The Rest of the Story -

Deliverance

Exodus 1:6-22, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance
Exodus 2:1-25, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance
Exodus 3:4-17, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance
Exodus 4:1-16; 5:1-4, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance
Exodus 7:1,8-23, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance


More of the Rest of the Story

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Moses in the bulrushes. Click to enlarge. See below for provenance.
Exodus 1:6-22, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance (8/27/12)

The Hebrews increased dramatically in numbers while they were in Goshen, and the new pharaoh, who owed nothing to Joseph, got worried. He put together a plan for retroactive birth control, also known as infanticide. When he left it to the midwives alone, they didn’t cooperate, so he broadened the requirement to make everyone responsible for killing the Hebrew baby boys.


Exodus 2:1-25, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance (8/28/12)

I once worked for a fellow who called one of his sons “Pete.” I asked why, since I knew the boy’s name was Thomas or something like that. He explained that it was for the same reason he called the other one “Butch.” Aha! I understood that, because my granddad assigned nicknames to all of us shortly after birth, and he never called us anything else. “Pete” had nothing to do with “Thomas”; it was a nickname.

Something that puzzles us when we read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is a statement like “She called him Moses, because she drew him out of the water.” What?? To us it sounds like the name and the reason have nothing to do with each other. Well, in Hebrew, Moses is Mosheh, and draw out is mashah. Similarly, Gershom in Hebrew is Garashon, and expel or drive away is garash. If you always assume that the name of the person or place sounds like the reason given, you will be right about 99% of the time.

The most important verse in today’s reading is the last one: “And God's eyes were turned to the children of Israel and he gave them the knowledge of himself.” God wants us to know him.


Exodus 3:4-17, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance (8/29/12)

Yesterday I mentioned that if you are reading The Story, you should definitely read the Preface. One thing you will learn is that extra space between the lines of text means that something has been omitted. For example, the second space at the top of p. 9 omits the verse, “And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.” Now, most likely it was omitted because it repeats what was said just a few verses before; however, things that are said twice may be merely repetitious, or they may be repeated because they are important. In this case it is important that Noah did all that the LORD commanded, because it is answering the question, “Why Noah?”

Anyway, today we see two repetitions of a promise that occurs dozens of times in the first five books of the Bible: God’s promise to give the descendants of Abraham a good land, flowing with milk and honey. We saw this promise first in Genesis 12:1 and 12:7, and the promise to Abraham is referred to about 50 times in one form or another. It is important, not merely repetitious, that God has promised to make Abraham into a mighty nation with its own land.


Exodus 4:1-16; 5:1-4, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance (8/30/12)

My sympathies are altogether with Moses. God told him to do something he really didn’t want to do because he lacked critical skills for it (I’ve been there), and then when he tried to do it, Pharaoh wouldn’t let him (and I’ve been there, too).

On the other hand, you’ve got to feel God’s exasperation when Moses argues with him for 45 minutes about whether he, Moses, is going to go, and then says, “O Lord, send, if you will, by the hand of anyone whom it seems good to you to send.” MOSES! IT SEEMS GOOD TO ME TO SEND YOU!

But the really great thing about this passage is that we have a God who is willing to listen to our objections and work with us to find a way around them. You lack credentials? God will persuade people to listen. You lack confidence? God will give it to you. You lack time, talent, or skill? God will give you helpers.


Exodus 7:1,8-23, The Rest of the Story: 4. Deliverance (8/31/12)

Of course I know that you all memorize my comments! However, for those very few of you with busy lives, you might want to take a second to review what I said about Genesis 1:1-19

Brief summary: only God is God; there are no gods.

We come back to exactly that point today. When God says to Moses, “I have made you a god to Pharaoh,” we need to pay attention. The Egyptians had many gods and goddesses; the primordial goddess in the Egyptian pantheon was Amunet, who was depicted as a cobra or snake-headed woman. Amunet remained especially popular in Thebes, where she was seen as the protector of Pharaoh. Thebes was the capital of Egypt during the 11th and 18th dynasties. The 18th Dynasty ran from about 1550 to about 1292 BC, and Moses lived about 1526 to 1406 BC, according to The Story. So Amunet was most likely important to Pharoah during the time of Moses.

Similarly, Hapi, the god of the inundation of the Nile, was sometimes considered to be the father of the other gods.

So when God provides a staff that changes to a snake and back to a rod at the hand of Moses, and Nile water that turns to blood, he is demonstrating power over the other so-called gods. God really is making Moses a “god” to Pharaoh! Unfortunately, Pharaoh seems to have been a bit of an agnostic.


More of the Rest of the Story
Week 1. Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 1. More on the Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Abraham … But Not Lot
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Isaac…But not Ishmael or the sons of Keturah
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Jacob…But not Esau
Week 3. Joseph Preserves Two Nations
Week 4. Deliverance
Week 4. More on Deliverance
Week 5. New Commands and a New Covenant
Week 6. Wandering
Week 6. More on the Wandering
Week 7. The Battle Begins
Week 8. A Few Good Men...and Women
Week 9. The Faith of a Foreign Woman
Week 10. Standing Tall, Falling Hard
Week 11. From Shepherd to King
Week 12. The Trials of a King
Week 13. The King Who Had It All
Week 14. A Kingdom Torn in Two
Weeks 15 and 16. God's Messengers and The Beginning of the End
Week 17. The Kingdoms' Fall
Jeremiah, Prophet of the Exile
Story 19. The Return Home
Apocalyptic writings in the Old Testament
Story 21. Rebuilding the Walls
Story 22. The Birth of the King
Story 23. Jesus’ Ministry Begins
Story 24. No Ordinary Man
Story 25. Jesus, the Son of God
Story 26. The Hour of Darkness
Story 27. The Resurrection
Story 28. New Beginnings
James, Brother of the Lord
John and Jude
Story 31. The End of Time

Copyright 2012 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.

The woodcut showing Moses in the bulrushes is from the Binns family Bible, now in the private collection of Regina L. Hunter.


Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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