Exodus 5

The First Interview with Pharaoh


Divisions of the chapter:

I.   Ex 5:1-9 – Moses and Aaron go in to Pharaoh, and desire leave for the children of Israel to go into the wilderness three days' journey, to sacrifice to the Lord, and are answered very churlishly and atheistically, and are charged with making the people idle, the consequence of which was, the taskmasters had orders, to make their work more heavy and toilsome.

II.   Ex 5:10-14 – Pharaoh’s orders were executed quickly and with severity.

III.   Ex 5:15-19 – The officers of the children of Israel complained to Pharaoh, but to no purpose.

IV.   Ex 5:20-23 – The officers meet Moses and Aaron, lay the blame upon them, which sends Moses to the Lord to protest to Him about it.


Section I:

Ex 5:1-9 – Moses and Aaron go in to Pharaoh, and desire leave for the children of Israel to go into the wilderness three days' journey, to sacrifice to the Lord, and are answered very churlishly and atheistically, and are charged with making the people idle, the consequence of which was, the taskmasters had orders, to make their work more heavy and toilsome.


Verse 1, And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

I.   Afterward – that is after the events in chapter 4.

A.     Moses was sure to follow the commandments of God in telling the elders of Israel before he went into Pharaoh.

B.     It is always good to obey the commandments of God.


II.   The feast had to be held in the wilderness, away from Egypt.  The Israelite religion was a rebuke to the Egyptians.

A.     This is to be a joyous occasion, not a time of sadness.

B.     The people of Israel should come back refreshed, and ready for more work, but Pharaoh only sees the challenge to his absolute authority over the people, therefore refuses to let them go.

C.     Israel never changes its desire or demands upon Egypt.

1.       God has instructed them to leave Egypt and leave Egypt they must do.

2.       This is also true for us, we must do what God demands.

D.     Why didn’t God ask for Israel to leave permanently, instead of asking to leave, seemingly temporarily, to hold a feast unto the Lord.

1.       In all truthfulness, God is asking for Israel to leave permanently.

2.       The statement is made in a positive way instead of a negative way.

3.       Israel will leave permanently so they can serve Almighty God, not the god of the Egyptians.


III.   God wants Israel to ask.  Respect for government, even a pagan government.

A.     The Egyptians do have control over Israel, although they must serve God.

1.       God didn't want Israel to suddenly leave Egypt without telling the authorities why they were leaving.

2.       God has given government His authority, and they don't bear the sword in vain.

B.     This is so for us today.

1.       We are under the authority of our civil government, which is placed over us by God Himself.

2.       We are to worship God in spirit and in truth, but only as the government allows us to.

C.     If the government won't allow us to worship, we should continue dealing with them until God moves them to allow us to worship Him.

1.       If God wants His people to serve Him, He will so arrange the affairs of the government so they can serve Him without overmuch fear and trembling.

2.       God expects His people to worship and serve Him, and will allow them to, one way or the other.


Verse 2, And Pharaoh said, Who [is] the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.

I.   Pharaoh is correct, he doesn't know the LORD in salvation, in authority, or in any other way.

A.     Pharaoh has never heard the name "Jehovah" before.

1.       Nobody else has either.

2.       Exodus 3:13-15 - God just revealed Himself to Israel as Jehovah.

B.     The name.

1.       The word “LORD” means Jehovah, or the self-existing or eternal one.

2.       The word “God” means supreme God.

a.       This word is used in Genesis 1:1, and speaks of the creatural God.

b.       The word is sometimes used to show respect to magistrates.

c.       Pharaoh would understand that Moses is speaking about a command from the everlasting God who created all the world and worlds, and is over all creatures.

C.     Pharaoh would understand immediately there is a challenge from the God of Israel to the god of Egypt.

1.       The main god of Egypt appears to be Ra.

2.       Dominance was achieved by the system of Heliopolis, home of the sun god Atum, later identified with Ra. Similar to the Hermopolis cycle, it involved a primordial chaos from which appeared Atum who gave birth to the other gods. [1]


II.   Pharaoh probably judges the God of Israel by the character of His people.

A.     Israel is a slave to the Egyptians, so Pharaoh probably figures the God of Israel should be a slave to the gods of the Egyptians.

