If you were an Israelite on the edge of the Red Sea. would you trust Moses the man, or should you trust he was appointed by God
March 23, 2021
Pesach=Passover in Hebrew.
Woven into this story of Pesach is the Story of one person of one man and his origin story, his journey which is equally as important to see how deliberate the Lord God was in knitting this together.
Mosha=Moses in Hebrew
Moses is born at a time where babies are being thrown into the Nile River, this wicked Pharaoh who is ruling over Egypt is attempting a genocide here because the Hebrews have multiplied greatly in their land.
Exodus 1: 8-14 8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. 13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with [d]rigor. 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.
Now in Exodus 1 the midwives actually REFUSE a direct order from Pharaoh to throw all the male babies into the Nile and it states in Exodus 1:20 that God DEALT WELL with the midwives for refusing to do such a thing because they feared God.
Now Exodus chapter 2 is when we see Moses come into the picture. Miriam is Moses’ sister and she plays a key role in this as well. Aaron Moses’ brother had also already been born.
Now Miriam was a prophetess, as the Torah/Old Testament states clearly.1 Our sages tell us that the spirit of prophecy came to her when she was still a child. Her earliest prophecy was that her mother was going to give birth to a son who would free the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage.
So in Exodus Chapter 2, we see this come to pass:
Exodus 2:1-10 2 And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi.
2 So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.
3 But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.
4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.
5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it.
6 And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”
8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. 9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name [a]Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
This is a miraculous act of kindness on the part of the daughter of Pharaoh. You see God had already searched her heart and found her to be different from her father, she had a soft heart this is clear, and the Lord can even utilize what comes from the wicked to save the righteous
So Moses Story is sort of woven in here and there are much deeper things at play here in the Story of Moses that tend to get overlooked but will help us for where we are now as a nation and the people of God.
There are two basics in a story, what it comes down to or an account. Intention and obstacle. So the intention was for Pastor Dave, His mother, Chris, and I to get to Arizona, however, there were obstacles we had to overcome: no heat in the RV going through this intense deep freeze in the midwest, trying to get ahead of storms to there on time. So these were the formidable things trying to stand in our way, so now we have a story.
So in the origin Story of Moses what is the intention, and what is the obstacle?
Answering these questions will show then how it is a part of the national story of redemption for the entire Israelite nation.
When does the story stop being about Moses, Mosha, and start being about the Jewish people as a whole
The climax of the Moses story is one of the strangest events of the entire Torah. And this is the account of Moses and his wife Zipporah at the Inn. We will get back to that whole burning bush episode in a bit, but a VERY significant event happens when Moses takes his wife and son and begins to head for Egypt and stops at the inn in Exodus 4
Exodus 4:19-23 19 Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.” 20 Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand.
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.” ’ ”
So the Lord tells Moses right here HE is going to harden pharaoh’s heart and he won’t want to let the people go, and Moses is instructed to tell Pharaoh to let the Lord’s firstborn son go, His child, so that he may serve Him, meaning the Israelite people, which goes back to the covenant God made with Abram in Genesis 15. And Moses is told to warn Pharaoh if he DOES NOT send out the Lord’s firstborn that the Lord is going to strike and Kill their firstborn, including pharaohs.
Now it appears things are going ok between God and Moses but we are about to see a very strange and pivotal event take place.
So this makes Exodus 4:24-26 so jarring and like WHAT?
Exodus 4:24-26 24 And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and [c]cast it at [d]Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” 26 So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a [e]husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision.
WHOA, Houston we have a problem! Why did this even happen?!! I think in the Pesach/Passover Story this tends to get brushed under the rug but it’s a crucial part of Moses’ story and the national story.
Verse 27-28 God acts like NOTHING happened and tells Aaron:
27 And the Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.”
So he went and met him on the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28 So Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him and all the signs which He had commanded him.
This is the last part of the origin story of Moses as from that point on it is about US the people as a whole.
At this last minute as God was on his way to Egypt why on earth would God want to Kill Moses?!
To explain why this happened we need to go back a bit and talk about the events that preceded this one, we need to go back to the burning bush….
Exodus 3: 3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
God basically tells Moses He has seen the oppression of the Israelite people, it has come up before Him, and now as their FATHER wants to free them being this is the Lord’s firstborn child.
So here is Moses going along, tending his father in law Jethro’s flock of sheep, married to Zipporah, he has been out of Egypt 40 years I believe and Suddenly the Burning Bush, stops Moses in his tracks, gets his attention and now everything and I mean EVERYTHING in his quiet unassuming life is about to change
Now the burning bush there are a few things we must understand about this:
God deliberately chose this miracle with Moses for a deliberate reason that ties Directly to the nation of Israel.
The bush was burning, but was NEVER consumed or succumbs to the flames.
