Notes on Exodus 1-4


Egypt in the Bible is a symbol for the world. The world promises pleasure, security, prosperity, and success, but it rarely delivers and often enslaves. During the famine we read about in Genesis 42 on, Jacob sought provision from Egypt. There he was reunited with his son Joseph who moved the family to Egypt where they remained for four-hundred-thirty years.

In Exodus 1:8 we read that there is a new king in Egypt. He saw that the family of Israel had grown very large and the king became fearful of them and so he enslaved them but the population continued to grow. To stop this population growth, the king’s next solution is to abort the baby boys at birth, but the midwives do not respond to the king’s order based on his fear. Instead they act in faith.

In his fear the king took the way of the devil which is to murder and lie. (John 8:44)

The midwives chose life and acted accordingly, but it could cost them their lives, and so, this event becomes a trial of faith.

 God often allows us to go through trials like this to show us what or who we are really trusting in when things get difficult.  In the margin of my Bible, when I read of someone going through a trial like this, I make a note that says simply, “All Things.”  This is to remind me that God has allowed this trial and that He has a purpose for it even though that purpose might not be understood at the time. (For a more in depth study of “All Things” and Romans 8:28 see the study on the webpage under “Shepherd My Sheep” titled “All Things.”)

 One thing is certain, in both Chapters 1&2 we see that God is perfectly capable of providing a blessing in the midst of a great trial. (Exodus 1:20&21, 2:1-10)

 In 2:23-25 we read that the people finally cry out to God for help.  The Hebrew word for “remember” here can mean “reflect.” It’s not as if God forgot the covenant He made. It is that the people forgot God, His covenant, or both. It was not until they remembered God and started to call out to Him that He was able to act because they were finally willing to call out to Him.

 I wonder how much we have missed out on, and how much hardship we have gone through, because we have tried to solve our own problems in our own strength and wisdom and not called out on God and waited in Him., Worse yet instead of calling out to God, what have we simply adapted to and accepted, compromising ourselves and what we say we believe?

 God is willing but we must be willing to surrender our rebellion and seek Him. God has a plan for us just as He has a plan for Israel. The people are calling out now, but where is the leader? Moses has spent the last 40 years adapting to his new leadership role as a shepherd in the Sinai Desert.  God sets a bush on fire to see if that gets his attention; it does, and as Moses approaches the bush God calls out to Moses who answers God and God tells him to remove his sandals because he is standing on holy ground.

 We are in Chapter 3 now and here we see the importance of obedience to God if we are to be used by God. God tells Moses to do a small simple thing.  Are we willing to be faithful and obedient in little things? How about those things that make no sense to us? Moses answered God with, “Here I am.” He was there physically and what he did when God told him to remove his sandals demonstrated that he was there willingly, willing to be used by God.

 Being willing to do God’s will is being willing to do what He tells us to do in His Word, the Bible, and to trust that He knows what He is doing . We must be faithful in little things and things we do not understand.  A good example of this is found in Luke 5:1-12. When God has big things in store for us we must expect we will be tested first in little things. Luke 16:10

 Moses must have passed the test and so God sets out the game plan. Moses needed some convincing and God addresses his concerns in Chapters 3&4. Moses is thinking in the negative “what if.”

 How many times have we been stopped in our tracks by “what if” when God has put it on our heart to do something or say something?  Maybe we don’t think we have what we need or the ability to do it. What if it all goes wrong or we blow the whole thing? God tells Moses to use what he has in his possession which was his staff. His staff turns into a serpent. God is able to use what we have and to bless it for His glory,  if we are willing to trust Him and do what He tells us to do.

 Here is a “what if.” Remember that serpent in Genesis 3? What if that staff serpent of Moses has Satan’s serpent for lunch when Moses throws down his staff?   Read on!

Here are a couple of verses to check out. Psalm 23:4 and 1 John 4:4

 Be available, be willing, trust God, and be used and blessed.

Pastor Dave