B.     He is soon to find out the reverse is true.


Verse 3, And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.

I.   Moses and Aaron are making a difference between the god of the Egyptians and the God of the Hebrews.

A.     They are stating the god of the Egyptians is not the God of the Hebrews.

B.     They use this terminology because it is the terminology the Egyptians would use.


II.   The details of their request.

A.     Very humble.

1.       It is not their plan, nor idea.

2.       They make no complaint about their difficult working conditions.

3.       They are not asking for freedom, only release to worship for a while.

4.       They beg, not demand.

5.       We  want to the freedom to worship our God as other people have the freedom to worship their gods.

6.       If we don't worship Him, our God will cause terrible things to come upon us.

7.       This is the same as saying, "If you don't let us go into the wilderness to worship, these terrible things will come upon you."

B.     They ask what God told them to ask.

1.       Exodus 3:12 – God told Moses a sign that He is with him is that he and all Israel will worship in this holy mountain. (Horeb)

2.       Exodus 3:18 – God tells Moses exactly what he is supposed to say before Pharaoh, that Israel must go three days journey into the wilderness to worship God with sacrifices.

3.       It is true that God doesn’t tell all that He will do to Israel, that they are leaving for good.

a.       This doesn’t mean God has told a lie, by not telling all the truth.

b.       God has told Pharaoh enough.


III.   Why does Moses say God might fall on them with pestilence, when it has never been mentioned before?

A.     Some suggestions:

1.       There is some knowledge Moses and Aaron had that we don’t know about.

2.       To show Pharaoh that his slaves might be unable to work because of the pestilences of God upon them, therefore Pharaoh and Egypt would be injured.

3.       It could be that the threat is directed toward Egypt, not Israel, but is presented in this disguised form so as not to “rile” Pharaoh.

B.     This is something the Egyptians would understand.

1.       The Egyptians were required to do sacrifice to their god, or he would bring pestilences upon them.

2.       Their god would stop the overflowing of the Nile River, thus their crops would not be irrigated.


Verse 4            , And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.

I.   Pharaoh blames Moses and Aaron for this request.

A.     Moses has come from some place, but Pharaoh doesn't check to see where he came from or why he has left the Israelites in the first place.  At least there is no record that Pharaoh checked on the background of Moses.

B.     Pharaoh speaks to the people who had forsaken their burdens.

1.       Exodus 3:18 records the fact that Moses, Aaron, and the elders of the people were to assemble before Pharaoh.

2.       This crowd of people didn’t impress Pharaoh, because he wasn’t impressed with or by God Almighty.

C.     Pharaoh doesn’t direct his remarks particularly to Moses and Aaron, because he wouldn’t want them to return to God for more strength and help.


II.   Pharaoh is a wicked ruler.

A.     Proverbs 28:15-16 – “As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people. 16  The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.”

1.       There is no telling what Pharaoh will do next, and that he lacks understanding.

2.       Any time a person lacks a knowledge of God, he lacks understanding.

B.     Pharaoh, being a wicked king, and only thinking of himself, cannot imagine the feelings of any body else, or that they want to do anything but work for him.


Verse 5, And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now [are] many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.

I.   Pharaoh is saying here that there are now more Israelites living in Egypt than there were when the Egyptians commanded them to make a "tale" (a certain measurement) of bricks a day.

A.     The population has so increased that it takes a small percentage of the population to make the bricks than it did beforehand.

1.       Therefore, many of the Israelites are idle, having nothing to do except sit around and think of some way to get out of more and more work.

2.       Pharaoh would think they would be resting, or someone else would be able to do their work while the elders came before Pharaoh.

B.     I think the “ye” in verse 5 is Moses and Aaron.

1.       Pharaoh is blaming this demand on Moses and Aaron, because they are in front of him, and Pharaoh can’t see anything spiritual at all.


Verse 6-9, And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, 7, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.  8, And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish [ought] thereof: for they [be] idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go [and] sacrifice to our God. 9, Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.

I.   Pharaoh gave the command to the taskmasters the very same day.

A.     He didn't wait very long to begin His persecution of this Godly nation.  God won't wait very long to judge Egypt.

1.       When this command comes down from the highest position in the land, it will surely be heeded.

2.       Nobody will dare not obey the order.

B.     This order would cast the nation of Israel into the limelight, forcing every Egyptian to look on the Israelites in a new and different light.

