed into the verses from Moses' birth to Moses' banishment -- his birth to his banishment, or you might say, "From his inception to his rejection, to his isolation in the wilderness."
Now, Acts Chapter 7 is a parallel chapter and you can just jot that down and look at it later. But in Acts Chapter 7, Stephen, who gives a testimony before the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem gives a speech about Christ and he uses Moses as a parallel. Stephen divides Moses life up into three sections of 40 years. And so I'm going to do that for you with a few pieces to remember them.
The first period of 40 years was pampering. He was pampered by the good life in Egypt, man, he had whatever he wanted because we'll see why in minute. He was in the royal household by adoption, pampering, number one. Second phase, preparing, God was preparing him for a role, a very unique role as a deliverer for the children of Israel. And the final phase of that was pasturing. For 40 years, he would shepherd two and a half to three million people, God's people, the Hebrew people out in the wilderness. Now, I really have always liked what Dwight L. Moody said, that preacher from Chicago almost a hundred years ago. He said for the first 40 years, Moses was trying to be something in Egypt. For the next 40 years God showed Moses that he was nothing. And for the final 40 years, God showed Moses that he could take nothing and make something out of him.
So 40 years of success, 40 years of isolation in the wilderness, and the final 40 years life for Moses began at 80 in terms of serving the Lord. So verse 1, chapter 2, "And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi." Now, we're dealing with Moses' parents. Moses is doing the writing and he doesn't tell us their names. He just says, "A man and a woman." It's a typical love story. Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl get married, boy and girl have children. He's writing about his parents.
Now, I want to give you some names, if you're interested in names but there are some names that are important and some names you'll need to remember in future studies in Exodus and even Numbers. Levi, he's mentioned, he's the third son of Jacob. And Levi is famous of course for making blue jeans. No, I'm just kidding. Levi was – sorry, the tribe that will become the priestly tribe in the children of Israel.
Levi will have three children or he had three children by the time the story is written. That is Gershon, Kohath and Merari, those were his three boys, Gershon, Kohath and Merari. That middle boy Kohath had four sons, Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. There'll be a quiz next week. That first born son, Amram marries a woman name Jochebed. And Amram and Jochebed are Moses' parents. Now, we're not told that until Chapter 6, he'll name them, but here, it's just a man and a woman who were Levites.
Now, those two people, that couple, Amram and Jochebed will have three children. One, first born, Miriam -- Miriam, remember her she's key in this book. Second born, Aaron, he's also key in this book, and third Moses, he's the star of this book as well as the author. So Miriam, Aaron, and Moses from Amram and Jochebed, verse 2, so the woman conceived and bore a son and when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.
It's interesting that Moses is the author of this book. And he wants you to know that he was a great looking kid. Isn't that interesting? A beautiful child. Well, I did a little digging, the word, "beautiful", it's a little tough to translate because it's a Hebrew word that's used for a lot of stuff. It's the Hebrew word, "tov", T-O-V, tov and if you've ever been to Israel, you're already familiar with it because we teach you when you get there that in the morning you say, "Boker tov" which means good morning or morning good literally. In the evening, "Erev tov" which is good evening, "Mazal tov" or "Mazel tov" as we Anglicans say it or anglicized speaker say it which means, "congratulations." So "tov" is a general word that means good, favorable, special or beautiful. Now, in the New Testament when it translates it, it does use the word "beautiful." It's the best translation of it. So he's a good looking kid.
Now, I would say that every parent thinks their child is a beautiful child, which I have to say I have a grandchild, I was holding him this morning. He is a beautiful child. I could hide him for three months in my house. They saw that he was a special or a beautiful or a favored child. Now, there is an apocryphal source which means a non-biblical source that says that Moses, when he grew up was so good looking that when he walked down the street, people would stop and stare at him. Which is not in the bible, it's just a story, it's a legend that gets passed down. Perhaps, when he was born, his parents, Amram and Jochebed looked at him and they just knew they were given -- God given insight, that God had a special plan for him and they wanted to inculcate that into the psyche and into the heart of that young child from an early age. Certainly, Moses is a remarkable man. One of the most remarkable man in history next to Christ. Christ being number one, of course some people would disagree with that.
There's a book put out by a Jewish author, Shapiro. And the book is called, "The Jewish 100," the most influential Jews in history. Number one in his list is Moses, number two on his list is Jesus, number three is Albert Einstein, number six is Paul, the Apostle, a number seven is Karl Marx, and for your sports fans, number 98 is Sandy Koufax, the pitching great. "The Jewish 100" the most influential Jews of all time, on his list, Moses ranks as numero uno.
Now, in Hebrews Chapter 11, I'm just going to read this to you. We're told this, it's another parallel passage to Exodus 2. By faith, Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born because they saw that he was no ordinary child and they were not afraid of the king's edict. That's what I want you to see. He's parents feared God in heaven more than a king on earth and they hid him for three months. It's not easy to hide a child for any length of time because children do what? Little babies do what? They cry and if you're living in a tent down by the Nile River or a little shack, who hears the baby? Everybody, the neighborhood here, so to keep a child quiet for three months is quite a commitment and a step of faith.
Verse 3, "But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark, a bulrushes for him, and daubed it with asphalt and pitch, and put the child in it, laid it in the reeds by the river's bank."
Obviously, Moses was blessed with a great set of lungs, he reached a stage in his life were when he cried it was like the fire bell are going up. We've got to do something, we've got to act. He's able as a child, as a baby to speak clearly through his cries and I'm bringing that up because next week when we study the calling of Moses by God, the first -- or not the first thing -- but one of the excuses that Moses will have is, "I'm not eloquent, I can't speak, I'm slow of speech." Well, here as a baby, he was anything but slow of speech. He was very quick on the draw and he let his feelings known through his cries.
Now, Moses' parents are exhibiting faith, that's what Hebrews 11 says, "By faith, they hid him." There are two ways that they exhibit faith and I want you to note them. They exhibit faith by hiding Moses for three months, they're committed to a special purpose that God might have for that child.
He's worth protecting, he's worth hiding, he's worth doting over because there's a special purpose. Number two, they expressed their faith by releasing Moses. Now, parents, think for a moment the kind of faith it takes to put your baby in a boat and sail him down the river. It's one thing to hide him for three months. It's another thing to say to a little baby, "Bye, bye, I may never see you again." Nobody knows, when I was a teenager, my parents probably thought that would be a good idea to put me in a boat and ship me down the river, but a little baby? A little baby.
It says they made an ark. It's a box, probably a wicker basket. But it is interesting because there was a question on our Facebook community, our discourse community this week. It was actually a little trick question saying, "How many people in the bible were saved by an ark?" And the answer of course is nine, eight, Noah and his family and one, Moses. And by the way it's the same Hebrew word in the stories in Genesis of the great flood and the great ark of Noah his family.
And the word here is the same Hebrew word, "tevah." It's the same word which means a box and how it was made probably was taking reeds of papyrus, blending it together like a wicker basket, and putting tar in it, asphalt, pitch which melts in the sun but hardens in the water where it's cool. It becomes water tight and maybe even, I can't prove it, but maybe -- Jochebed, the mom of Moses, was close enough to the Nile River that she knew the bathing habits of the Pharaoh's daughter and the handmaidens that were with her. And she went out, knowing what time like on cue, she was going to go down there and she's sort of aimed it in that direction, by faith, but to see what would happen. Well, let's see what happens.
"And his sister," verse 4, "Miriam stood afar off to know what would be done to him." Before we go on and deal with this verse, we have a question that actually was texted in by one of you about Aaron, as I mentioned Moses and Aaron and Miriam. And it says, "Why wasn't Aaron killed since he was also a Hebrew male?"
Here is probably the story. Miriam was born, Aaron was born, and after that as they grew up to be toddlers, after that the edict came from Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to kill all the newborns, those who were born in Egypt and Moses was one of those who is newly born. So the edict came after the birth of Aaron. It's pretty simple to see that. And his sister Miriam or his sister verse 4, stood afar off to know what would be done to him. She's peeking through the bushes to watch this whole thing.
