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The Lord's Family Fellowship

EXODUS 3

I. Exodus 3:1 “Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.”

A.    First we should note that Moses was taking care of the flocks of his father-in-law as it serves as another testimony of God’s design for families that they stay together and work together and that even men with wives and children should be about their father’s business, investing in the course set forth by their father. This example follows closely after Jacob’s sons, who while men with families of their own, still tended to their father’s flocks. Those who lead, like Moses and Jacob’s sons, must first learn to serve their earthly father, which in turn teaches them to serve their heavenly Father. In essence leaders must submit to those whom God has placed in authority over them before they are qualified to lead others.

    1.        Genesis 37:2 “These are the records of the generations of Jacob. Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth…”
    2.    Genesis 37:12 “Then his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock in Shechem.”
    3.        Genesis 42:1,2 “Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, ‘Why are you staring at one another?’ He said, ‘Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us from that place, so that we may live and not die.’”
    4.        Genesis 43:1 “Now the famine was severe in the land. So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, ‘Go back, buy us a little food.’”
    5.        Philippians 2:3-11 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

B.    Indeed Jesus’ entire life sets the example as He was about His Father’s business. Even as a man, even as our Lord and Savior, Jesus came to do the will of His Father, which He summed up in the following verses.

    1.        John 4:34 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.”
    2.        This is so clearly illustrated towards the end of His life in John 17 when Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father … I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do…. I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me … for the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them … While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them … I have given them Thy word … I have made Thy name known to them.”

C.    For 40 years, God prepared Moses for the laborious task of leading His obstinate people by having him tend sheep. First, God takes Moses to the wilderness to show him that he must separate himself from the world. Secondly, God reveals to Moses his own sinfulness and the necessity of relying on Him instead of the arm of his flesh. For all of us are like sheep who have gone our own way and thus require a Shepherd to lead us into the paths of righteousness. In essence, Moses was to see the hopelessness of his own ability and wait upon the Lord. What better place than a wilderness with no worldly distractions, so that he could be totally alone with God. This is the significant mark of a leader and teacher, that he spends much time alone with God studying His Word, meditating on His Word, communing with Him through prayer.

    1.        Matthew 14:23 “After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening He was there alone.”
    2.    Luke 5:16 “Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”
    3.    1 Chronicles 16:11 “Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face continually.”
    4.        John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
    5.        Direction to Joshua for leading Israel into the Promised Land: Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”
    6.        Duty of Kings Deuteronomy 17:19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes.”
    7.        King David Psalm 119:1-8; 24; 33-38; 97-104; 147-148 “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. They also do no unrighteousness; they walk in His ways. You have ordained Your precepts, that we should keep them diligently. Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes! Then I shall not be ashamed when I look upon all Your commandments. I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments. I shall keep Your statutes; do not forsake me utterly! … Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors.… Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to dishonest gain. Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways. Establish Your word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You.… O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observe Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate very false way.… I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words. My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.”
    8.    Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established.”
    9.        Psalm 1:1-3 “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”
    10.    Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”
    11.    Matthew 6:9-13 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

D.    When we first began this church, a number of homeschooling fathers came, anticipating that they would immediately be able to teach the congregation that had gathered. How indicative of our sinful nature in our desire to impress men without any concern of the solemnity of the task of leading others into the paths of righteousness. For we knew the intimate workings of each of these men in their own homes. Neither had these men made it their life endeavor to study God’s Word diligently nor had they been leading their own families in devotions or even made any effort towards instructing their own children through daily discipleship, yet in their foolishness they desired the opportunity to teach others. So often our flesh takes precedence over our ability to do God’s work according to His will and way. Teachers must demonstrate God’s righteousness in their own lives, not perfect, of course, but working, always working towards obedience to His Word. Disobedience to God’s Law disregards God’s authority and in fact blasphemes His name among men. Consequently, men must not lightly enter into teaching or leading others but with all the solemnity and sobriety take up the mantle that responsibility requires.

