Exodus 3

The first Recorded Appearance of God to Moses

The First Time God Reasoned With Moses

Verse 1-10


Verse 1, Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, [even] to Horeb.

I.   Moses was in the backside of the desert.  He might have been in a place where people aren’t, but God is still there.


Verse 2, And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush [was] not consumed.

I.   This is a miracle.

A.     No man helped in this miracle.

B.     No man needs to help God in any miracle, but God uses men because He had decreed to.


II.   I heard a preacher say one time that the burning bush served no other purpose than to attract Moses’ attention.

A.     That preacher was using “gimmicks” for no other reason than to attract people.

1.       For example, he would bring a goat on the church bus to show the kids what a goat was, and to give a story about how goats are a type of a lost person.

2.       He had a great big cake and gave every person a little bite of it to celebrate an anniversary service of his church.

3.       He was a great believer in attracting people by any means possible, then getting them saved with the gospel before they knew what had happened to them.

B.     Needless to say, he and I had a difference of “opinion”.


Verse 3, And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

I.   Moses had to turn aside out of his normal way to come into contact with God.

A.     People must turn from their normal lifestyle to find the real purpose of their living on God’s earth.

B.     We can miss many blessings from God if we don’t turn aside from our “normal” life style.


Verse 4, And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here [am] I.

I.   This verse gives indication that God is watching everything His children do.

A.     If they go one way, He knows it.

B.     If they go another way, He knows that to.


II.   Notice that God called to Moses because he turned aside to see the burning bush.

A.     God was going to call Moses one way or another, but since Moses turned aside on the first count, God will speak to him now instead of later.


Verse 5, And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy ground.

I.   Moses had probably walked this ground many times before, but wasn’t told it was holy ground.  The ground isn’t holy.

A.     It is God’s presence that makes the entire area holy.


Verse 6, Moreover he said, I [am] the God of thy 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.

I.   It is a natural thing to fear God.

A.     It is better to fear God than not fear God.

1.       Romans 3:18 – Paul declares that lost people have no fear of God before their eyes.

2.       A fear of God leads to respect for God lead to love for God.

3.       I had a great fear of my dad when I was young because I respected what he said, because I knew he meant what he said.  This fearful respect lead to a great love for dad.

4.       This same principle works for those that fear God.

B.     Give a list of Godly people that fear when God or his angels appear to them.

1.       Judges 6:22 – Gideon was fearful when he knew he was speaking to an angel of God.

2.       Judges 13:22 – the parents of Samson were fearful when they knew they were speaking to an angel of God.  [1]


Verse 7, And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which [are] in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

I.   He had both seen and heard the affliction of Israel.

A.     God had seen their affliction, but had done nothing to change anything for them.

B.     When  God heard their affliction, He had heard their prayers to Him concerning their pitiful situation.

1.       I believe this verse is again teaching us that God expects us to pray to Him concerning the desires of our heart.

2.       God does know everything we are going through, but He won’t do anything to help us until we ask Him to.

3.       James 4:2 – We have not because we ask not.

4.       This is not cruel and unusual punishment on His part.  It is simply that He wants us to ask Him.

5.       He is our heavenly father, and like our earthly father, wants to be included in our plans.

6.       When we ask God He will surely do more than we think or imagine He will do.

C.     God knows their sorrows.

1.       God knew their sorrows (and ours) before we sigh, and before we cry.

2.       God won’t do anything about it (apart from His directive will, of course) unless we ask Him.

3.       I think part of God knowing is prophetic.

a.       that is, Jesus Christ knows exactly what we are going through because He came down to the earth, took upon Himself the form of a man, yet without sin, that we might know He knows all about our frame, or feelings, or joys, or sorrows.

b.       God knew exactly what Israel was going through even though Jesus Christ has not yet come to the earth.

c.       He is God and knows all things, nothing is ever added to His knowledge.


Verse 8, And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

I.   There are two things God says He will do in this verse.

A.     God will never lead His people out of one place without giving them another place.

B.     He will come down and deliver Israel out of Egypt.

C.     God will bring them unto a good land, where six other nations now reside.

1.       Some might think God is wrong to deliver this land to Israel when other nations are living there.

2.       Those people forget that this entire world belongs to God and He can and will do with it as it pleases Him.

3.       Psalms 50:10 - The cattle on a thousand hills are His.

4.       Genesis 15:16 – Another point right here is that the iniquity of the Amorites wasn’t full when God gave the promise of the land of Canaan to Abraham, but it if full when God calls Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt.

a.       God has let the inhabitants of the land of Canaan go so far into sin, but now He will allow them to continue no further.

b.       Psalms 76:10 states, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.”

c.       God will allow the wrath of man to continue as long as He gets glory out of it.  When God ceases to get glory out of the wrath of man, He will stop it.