Then, the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river and her maidens walked along side the river side, and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. Okay, bathing in the Nile was common back then. And one of the reasons it was common is they associated the Nile River as being a sacred body of water overseen by one of the many gods of Egypt, the god Osiris. So part of the – doing homage was the ritual bathing as well as cleaning oneself but a ritual bath in that sacred body of water just like in India, it's the Ganges River. Here, it's the Nile River.
And keep in mind that we're dealing with a very polytheistic culture. There are many gods and many goddesses as we'll discover as we go through this book. One of the chief gods was Ra, the sun god. Another god was Heqet, the frog goddess and the third one was Osiris, the one who oversaw the Nile River. Now, I'm planting that in your mind because when we get to the ten plagues on Egypt. What you're effectively seeing is God judging not just the Egyptians but pouring out his judgment on all of the false idols and deities that they worshiped in Egypt.
"Oh, you worship the Nile River, do you? What do you do when it becomes blood? Oh you like to worship frogs, do you? What do you do when they're in your bed at night and day and you can't get rid of them?" You see God's fun point. So they're down bathing at the river, she sees a little boat come by and get stuck in the papyrus and she sends her maid to get it.
In verse 6, "And when she had opened it, she saw the child and behold the baby wept." And so she had compassion on him and she said, "This is one of the Hebrew's children." Can I just say as I read this, it strikes a really wonderful chord in me. The baby cried at the right time. When that woman looked inside the basket and the baby started crying. In fact, maybe God just sort of pinched Moses just a little bit just to get him to cry. That's the perfect moment, you got a gal looking down there.
You see, J. Vernon McGee said something wonderful, he says in his commentary, "God brings two things together that he made, a baby's cry and a woman's heart."
And when she heard and she saw that little baby, her heart melted. I'm going to share something with you as a possibility. It may lend some insight to it. Because Osiris, the god of the Nile River was seen as the one who gave life benevolently to the Nile Delta and the people who live there. Perhaps, Pharaoh's daughter saw that baby as a gift from Osiris to her, maybe she was infertile. We don't know those stories. But she could've seen it as a gift. In fact, researchers have discovered an interesting inscription that Egyptian women obviously recited as they went down toward the Nile River. And here it is, "I have afflicted no man, I have not made any man weep, I have not withheld milk from the mouth of sucklings or babies." Maybe she was saying that, praying that, repeating that like so many others had recited and taken that vow and made that homage prayer of worship. And now this little bastard comes her way and she's thinking, "This is a gift from Osiris, the god of the Nile River." When she had opened it, she saw the child and behold the baby wept, she had compassion on him and she said, "This is one of the Hebrews children."
Then his sister said to the Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women." Now, his sister is who? Miriam, she's watching the whole thing, she's sort of in the background and then she steps forward and she has a suggestion, "Shall I call a Hebrew gal who knows how to do this with the Hebrew kids?" According to Flavius Josephus, how many of you know who he is? He's a Jewish historian. He gives us a lot of information. Some of it, we cannot substantiate, some of it, we can.
Josephus said that what happened, this is in his history of the Jews, is that the baby was taken out of the river, given to the princess, the daughter of Pharaoh. She looked at it and she passed it down to all of her handmaidens to see if they would nurse the child, they couldn't, of course. And at that point, Miriam, after that didn't work, steps forward and says, "I got a suggestion, let's call one of the Hebrew women." And so we read, "And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go."" And so the maiden went out and called the child's mother.
So, now imagine that joy of Jochebed as she gets that child back and now gets to nurse that child. Her faith is paying off, isn't it? Her faith is being rewarded. Well, just wait till you see what's coming next. And then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages." Oh this is really good now. And so the woman took the child and nursed him. Not only that she gets her kid back from the dead, not only do you get royal protection, you get paid to be a mother.
That's a pretty good idea, isn't it? I have read an article sometime ago in the Detroit Free Press that tallied up all of the duties that a wife has in a home, from being a cook, chauffer, errand runner, bookkeeper and enlisted several things that moms typically do and said, "If you were to give her a dollar value on the task that a mom performs in the home, she would be paid in modern currency a $160,000 a year."
