Chapter 1- Exodus 2: 1 – 10
Moses – An Introduction
What kind of person does the Lord use to accomplish his will in the world? Billy Sunday was a baseball player. Mel Trotter was a drunkard. Dwight L. Moody was a shoe salesman. They were all ordinary people who chose to be obedient to the will of God in their lives. God greatly used these men. God can use you and me. There is in the Bible an example of an ordinary man that the Lord chose to use in a mighty way. The subject of this study will be the man Moses. A mere man and yet a man that God specially set apart unto Himself to use in a way that has changed the course of the history of the world.
The life of Moses is recorded for us in several of the Old Testament books. For the purposes of our study we will be looking in the book of Exodus for the majority of our lessons. There is much we can learn from this man’s life. God was doing many things for him and through him. He accomplished God’s will for his own life but also for the people of Israel, Pharaoh, the people of Egypt and the people of the world.
So, please, before we begin, get your Bible and open to and read Exodus 2: 1 – 10.
The context of what we find here is found in the history of the Children of Israel. The aged Jacob had led his family into Egypt to escape a famine. God, through Joseph, has established His people in the Land of Goshen. It was a wonderful place with plenty of land that was convenient for the feeding of sheep. As time passes we find that Jacob, Joseph and Pharaoh die and pass off the scene. Acts 17:17 – 18 tells us. “The people grew and multiplied in Egypt, till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.” The word “another” here has the meaning of “another of a different kind.” Where there had been a friendly relationship with the first Pharaoh, now there was animosity. Exodus 12:40 tell us, “Now the sojourning of the Children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.” The people of God enjoyed life in Egypt for about thirty years. We find in Acts 7:6, “And they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.”
It was in this period of bondage and affliction that a baby was born. The Pharaoh had given instructions that all the boy babies should be killed at birth. I thank God that He had raised up two brave midwives who chose to fear and obey God rather than man. They chose not obey the words of Pharaoh. There was a baby born who was in God’s providence and plan. “In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months:” (Acts 7:20). Yet, as he grew his mother and father were not able to keep him hidden from Pharaoh’s detection. God began to move on the hearts of his parents. Hebrews 11:23 says, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.” The parents of Moses must therefore, have received a direct communication from God informing them of what would happen and instructed them as to what to do. They believed what God had told them and acted accordingly. In this they are examples to us today. They moved by faith and not by sight. God often tells us to obey Him in many different matters. We should always obey the commands of God. God tells us in His Word, for example, that we should read the Bible and pray. We should faithfully give a tithe of what He has given to us. We should be faithful in church attendance. We should be soul winners. We should love one another. We should be kind to one another. We should live Godly among the lost around us. We should be looking for His coming to catch us away.
In Exodus we read that the names of Moses’ parents were Amram and Jochabed. They built a small ark and placed their baby in it and put it upon the waters of the Nile River. That was a brave thing to do. It could have been swamped by the wind and current and the baby drowned. It could have been devoured by the crocodiles that inhabit that part of the river. Yet, in God’s providence, under the watchful eye of Miriam, Moses’ older sister, the baby was kept safe until the daughter of Pharaoh came to that part of the river to bathe. The historians tell us that the Pharaoh who ruled when Moses was born had no male heir. His daughter also was childless. God placed a tenderness in the heart of the princess for the child. When she found the crying baby floating in the river she knew that he was a Hebrew child, yet she loved him. She determined to take him and raise him as her child. This decision had some very far-reaching ramifications for Moses. As Pharaoh’s grandson he would be educated and trained in the court of Pharaoh. He would have the finest of everything. He would be prepared to assume the throne of Pharaoh one day. God placed him in just the right place on the river so that one day he would be prepared and ready to lead a nation of over three million people out of Egypt, through the desert, and to the promised land. Scripture teaches “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Psalm 27:23 You are where you are right now as a direct act of God. You are there according to God’s plan. God has placed you in the family where you live, the church that you attend, and the job where you work, all for a reason. He does not just want you take up space where you are but to actively seek the advancement of God’s will and work in that place. You must begin to work for God. There is work for the cause of Christ to be done. To sit week after week and not get involved in the fight for God’s plan is a sin.
Please note that Pharaoh’s daughter had compassion. Scripture says, “And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him.” (Exodus 2:5-6a)She knew that he was one of the Hebrew children. She was aware of her father’s decree to destroy the Hebrew babies. She had heard of the supposed danger that these Hebrews held for the nation of Egypt. Yet, she had compassion. When God moves in the affair of men he places the people that he needs to do the work in the places where they need to be. We need not fear when God calls us to follow Him on some new venture. If it is His will and work He will accomplish it in His way with His people and in His time. What a privilege we have as His servants to be used in His great plan.