    1.        Romans 2:17-29 “But if you bear the name ‘Jew’ and rely upon the Law and boast in God, and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,’ just as it is written. For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”
    2.        Romans 2:5-8 “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.”
    3.        Matthew 23:1-39 “Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: ‘The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, “Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.” You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? And, “Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.” You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, “If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”’”
    4.        Matthew 15:13,14 “…Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone, they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

E.    As fathers, our first duty is to instruct our families in the Word; to manage our children and our household well. Negligence in our foundational responsibility of leading our families, particularly our children, through discipleship, naturally disqualifies a man from leading other families.

Stephen McDowell in his book America’s Providential History, page 269,270 quotes Hugo Grotius which summarizes the Christian principle of self-government: He knows not how to rule a kingdom, that cannot manage a Province, nor can he wield a Province, that cannot order a City; nor he order a City, that knows not how to regulate a Village; nor he a Village, that cannot guide a Family; nor can that man Govern well a Family that knows not how to Govern himself; neither can any Govern himself unless his reason be Lord, Will and Appetite her Vassals; nor can Reason rule unless herself be ruled by God, and (wholly) be obedient to Him.

Stated another way, you must rule yourself before you can rule others. The Bible says that a man who does not know how to manage his own household, cannot manage the church of God (1 Timothy 3:5) or any other area.

    1.        Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
    2.        Psalm 78:1-8 “Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation,?a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
    3.        Genesis 18:19 “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”

F.    If any man aspires to the office of a teacher or an overseer, he must examine his own heart and consider his life to determine if he is qualified according to God’s standard.

    1.        Titus 1:5-9 “…appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”
    2.        Titus 2:2,7,8 “Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.… In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech, which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.”
    3.        1 Timothy 3:1-13 “It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”
    4.        1 Timothy 4:6-8,16 “In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.… Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”

G.    Now let us consider the nature of sheep, which God called Moses to shepherd. Sheep are totally helpless creatures in need of constant care, to the point that they often cannot get up after rolling on their backs. They can even die if it becomes too hot. They often stray from the herd, eat toxic grasses and drink polluted water. They are totally defenseless against dogs, coyotes, wolves, and cougars. Often sheep will look for a way out of their pasture, and when one goes, all the rest follow because sheep follow other sheep regardless of where the one leads them. Sheep scare very easily even if a little rabbit bolts out from its cover. Sheep are known to run panic stricken far from their safe environment if a shepherd is not close at hand to calm them. Sheep and lambs bully and fight one another all the time. Sheep are tormented by insects but especially by flies that lay eggs and then turn into worms that drive them crazy.

Understanding the analogy that God makes between man and sheep reveals God’s purpose in sending Moses to shepherd sheep before he takes on the awesome responsibility of shepherding Israel. Moses must learn that all men are like sheep in need of the Good Shepherd, and then how to shepherd God’s people as Christ would shepherd them.

    1.        Isaiah 53:6 “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
    2.        1 Peter 2:25 “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”
    3.        Hebrews 13:20 “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep.”

H.    With this understanding, let us reflect upon the mercy, goodness, and faithfulness of our Good Shepherd and all that Moses had to learn before leading the Israelites.

    1.        Psalm 23 “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
    2.        Isaiah 40:11 “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arms He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.”
    3.        John 10:10-15 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerning about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
    4.        Jeremiah 31:10 “Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’”
    5.        Ezekiel 34:11-16 “For thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,’ declares the Lord God. ‘I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.’”
    6.        Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
    7.        Revelation 7:17 “For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
    8.        Proverbs 4:11 “I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths.”
    9.        Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.”
    10.    Micah 7:14 “Shepherd Your people with Your scepter, the flock of Your possession which dwells by itself in the woodland.”
    11.    Psalm 16:5,6 “The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.”
    12.    Psalm 27:4-6 “One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praise to the LORD.”