So I don't know what they paid Jochebed but hey, gets her kid back, at least for a while, and she gets paid. Do you know what this reminds me of? It reminds me of Paul, the Apostle, it's a very similar story. Paul, the Apostle, always wanted to go to Rome, right? He wanted to preach the gospel in the very heart of the empire, Rome itself. He wrote letters, I'm coming to Rome, I'm coming to Rome.
Well, life didn't go like he thought it was going to go. He gets arrested because he said something in Jerusalem. He gets arrested, goes to Caeserea, spends two years in jail. Finally, he appeals to Caesar in Rome which he could do as a Roman citizen. So, once he appealed to Caesar, they put him on a ship, the Roman government does, on a grain ship that was going from Alexandria, Egypt to Rome and Paul now gets the dream of his life to go to Rome, all expenses paid by the government.
She gets to raise her child, all expenses paid by the Egyptian government. There is a woman who is a Christian, an elderly lady. She lived next door to an atheist and the Christian would pray every night, everyday and she would often pray out loud. And the house was so close, the atheist and the Christian -- the atheist could overhear her praying and he thought she's just nuts. I know there is no God. This lady is just mouthing off words but she would thank God and she would pray for her needs. Well, life got really tough for this old gal and so she prayed that God would get her groceries, she ran out of groceries. So she prays out loud, "Father in heaven, I believe that you will provide anything and everything I need and I need groceries to make it through the week but I trust you and I know you'll provide, in Jesus name. Amen."
The atheist hears this, he goes, "I got an idea, I'll get her, I'll fix her." The atheist goes out, buys the groceries, tons of them, placed them at the front door of the Christian, knocks on the door, hides in the bushes and waits. The Christian opens the door, looks down and sees the groceries and she says, "Praise the Lord, the Lord has provided." Just then the atheist jumps out and says, "You crazy old lady, God didn't get those for you, I did." At that, the Christian got more excited and started jumping in the driveway, going down the street, "Hallelujah, praise the Lord." And the atheist said, "I don't get it, you heard what I just said, right? Well, why are you so excited?" And she said, "I always knew that God would provide the groceries, I just didn't think he'd make the devil pay for him."
So Moses gets raised and the devil pays. Now, this is God's providence folks, and you're going to talk a lot about this in the bible. Providence is God taking natural events and weaving them together for a supernatural purpose. If God takes a little Jewish kid and makes him a prince and gives to that Jewish kid the very best that Egypt can provide as now a royal heir to the throne as I'll show you in a moment.
But, here's what I want you to see. God blessed that child, God gave to that child the very best of Egypt, but he didn't bless him in that way so he himself could enjoy it. But that he could use it to help other people and bless other people. All that he had, all that he knew was that God would raise him up and see the need and use his whole life to be poured to help other people get out of bondage.
Here's my question, what gifts do you have that God has given to you that you are using to benefit and help other people? It's always a question to ponder. Am I using the resources God gave me to bless and to help others? That's how the story unfolds. Verse 10, "And the child grew and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son." So she called his name "Moshe", "Moses" saying because I drew him out of the water.
And don't forget this. Jochebed exercised faith, hiding him for three months, Jochebed exercised faith placing him in a little box and sending him down the river. But it's not over yet, she still needs a lot of faith because now her son, when he grows up, is going to become the son of another woman. How much faith does that take? Not just another woman, a foreign women, an idolater, an Egyptian who believes in a bunch of gods that don't exist. It's not how Moses was trained, that's not the family he was born into. So the faith that it would take for her to release her son the second time when he came of age, when he grew up and he became, it says, "The son of Pharaoh's daughter." Now, look at the name, Moses -- Moshe, means drawn out or the drawn out one from the Hebrew word, "masha" which means to take out or to draw out. It's a great name.
He was drawn out of the water so he's given the name Moshe. He will be used to draw the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt and be given their land. He will fulfill his name. So he grows up in Egypt, and as he grows up in Egypt, he gets trained by Egypt's best. Did you know by the way that the culture in Egypt was very progressive? Did you know that the Egyptian's this long ago came up with the idea that the world wasn't flat but round, even before people did in Western Civilization?