II.   God said He would deliver the Israelites, but in verse 10 He tells Moses bring them out of Egypt.

A.     This isn’t a contradiction, but simply the way it works.

1.       God will deliver Israel from Egypt, but will use Moses.

2.       God saves sinners, but He uses the words spoken by his servants to quicken them.

3.       God can heal with or without doctors, but often uses their skills.

B.     God saves sinners, but doesn’t save them until they hear the Word of God.

1.       That means we must tell them.

2.       It is a “cop-out” to say that God will save them regardless of whether we talk to them or not.

3.       It is true that God could send somebody else to talk to them, but that isn’t the proper meaning.

4.       It is OUR responsibility, not the responsibility of somebody else.


III.   God uses the word “come down” to indicate His actual presence with Israel to deliver them from Egypt.

A.     He will not stay in heaven while His children suffer on this earth, but will “come down” to be with them.

B.     He does exactly the same thing with us.

1.       We sometimes think that God is a long way from us, but He never is.

2.       When we face severe difficulty and trials, His presence is felt all the more.


IV.   The promise of a better land.

A.     Egypt was a place of refuge from the famine in Canaan, but has now become a bitter place.

B.     Israel doesn’t own any land in Egypt, and will not own any.

1.       God will give them the land of Canaan for their inheritance.

2.       It is a good land, flowing with all the good things this earth has to offer


V.   God doesn’t mind His children having the best this world has to offer.

A.     He just doesn’t want them to forget Him when they have the good of this earth.

B.     God gave Abraham, Solomon, and other faithful men great riches, because of their faithfulness.


Verse 9, Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.

I.   There are two reasons God seeks to deliver Israel from Egypt.

A.     They have asked.

1.       God would not deliver them if they hadn’t asked.  How simple, yet how true.

2.       When we undergo tribulations and trials, we must ask God for deliverance.

3.       He is well able to deliver us from all sorts of problems, but He will not deliver us if we don’t ask!

4.       How many problems do we face because we don’t ask Him for help?

5.       How many needless, sleepless nights and worrisome hours do we spend, all because we haven’t asked God to take care of a certain matter.

6.       Often we struggle with a difficulty as long as we possibly can, then turn it over to God only as a matter of last resort.

7.       When God suddenly and quickly solves that problem, he is teaching us to come to Him sooner.

8.       May God help us to readily see His interest in our present problems and His strength in solving many of them for us.

B.     He has seen the oppression they are under.

1.       Israel was under a great deal of oppression.

2.       It is not that they imagine themselves to be oppressed, but that they are oppressed.

3.       It is very real, therefore, God will deliver them.

4.       When oppression is real, God may deliver us when we call upon Him, but when that oppression is imagined, there is nothing to deliver us from.


Verse 10, Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

I.   It is amazing how God coaxes Moses into obedience.

A.     He does not order him, although He has that right.

1.       He does not force him to do something he really doesn’t want to do, although He has that strength.

2.       God desires willing followers, not unwilling.

B.     God wants willing workers.

1.       He has created beings who can do nothing but worship Him.

2.       God has created the Seraphims, cherubims, and living creatures, which serve Him out of blind obedience.

3.       That is good and right in its place because those creatures teach us how we are supposed to praise God, but God wants people to serve Him out of a heart of love.

C.     See how gently God urges Moses to raise himself to the task, and receive the great blessing of bringing Israel out of Egypt?


II.   There is certain victory.

A.     There is no doubt that Moses will deliver Israel, because God is with him.

B.     There would probably be another failure if God wasn’t leading the expedition.


The First Objection of Moses

The Question of Ability


Verse 11, And Moses said unto God, Who [am] I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

I.   I need to say right about here that God intends for Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt, and this is what he will do.

A.     An example in the “real” world.

1.       An employer wants all his employees to be happy, contented, and satisfied so they will produce the best labor.

2.       I know some employers are not like this, but they are the ones losing out on profitable labor.

3.       If employees see what the boss wants and works actively to attain it, everything goes better.

B.     God does not intend for Moses to be pressured, or afraid.

1.       God will “pressure” Moses into making the right choice.

2.       God “pressured” us when we were lost to make the right choice – and that choice is for salvation and we are glad.