1.       Previously, it looks like Israel had not “made any waves,” silently enduring their persecution and doing whatever was commanded of them.

2.       There was a time to be silent, but now it is time to “make waves.”


II.   The straw.

A.     What the straw was used for is unknown.

1.       It could have been used to mix with the clay to make the brick stronger.

2.       It would have been used to cover the finished brick from the sun, so the bricks wouldn’t dry out too quickly, and crack.

3.       It could have been used to make a fire to heat the bricks and cure them.

4.       It really doesn’t make much difference what the straw was for, the fact is it was necessary for the making of bricks, and the bricks had to be made by the Israelites.

B.     Israel is to gather the straw for themselves.

1.       It appears from this that previously the Egyptians had gathered the straw for Israel.

2.       This command will throw some Egyptians out of work, so they won’t be very happy.

3.       This command will also increase the work of the Israelites.

4.       Pharaoh isn’t thinking about what bad things will happen to Egypt through this command, he is only thinking of bad things that will happen to Israel.


III.   The tale of bricks was not diminished.

A.     A tale is a number, whatever that number is.

B.     This command will effectively add to the work of Israel.

1.       I don’t know the exact percentage of increase, but there will definitely be an increase.

2.       Some of the Israelites will have to find where to get the straw.

3.       Some of the Israelites will have to go get the straw.

4.       Some of the Israelites will have to arrange for transporting the straw.

5.       Some of the Israelites will have to arrange for distributing the straw at the worksite.

6.       Other Israelites will have to be involved in making sure there is enough straw, and not an excess. (controlling inventory)


IV.   The reason for all this.

A.     Pharaoh believes Israel doesn’t have enough to do.

1.       He believes they have too much time to listen to vain (empty) words.

2.       The principle Pharaoh is working on is a Godly, Biblical principle, but his application is all wrong.

B.     Pharaoh believes (and rightly so) that if a person has enough work to do, they won’t have time to get into “trouble.”

1.       This is still so today.

2.       This is a part of the curse upon men, Gen. 3:17-19, that they earn their living by the sweat of their brow.

3.       In working hard, and getting tired, humans won’t have the time or the energy to get into a lot of sin.


Section II:

Ex 5:10-14 – Pharaoh’s orders were executed quickly and with severity.


Verse 10-14 - And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. 11, Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished. 12, So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. 13, And the taskmasters hasted [them], saying, Fulfil your works, [your] daily tasks, as when there was straw. 14, And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, [and] demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?

I.   Pharaoh’s orders will be obeyed with enthusiasm.

A.     The result of Pharaoh’s orders was immediate.

1.       There was no more straw provided that very day, and every day hereafter.

2.       There is no record this law was every repealed, or changed in any way.

3.       So all the time Egypt was being plagued, Israel continued to search out straw and continued making bricks as before.

B.     Israel is scattered all over the land, seeking straw.

1.       This would make it very much harder on the Israelites.

2.       It would also give opportunity for the Egyptians who provided the straw to get to know the Israelites.

3.       It doesn’t change their minds about Israel, but makes them more accountable to God.

4.       There will be a mixed multitude leave Egypt with Israel.


II.   The taskmasters hurried up the people.

A.     There is no doubt an accountability on their part to see that the tale of bricks gets made just as before.

1.       There is little doubt in my mind that the taskmasters would be punished by Pharaoh if they didn’t see to it that Israel continued to make the tale of bricks.

2.       What this will do is to make everybody aware of what is going on.

B.     Pharaoh thinks he is straightening out the “problem” with his new order, but he isn’t.

1.       The situation with Israel and Egypt is being made more and more prominent, not only to the inhabitants of the land, but also to anybody who happened to be traveling through the land.

2.       This may be how word of the conquest of Egypt gets out – by travelers taking word to all other nations.


III.   Some Israelites were beaten.

A.     Those that were beaten were the officers of the children of Israel, meaning they were Israelite officers, not Egyptian officers.