The Egyptian's thought that the earth must be round and not flat. The Egyptian's calculated the distance from the earth to the sun and were pretty accurate. The Egyptians were advance in chemistry, so advance that still today nobody can match the embalming techniques of the Egyptians. You can go to the British Museum, you can go to the museums in the Middle East, and see the Pharaohs -- in fact you can see this Pharaoh, the Pharaoh who Moses confronted, and you can still see his skin, his teeth, and some of his hair still that preserved. It's amazing, very advanced.
The best university and probably the place that Moses went to school was called "The Temple of the Sun," it was the Harvard University of the Ancient World. It is the best of the best. The best courses, the best advanced teaching. There, Moses probably took Hieroglyphics 101, Applied Mummy Making. I don't know, How to Walk like an Egyptian -- he learned it all, he was advanced, he was in the royal family.
We think, we think that Moses had he not left Egypt would have been the next Pharaoh. Josephus, again that Jewish historian guy tells us that this Pharaoh Thutmose, whom he believes is the Pharaoh at that time, had no natural sons only daughters. So that this adopted son of his daughter, became his adopted grandson, and next in line for the throne of Egypt -- so this kid was royalty. He had his own personal boat down the Nile River, his own personal chariot, and his own personal license plate -- "Pharaoh to" it would read on the back of it. He was something. He grew up and he was royalty. He was the successor to the Pharaoh's throne.
Now, I have to insert something at this point because it fits the story, before we just move on in our story. Remember I said that there's a couple of passages that are parallel. Acts Chapter 7 and Hebrews Chapter 11. This is what it says in Hebrews 11 about this period in his life, "By faith, Moses, when he became of age refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter but he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin."
Something happened in his life when he realized, "I'm really not an Egyptian, I'm really a Hebrew, my people are suffering, I want to go see what that's like and he goes so he will see – goes to observe this thing," and he makes a very important declaration inwardly, a conviction, a decision, "I don't want to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter anymore. I don't want the throne, I choose rather to suffer affliction and get all the goodies of Egypt."
And so we're told in verse 11, "Now it came to pass in those days when Moses was grown that he went out to his brethren and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren." We have a question that just came in, I don't know if it was text-in or Facebooked-in or whatever but it says, "Was there a legal adoption in Ancient Egypt? How did he become part of Pharaoh's family?"
Simple, Pharaoh was the law. He could do whatever he wanted. That royal family was exempt from any of the laws of Egypt. They set the laws and they could do whatever they wanted. So in finding a child, especially in seeing a child perhaps as a gift of one of their gods from their pantheon, Osiris, this is the will of God, this is extraordinary. And so whether there was legal adoption or not, really wasn't the case. They didn't abide by those kind of laws when it came to the Hebrews especially, they just – they took, and so she takes.
So verse 12, "He looked this way and that way." Okay? So picture the scene. Moses is going to go check out his people, the Hebrews and find out what's going on, what the workload is like. He's heard and he sees the oppression, and he sees an Egyptian. Now, that the culture he's been adopted into, beating a Hebrew, that's who he really is. And something gets at him, something eats at him, something really bothers him about that he can't let it go.
In fact, because he's Egyptian and has authority, and has only known the law of "might equals right," he kills them. "He kills and he murders him," it says. And he hid him in the sand. Now, notice verse 12, "He looked this way and he looked that way." He made one big mistake, he didn't look that way. He considered life on the horizontal not on the vertical. He's thinking, "Is there anybody looking? Nope, nobody's looking there, nobody's looking there, of course somebody was watching on the earthly level, we'll find out."
But the mistake we make is looking this way or that way thinking we're safe, all the while, God is looking and sees. "The eyes of the Lord," Proverb says, "Are in every place beholding the good and the evil." He looks this way, that way, I'm safe. I'm going to kill me an Egyptian. And when he went out the second day, behold two Hebrew men were fighting and he said to the one who did the wrong, "Why are you striking your companion?" And just a little note about Moses hiding, the one he killed in the sand. Whenever you act, even as a Christian, if you act in the impulses of your flesh, there's always has to be a cover up. You've got to cover something up, when you're not walking in the spirit, you're walking in the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh or in other words you go out and sin. Now, you've got to cover that up, now, you're going to lie about that, now, you've got to let people not see, because you're not walking in the light. But if you walk in the light, the Bible says, "Because he is in the light." The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses you from all sins and you are in fellowship with God.