3.       God continued to “pressure” us for scriptural baptism, and we are glad.

4.       God continued to “pressure” us for scriptural service – and we are glad.

C.     God wants Moses to be contented and brave.

1.       God will “pressure” Moses until he sees God’s way is the best way.

2.       God’s ways are much greater and better than our ways, but it isn’t until after God has worked on us a while that we see it.


II.   Moses was probably surprised to know that God was speaking to him.

A.     He surely didn’t expect to find God out here in the wilderness.

1.       God is everywhere, and the man God desires to use will be found of God.

2.       There is never any hiding from God.


III.   Moses knew who God was, and didn’t doubt anything God said, except that he should be the one to lead Israel out of Egypt.

A.     It is not wrong to doubt ones ability for many of the greatest leaders have doubted their ability.

1.       If a person doesn’t doubt their ability, they will depend upon themselves, and not upon God.

2.       It is good to know God has called a person to a certain task, but to depend upon personal strength is not good.

3.       II Corinthians 12:10 – Paul declared, “…when I am weak, then am I strong.”

B.     Examples of Godly men who doubted their ability to lead.

1.       Judges 6:15 – Gideon said his family was poor in Israel, and one of the least families.

2.       I Samuel 18:18 – David didn’t believe he was able to be King Saul’s son in law.

3.       I Kings 3:7 – Solomon said he was a little child, not knowing how to go out or come in.

4.       I Samuel 9:21 - King Saul is a man, who at the beginning of his rule, thought he was small, and unable to rule. He was right.  So – don’t oversell false humility.


IV.   Moses first objection to leading Israel out of Egypt.

A.     Generally that he was unfit for such a task.

1.       He was a mere man.

2.       He had tried already and was thus an exile from Egypt.

3.       He had already failed at this work.

4.       Surely, God would know he was unable for he was now a shepherd, and not accustomed to dealing with great kings and Pharaohs.

5.       Moses probably remembered all the troubles of his first encounter with Israel some 40 years ago, and wasn’t anxious to repeat the scene.

B.     I don’t know if Moses was thinking of any sort of military methods.

1.       If this came into his mind, there would be a great work indeed.

2.       Since this possibility didn’t come up, we can only assume it never entered Moses’ mind.


The Second Time God Reasoned with Moses


Verse 12, And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this [shall be] a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

I.   God assures Moses he won’t have to go alone.

A.     This is very necessary because 40 years ago Moses tried to deliver Israel by his own strength.

1.       I have an idea that incident is still fresh in Moses’ mind, even though it happened 40 years ago.

2.       Past failures are very familiar to us all, even though they were many years ago.

B.     Notice that God doesn’t reprimand Moses for his past failures, but encourages him to continue.

1.       God is telling Moses that this time will be different because he will be successful.

2.       The sign of coming again to Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai) will be great assurance for Moses.

3.       This is a place he is familiar with.

4.       He may have to leave this place for a little while, but soon he would be back in familiar surroundings.

5.       It is not that God is saying Moses position as leader of Israel will be temporary, but God only gives Moses one job at a time.

6.       God knows Moses (like us) are simple minded (one track minds), so He doesn’t need to give us too much at a time.


II.   What does it mean that the token of the promise will be when Israel gathers at Mount Horeb to worship?

A.     This is not a sign, because it is a future event.

1.       God wants Moses to look to the future and believe by faith, not look to a present sign and believe by sight.

2.       In all of Moses remaining life, living by faith, not by sight, will be fundamental.

3.       It should be for us as well.

B.     This token or sign is not necessarily for Moses’ benefit.

1.       It is for the benefit of all the nations of the world.

2.       Moses knows he tried to free Israel from the Egyptians all by himself, but was unable to do so.

3.       Everybody else knows that too.

4.       When Israel comes to Mount Horeb and worships, then everybody will know that God is with Moses and that God has brought Israel out of Egypt.

5.       Therefore God will get all the honor and glory – that is how it ought to be.

C.     A similar “token” appears in Isaiah 37:30.

1.       In this passage, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, had come against Israel, and Israel had prayed for deliverance.

2.       God heard their prayer and granted their petition, forcing the Assyrians to leave without “firing a shot” at Jerusalem.