SIDEBAR here: doesn’t this kind of remind you of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, 3 Hebrew servants in a Babylonian kingdom, in a pagan kingdom, in Daniel chapter 3 were thrown into a fiery furnace for REFUSING to worship the golden idol of King Nebuchadnezzar and they were in the furnace BUT they were never consumed or succumbed to the flames, and the Lord was In those flames as well protecting Israelite people from being consumed. Keep this in mind….
Ok back to the episode of the burning bush….
Ok, So there is a burning bush that is not being consumed by the flames, and God is in the midst of this.
So there is a burning bush, that is not being burned, God is in the midst, Moses stops to admire this incredible wonder and you know what he does? HE starts ARGUING with God as to why he cannot go and be God’s choice, God’s vessel to help save the Jews from Pharaoh and free them!!
God has just thrown a major curveball and Moses was not ready for it so he does what any good Israelite man would do, he makes a BUNCH of excuses.
So let’s look at all these reasons Moses tells the God of the Universe, “Nope sorry can’t go”.
Exodus 3:11-22 1 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; 17 and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.” ’ 18 Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst, and after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbour, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”
This goes on into Exodus 4 2 chapters worth of excuses!!
Exodus 4 excuses why Moses cannot go:
Exodus 4:1 Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ”
Exodus 4:10-13 10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and [b]slow of tongue.”
11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”
For every one of these excuses the Lord does something to nullify it, rods turn into snakes, hands wither and become whole again, water shall turn to blood, Aaron your brother can speak for you while you do the wonders part. So at every turn, the Lord has him until finally Moses tells the God of the Universe “JUST GO-SEND SOMEONE ELSE” what?!! THIS IS ALMIGHTY God.
How many of us have had a Moses moment where we go “OH LORD PLEASE SEND SOMEONE ELSE” My goodness it took the Lord 18 years to get me to go what I do now.
However, the Lord gets angry and gives a DIRECT ORDER.
Exodus 4:14-17 14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”
END OF STORY ? NOPE SORRY, MOSES IS NOT UP FOR NEGOTIATIONS.
To a degree, Moses represents Yeshua himself coming to free humanity in bondage. He was called to face off against a wicked leader who was keeping the Lord’s children of the world in bondage, Moses is a foreshadowing of Yeshua’s coming and so is the Passover itself with the blood in 3 spots of the doorpost, Christ was nailed to the cross in 3 areas.
So one of the questions of this story is how come, what is the root here of Moses saying No and looking for every excuse to get out of this mission…and why could the Lord not find someone else, why did it have to be Moses?
There has to be some sort of criteria that only Moses fulfills, that no one else can, what is it? If another meet this same criterion God would have just gotten tired of arguing with Moses and moved onto another, But he doesn’t!! It Moses or it’s nothing.
Why did Moses say NO and What is so special about Moses that it has to be him? Why did Moses, Mosha, say no 5 different times?
For example, as a parent, you tell your child to go clean up their room, and the child says no and comes back with an excuse, and you as the parent shoot that excuses down and the child does this 5 times each with a different excuse. So what is the real reason the child does not want to clean his room, is it one of these 5 excuses, OR is it something less deep altogether, something more fundamental than the excuses given. The reason is something the child is not saying BUT you as the parent can discern because you know this child inside and out
So back to the 2 fundamental questions:
What made Moses so special and why did Moses say NO. Perhaps these two questions answer each other, perhaps the answer at its root is the same for both…
So to answer this you have a precursor to the burning bush which is Moses’ story of being born in Egypt and what transpired and how he finally runs away to Midian.
The burning bush is a turning point and then you have a conclusion to this story what is the conclusion to the Moses origin story, well it’s the incident at the inn when the Lord tries to kill Moses!
There is a fascinating pattern at the beginning and the conclusion of this story that has a great bearing on the story as a whole and the burning bush encounter.
There is a chiasm here a pattern of inverted parallels.
What is a chiasm: is a literary device in which ideas are presented and then subsequently repeated or inverted in a symmetrical mirror-like structure.
So the first part of the story mirrors the last part, and the 2nd part mirror the second to last part and so on, moving towards the centre.
The Moses story is built as a detailed chiastic structure with the centre of the story being the burning bush.
So every step you take is a step backward in the beginning and a step forward in the ending or conclusion
I will give you an example:
Exodus 4:18 18 So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.”
The mirror of that is Exodus 3:1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
So in leaving Jethro, going to the mountain, then leaving the mountain going back to Jethro, they mirror each other and thus the chiastic structure.
Now this chiastic structure goes on where Moses turns to see the burning bush BUT he wants to GO AND SEE if his brothers are still alive in Egypt.
So what we are going to focus on is how come the bush won’t burn:
And are my brothers still alive in Exodus 4:18- these are both parts of this chiastic structure
Now there is something mysterious about the burning bush itself. So God wanting to get Moses’s attention, why on earth would He choose a burning bush to do it?
