God Sends Moses to Egypt

Exodus Chapters 3 & 4
I. Context A. Who are the main characters? What do we know about them? • Moses: • God:

B. When does this passage take place? • Exodus 2:23 tells us that there was a “long period” that occurred, yet we do not know exactly how long this period was, but the chronology of the passage appears to suggest that the call of Moses occurred after his sons were born, since he took them and his wife with him at the start (4:20). C. Where does this passage take place? • Moses encounters God at Mt. Horeb, also known as Mt. Sinai, which was in the SW part of the Sinai Peninsula (Ryrie). The text tells us that Moses returned to his father-in-law, Jethro, and then set out with his family towards Egypt at the end of Chapter 4. D. What is happening? (Summary of Events) • Moses was tending Jethro’s flocks near Mt. Horeb when the Lord appeared to him. (3:1-2) • The Lord appeared to Moses in flames from within a bush that was not consumed (3:2) • The Lord called to Moses from the bush and told him that he was the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and that he had heard the cries of his people in slavery in Egypt. (3:4-7) • The Lord told Moses that he was to go to Egypt to free the people as God’s messenger. (3:8-10) • Moses resists God’s call, citing his insignificance, but the Lord reassures him of success (3:11-12) • Moses asks God whom he should say sent him and God says to tell them that “I AM” sent him to them and that by this name God should be remembered from generation to generation (3:13-15) • The Lord instructs Moses to assemble the elders and tell them of God’s intent to fulfill his promise to Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob by delivering them to Canaan. (3:16-17) • They were then to ask Pharaoh to allow all the Hebrews to take a 3-day journey into the desert to worship, but Pharaoh would need God’s convincing to allow this. (3:18-20) • The Lord would also compel the Egyptians to give the Israelites silver and gold (3:21-22) • Moses asks God for a sign that he was sent by God, so God causes Moses’ staff to turn into a snake when thrown on the ground and his hand leprous and restored upon putting it into his cloak. (4:1-7) • The Lord says that if they don’t believe these signs, then Moses should pour some water from the Nile onto the ground and it would become blood. (4:8-9) • Moses tells God that he is not good at speaking and the Lord promises to help him, but Moses pleads with the Lord to send someone else, and, although He was angry with Moses, God tells Moses that he will send his brother, Aaron, with him to speak in his behalf. (4:10-17) • Moses returns and asks Jethro to allow him to return to Egypt, so Moses departs for Egypt with his wife and children and his staff in his hand. (4:18-20) • The Lord instructs Moses further regarding matters in Egypt and foretells the killing of the Egyptian firstborns in response to Pharaoh’s hardened heart and refusal to let his people go (4:21-23) • Along the way, the Lord is about to kill Moses, but his wife circumcises his son and the Lord withholds his wrath from Moses (4:24-26) • The Lord sends Aaron to meet Moses and together they tell the Israelite elders what the Lord had said to them and performed the signs God had given them so that they all believed his words (4:27-31) II. Interpretation A. What are the principles illustrated in this passage? What is the theme?

B. How is God involved in this passage? What do we learn about God from the way he interacts w/Moses?

C. What were Moses’ objections and how is this similar to how we might respond to God’s direction to us?

III. Application
• God physically inserts himself into Moses’ life by appearing to him and speaking to him, yet Moses still resisted God’s call. Today, we may not have the audible voice of God instructing us, but we do have the inspired Word of God which carries the same authority. Does God’s written Word carry for us the same authority as his spoken Word? If not, then why?