Answering Unlearned Questions

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 6 [2]

“Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”[3]

In response to Moses unlearned questions God looked to the future. There was no point in rehashing what was done in the past that cannot be undone. The only people beaten were the leaders who led God’s people astray when they entered a business deal to build Pharaoh’s treasure cities instead of wait for the city God is building.

God knows how to deal with evil leaders like Pharaoh and the lackeys who serve him. God told Moses when he is finished Pharaoh would do more than let them leave to worship their God. He would drive them out of Egypt. But if you think God is gloating about the way he will destroy Pharaoh you are wrong. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.[4] He is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance[5], and that includes Pharaoh. If God is gloating about anything, it is the patience and kindness he will extend to man who thinks he is God’s equal. When God is finished both Egypt and the Hebrews who serve Egypt will know who is Lord.

Once again, God defines who he is and why he is present. He is the God who swore an oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Every time God calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he is preaching the gospel to Moses. He is reminding Moses that he will give the land Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived on to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through one seed who will sacrifice himself that God might redeem us from death and grant us eternal life. God swore the oath that established his covenant as irrevocable when Abraham and Isaac proved they believed God raises the dead with more than words on Mt. Moriah.

Once again, God reminds Moses he is acting on behalf of the Hebrews because he heard the Hebrews groaning in misery and remembered his covenant with a man who proved his faith with actions. The Hebrews slavery did not move God to act. Their misery did not move God to act. God’s integrity moved God to action. The Hebrews faith did not move God to act. The remembrance of Abraham’s faith moved God to action. He will remove the burdens Egypt laid upon them that made their lives miserable. He will redeem them with great judgments. He will accept them as his people and be their God.

Moses brought the good news to the Hebrews, but they refused to listen. They did not care about the things God planned to do tomorrow. Their lives were miserable today. God did not let their unbelief stop him. He came to deliver them and they were delivered from Egypt but they will never make it out of the desert because they did not believe the gospel.

“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them [the Hebrews]; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”[6]

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Exodus 5:22-23

[4] Ezekiel 33:11

[5] 2 Peter 3:9

[6] Hebrews 4:2

Unlearned Questions

followFollow Me: Deliverance[1]

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 6 [2]

The unexpected consequences of asking Pharaoh for a leave of absence to worship God left Moses perplexed. God had appeared after 200 years of silence because his people were miserable. He promised to rescue them, but the initial effort to relieve their suffering only made their lives harder. Moses found a quiet place and questioned God’s integrity.

“Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”[3]

Do you hear what I hear in Moses questions? God this is your fault! You made our lives miserable. Had Moses forgotten that the Hebrews lives were miserable before God showed up? God didn’t bring trouble on his people. His people brought trouble on themselves when desired to be loved and accepted by the Egyptians.

God did not answer Moses unlearned question.[4] God knew things Moses did not know. Moses did not hear Pharaoh call him a liar, but God did.[5] Moses and Aaron did not hear the Hebrew leaders call themselves Pharaoh’s servants three times, but God did. Moses did not know what was going on, but God did.

God made no effort to justify himself to Moses. He assured Moses that Pharaoh would not only let them go, he would drive them out of Egypt. He reminded Moses that he is the God who appeared to their ancestors and told him something no one may have known. God had not made himself fully known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.[6] There is more to know about God.

Before you question God’s integrity, you should question how much you know about God. If you don’t fully know God, you might find yourself asking foolish and unlearned questions.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Exodus 5:22-23

[4] 2 Timothy 2:23 “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” KJV

[5] Exodus 5:9

[6] Exodus 6:3

Trouble

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 5 [2]

Everything God told Moses before he departed for Egypt proved true. The Hebrews believed Moses. Pharaoh refused to let them worship a God he did not “know” and denied their request. But no one anticipated the consequences of asking evil men for freedom. Trouble!

Moses had questions the next time he spoke to God. “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”[3]

After the initial meeting with the Hebrews, Pharaoh ordered his people to stop supplying straw that the Hebrews needed to make bricks, yet the daily quota would remain the same. “Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”[4]

The only people in trouble were the Hebrew leaders who sold their people into Egyptian slavery. Without the straw it was impossible to meet the daily quota. Failure to meet the “daily quota” meant a daily beating.

The Hebrews were willing slaves. They had stopped worshipping their God to give their labor and lives for Egypt’s glory. Don’t believe me? Listen to the Hebrew leaders appeal to Pharaoh.

“Why have you treated your servants this way? Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.” (emphasis added) [5]

Three times they said to Pharaoh we are “your servants”. Then they walked out of the meeting and rebuked Moses and Aaron for making them “obnoxious to Pharaoh”. Did it matter that their behavior in Pharaoh’s throne room was obnoxious to God.

The Hebrews are like a woman in an abusive relationship. No matter how badly she is treated, she continues to love and cling to her abuser. She will never be free until she acknowledges the truth. The man she loves does not love her and is not worthy of her devotion.

God promised to free them from the power of Egypt, but he can’t do that until they acknowledge the truth about Egypt. Egypt does not love them. Egypt is not worthy of their devotion. God allowed trouble to come because the truth about Egypt would set their hearts free.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Exodus 5:22-23

[4] Exodus 5:14

[5] Exodus 5:15-16

Moses Knew

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus Chapters 3 and 4[2]

Before Moses departed for Egypt he possessed the same thing Abraham possessed before he left Ur – partial knowledge. They followed God believing the things he said to them would be fulfilled. Neither man stumbled in darkness. They knew what to expect.