3.       The sign of what God will do for Jerusalem and Israel is not necessarily in the Assyrians leaving, but in Jerusalem continuing.

a.       This sign is not necessarily for Israel to believe God will deliver them from the Assyrians, but for the Assyrians to believe God did deliver Israel.

b.       The sign will also help Israel to understand, know and believe that God is with them, therefore all they have to do is obey Him, and everything will be okay.

c.       The Assyrians will return to their homeland, not know exactly why 185,000 men died in one night (Isaiah 37:36), but when Jerusalem continues being blessed of God, it will gradually sink in that God protected Jerusalem from the Assyrians.

D.     Exodus 24:4,5 shows the fulfillment of Exodus 3:12.

1.       The giving of the law to Israel was not only God’s instruction manual for Israel, it was also a sign to all the world that God was with Israel.

2.       It is often in the looking back from where we are now that we see the fulfillment of God’s promises to us.

3.       Often, when we are in the middle of a situation, we can’t see God’s blessings, or God answering prayers, but He still does.   [2]


The Second Objection of Moses

The Question of Authority


Verse 13, And Moses said unto God, Behold, [when] I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What [is] his name? what shall I say unto them?

I.   Moses second objection is that he lacks authority.

A.     Exodus 2:14, There is no doubt that this objection came to Moses’ mind because the Israelite who asked him, “Who made thee a prince and a judge over us?...”

1.       This is a question Moses was unable to answer the first time, and he won’t be unprepared this time.

a.       He knows the Israelites will ask this question.

b.       It is strange, but we anticipate future events based on past episodes.

2.       It is not wrong to prepare ahead of time for things we know are going to come up.

a.       The difficult part is being sure we aren’t borrowing trouble.

b.       We don’t know what will come up, so it is better to trust God than try to figure out every little detail and how we will answer it.

B.     The fact that Moses thought to ask this question reveals that he was already thinking through the process he would have to go through in Egypt.

1.       Moses does voice his objections to God, yet I believe he really wants to go.

2.       He has a present fear of facing his past fear.

C.     According to verse 12, Moses was very concerned about Israel who remembered his first failed attempt to free them from Egypt.

1.       Moses remembered the attempt, and he assumed all Israel remembered it as vividly as he.

2.       This is why God answered Moses the way He did, giving Moses assurance he and all Israel would worship God at this same place, Mt. Horeb.


The Third Time God Reasoned with Moses


Verse 14, And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

I.   God patiently answered Moses inquiries.

A.     I don’t think God is aggravated with Moses yet because these are questions that must have answers.

B.     God might have begun to get aggravated if He saw in Moses the beginning of stubbornness.


II.   I AM that I AM.

A.     The self-existing one.  God has always existed, there never was a time when He began.  God has always been, and He has created all things according to His own divine plan, that all things might glorify Himself. 

1.       Ex. 6:1-3 - Here God explains to Moses that He will reveal Himself to Israel as the one who has existed for all eternity.

a.       God previously revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, or the most powerful God.

b.       Now He reveals more of Himself.

c.       Israel will now know God as the most powerful God, and also as the self-existing  God.

d.       This would make God so different from all the gods created by men that there would be no comparison.

2.       Psalms 83:18 - God’s plan is for every nation to know that He is the everlasting self-existing one.

a.       He first revealed himself to a few specially chosen people (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) as the most powerful God.

b.       Next, He revealed Himself to Israel as the eternally, self-existent God.

c.       Next, He will reveal Himself to the world as the eternally, self-existent God.

3.       Isaiah 12:1,2; 26:1-4 - There is coming a day (during the millennium) when all Israel shall, with their hearts, glory God as the everlasting, self-existent God.

B.     This answer should stop all inquiries.

1.       Judges 13:17 - Manoah asked the angel’s name and was told not to ask because his name was secret.

2.       Prov. 30:4 - Agur asks what is God’s name and what is His Son’s name?

a.       The word name means more than just an identifying appellation.

b.       It means His fame, reputation, and facts concerning His glory, power, and majesty.

3.       No man, by searching, can find out exactly who God is.

4.       All men must believe by faith.


Verse 15, And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations.