I.    Matthew Henry has this to say: The years of the life of Moses are remarkably divided into three forties: the first forty he spent as a prince in Pharaoh’s court, the second a shepherd in Midian, the third a king in Jeshurun; so changeable is the life of men, especially the life of good men. He had now finished his second forty, when he received his commission to bring Israel out of Egypt. Note, sometimes it is long before God calls his servants out of that work which of old he designed them for, and has been graciously preparing them for. Moses was born to be Israel’s deliverer, and yet not a word is said of it to him till he is eighty years of age. Now observe, I. How this appearance of God to him found him employed. He was keeping the flock (tending sheep) near mount Horeb. This was a poor employment for a man of his parts and education, yet he rests satisfied with it, and thus learns meekness and contentment to a high degree, for which he is more celebrated in sacred writ than for all his other learning. Note, 1. In the calling to which we are called we should abide, and not be given to change. Even those that are qualified for great employments and services must not think it strange if they be confined to obscurity; it was the lot of Moses before them, who foresaw nothing to the contrary but that he should die, as he had lived a great while, a poor despicable shepherd. Let those that think themselves buried alive be content to shine like lamps in their sepulchers, and wait till God’s time come for setting them on a candlestick. Thus employed Moses was, when he was honoured with this vision. Note, (1.) God will encourage industry. The shepherds were keeping their flocks when they received the tidings of our Saviour’s birth, Luke 2:8. Satan loves to find us idle; God is well pleased when he finds us employed.

J.    The mountain of the LORD, called both Horeb and Sinai, holds great significance. First it is where God revealed himself to Moses; secondly the LORD met with the people of Israel there; God gave the Law on top of this mountain, actually inscribing the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone; and there also gave the plans for the Tabernacle.

    1.        Exodus 19:1-26 “In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain. Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.’ So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words, which the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do!’ And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. The Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.’ Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord. The Lord also said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, “Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.” When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.’ So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. He said to the people, ‘Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.’ So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the Lord spoke to Moses, ‘Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. Also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves, or else the Lord will break out against them.’ Moses said to the Lord, ‘The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, “Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.”’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, or He will break forth upon them.’ So Moses went down to the people and told them.”
    2.        Deuteronomy 4:13 “So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.”
    3.        Exodus 31:18 “When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, he gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.”
        a.    Paul talked about how our lives were living epistles written with the Spirit of God on our human hearts.
            1.    2 Corinthians 3:3 “It is clear that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
            2.    Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
            3.    Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
            4.    Exodus 26:30 “Then you shall erect the tabernacle according to its plan which you have been shown in the mountain.”

II. Exodus 3:2-6 “The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.’ When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said, also, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”

A.    The angel of the LORD was the divine presence of God in all His glory.

    1.        Genesis 16:9,13 “The angel of the LORD said to her, ‘Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.’ … Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, ‘You are a God who sees’; for she said, ‘Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?’”
    2.        Judges 6:11-18 “Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, ‘The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.’ Then Gideon said to him, ‘O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, “Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?” But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.’ The LORD looked at him and said, ‘Go in this strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?’ He said to Him, ‘O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.’ But the LORD said to him, ‘Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.’ So Gideon said to Him, ‘If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. Please do not depart from here, until I come back to you, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.’ And He said, ‘I will remain until you return.’”
    3.        Judges 13:3-22 “Then the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, ‘Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.’ Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, ‘A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. And I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me, “Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazarite to God, from the womb to the day of his death.”’ Then Manoah entreated the LORD and said, ‘O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.’ God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but Manoah her husband was not with her. So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, ‘Behold, the man who came the other day has appeared to me.’ Then Manoah arose and followed his wife, and when he came to the man he said to him, ‘Are you the man who spoke to the woman?’ And he said, ‘I am.’ Manoah said, ‘Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation?’ So the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, ‘Let the woman pay attention to all that I said. She should not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; let her observe all that I commanded.’ Then Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, ‘Please let us detain you so that we may prepare a young goat for you.’ The angel of the LORD said to Manoah, ‘Though you detain me, I will not eat your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering then offer it to the LORD.’ For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the LORD. Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, ‘What is your name, so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you?’ But the angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?’ So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it on the rock to the LORD, and He performed wonders while Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came about when the flame went up from the altar toward heaven, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. Now the angel of the LORD did not appear to Manoah or his wife again. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. So Manoah said to his wife, ‘We will surely die, for we have seen God.’”