Moses knew the God of his ancestors was concerned about the suffering of his people and desired to give them a better life. He knew that God gives us a mouth to speak and makes us deaf or blind. He knew God would help him speak and teach him what to say. When Moses resisted, God gave him Aaron to speak to the Hebrews but God would continue to speak to Moses. He knew God would help Aaron to speak. Moses knew he would teach Aaron what to say.

Moses knew the people in Egypt who wanted to kill him were dead. Moses knew God was with him and had a sign to confirm God had sent him to Egypt. He would return to Mt. Sinai with the Hebrews and they would worship the God of their ancestors who spoke to him from a burning bush. Moses knew the elders of the Hebrews would believe God spoke to him and had three signs to convince them God existed and was concerned about them.

God gave Moses a simple assignment. Enter the courts of Pharaoh with the elders and make a common request: a leave of absence to journey three days into the wilderness and worship their God. Moses knew Pharaoh would deny their request. Moses knew God would be gracious and do wonders in a quest to heal Pharaoh’s heart so everyone would “know” the truth about God.

Moses knew that God considered the Hebrews his first born son, and things would go very bad for Pharaoh if he refused to let God’s son worship him. God would kill Pharaoh’s firstborn son.

Moses expectations about the things God told him may have been unrealistic. Human nature tends to distort God’s words. But one thing is certain. Moses knew a lot about God’s plan before he made the first step to obey God.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

Pharaoh’s Heart

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 4:21 [2]

“And Jehovah saith unto Moses, ‘In thy going to turn back to Egypt, see — all the wonders which I have put in thy hand — that thou hast done them before Pharaoh, and I — I strengthen his heart, and he doth not send the people away” (Young’s Literal Translation)

I believe Young’s Literal Translation is the most accurate version of verse 21 in Exodus. Most of the other versions say “hardened”. To harden carries a negative tone when the context implies God hardened his heart “that” or “so that” Pharaoh will not let the Hebrews go. There is the suggestion God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in a bad way, so he could destroy Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt out of vengeance for the mistreatment of his people.

The Hebrew word translated as “harden” means to cure, help, or repair.[3] The wonders God performed imparted to Pharaoh the strength to believe the God Moses represented existed and was greater than Egypt’s Gods. Few people have received more irrefutable evidence of God’s existence and power than Pharaoh. Yet Pharaoh will admit his sinfulness, acknowledge God’s righteousness and still deny the Hebrews freedom to worship their God.

God chose to be gracious to Pharaoh so we can understand his righteous indignation with leaders who know the truth, because God made the truth plain to them. These leaders suppress the truth in a quest to turn their people away from God. They know God but do not glorify him or give thanks to him. They claim to be wise but are fools who lead multitudes astray.[4] “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”[5] Leaders with a heart like Pharaoh’s justify the existence of Hell.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] H2388 חזק châzaq khaw-zak’ A primitive root; to fasten upon; hence to seize, be strong (figuratively courageous, causatively strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify), obstinate; to bind, restrain, conquer: – aid, amend,

[4] Romans 1:18-22

[5] Romans 1:32

When God Gets Angry

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 4:13-17[2]

Having run out of objections to obey God, Moses tried the truth. “Please send someone else.”[3] Moses’ desire to fulfill his calling had died in a desert of rejection and time. When God is involved, death is never the end but a new beginning. James cited “desire” as the source of temptation that conceives sin and gives birth to death. Forty years earlier, Moses desire had produced the death of an Egyptian and separation from his people. Now that his desire is dead, he can return to Egypt and be used to produce life.

God responded to Moses request to “send someone else” with anger, but not human anger. Human anger would have written Moses off. I would have. Why bother with an old man who does not want the job of a lifetime, the opportunity to work with the creator of the universe, a front row seat at miraculous events. My anger would have spewed “Go back to obscurity with your flea bitten sheep, I’ll find someone else.”

God’s anger drew Moses closer and higher. Aaron would speak to the people, but he did not replace Moses. In this new arrangement, God continued to deal directly with Moses, and Moses would teach Aaron what to do. God told Moses, “it will be as if he [Aaron} were your mouth and as if you [Moses] were God to him.”[4]

When God is angry with his people, he lifts us up; he never tears us down or diminishes our place in him.

 

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Exodus 4:13

[4] Exodus 4:16

Unnecessary Signs

followFollow Me: Deliverance[1]

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 4:1-9 [2]

Moses is standing before a being speaking from the midst of a fire that burns but does not consume. The being identifies himself as the God who spoke to Moses ancestors meaning this God has defied death for hundreds of years. God had personally investigated the plight of his people in Egypt. He gave Moses a detailed account of what Moses could expect when he returned to Egypt to fulfill his calling.

Moses responded to this remarkable sight and astounding announcement with a question. What if you are wrong? Was Moses judging God in the light of his own experience 40 years earlier? He had acted upon his calling to deliver his family from oppression, but they did not believe him. Why should they believe him now?

I would have been offended and argued with Moses reminding him I had already investigated and knew the outcome. God did not waste his time trying to convince Moses he was right. Instead, he gave Moses what he needed. Unnecessary signs so people will believe. Moses shepherds staff would turn into a snake, his hand would be diseased and healed, and water from the Nile would turn to blood.

The signs did not change the events God predicted. If Moses had believed God and returned with nothing more than God’s message, the Hebrews would have believed and Pharaoh would not have believed. The signs strengthened Moses faith that the outcome God predicted would happen.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.