Exodus 1 through Exodus 2:1-10
Moving forward to Moses, we look back to Abraham and see God’s promise unfolding, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2, NKJV) God chose this one childless man from all men, to make a nation for Himself. Old and with a barren wife, a son of laughter was given to him—Isaac. From Isaac came Jacob and Esau but the promise was upon Jacob whose name would be changed to Israel. Israel’s twelve sons are born in the line of this promise. The eleventh son, Joseph has saved them in the famine. From Jacob a total of seventy family members have come to live in Egypt under the protection of Joseph who is favored by Pharaoh. Fast forward about two hundred years and these seventy have “increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. (Exodus 1:7)”
Exodus is the record of Israel’s birth as a nation. Within the protective “womb” of Egypt, the people have multiplied. At the right time, accompanied by severe birth pangs, this nation will be delivered into the wilderness through the Red Sea and be divinely protected, fed and nurtured until they are brought into Abraham's Promised Land.
“Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.” (Hebrews 11:12)
Christ figures richly in the Exodus story. Moses meets Christ as the “Angel of the Lord” over and over again. Portraits of Christ are seen as the Passover Lamb, the water from the rock, the manna in the wilderness and the pillar of fire and smoke, just to name a few. Finally, we will see Christ as Moses, himself, is a type of Christ. Signs, wonders and miraculous deliverance mark him as he saves his people.
“Christ is the sum of the whole Bible, prophesied, typified, prefigured, exhibited, demonstrated, to be found in every leaf, almost in every line, the Scriptures being but as it were the swaddling bands of the child Jesus."
Read Exodus 8:1-14
“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph…”
In the passing of Joseph and the passing of years, the time of Egypt’s safety and provision for Israel has now passed away as well. While trusting in God often means finding favor with men as Joseph did with Pharaoh.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52, NKJV)
We cannot and must not rely upon the favor of men. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:9, NKJV)
As it was God’s sovereign plan to work all things together for good to bring Joseph in a place to save and deliver. We now see God allowing very troubling times to work together for good to bring Israel to birth as a nation.
Born from pain, they will always be marked by the testimony of God who powerfully and miraculously delivered them from a most cruel enemy.
As we see Christ on every page in scripture, we should not be surprised to see the ancient enemy of Christ interrupting his mission: He is the serpent of Eden, murdering Cain, hateful Esau and now the slave-master Pharaoh. As the serpent bruises the heel, he now bruises the back of God’s Chosen; he is ever present to take life.
Some of us remember what it was like to have a different owner than Christ our shepherd. Satan was cruel and neglectful. Winter and summer we foraged for ourselves as best as we could. We gnawed at bare brown fields. We drank from muddy and polluted places. We were pathetic, sickly and week. Our Shepherd was utterly calloused and indifferent to our cries. He only heaped more upon us. Sin and Satan are cruel taskmasters. Israel under Pharaoh will hit the bottom. They will cry out for a new Shepherd, one who will deliver them, and “The Deliverer will come…” Isaiah 59:20
An edict is given to kill all the male children. Does this sound familiar? As Pharaoh feared the rise of Israel and the loss of his government, Herod feared the rise of a Jewish King to replace his rule. Both ordered the death of male children. See Christ here: The rule of Christ is a threat to the rule of man. To preserve his own rule, mankind has proven, over and over, that he will kill God if he can.
“God is dead. God remains dead
and we have killed him.”
Though most won’t come right out and say what the German philosopher infamously said, their lives illustrate the same. The sinner does not want Christ’s rule because it threatens his or her own kingdom ruled by self. Romans 8 lays it straight:
“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” (Romans 8:7, ESV)
Indeed, and it will not.
“But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”” (John 19:15)
That same sentiment will be aimed at Christ’s people. Like Israel in Egypt, Christians in the World are a threat to kingdom of sin. Satan is the prince of this world and he thinks Christians as trespassers. Jesus gave us a heads up:
“If they hated me, they will hate you also (John 15:18).”
You will feel this. You will feel it from anti-faith college professors. You feel it from Hollywood personalities who constantly denigrate Christianity. You will feel the anti-sentiment from even people who are closest or used to be closest to you. Remember, darkness hates light and will extinguish the children of light, if it can. But it cannot.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5, ESV)
The midwives refuse to do as the king commanded because they feared God and were wise to so. Some might apologize for the Bible’s teaching on the fear of the Lord. “We shouldn’t be afraid of God, He is loving.” He is loving but He is also just.
There are two fears of God in the Bible: Terror and reverence. One will lead to the other.
We may, with good intention, mistakenly compromise the character of God to make Him more accessible or agreeable to the unchristian by not wanting to make God scary. But He is scary. The word for “fear” in the Greek is phobia. It means to terrify or put in fear or panic, or simply put: to be afraid. When God killed Ananias and Sapphira in church for lying to the Holy Spirit, it says, “And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.” (Acts 5:11, ESV) Terror and reverence were not mutually exclusive or one without the other. They were hand in hand.
We don’t have to overcompensate to save God’s reputation. To say that God is scary doesn’t mean He isn’t merciful. His mercy is even greater when we consider His stern justice. His one hand is wrath and yet his other hand is mercy. One is extended to save because the other has a nail print of judgment in it.
Fear of God will keep you from sin and it will also bring you into blessing. The Midwives came into a blessing because they feared God and kept their hands from evil. These women’s households were blessed because they blessed the people of God. If we will bless God and his people, we may expect the same.
““The fear of the Lordis the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7, NKJV)
Read Exodus 2:1-10
Moses is remarkable type of Christ: a prophet, savior, lawgiver and mediator between man and God. As Christ was protected in his earliest years from the hand of Herod, Moses is divinely protected from Pharaoh. Both Moses and Christ were delivered into Egypt for safety.
“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”” (Matthew 2:13, ESV)
For Moses it is most amazing that the origin of his danger became the very place of his safety—Pharaoh’s palace. How God works in astonishing ways. Death can find you in the safest place in earth if God’s hand is not with you. 1 Kings 22:30-34 Likewise, the most dangerous place in the world is a cradle of protection if God’s hand is with you.
“A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.” (Psalm 91:7, NKJV)
Moses was protected not only from Pharaoh, but also from the bare-naked elements his mother sent him into. The little ark was safe from drowning, sun and crocodile. The hand of providence was over the little child. The king’s daughter “just happened” to the place of the child as she prepared to bathe. Then the innocent question of the sister who followed: “Shall I go and call a nurse from the Hebrews?” This brought Moses’ own mother to the scene. All of this was working out a divine scheme. Here God is overriding cruelty and not only saving Moses’ life, but providing him a king’s education. As always, God was looking far into the future. He was preparing a leader. It all looks like accident and circumstance. But woven into the theme is the unmistakable finger of God.