Miriam was used in this plan of God in Moses’ life. What an example she was of bravery, faithfulness and faith. Her courage to address the daughter of the king of the land, as a member of a despised people was amazing. Her faith in God to believe that He would move in the heart of the princess was a lesson to us today. In regard to that, God had a reward for the parents of Moses. They gave him up to God and set him upon the river in response to the leading of God in their lives. As a result Moses was where he needed to be when God was ready to move His people out of bondage and make them a great people. Had they held him back he would have been discovered and, no doubt killed. He would have been taken from their arms. However, by giving him to God, he was given back to them. They were able to keep their child in safety and be paid for it. Later as an older child they would have to give him back but he would always know who his real parents were. Jochabed was given the responsibility to shape the life of her son for just a few years. Yet, he never forgot her lessons. Amram and Jochabed were rewarded for their act of obedience. God often gives those rewards to His faithful children, but not always. We serve, not for reward but out of gratitude and love to the Father. We should be faithful even if we seemingly do not receive a noticeable reward. We give faithfully and let God give back what he sees as best. We pray faithfully and expectantly even though we do not always see the expected results.
God brought Moses into the world in a turbulent, dangerous time. He had a plan for Moses’ life that would change the world. Moses was a remarkable person and his is life a fruitful study for us in our modern day. In the Scriptures he is remarkable because he is one of the few people where we have the story of his entire life from birth to death. Dr. I. M. Haldman points out;
- He was the child of a slave yet the son of a queen.
- He was born in a hut yet lived in a palace.
- He inherited poverty yet had unlimited riches.
- He was a leader of armies yet was a keeper of sheep.
- He was a mighty warrior yet the meekest of men.
- He was educated in the courts of Pharaoh yet he dwelt in deserts.
- He had the wisdom of Egypt yet the faith of a child.
- He was accustomed to live in a city yet wandered in deserts.
- He was tempted with the pleasures of sin yet endured the hardships of virtue.
- He was backwards in speech yet he talked with God.
- He had the rod of a shepherd yet the power of the infinite.
- He was a fugitive from Pharaoh yet an ambassador from Heaven.
- He was the giver of the Law yet the forerunner of grace.
- He died alone on the mountain yet he appeared on the mountain at the transfiguration of Jesus.
- No man assisted in his funeral yet he was buried by God.
Moses was in many ways a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. His name means “drawn forth” and he drew his people from the bondage of slavery. Moses was born to set his people free. Jesus came to this world to set us all free from the power of Satan and the Law. Moses was born in poverty and became the son of the king. Jesus was the son of God. He was born in poverty and became the savior of his people and will one day assume His place as the King of kings and Lord of lords. C. S. Scofield points out some of the ways that Moses is a type of Christ in his notes on Exodus chapter 2.
Moses is a type of Christ, the deliverer
- Moses was a divinely chosen deliverer.
- Jesus is the divinely chosen deliverer of the world.
- Moses was rejected by Israel and turned to the Gentiles in the desert of Midian.
- Jesus was rejected by Israel and then turned His saving message to the Gentiles.
- During his rejection Moses gains a bride.
- The Lord Jesus is preparing for Himself the church as His bride.
- Afterwards he again appears as Israel’s deliverer, and is accepted.
- One day Jesus will again appear and will be accepted as every knee is bowed and every tongue confesses that He is Lord to the glory of the Father.
Moses is a type of Christ as a prophet.
Moses is a type of Christ as an advocate.
Moses is a type of Christ as an intercessor.
Moses is a type of Christ as the leader and king.
Moses was a great man and was greatly used of God. We must never forget that Jesus “was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, in as much as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.” (Hebrews 3:3) All our study should point us to Jesus. He is the one who died for us and gave us a home in Heaven. If you have never put your faith and trust in him, today is the day of salvation. “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts,” Hebrews 3:15.
To help our understanding:
1. Why is the fact that “another king” was “another
of a different kind” significant?
2. How did the midwives demonstrate how they
feared God? How is that a testimony to me?
3. What lesson does Moses’ parent’s act of faith
teach us today?
4. If God has a special place for Moses, what dose
Psalm 27:23 mean for you ?
5. Why should we not fear to obey God whe He
calls us to follow Him on some new venture?
6. What does Jochabed having Moses for several
more years teach us about our own children?
7. Dr. Haldman gives us a list of contrasts in
Moses’ life. Can you think of any more?
8. Moses was the deliverer of Israel. How has Jesus
been your personal deliverer?
9. Why should all of our Bible study point us to
Please leave us a comment if you have any thoughts, ideas, or questions about this post.