1.       The Egyptian officers would beat their own people only as a last resort.

2.       They wouldn’t mind beating the Israelite officers.

B.     I know this wouldn’t be pleasant, and it is something I wouldn’t want for myself or others.

1.       The beatings show the urgency of the situation, and the tenseness that everybody feels, starting with Pharaoh.

2.       God’s people have always been persecuted, and will continue to be persecuted until Jesus comes for us.

a.       II Timothy 2:12 states, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:”

b.       I Peter 4:12-19 gives instructions about the proper attitude in suffering.

1)      Do not think it strange concerning the fact that we must suffer in this life because we belong to Christ.

2)      It is better to suffer as a Christian than to suffer for our sins.

3)      Let each Christian suffer with a good attitude, giving the end results over to God.

C.     Evidently beatings were relatively uncommon up to this point.

1.       There is no doubt some Israelites were beaten before, because in Exodus 2:11, forty years previously Moses spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, and killed him, burying him in the sand.

2.       Israel was under much persecution by the Egyptians for many years.

a.       It is likely persecution started with Exodus 1:8.

b.       Exodus 2:23-25 records that the persecution was probably happening before Moses left for Midian.

c.       Moses was gone for 40 years, and there is little doubt the persecution continued all that time.  [2]


Section III:

Ex 5:15-19 – The officers of the children of Israel complained to Pharaoh, but to no purpose.


Verse 15-19 - Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? 16, There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants [are] beaten; but the fault [is] in thine own people. 17, But he said, Ye [are] idle, [ye are] idle: therefore ye say, Let us go [and] do sacrifice to the LORD. 18, Go therefore now, [and] work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. 19, And the officers of the children of Israel did see [that] they [were] in evil [case], after it was said, Ye shall not minish [ought] from your bricks of your daily task.


I.   Evidently, this is the first time Israel hears why they are required to gather their own straw and continue to make the same tale of bricks.

A.     Exodus 5:10 – the taskmasters told the people and their officers it was the order of Pharaoh.

1.       Just because they were told doesn’t mean they heard.

2.       It is one thing to hear a sound and another thing to understand the meaning.

B.     The officers of Israel believed they could find relief from Pharaoh, the highest “court” of the land.

1.       It seems the officers of Israel had previously found relief or help of some sort from Pharaoh.

2.       They had no union to go through, Pharaoh was the final word.

C.     There would be no help from Pharaoh.

D.     There is a total lack of understanding of what God will do.

1.       Exodus 4:21 – God instructed Moses to do all the miracles before the people Pharaoh, which he did.  God told Moses He would harden Pharaoh’s heart, which He did.

2.       Exodus 4:30 – When Moses and Aaron had gathered all the Israelites together, “…Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken and did the signs in the sight of the people.”

3.       These verses show me that the people were told, but they didn’t hear all of the truth of the words.

4.       They believed until a time of trouble and tribulation came, then they didn’t have the right foundation of truth, because they hadn’t heard or believed all the truth.

E.      This happens to us.

1.       We believe we have the truth.

2.       We believe people ought to hear the truth.

3.       We try to teach the truth, but people don’t hear.

4.       Then we wonder why our message is rejected, and people start to fight us.

5.       II Timothy 3:12 states, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

F.      Why didn’t they hear all the truth when Moses and Aaron showed them the signs from God and the Words of God?

1.       They didn’t think it applied to them.

2.       They thought they wouldn’t have to go through any trouble, tribulation or trial.

3.       They honestly thought everything would be great for them.


II.   Up to this point, the officers of Israel believed they could find relief from Pharaoh for what they presumed was orders only from the Egyptian taskmasters.

A.     The officers of Israel heard Pharaoh say with his own mouth, “Ye are idle, ye are idle…”

1.       The officers of Israel agreed together that they should go to Pharaoh for relief, but there is no record they consulted God, or asked relief from God, or asked God to move on Pharaoh to give them relief.

2.       All our real relief comes from God, not from man.

3.       It doesn’t make any difference which man is in office, or which man is in charge of our welfare, our relief comes from God.

4.       God will protect us from an evil ruler, and give us relief during the time of a good ruler.

B.     The officers of Israel saw they were in an evil case.

1.       It is amazing they saw they were in an evil case only after they heard Pharaoh say, “Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.”

2.       It seems they should have seen they were in an evil case by the simple fact that they were living in Egypt, and not in the promised land.