I've got an interesting email today, it was an email from somebody who was reading Exodus Chapter 2 and they send along a picture. I want you to see the picture and I'll read the email. Okay, so you see the picture, this is a actual photograph of a deer hunter in North Carolina and he's smiling for the picture, it's dark, he just killed this elk, look what's behind him.
So what I got in my email was this, "My wife and I read Exodus Chapter 2 last night. This is not he same scenario, but you never know who's watching you is the point." Well, that's the truth. This guy, I'm sure went home and saw that picture and thought very deeply about, "Do I want to do this again?" Because of that cheetah or a mountain lion or something that was behind him.
You never know who's watching, but we do know God is always watching, and that's the larger point. I do believe that we have some insight into Moses character here. I think -- okay, this cruel, this is bad, this is sinful, this is wrong, let's get pass that, we know that. It's fact. It's recorded in the Bible. The Bible didn't flatter any of its heroes. But it shows you the kind of compassion that Moses has, that when he sees it wrong, he's going to act -- of course he acted the wrong way, but he still acted. It shows his sincerity, it shows his compassion and it also shows us he's very impetuous.
It reminds me of Peter, very impetuous. Somebody's going to come to arrest Jesus Christ, what does he do? He grabs the sword to cut of the ear of the guy who's going to arrest Jesus. It's always bad for him when fishermen take up swords and try to be army men, because it was a bad aim. He was aiming for his head and he missed -- got his ear. But that's just all a matter of the flesh.
He went out the second day and behold, two Hebrew men were fighting and he said to the one who did the wrong, "Why are you striking your companion?" And he said, "Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed that Egyptian?" So Moses feared and said, "Surely, this thing is known." He looked this way, he looked that way, he didn't see anybody looking at him, but somebody was watching, eyes were on him.
And when he heard those words come out this Hebrew's mouth, he just thought, "Oh no, I've been found out." He feared, this thing is surely known, when Pharaoh heard of this matter he sought to kill Moses but Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian and he sat down by a well. He's found out and now he flees. He tried to do it in the flesh, he tried to do it in the way he thought he should. He's the Egyptian in control, he can take life. He's part of the royal family. All goes to show you that all of the worldly training Moses got in Egypt did not equip him for the spiritual task of shepherding God's people. This was not God's timing. This was certainly not God's way, right? God said, "My ways are not your ways" in Isaiah, "My thoughts are not thoughts or so far above." This is so far away from God's heart and God's way. So it's going to be another 40 years before he gets the real chance to be the deliverer. So he went down to Midian and he sat down by a well.
The next 40 years of Moses life will be lived in obscurities, as far as the knowledge we have, the history that we have to say what happened during that time.
He's going to live there, 40 years trying to be something, 40 years, God showing him he was nothing, and then 40 years God showing him that he can take nothing and do something with him. So now Moses, the boy with a silver spoon in his mouth, trades in the silver spoon for a wooden staff and he becomes a fugitive, a legal fugitive somewhere out in Midian. Now, Midian, where is that? If you were to get a map and look at the Sinai Peninsula, which looks like a big V, you'll see that there's two bodies of water that make it that triangle, it's called the Red Sea. Two bodies but it has one name. The Red Sea is sort of like Y -- it's deep and wide at the bottom and there are two branches. The eastern or right branch as you look at the map has the Sinai Peninsula in the middle and just on the other shore would be the land of Midian.
Now, Midian has a history. You may or may not remember that Midian was a person. He was the fourth son of Abraham by his second wife Keturah. The Midianites or the people of Midian, that person, settled in that region. So they're related to Moses, related to the Hebrews, they're Semitic. So naturally he would go to a place that would have his best interest at heart and he flees to Midian. Now, Midian is desert and when I say desert, I mean it's so "deserty", it makes this place look like the Oregon coast, I mean there's nothing, it's just empty, nothing grows, just rocks and sand.