B.    The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. God’s presence in the fire reveals God’s purity and holiness. Fire brings light into darkness and purifies that which is defiled. The fire also provides an insight into God’s passionate hatred towards all unrighteousness. Indeed, the fire exemplifies the destructive consumptive power of His wrath towards everything unrighteous. Our God is a consuming fire; therefore, let us worship Him with reverence and awe.

    1.        Exodus 19:18 “Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.”
    2.        Exodus 24:17 “And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.”
    3.        Deuteronomy 4:23,24 “So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
    4.        Deuteronomy 9:3 “Know therefore today that it is the LORD your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD has spoken to you.”
    5.        Hebrews 12:28 “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”

C.    God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Of whom does this remind you? Indicative of a servant’s attitude, “Here I am” is the classic phrase for ready compliance to God’s commands. As a mere child, Samuel promptly responded to the Lord with a willing heart to do His bidding. Children, this serves as the perfect lesson for fulfilling God’s commandment to honor and obey your parents, not with a delayed or reluctant disposition, but with cheerful submission and resolve to accomplish their will instead of your own. After saying “Here I am,” Samuel followed with “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” Children, you must learn to honor and obey your parents in this way before you are able to honor and obey your heavenly Father. All great leaders knew how to follow orders before they ever began directing others.

In the case of Samuel, God chose him to be His prophet. Prophets were to faithfully communicate God’s words to the king and His people. Failure to convey God’s word accurately brought severe judgment. Not only was the prophetic position under God’s Holy scrutiny, but also placed the deliverer in a dangerous position with the people, who mocked, reviled, persecuted, and killed them. Stephen, before he was martyred, asked his brethren if there were a prophet they had not persecuted. It was a dangerous calling that required a committed and faithful servant like Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Elijah, Elisha, Hosea, Amos, and John the Baptist.

    1.        1 Samuel 3:1-21 “Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in this place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was, that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he ran to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. The LORD called yet again, ‘Samuel!’ So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he answered, ‘I did not call, my son, lie down again.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him. So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy. And Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, “Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.”’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for Your servant is listening.’ The LORD said to Samuel, ‘Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.’ So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. Then Eli called Samuel and said, ‘Samuel, my son.’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘What is the word that He spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the words that He spoke to you.’ So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, ‘It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to him.’ Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail. All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.”
    2.        Ezekiel 2:7 “But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.”
    3.        Deuteronomy 18:20-22 “‘But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know that word which the LORD has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”
    4.        Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.”
    5.        2 Peter 1:20-21 “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
    6.        Acts 7:51-53 “You men are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”
    7.        Hebrews 11:32-34 “And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms and performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”

D.    Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. God’s presence as a consuming fire reveals the purity, holiness, and righteousness of God in sharp contrast to the sinfulness of man’s sin. God’s nature is inherently void of sin and therefore is separated from evil and man’s sinfulness. He alone is God; He alone is to be worshipped. Commanding Moses to take off his shoes while in God’s Holy presence sets the precedent for man’s carriage and attitude when in God’s presence—that man must approach God with reverence.