3.       The promise of God was long forgotten in any practical sense of the word.

4.       The promise of God was a far a way dream, which would not be seen by them.

5.       They were “putting up” with evil all around them, not really expecting to receive the promise from God.

6.       Are we in this same condition:

a.       Are we “putting up” with evil all around us, and not studying the Bible like we ought to?

b.       Have we given up on receiving any relief from God on this earth?

c.       Have we given up on raising our children like God said, believing we won’t be able to make a difference anyway?

C.     What about us?

1.       The Great Tribulation is upon us, do we believe we shall simply escape the terrors of that time without having to go through any of it?

a.       I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, but does that mean we will escape all the terrors leading up to the Anti-Christ beginning his rule on this earth?

b.       There is no doubt in my mind that we must be here on this earth when the Anti-Christ establishes his kingdom

c.       We will not be here after he establishes his kingdom.

d.       Are we ready to stand true to God while Satan establishes his kingdom, or will we be like Israel, blind to what is coming, and how Satan is using current events to prepare the world for his kingdom?

e.       If we are blind to what is coming, then we will also be blind to what is happening to us now?

f.        Therefore, we will be more likely to grumble at “inconveniences” than to overcome them.  [3]


Section IV:

Ex 5:20-23 – The officers meet Moses and Aaron, lay the blame upon them, which sends Moses to the Lord to protest to Him about it.


Verse 20, And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:

I.   It appears from this verse that Moses and Aaron was waiting to hear what Pharaoh had to say.

A.     The Jews are dealing with an unbeliever and are anxious about the immediate future.

B.     It appears from verse 22,23 that Moses believed, and perhaps had lead the Israelites to believe that Pharaoh would give them some relief.

1.       There is no verse that says this, but from the question Moses asked God, it appears he thought God would give the Jews, not only freedom to leave Egypt, but also freedom from their physical labors in Egypt.

2.       Neither Moses, Aaron, or the rest of the Israelites understood what God was going to do.


II.   Why didn’t God reveal to Moses, Aaron, the officers of the people and the people concerning Pharaoh’s reaction?

A.     Question:

1.       What will we have to go through?

2.       Give us grace, mercy and courage to go through whatever God wants us to go through.

3.       Luke 9:57-62 – Those that want to follow Christ should know they must endure many hardships, and never follow the customs or traditions of the people.  God is their guide, their ruler, and their only help.

4.       Luke 14:25-33 – Each disciple must hate (love less) everybody and everything else, or they cannot be the disciple of God.

a.       Each disciple must count the cost to know as much as they can so they will know if they are able to finish or not.

b.       Each disciple will discover when they look at themselves that they are not able to continue, but by the grace of Almighty God, they will be able to fight the good fight of faith.

B.     They didn’t ask.

1.       James 4:2 – “yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”

2.       There are many things we don’t have because we don’t ask.

C.     God wants Israel to learn to trust Him when they don’t know what will happen next.

1.       God does not require Israel to know and understand each and every detail of every event.

2.       God demands Israel to trust Him, believe in Him, and rest in Him in those things they don’t know or understand.

D.     God wants us to learn to trust Him when we don’t know what will happen next.

1.       God does not require that we know and understand each and every detail of every event, and every doctrine.

2.       God demands that we trust Him, believe in Him, and rest in Him in everything.


III.   This verse marks a turning point for Israel, or reflects their true heart.  They just wanted to get out of trouble, not really and truly worship God, or go into the land of Canaan, as promised by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

A.     It is true that this is not all Israel, but only the officers appointed by Pharaoh.

1.       As the leaders of Israel go, so goes the nation.

2.       Ten spies (the majority) led all of Israel to rebel against God’s command to take the promised land.

B.     When the officers of Israel met Moses, they blamed him for their troubles.

1.       They didn’t ask advice of Moses, or God, or desire help to understand why things turned out the way they did.

2.       We should never blame people for our troubles, for they may just be the instrument God uses to teach us more of His eternal power.

3.       We should always pray to God, asking Him to reveal His eternal will to us, and help us to be submissive to His eternal plan.

C.     If these officers of Israel had faith in Christ, by heeding the words and signs God gave Moses, they would have lived victorious lives, not defeated lives.