I.   The word “moreover”.

A.     God told Moses more than was necessary.

1.       See Ex. 3:6 where God told Moses more about Himself than he did at the first. (moreover)

2.       See Ex. 3:15-22 where God told Moses more about what would happen in Egypt than he did at the first.

3.       See Ex. 4:6 where God showed Moses more miracles he could do in the sight of the Israelites than He did at the first. (furthermore)

4.       The point is that God always showed more than was necessary.

B.     The reason for God’s anger in Ex. 4:14.

1.       When God gets angry at Moses because he doesn’t want to obey God, there is very good reason.

2.       What more could God do?  He has already done more than is necessary.

C.     The lesson for us.

a.       A sinner that continually rejects Christ will be under more condemnation than the sinner who only rejects Christ one time.

b.       The more Christ deals with you, the worse your judgment will be.

c.       Proverbs 29:1 – “He, that being often  reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

d.       Luke 12:47,48 - the servants that knows to do God’s will and doesn’t do it shall be beaten with many stripes, but the servant that doesn’t know to do God’s will and commits things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few stripes.


II.   God gives Moses explicit instructions as to how to do everything.

A.     First, he is to introduce God to them.

B.     Later he can introduce himself to them.


III.   God lets Moses know He is the same God that appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

A.     He will be know from now on by the name of the eternally self-existing one.

B.     Not only will Israel know Him as the “I AM,” but all other nations will to.

1.       This is the meaning of the phrase “…and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

2.       This phrase means more than just that all nations will know God by the name Jehovah, but that God intends for Israel to tell all nations this is His name.

3.       In other words, Israel is to be a “missionary” nation.


Verse 16, Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and [seen] that which is done to you in Egypt:

I.   God instructs Moses to gather the elders of Israel together before he speaks to the people in general.

A.     The elders could be heads of families, as the official government structure hasn’t been established yet.

1.       It could be these are the 70 elders spoken of in Numbers 11:25, who seem to be some sort of governing body.

2.       It would seem more likely the elders are the 70 elders, or at least the 70 elders in the formative years, because it seem unlikely that a representative of each family would go before Pharaoh.  There wouldn’t be enough room for them all.

B.     Moses is a stranger to the population, and they will have some natural reservations about listening to him.

C.     They are familiar with their own elders, and will readily listen as they tell them about God speaking to Moses.


II.   Moses doesn’t seek the favor of the general population.

A.     He is to deal with the elders of Israel, and they deal with the general public.

B.     This is the established government of Israel and God won’t introduce too many changes too quickly.

1.       God will introduce some changes later as the priesthood through Aaron is begun.

2.       These are changes for worship, not changes in the government.

C.     The people would surely rebel at too many changes, especially since we know they are all too ready to rebel as it is.


III.   God has visited the children of Israel.

A.     He was there, and they probably didn’t know it.

B.     There should be peace when God visits, but Israel apparently didn’t have peace.

1.       They didn’t have any peace until they saw Moses with their eyes.

2.       They didn’t have peace after Moses went before Pharaoh and he didn’t listen.

3.       This shows us the future of Israel.

a.       They won’t have peace because of faith.

b.       They will have peace only at sight.

c.       They won’t have peace!


Verse 17, And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.

I.   God continues to give Moses a detailed account of what will happen.

A.     In this place, He recounts the good land they will inhabit.

B.     See my notes on Exodus 3:8.


Verse 18, And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

I.   Moses will be successful in convincing Israel to follow him.

A.     There appears to be a total majority behind Moses, and in leaving Egypt for a three day journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to God.

B.     It is amazing how Israel heard about leaving, but did not hear, or believe the next verse.

1.       It is amazing how many saved people today hear about heaven, the rapture, and all the glory of heaven, but have not heard that there is a time of testing that is coming next.

2.       Israel failed to be completely true to God because they only heard what they wanted to hear.

3.       People today, and churches today, fail because they only hear what they want to hear.

4.       Matthew 8:19-22 – many desired to follow Christ, but He encouraged them to count the cost.

a.       One wanted to follow Christ, but He told them he did not have a place to lay his head.

b.       Another wanted to follow Christ, right after he buried his father, but Christ instructed him to start following now, and not keep the traditions of the world.


II.   We do not read in the Bible of this happening.

A.     It appears that only Moses and Aaron went before Pharaoh, never all the elders.

B.     It is likely this passage is talking about authority, not the actual presence.


III.   Three days journey into the wilderness.

A.     Although it has been said that it is a three days journey from Goshen to Mt. Horeb, it seems that this many people traveling 150-180 miles would take more than three days.

1.       I would think it would take approximately 15-18 days if all Israel were able to travel 10 miles per day.

2.       Israel’s population was 600,000 men besides women, children, and all the herds and flocks that would travel with them.

