Key Verse: And Moses himself, "by faith, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward." (Heb. 11: 24-26.)
MOSES’ EARLY LIFE
Moses was born when the Israelites were under bondage to the Egyptians. Pharaoh ad decreed that all male Hebrew (Israelites) boys were to be drowned at birth. Moses’ Mother, Yocheved, saved her son by placing him in a basket and floating him where she knew he would possibly be found by Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus 2:1-10). Pharaoh’s daughter took Moses home and raised him as her son. While he was an infant, she asked his mother, Yocheved, who was her slave, to nurse him.
“One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian (Exodus 2:11 -15).” He was forty years old.
LIFE IN THE DESERT
While in the desert of Midian, Moses married Zipporah and they had a son. Moses named his son Garson, saying, ‘”I have become an alien in a foreign land” Exodus 2: 21-22). There is not much recorded of his life during that time. He stayed in the desert of Midian for forty years.
“During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.” Exodus 2:23-25)
Moses left Midian and was confronted by God at Mount Horeb:
“And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn. So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression at the Mountain of Horeb.” Exodus 3:2-7
God commissioned Moses to go to Egypt and deliver the children of Israel.
Moses then set off for Egypt, and along with his brother Aaron went before Pharaoh to ask for the release of the Israelites from bondage. When Moses and Aaron approached the pharaoh, they produced a miracle: Aaron threw down his staff and it turned into a snake. The Egyptian sorcerers threw down their staffs and they turned into snakes as well. Aaron’s snake then swallowed up their sorcerers’. Pharaoh countered Moses and Pharaoh by making tasks harder for the Children of Israel. Eventually God caused ten plagues to come upon Egypt (the Israelites were excluded from the plagues).
Water to Blood
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.” Exodus 7:19
“And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneading troughs: And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants. “Exodus 8:2-4
Gnats or Lice
“ And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt” Exodus 8:16
“Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.” Exodus 8:21
“Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.” Exodus 9:3
“And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.” Exodus 9:8, 9
Thunder and Hail
“Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.” Exodus 9:18
“Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field.” Exodus 10:4, 5
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.” Exodus 10:21, 22
Death of the Firstborn
“And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 11:5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.” Exodus 11:4-5
The 10 plagues were a divine demonstration of God’s power and anger intended to convince Pharaoh to release the children of Israel. Only after the Plague of the Firstborn began did Pharaoh agree to let the Israelites leave Egypt.
CROSSING THE RED SEA
During the night of the death of the firstborn (Israelites’ Passover) Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.” Exodus 10:31, 32
Pharaoh soon regretted his decision to release the Israelites. He gathered his army and they began chasing the Israelites through the desert (Exodus 14: 5-9). They chased them until the red sea. Moses and the Israelites walked across the sea and God made it dry land. When the Egyptians attempted to follow them, God sent the sea back to drown them (Exodus 14: 10 -30).
“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:13-14
“But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” (Exodus 14:16).
The Israelites wandered through the wilderness for 40 years in what should have taken them 3 days to reach the Promised Land. I will very briefly summarize some of the things that occurred during that time:
Moses Received the 10 Commandments
God gave Moses the laws and commands that He wanted the children of Israel to follow and live by. While he was there the Israelites made a golden calf in which to worship. This made Moses very angry. He took the two tablets of stone that God had just written the commandments on and threw them down at the foot of the mountain breaking both of them into pieces! He then took the calf which they had just made and burned and ground it into power. He then scattered it into the water and made the Israelites drink it!
Moses Saw the Presence of God
Moses went back up to Mount Sinai and received 2 more tablets of stones to replace the broken ones. There God presented His glory to Moses. This was a high tribute to Moses. See the following verses:
“You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” (Exodus 33:20)
“Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:21-23)
“So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11)
During the 40 year journey God instructed Moses to build a tabernacle that would show the manifestation of His presence. That is where Moses visited and spoke with God during the journey through the wilderness. After the tabernacle was built, God led the Israelites out of the wilderness with the Tabernacle. His presence was in a cloud during the day and a fire at night!
Whenever the cloud would lift up off of the tabernacle, the Israelites would follow it to wherever it would settle. As long as the cloud stayed on the tabernacle, the Israelites would stay right where they were camped. Once the cloud would lift off of the tabernacle, they would once again follow it to wherever it would settle.
Moses was not allowed to go into the Promised Land with the rest of the younger generation. The reason Moses was not allowed to go into the Promised Land was due to the fact that he “trespassed against God among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah Kadesh. He died on Mount Nebo and was 120 years old when he died. God did show him the Promised Land before he died. Joshua became the leader of the Israelites after Moses.
“Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. The LORD said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” Numbers 20:6 - 12
“Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land—from Gilead to Dan, all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea, the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. 6 He buried him[a] in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over. “Deuteronomy 34: 1-8
“Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 34: 44 - 47
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROMTHE LIFE OF MOSES?
God has a divine purpose for each of us. The outcome of God’s purpose for us is always guaranteed, if we are willing to follow God and be obedient to our calling. Although Moses was raised in the house of Pharaoh, his Israelite mother was his nanny. God arranged this so that she could teach Moses of His promises and Covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His mother also taught him of the customs and traditions of the Israelites; as well as the commands ways of God. He remembered her teachings as an adult.
God takes us through a training period. Moses remembered that he was an Israelite, and as an adult he gave up his life in the palace to fight for and help other Israelites. He fled Egypt when King Pharaoh learned that he had killed Egyptians because of their treatment of some Israelites and threatened to kill him. It was in the wilderness that Moses learned the way of the desert. This preparation gave him the wisdom and skill to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Moses was obedient and a servant to God. Moses obeyed God, even when he felt that he was not qualified to do so. He was also an humble man who was concerned about the needs of the people of God.
Moses had a personal relationship with God.
“So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11)
.“But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” (Deuteronomy 34:10)
When God gives us a responsibility, He is there for us and will fight our battles for us.
God was always present to direct His divine plans in our lives. We can see from the life and experiences of Moses that God controls our plans. We are always victorious when we follow Him.
“So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the Lordit will be provided." Genesis 22:14
"The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation."(Psalm 33:10-11).
Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. (James 1:17).
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will. (Ephesians 1:11).
The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1).
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, the He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19).