    1.    Psalm 145:17 “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.”
    2.        Habakkuk 1:13 “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity…”
    3.        Isaiah 40:12-26 “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. Even Lebanon is not enough to burn, nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, a goldsmith plates it with gold, and a silversmith fashions chains of silver. He who is too impoverished for such an offering selects a tree that does not rot; he seeks out for himself skillful craftsmen to prepare an idol that will not totter. Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundation of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, but He merely blows on them, and they wither, and the storm carries them away like stubble. ‘To whom then will you liken Me that I would be his equal?’ says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power. Not one of them is missing.”
    4.        1 Samuel 2:2-10 “There is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. Boast no more so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are shattered but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry cease to hunger; even the barren gives birth to seven, but she who has many children languishes. The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s and He set the world on them. He keeps the feet of His godly one, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail. Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered; against them He will thunder in the heavens, the LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed.”
    5.        Psalms 86:8-10 “There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like Yours. All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name. For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God.”
    6.        Psalm 99:1-5 “The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake! The LORD is great in Zion, and He is exalted above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name; holy is He. The strength of the king loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His footstool; holy is He.”
    7.        Revelation 4:1-11 “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’ And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things and because of Your will they existed, and were created.’”
    8.        Revelation 15:1-8 “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished. And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of gold. And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; for all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.’ After these things I looked and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.”
    9.        Moses would say in Exodus 15:11: “Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praise, working wonders.”

E.    In The Holiness of God, page 40, R. C. Sproul puts it this way: The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is not merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy, or wrath, wrath, wrath, or justice, justice, justice. It does say that He is holy, holy, holy; the whole earth is full of His glory. With this understanding, let us fully realize that we should not treat the holiness of God lightly!

Consider the case of Moses, in which he performed mighty works for God in the presence of the greatest monarch on earth, faithfully led the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land, was considered the meekest man on earth, and was allowed to see the glory of the Lord, yet for his seemingly insignificant sin at Meribah, he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. And though he made intercession on behalf of the Israelites on many occasions and received pardon for their horrific sins, though he repented and pleaded with God to be allowed to enter the Promised Land, God refused his entreaties.

Moses represented God to the people, yet at Meribah, he did not do what the Lord commanded. As God’s spokesman, this was very serious indeed, punishable by death. In essence he had rebelled against God’s revelation. The integrity of God’s Word had been desecrated, and although God very much loved Moses, His Word had to be held in honor before men. Thus Moses was counted with the Israelites who refused to believe and act in obedience and thus did not enter into the Promised Land. This serves as a warning to venerate God’s honor at all times. On the other hand, we must remember God’s mercy towards Moses, for honoring him as one of the two men who were present at Jesus’ transfiguration.

    1.    Numbers 20:1-13 “Then the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people stayed at Kadesh. Now Miriam died there and was buried there. There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled themselves against Moses and Aaron. The people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, ‘If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the LORD! Why then have you brought the LORD’s assembly into this wilderness, for us and our beasts to die here? Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink.’ Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to them; and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.’ So Moses took the rod from before the LORD, just as He had commanded him; and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, ‘Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?’ Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you have not believed Me, to treat me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’ Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the LORD and He proved Himself holy among them.”
    2.    Numbers 27:12-14 “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the sons of Israel. When you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was; for in the wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy before their eyes at the water.’ (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.)”
    3.    Deuteronomy 3:23-28 “I also pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying, ‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours? Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ But the LORD was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me; and the LORD said to me, ‘Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes to the west and north and south and east, and see it with your eyes for you shall not cross over this Jordan. But charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him, for he shall go across at the head of this people, and he will give them as an inheritance the land which you will see.’”
    4.    Exodus 4:15,16 “You are to speak to him and put the words in this mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do. Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him.”
    5.    Deuteronomy 18:20 “But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”
    6.    Psalm 106:32,33 “They also provoked Him to wrath at the waters of Meribah, so that it went hard with Moses on their account. Because they were rebellious against His Spirit, he spoke rashly with his lips.”
    7.    Deuteronomy 10:17 “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.”
    8.    Hebrews 3:7-11 “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know My ways” as I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.’”
    9.    Psalm 138:2 “I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.”
    10.    Luke 9:28-36 “Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah’—not realizing what he was saying. While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!’ And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.”

F.    Let us take a look at several other instances, which serve as a warning that God’s holiness is preeminent and should be considered with the utmost care in all that we think, say, and do.