B.     I think the meaning is that God is instructing Israel to get out from under the authority of Pharaoh and under His authority.

1.       Israel is not true subjects of Pharaoh, but wholly belong to the Lord.

2.       Pharaoh believes they are his subjects, but he will soon learn different.

C.     God tells Moses to say this.

1.       This is not a lie, and it is the clear command of God.

2.       It is not meant to mislead, and Pharaoh wasn’t mislead.

3.       He knew Israel intended to get away for good, never to return.


Verse 19, And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.

I.   God tells Moses up front that Pharaoh will not let them go until he feels the mighty hand of God upon him.


II.   It must be understood that God knows all things.

A.     He knows Moses will go, He knows the elders will listen and back Moses.

B.     He also knows the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart.


III.   It might be suggested by some that since God knows everything, and in true predestination, there is the element of total control of all circumstances, why couldn’t God have put in Pharaoh’s heart to let Israel go?

A.     He could have.

1.       But He will not force any man to do anything he would not normally do.

2.       God wants willing servants.

3.       He could put into Pharaoh’s heart to let Israel go, and they would leave Egypt and nobody would hear what God did in delivering them.

4.       There would be no defeat of Satanic gods, which are worshipped by all of Egypt.

B.     The way this works out, the whole world will hear of Pharaoh’s rebellion against God, and God’s great love for Israel, and His great power which He manifested in destroying Egypt as a nation, and that without a “shot being fired”!

1.       Forty years after Israel leaves Egypt, Rahab the harlot, who is living in Jericho will tell the Israelite spies that the whole city is in great fear because the nation that God delivered out of Egypt is come to them.

2.       God will use the natural tendencies of mankind for His own advantage and glory.

3.       There is no other God that could do such!


Verse 20, And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.

I.   God continues to reveal to Moses what will happen in Egypt.

A.     These facts are not meant to discourage Moses, but to reveal to Him the power that goes with him.

1.       There is not, at this time, a detailed explanation of all the events of the rebellion.

2.       God gives Moses enough information so he will understand there will be some stubbornness on Pharaoh’s part.

B.     It wouldn’t be good if Moses believed he was facing a simple matter of taking a trip to Egypt, talking to the elders of Israel, going before Pharaoh, and bringing Israel back to Mt. Sinai.

1.       He needs to understand that it is more complicated than that.

2.       There are some troubles along the way, but in the end Israel will come to Mt. Sinai.


II.   When Moses knows these things for certain it will cause his faith to increase.

A.     As he goes through all these troubles and trials, he will have complete confidence in God’s plan, and will continually pray, asking Him to bless his efforts, and deliver Israel.

1.       He will work toward the certain end, as his eye will not be on the short run, but on the long run.

B.     This is how we ought to be.

1.       We ought to fix our eyes on the long run, and we will be successful.

2.       When we fix our eyes on the short run, we will stagger at the promises of God because there will be circumstances in which it looks like God’s plan will fail.


Verse 21, And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:

I.   God has revealed some of the problems areas to Moses, and now reveals some of the blessings to him.


Verse 22, But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put [them] upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

I.   God reveals that the women will spoil the Egyptians.

A.     What are the men supposed to be doing?

1.       If it were known that the men would spoil the Egyptians, they might get the idea that they would have to fight.  But they won’t have to fight at all.

B.     The Egyptians will be so thoroughly defeated and eager for Israel to leave, that the Israelite women will freely ask her neighbor for all sorts of riches, and the Egyptian women will eagerly give them whatever comes into their hands.

C.     Who are these women that sojourneth in her house?

1.       These are Egyptian women who are sojourning in the homes of the Israelite women.

2.       Sojourning means living on a temporary basis.

a.       This sojourning could be as a guest.

b.       But it also means some women will gather in the homes of the Israelite women out of fear.

c.       This could be some of the source of the mixed multitude that follow Israel out of Egypt.


II.   It is absolutely amazing to me how God continually does those things that we would not do.

A.     God will use women and not men.

B.     We oftentimes get the idea that the greatest blessings are given to the greatest people.

C.     God’s greatest blessings are always given to the ones He considers greatest!


III.   This concludes the preliminary prophecy God gives to Moses.  These things are meant to convince Moses that God is in total control and that Moses has no need to fear. [3]

[1] Preached to here 12/20/00 IBC Wednesday Evening

[2] Preached to here 12/27/00 IBC Wednesday Evening

[3] Preached to here 1/3/01 IBC Wednesday Evening