Verse 16, "Now the priest of Midian", you're going to find out his name in a little bit. "The priest of Midian had seven daughters and they came and drew water and they filled the troughs to water their father's flock." Their father, the priest of Midian is named Reuel also known as Jethro, not Bodine from the Beverly Hillbillies. This is the originally Jethro from the Bible. Then the shepherds came and drove them away but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock.
He's a real gentleman, raised, pampered, the best life of Egypt but he's a gentleman. Looks like these guys are harassing the chicks, I'm going to push them away, I'm an Egyptian and that he can use force as we have seen, so he drives them away. Moses helped them and watered their flock. When they came to Reuel, their father, or Jethro -- not Bodine, he said, "How is that you have come so soon today? And they said, "An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock.
So the girls come home. And they tell him the story. There was an Egyptian way over here in Midian at our well and we got hassled and this time this Egyptian stood up man, he was beautiful, the Bible says, he was handsome, he was powerful, he was an Egyptian, and he was awesome dad. Now, watch what dad says, smart guy. So he said to his daughters, "And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him that he may eat bread. You don't leave a man like that, you catch a man like that, go get him, are you nuts? You're here in Midian."
It's not everyday that you have men hopping by the well, especially an Egyptian. Go get him, bring him back that he may eat bread. But he does more than that. Moses was content to live with the man and he gave Zipporah, his daughter to Moses. Now, it seems like all these happens pretty quick like it's a shotgun wedding, which can lead to an explosive marriage of course. And we're going to see that they have a few problems in their own relationship as time goes on.
But we know a little better than that. It was more than like, "Would you marry me?" You know that marriages were arranged by the parents. It was an offer from the Father to take his daughter Zipporah and give her to this man to be the wife. That's how it was done in those days. It was a contract made between parents. It was arranged marriages, not between the couple. Here's what I want you to see at this point.
I mentioned last week that Moses is a type of Christ, and when I say a type, please don't take that to the nth degree and try to find that every single thing in his life has to be like Jesus Christ because after all Moses murdered somebody. You can't find a type there. But there is a general typology that is unmistakable. Let me tell you a few points -- number one, Moses was chosen to be the deliverer from bondage for the children of Israel. Number two, he is rejected by Israel at his first coming. Number three, he turns to the Gentiles, he's now in Midian, to another country related to the Semites but not completely, not fully.
He takes a Gentile bride, she would be considered Gentile by all genealogical records, and Moses appears later on when he comes the second time and is the deliverer for the children of Israel. I'm bringing that up because that's precisely the point that Stephen makes in Acts Chapter 7. In Acts 7, he tries to tell them their history and said, "Look let me tell you about Jesus Christ, he's not unlike the one that you revere so highly, Moses the law giver."
Moses came, he was rejected, Moses came the second time and at the second time he was recognized by his brothers as the one that God had chosen. And Stephen makes it parallel between Moses and Christ. That's why I said last week that the book of Romans, Paul, the Apostle sees Jesus as the second Adam or the last Adam. The book of Hebrews, the writer of the book of Hebrews, whoever that is, sees Jesus as the second Moses or the last Moses. So there are those parallels.
Verse 22, "And she bore him a son and called his name Gershom" very similar to uncle Gershonm with an N, this is Gershom for he said, for he said, "I have been a stranger in a foreign land." Gershom means foreigner there, foreigner there or in a foreign land, a stranger there. It can also mean banishment and maybe this is how Moses is viewing his life. It's over, I blew it, I've been banished. I'm sentenced to Midian my whole life when actually God was preparing him. So that's his son Gershom. Now, he's going to have another one later on named Eliezer so keep your eyes open for him.
Now, what happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died, this Pharaoh died, then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage and they cried out and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. They weren't strong, there's a lot of them but they weren't strong, they're helpless, their hopeless, they're crying out to God.
And so God heard their groaning and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. Don't you love that, these guys are dead, they've been dead a long time but God never forgets a promise. But I made a promise to those guys, they may not be around any longer but I made a promise and I'm going to fulfill it. So God heard, God remembered his promise, his covenant, and God looked upon the children of Israel and God acknowledged them.