    1.    2 Samuel 6:1-7 “Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim. They placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark. Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of instruments made of fir word, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.”
    2.    1 Samuel 6:19-20 “He struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. He struck down of all the people, 50,070 men, and the people mourned because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter. The men of Beth-shemesh said, ‘Who is able to stand before the LORD, this holy God? And to whom shall He go up from us?’”
    3.    Isaiah 6:1-5 “In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’”
    4.    Read Job chapters 28-40.

G.    Now let us examine some verses that specifically speak of Christ’s Holiness.

    1.    Isaiah 9:6,7 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”
    2.    Luke 1:35 “The angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy child shall be called the Son of God.’”
    3.    Luke 4:33,34 “In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice. ‘Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!’”
    4.    Acts 2:22-27 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. For David says of Him, ‘I saw the LORD always in my presence; for He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; moreover my flesh also will live in hope; because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.’”
    5.    Acts 13:32-35 “And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You.’ As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.’”
    6.    Revelation 1:12-18 “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow, and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.’”
    7.        John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’”

H.    Contrast this with our sinful nature. Since we are not inherently good, it is impossible for us to produce any goodness apart from God’s presence in us. Thus our justification is not based on our goodness but on Christ’s righteousness imputed to us.

    1.    Romans 5:12-17 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
    2.    Romans 3:9-26 “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.’ ‘Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving,’ ‘The poison of asps is under their lips’; ‘Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness’; ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known.’ ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
    3.    Colossians 1:21-23 “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him, holy and blameless and beyond reproach—if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.”

I.    Reconciliation with God through Christ is a free gift so that none can boast. Just as God called Moses and empowered him to do the work He commanded him to do, so, too, God calls us and works through us to do His will.

    1.    Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
    2.    Luke 12:47,48 “And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”
    3.    Hebrews 13:20,21 “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
    4.    Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
    5.    1 Corinthians 12:6 “There are different ways of working, but the same God works all things in all men.”

J.    Although the Law revealed God’s holy and righteous character, the Israelites still longed to see God face to face. To them, there was no greater blessing than to see God and have His countenance shine upon them. Even Moses longed to see God. That is why Numbers 6 is known as the Benediction—the greatest blessing known to man. Truly God and truly man, God made His face shine upon us through Christ Jesus.

    1.    Exodus 33:17-23 “The LORD said to Moses, ‘I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.’ Then Moses said, ‘I pray You, show me Your glory!’ And He said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.’ But He said, ‘You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!’ Then the LORD said, ‘Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.’”
    2.    Numbers 6:22-26 “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to Aaron and to him sons, saying, “Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.”’”
    3.    Psalm 67:1-4 “God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us—that Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the people praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth.”
    4.    Colossians 1:15 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
    5.        Ephesians 2:13-22 “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”

K.    Christ’s holiness, purity, and righteousness were revealed in His Law, and it was through the Law that He exposed our sinful nature and subsequent need for the imputation of His holiness upon us so that we could be reconciled to God. Evidence of our regeneration is disclosed to us through our longing desire to please Him through our obedience to His Word, in our sorrow over our disobedience, and in our faith in His righteousness for the forgiveness of our sins. Like Moses, we demonstrate God’s character of holiness to others by living in accordance to God’s Word, whereby we subsequently manifest His righteousness to the world.

    1.    Psalm 19:7-13 “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; then I will be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression.”
    2.    Matthew 4:3,4 “And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”’”
    3.    John 14:15,21,23 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.… He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.… Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’”
    4.    Matthew 3:8 “Therefore, bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”
    5.    James 2:19,20 “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?”
    6.    2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
    7.    Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
    8.    Revelation 3:14-22 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those who I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
    9.    Psalm 119:133,166-168 “Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.… I hope for Your salvation, O LORD, and do Your commandments. My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, for all my ways are before You.”
    10.    James 1:19-25 “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”

L.    I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Living in a land filled with idolatry, it was important for Moses, and his brethren, to remember that God was the God of their forefathers, and that He remembered His covenant and would be faithful to bring it to pass. Throughout history, God continually reminded His people of His covenant with His children.

