Daily reading assignment: Exodus 4-6
The LORD warned Moses, “I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand” (Exodus 3:19).
The LORD called Moses to a mission that would be fraught with danger and disappointments. Forty years in the wilderness had not erased the memories of Egypt and Moses did not relish for himself the hardships suffered by his brethren. Certainly, Moses dreaded the thought of returning to Pharaoh’s court.
God answered Moses’ objections with signs and demonstrations of His power (4:1-9).
When Moses confessed he lacked the skill to speak in the Egyptian tongue, God answered, “Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well… 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God” (Exodus 4:14-16).
Led by the LORD, Aaron, the elder brother of Moses departed Egypt (4:27) to be reunited with his brother forty years after he fled to the wilderness. Moses shared with Aaron the LORD’S call for him to lead Israel out of bondage (Exodus 4:28-31).
Moses’ first confrontations with Pharaoh are recorded in Exodus 5:1-7:13.
Little time passed before Moses and Aaron had an audience with Pharaoh (Exodus 5:1) and demanded the Hebrews be allowed a three-day journey into the wilderness to worship and offer sacrifices to their God (5:3). The first clash of wills between Pharaoh and Moses is recorded in Exodus 5:1-6:27 and the second follows in Exodus 6:28-7:13.
Four centuries of slavery have passed, but the LORD has not forsaken His people or forgotten His covenant with Israel (Exodus 6:1-5). The LORD renewed His covenant with the nation, reminding the people He was with them as He was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (6:6-8).
Why did the Lord bring ten plagues upon Egypt? Why not overthrow Pharaoh and deliver Israel out of bondage?
Many explanations come to mind, but I will limit myself to two. The first; the Lord was preparing Moses to move from being a shepherd of sheep to serving as the leader of Israel. Each plague incensed Pharaoh and weakened Egypt, but magnified Moses in the eyes of the people. The second; the plagues increased the Hebrews’ faith in God and demonstrated He was the LORD and God of creation.
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith