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Pharaoh Ignores God’s Warnings

Pharaoh Ignores God’s Warnings

I’m not sure how many years Bible commentaries have been available; but I feel like I have discovered an exciting new world!   Today, I am using The MACARTHUR BIBLE COMMENTARY by John MacArthur to help with clearer understanding my study of Moses and his leading the Israelites out of Egypt.

I had forgotten that God had instructed Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh and say the first time, “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.” Exodus 3:18b NKJV  This was a good idea as it would give them a head start perhaps before the Egyptians realized their slaves were gone!  But, that wouldn’t help the Hebrews to leave with more than they came with, as God had promised Moses. (Exodus 3:21) 

God knew that the king would not let them go for any reason.  But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand.  So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all of  My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go.”  Exodus 3: 19 -20 NKJV

In the MacArthur Commentary, Exodus 4:15 “…and I will teach you..” “The plural pronoun you means that God had promised to assist both of them, Moses and Aaron, in their newly appointed duties.”  Page 88

Another interesting insight: Exodus 4:16 “..you shall be to him as God…” “Aaron would speak to the people for Moses, even as Moses would speak to Aaron for the Lord.”  Macarthur Bible Commentary page88

God had warned Pharaoh that if he refused to let Israel go, his own refusal would bring death to his  firstborn son!  Exodus 4: 21 NKJV   Yet, we just read that God had  told Moses that He was certain the king would not let Israel go. (Exodus 3:19)  What was the purpose of Moses asking Pharaoh to release them if God knew he wouldn’t  do it?

This is an interesting concept: “This interplay between God’s hardening and Pharaoh’s hardening his heart must be kept in balance. Ten times(4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4 .8. 17) the historical record notes specifically that God hardened the king’s heart, and ten times(7:13 ,14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34, 35; 13:15) the record indicates the king hardened his own heart!” (MacArthur Bible Commentary page 88 )

I pray you will read these passages carefully! NEVER take someone’s word about what God’s Word says!!!  ALWAYS look it up for yourself and be sure!!!  I had never thought about it that way and was grateful for this insight because it satisfied some questions I had; but you read it and ask God for clarity before making up your own mind!

“For the first time, apart from the words to Moses before the plagues began, (Exodus 4:21 7 &: 3), the statement is made that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. In the other instances, the record indicates that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Each instance records “as the Lord commanded”, so what happened did so from two closely related perspectives (1) God was carrying out His purpose through Pharaoh, and (2) Pharaoh was personally responsible for his actions . (Exodus 9:13)“  MacArthur Bible Commentary page 95

My personal study and life’s experiences have proven to me that you and I also have these concepts working in each of our lives!  God is carrying out His purpose through each of us  but  we too are personally responsible ,while using  our God given freedom to make our own choices; that we do so according to God’s laws!

I write my blog because I want to share what I have found so exciting. May God give you the insight He desires for your heart!

 

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Israel’s Family in Egypt

Israel’s Family in Egypt

When Jacob (or “Israel “as God had named him in Genesis 32:28), and his family were just a few, we find they had journeyed to Egypt where God continued with His perfect plan for His chosen people. There were only 70 of them at this point (Genesis 46:27; Exodus 1:5; Deut. 10:22) but they came to Egypt to survive the famine that had swept over their own land.

Actually this was all part of the covenant God had made with Abraham. You know me well enough to know by now this wasn’t something I picked up the first 50 times (or so) I read or studied Genesis!  But there it is: Genesis 15: 13, “Then the LORD said to Abram, ‘Know this for certain; your offspring will be strangers in a land that does not belong to them;…”

Oh, I can’t wait to get to the “rest of the story” that God had planned!  The first years were good years.  Jacob’s family settled in Goshen. Goshen was a perfect location for shepherds, which was Jacob’s family occupation! And Egyptians were happy as farmers, (Genesis 46:28 -47:12)

And Jacob lived 17 more years. He was one hundred and forty-seven years old when Joseph promised Jacob that he would not be buried in Egypt, but would be buried with his Grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac, in Canaan.  (Genesis 47: 17-31)  Joseph lived one hundred and ten years when he died in Egypt.

Forward four hundred years. The Hebrews had now increased in number.  What had been a fruitful place to live before was now threatened by a new king of Egypt that had not known Joseph or cared that he had once been second-in-command.  As a matter of fact, he felt threatened by the increasing number of Israelites.  So, he ordered the midwives to cast all baby boys born to the Hebrew women into the River Nile! (Exodus 1:5 – 27)

The story of Moses was also a favorite Vacation Bible School story for me!  Imagine a Hebrew woman that had a new baby boy and faced the threat of him being killed!  How clever to hid him in a basket in the bushes along the river!  This was really an exciting Bible story to a young girl that loved babies!!! But, only God and His perfect plan would have arranged for the Pharaoh’s daughter to be in the right place to “find” that baby boy!!  Add to that the wonderful fact that the baby’s own mother would be chosen to nurse the boy and be paid to take care of him!  And the baby was named, Moses!! (Exodus 2: 1-10)

But, unlike Joseph who had never broken a rule; Moses was guilty of taking the life of an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave. Hebrews 11: 24 tells us that Moses refused to be called  the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter.  He choose instead to be treated as his fellow Hebrews.  So when he killed the Egyptian, he was forced to leave the place of his birth and flee to  Median where he lived for the next 40 years! (Exodus 2:11-21)

God has His way of choosing a path for His people that is sometimes smooth and sometimes bumpy; but always leads to a place where He wants us to be! Always tested, sometimes carried and always brought through with a stronger faith!

We will catch up with Moses again tomorrow and it just keeps getting better and better!! I hope you are enjoying our travels!  Be sure to share with anyone who might enjoy our study!

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God Chose Abraham

God Chose Abraham

When I was thinking of writing a blog and considered my age; I found that Abraham was 75 when God chose him!! Since  I have always been interested in genealogy,  it wasn’t surprising  I wanted to know more about Abraham’s family.  After all, he lived in a nation that worshipped idols!  So why did God call Abraham?

Abraham’s family tree starts in Genesis with Noah’s son, Shem.  You might find it interesting to calculate how many years were between Shem and Abraham. It is quit amazing, considering the length of their lives,  how possible it was for Abraham to know about God and what He had done in his own family!

Shem was a man of faith as he had worked with his father, Noah, to build the ark that God had told him to build. There had never been a flood that could cover any part of the earth at that time! As a matter of fact, there had never been rain.  Genesis 2: 5b-6, “For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth and there was no man to till the ground, but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”   It took men of faith in God to trust Him!

Shem followed his father’s strong faith in God, and believed even without understanding!  Genesis 7:7, “So Noah, with his sons, his wife and his sons’ wives, went into the ark…” Shem would witness his father, Noah, build an alter to the LORD after leaving the ark and after being delivered from the flood.  Genesis 8: 20-21.   Genesis 9: 1,”So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” 

Shem was a man of honor as we read in Genesis 8:20-27. Read Shem’s family tree in Genesis 10:21-32 and Genesis 11:10-27.  Abram enters into God’s Word!!  He grew up in a family of idolaters in a nation that was idolatrous (located  near the Persian Gulf on the west side of the Euphrates River)! Read Joshua 24:2

And yet, God choose Abram (later called Abraham in Genesis 17: 5, 6) to bless!!!  Why did God choose Abraham? HE knew Sarah wouldn’t have children and that Abraham would take Hagar as his wife and their son, Ishmael, would grow up to be the nation that would fight God’s people!  HE KNEW!

Now read God’s promises to Abram in Genesis 12!  WHY??  Now, I have learned by studying God’s Word that there is always a reason …. Even if that reason is because HE IS GOD!!  That’s good enough for me!

I don’t want  to pass up the chance to stress how important praying Grandparents are in the lives of their children, their children’s children and their children behind them!!  I am so grateful for the generations before me that believed and prayed to their Savior!!  The effect of their faith and their faithfulness is still active today!!

But Abraham did believe and kept believing and following God and built alters to the Lord. Exodus 12:4.    There is so much more to God’s plan for Abraham, but hopefully this will spark an interest in you that will draw you to your Bible to do even more searching and studying!  My prayer for you today is you will find excitement in God’s Word and be richly blessed!

 

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