    1.    Exodus 2:24 “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.”
    2.    Exodus 4:5 “That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.”
    3.    Exodus 6:8 “And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning that which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.”
    4.    Exodus 33:1 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it.”
    5.    Deuteronomy 1:8 “Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.”
    6.    Deuteronomy 9:5 “Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
    7.    Matthew 22:32 “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
    8.    Acts 3:13 “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.”

III. Exodus 3:7-9 “The LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from the land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me, furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.”

A.    God tells Moses that He has seen the affliction of His people. In Isaiah God asks if a woman can forget her nursing child. Although uncommon, some mothers do abandon their children, but God assures His people that He will never forget them, for His chosen are inscribed on His very palms. David embraced this assurance because he knew that he served a compassionate God.

Everyone on this earth will fail us, but God never will. Christ lived on this earth as a man, and thus knows all our weaknesses, our suffering, sorrow and pain, and now sits at the right throne of God to intercede on our behalf, for both mercy and grace. As God comforts us, we should comfort others. This is the fruit of love.

    1.    Isaiah 49:15,16 “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”
    2.    Psalm 56:8 “You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?”
    3.    Psalm 116:1-5,8 “I love the LORD, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. The cords of death encompassed me and the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: ‘O LORD, I beseech You, save my live!’ Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yes, our God is compassionate.… For You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.”
    4.    Psalm 73:23-26 “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
    5.    Hebrews 4:14-16 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
    6.    2 Corinthians 1:3,4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
    7.    John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”

B.    God is our deliverer; all power and might are in His hands.

    1.    2 Chronicles 20:5,6 “Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, and he said, ‘O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.’”
    2.    1 Chronicles 29:11 “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.”

C.    Deliverance from Egypt represented a spiritual deliverance from the bondage of sin and death. Thus Moses foretold of a prophet like himself who would deliver the people from their bondage. This, of course, refers to Christ.

    1.    Deuteronomy 18:15-19 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.’”
    2.    John 8:31-36 “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, “You will become free”?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.’”
    3.    Acts 7:37,38 “This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren. This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our father’ and he received living oracles to pass on to you.”

D.    Marshall Foster in The American Covenant pages 66-69 says:

Despite the glorious promise of a New Covenant to come, Israel came ultimately under the yoke of the greatest pagan power of antiquity: Rome. As a fine American historian, Richard Frothingham, says of the pagan view of man that surrounded Israel “The individual was regarded as of value only as he formed a part of the political fabric, and was able to contribute to its uses, as though it were the end of his being to aggrandize the State. This was the pagan idea of man. The wisest philosophers of antiquity could not rise above it.”

The Greek philosopher, Plato, believed the State was of primary importance and the individual secondary. The ‘ideal’ state in Plato’s Republic was really a commune where family life was abolished and the entire focus of life was on serving the State. The communism he advocated was certainly inimical to individualism, as it is today. Communism is not the ‘wave of the future,’ but an ugly backlash from mankind’s pagan past.

Even Aristotle…could not rise above this pagan idea that state was of primary importance. As Frothingham says: “The State regarded as of paramount importance, not the man, but the citizen whose physical and intellectual forces it absorbed. If this tended to foster lofty civic virtues and splendid individual culture in the classes whom the State selected as the recipients of its favors, it bore hard on those whom the State virtually ignored—on laboring men, mechanics, the poor, captives in war, slaves, and women.”

There was great need for the Messiah to rescue mankind. Millions of nameless individuals were caught in the web of Roman despotism. There was nowhere to flee to get away from Rome’s tyranny which embraced all the dead…All semblance of the impartial rule of Roman law was over as the Emperor Caesar Augustus gathered the reins of power into his own hands. He had ruled the Empire for 30 years when his decree “that all the world should be taxed” brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The Children of Israel were enslaved by the Romans and their religion was in decay. There had been no prophets in Israel for 400 years. Into this great darkness, God sent His Son. Swiss historian Philip Schaff says of this wondrous event: “Christ entered a dying world as the author of a new and imperishable life.”