1.       Israel constantly complains about the things God does for them – from now on.

2.       They never see, until it is too late, that what happens is for their own good, and God’s glory – Romans 8:28.

3.       They miss the majority of life’s blessings because they are constantly wanting to see it now and in their present physical world.

D.     It is very easy to complain to God when things don’t turn out the way we had them planned to turn out.

1.       We must remember Isaiah 55:8,9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

2.       God sees the “big picture,” we see the “little picture.”

a.       I have had people tell me the “big picture” is what happens to them, and their family.

b.       This is the “little picture,” not the “big picture.”

c.       The “big picture” is what God sees.

3.       Rev. 1:8 - Jesus Christ is the alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.

4.       Our puny thoughts are not equal to the majesty and splendor of God’s thoughts.

5.       Let us recognize that truth, and let us throw our thoughts away and trust God and His eternal plan.


Verse 21, And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.

I.   Imperfect knowledge.

A.     That the LORD will judge Moses and Aaron.

B.     That it is wrong for Pharaoh, and his servants to think evil of the Jews.

1.       The word “savour” means scent.

a.       The word is not “Saviour,” speaking of Christ.

b.       The officers of the Jews are saying that Moses and Aaron have made the very presence of the Jews to be a stink in the nostrils of Pharaoh.

2.       The fact is that sinners should have some sort of feelings toward God and the people of God.

a.       They should either love us or hate us, not be lukewarm toward us.

b.       They should know they can trust us to do what we say, and what God says.

c.       If unbelievers can take us or leave us, then they will also take God or leave God.

d.       We are the ambassadors of God, and people ought to know what we will, and will not do, in obeying the commandments of God.

C.     That Pharaoh will kill the Jews.

1.       The physical circumstances that are seen with the eyes of flesh indicate that Pharaoh will probably kill the Jews by forcing them to work harder and beating them to death if they don’t.

2.       The spiritual circumstances are that God has already said the Jews are leaving Egypt.

3.       If you didn’t have the book of Exodus to read so you know the end of the story, which of the above two circumstances would you choose as definite to happen?


Verse 22, And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou [so] evil entreated this people? why [is] it [that] thou hast sent me? 23, For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

I.   Imperfect knowledge.

A.     Moses must talk to God.

1.       There is no record that Aaron prayed to God at all.

a.       Aaron is the spokesman, Moses is the leader.

b.       Aaron is waiting to speak that which Moses tells him to speak.

c.       Aaron’s position doesn’t give him the responsibility of understanding.

d.       His position gives him the responsibility of repeating.

2.       It is good to talk to God when there is trouble, misunderstandings, not understanding, or not knowing.

a.       There is comfort to be gained from praying for Moses.

b.       There is comfort to be gained from praying for us.

B.     Moses doesn’t understand what God will do, even though God has told him.

1.       I don’t want to come down too hard on Moses, because he is seeing things as a human see things.

2.       Moses, and us, should live closer to God, which will allow us to see things by faith, not by sight.

C.     Moses understands that God has done evil to the Israelites.

1.       Moses is wrong.

a.       in what he says in verse 22, “…wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people?…”

b.       God has not caused this evil.

c.       Moses is wrong when he says in verse 23, “…neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.”

d.       Making Israel uncomfortable in Egypt is one step of God preparing Israel to leave Egypt.

2.       Moses is right.

a.       in what he says in verse 23, “…he (Pharaoh) hath done evil to this people…”

b.       Moses is looking at the immediate circumstance, and understands that Pharaoh is the one who hasn’t listened.


II.   God will answer Moses question.

A.     God doesn’t answer the questioning of the officers of Israel.

1.       They don’t ask, but accuse Moses, God’s representative.

2.       They didn’t pray, therefore they didn’t get any comfort.

B.     God begins in Exodus 6:1 to show Moses what He is going to do.

1.       Moses will then understand, and will be faithfully obedient to God’s commands.

2.       Israel will never understand, therefore will never be faithfully obedient to God’s commands.  [4]

[1] Holman Bible Dictionary, article Egypt.

[2] Preached to here 2/27/01 IBC Wednesday Evening

[3] Preached to here 3/07/01 IBC Wednesday Evening

[4] Preached to here 3/14/01 IBC Wednesday Evening