So the time has come, the time has come to deliver his people. So how is God going to do that? Is he going to send an angel, a strong angel like the angel Gabriel, a faithful angel? No, he's going to send a failed Pharaoh, an 80-year old failure is just a perfect guy, tailored made for this job. So for the next 40 years, he's going to be in Midian and we'll pick that up next week when he sees a burning bush. But he is being trained by God.
How does God train his people? How did God train Moses? Now, Moses was already trained, right? In Egypt, he may have had a master's degree, maybe had a PhD in Egypt, Egyptology, mummy making, I don't know. But there's one more degree that he needs to have, it's called the BSD degree, Back Side of the Desert degree. Did you know that some of God's greatest servants had a BSD degree? Back Side of the Desert. Paul, the Apostle had one. He was saved by God but God had to take him out to Arabia for three years, solitude, trials, isolation, learning, listening to the voice of God. David also had a BSD degree, chosen by God to be the next king but not right away, he had to go through periods out in the wilderness of Engedi, the wilderness of Ziph, the wilderness of Paran, all the back side of the desert like Moses.
So in Egypt, Moses learned to be somebody. In Midian, he learned that he was nobody. And by the time we see Moses active in serving the Lord, as I said he's 80 years old.
There's a closing thought on tonight's study in Chapter 2, it's a quote from one of the Psalms, Psalm 90 which interestingly enough was written by Moses. The preface to Psalm 90 says, "The words of Moses, the man of God." And one of the great verses in Psalm 90 verse 12 is this, "Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Once again, "Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
That's a good thing to live with, all of us, to look at our lives and sort of assess where were at in our lives and make some critical choices about our lives. What are we going to do with them? I'm numbering my days, I don't know exactly how much time I have but I want to apply my heart to wisdom. "Teach us to number our days that we might apply our hearts to wisdom." Or I could put it another way, since time flies, it's up to you to be the navigator. You make the choices.
It's more than counting time, forget about counting time, I don't care how old you are. It's not about counting time, it's about making time count. You know that Jesus told the parable about a fool, a rich fool who is getting older and he say's, "I'm getting older now, I'm going to take my ease and eat, drink and be merry, and I have so many goods that I can just relax now in cruise and kick back." And said, that night God came to him and said, "You fool, tonight your soul will be required of you." That's a person who did number his days and apply his heart to wisdom.
So Linus, in that Peanuts cartoon, was right. We don't get a warm up, you take life as it comes. But by God's grace, before the obituary is written, we can have a do over like Alfred Nobel. We can make some very important, vital turnaround choices whether we've been a Christian a long time and we're getting up there and we take the next several years of my life will be poured out in service to the body of Christ and the Lord's work on earth. Or you realize you don't have a personal relationship with God and you need to change that.
One day, one day -- hear me, one day an obituary will be written with your name in it. It'll have your name, some people will read it, a lot of people won't even know it's there. What will it say? What words will it say in that obituary with your name in it? Your name will be on a obituary. What I want you to know is your name can be somewhere else.
In Revelation Chapter 20, it talks about the occupants of heaven as only those whose names were written in the Lambs' book of life. Is your name written in the Lambs' book of life? Do you know that for sure? Because you can walk away tonight knowing that for certain.
Let's pray together.
Our Father in heaven, as we have considered in a very short number of verses, a period of 80 years, the life of Moses from birth to banishment, from inception, to rejection, to isolation. We consider the kind of choices his mom and dad made, really good choices. We consider the choice that Moses made, a really good choice but just going about at the wrong way, until finally you get a hold of his life in a very dramatic fashion and he becomes what you always wanted him to become, a humble servant of the living God. So that Moses realizes it's not about me, it's not about my authority, it's not about my strength, it's about God and God's authority and God's strength.
I pray Father that everyone here in choosing the steps they're going to take tonight, tomorrow, this week, this year, that God you would be at the very upper most of their thinking, they would think about eternal things, spiritual things, heavenly things, in Jesus name. Amen.