God was making an urgent very important statement with this miraculous burning bush that defied human logic for fire consumes and destroys….
The Lord will not do a miracle here that does not directly mean something very prophetic and crucial to Moses and the Jewish people.
If you want to know what this burning bush means you have to look at what this chiasm is telling you:
Exodus 3:2 the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.
Exodus 4:18 And are my brothers still alive?
Moses turns to SEE the burning bush and then tells Jethro he wants to go and SEE the people. It is a symbol here.
There is a bush and it’s on fire but it’s not being burned up. The bush is the Israelites in Egypt! They are on fire! What’s the fire? Being enslaved by the Egyptians and oppressed. Like the bush not being consumed neither are the Israelites in Egypt in fact they multiplied, they were not destroyed by the Egyptians. The Israelites are alive but by no means should they be alive or multiplying under such enslavement. When people normally are subjugated to such torture they vanish! They should not be around for over 400 years. How come? How could they be still around? How come the bush is not burning?!! 400 years the Israelites were burning BUT they were NOT consumed just like the burning bush which represented the Jewish people to Moses!
God back in Genesis chapter 15 made the Israelites a promise.
Genesis 15:13-15 3 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall [d]go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.
They shouldn’t be alive but they still are!!! Because of God and the covenant.
So as we circle back to this whole confrontation at the inn with God and Moses, we need to go back to Exodus 2 for the reason Moses did not want to go back to Egypt in the first place:
2 verses as part of the chiastic structure.
Exodus 2:23-25 23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
NOW God in front of the burning bush says to Moses:
Exodus 4:19 19 Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.
You see how similar those two sentences are?
Now jump to Exodus 4:22-23 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.” ’ ”
This is the issuing of a verbal death threat by the Lord here against Egypt, telling Moses to threaten them.
Who else issued a verbal death threat to Moses, this is part of the chiasm?
Pharaoh did in Exodus 2: 14-15 14 Then he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”
So Moses feared and said, “Surely this thing is known!” 15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from [b]the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.
So God trying to kill Moses and Pharaoh trying to kill Moses mirror each other! Pharaoh is the King of Egypt and God is the King of Kings of the whole world.
The King wants to kill Moses/Mosha. MAYBE God wants to kill Moses for very similar reasons that Pharaoh does? Pharaoh wants to kill Moses, why?
Well to figure this out first what happens, Moses goes out sees an Egyptian beating an Israelite and what does he do? Moses Kills the Egyptian.
The next day Moses sees two Israelites fighting and what happens? Does Moses kill one? NO, Moses says “why are you striking your brother?!” one of them gets mad and says “who made you judge over us are you going to kill me the way you killed that Egyptian?!” very different reactions.
Exodus 2:14 contains the answer: 14 Then he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”
So Moses feared and said, “Surely this thing is known!”
What does this mean? The thing is known? It’s the last thing that happened with 2 Hebrew slaves fighting and Moses intervenes and Pharaoh cares VERY much about Moses intervening with a fight between 2 Israelites. Why? The answer to this question will help us resolve this issue of why God wanted to kill Moses….
2 kings want to kill Moses the reason the heavenly king wants to kill him is tied up in the reason the earthly king wants to kill him.
So why does Pharaoh want to kill him for a fight having to do with 2 men?
There are 2 objections in Exodus 2.
2:14 Who made you a prince and a judge over us?
2:14 Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”
So Moses has no standing to get involved in such a case because he is NOT Pharaoh and the threatening to kill is seen as an unjust reaction.
What Moses did killing the Egyptian is vigilante Justice, it is going rogue not adhering to the laws of Egypt on these matters, taking matters into his own hands which are bypassing Pharaoh. Even when it came to Hebrew slaves pharaoh could not have that lawlessness going on.
What this does is completely displaces and challenges the King’s legitimate role as ruler and Judge over his people, it is a usurping of the throne itself!!
So let us go to the other side of the Chiasm, why Did God seek to kill Moses?
Perhaps for similar reasons that Pharaoh did.
There was a verbal death threat with the two men arguing and on the flipside, God tells Moses to issue a verbal death threat to Pharaoh that if he did not let his child go God would kill Egypt’s firstborn…
As Moses was accused of an unjust reaction by two Hebrews now he stands accused before the heavenly throne by God Himself of Similar. What was this?
Moses at the burning bush was playing vigilante judge between a fight between 2 nations, God’s firstborn nation, and Egypt!!
So the God who issues the death threat to Pharaoh goes and accuses Moses of doing something very wrong is what the chiasm suggests.
How could these two things be true at the same time:
God dispatches Moses to issue this death threat to Pharaoh.
How could God accuse Moses of having no standing to make this very death threat he tells Moses to make against Pharaoh?!!