God revealed to men…their importance in His divine plan...in Psalm 8:4-6 “What is man, that thou are mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest Him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands, thou hast put all things under his feet.”

New life in Christ gave the individual a new value unknown in the ancient world or its religions. It began the work of transforming individual lives in the midst of the most pervasive tyranny the world had known, when the pagan idea of man reigned supreme. As Frothingham says: “This low view of man was exerting its full influence when Rome was at the height of its power and glory. Christianity then appeared with its central doctrine, that man was created in the Divine image, and destined for immortality, pronouncing, that, in the eye of God, all men are equal. This asserted for the individual an independent value. It occasioned the great inference, that man is superior to the State, which ought to be fashioned for his use. This was the advent of a new spirit and a new power in the world.”

God’s plan of redemption was at last fulfilled in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who brought a higher law to individuals everywhere, a law addressed to the individual heart, illumining rather than abolishing the Law of Moses.

“The Gospel brings forth a higher standard of liberty than external law,” writes Christian educator, Rosalie J. Slater, for Christianity brings the “internal law of the Ten Commandments of our Lord…it was not until the Savior of mankind appeared that men learned that external freedom was achieved by internal liberty—the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.”

IV. Exodus 3:10-12 “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt. But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ And He said, ‘Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you; when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.’”

A.    After serving in leadership positions for most of our married life, we have come to realize that the hallmark of a true leader is their humility in the sense that they realize their inability except for the grace of God. A man who trusts in God never trusts himself, for he knows his depravity and utter helplessness in pleasing God apart from God’s gracious indwelling Spirit. Fearing God more than man, he also does not trust in others and subsequently does not look for their favor or acceptance.

Moses was the man most capable of the difficult task that lies ahead because he did not trust in himself. God’s grace equips us to be the man He calls us to be. God’s commission to Jeremiah, and Paul’s explanation of his courageous ministry, testifies to this fact.

    1.    Jeremiah 1:4-10 “Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.’ But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am a youth,” because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you do deliver you,’ declares the LORD. Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.’”
    2.    Jeremiah 1:16-19 “‘I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. Now, gird up your loins and arise, and speak to them all which I command you. Do not be dismayed before them, or I will dismay you before them. Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,’ declares the LORD.”
    3.    2 Corinthians 4:5-18 “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed, therefore I spoke,’ we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
    4.    Lamentations 3:22-24 “The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’”

V. Exodus 3:13-15 “Then Moses said to God, ‘Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” Now they may say to me, “What is His name?” What shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”’ God, furthermore, said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.’”

A.    The children of Israel needed to be reminded of the attributes of the God of their fathers. For unless they believed that He was the one and only God, they would surely die in their sins.

    1.    John 8:24 “…for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

B.    Matthew Henry says of these verses: Formerly Moses thought himself able to deliver Israel, and set himself to the work too hastily. Now, when the fittest person on earth for it, he knows his own weakness. This was the effect of more knowledge of God and of himself. Formerly, self-confidence mingled with strong faith and great zeal, now sinful distrust of God crept in under the garb of humility; so defective are the strongest graces and the best duties of the most eminent saints. But all objections are answered in, Certainly I will be with thee. That is enough. Two names God would now be known by. A name that denotes what he is in himself, I AM THAT I AM. This explains his name Jehovah, and signifies, 1. That he is self-existent: he has his being of himself. 2. That he is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever. 3. That he is incomprehensible; we cannot by searching find him out: this name checks all bold and curious inquiries concerning God. 4. That he is faithful and true to all his promises, unchangeable in his word as well as in his nature; let Israel know this, I AM hath sent me unto you. I am, and there is none else besides me. All else have their being from God, and are wholly dependent upon him. Also, here is a name that denotes what God is to his people. The Lord God of your fathers sent me unto you. Moses must revive among them the religion of their fathers, which was almost lost; and then they might expect the speedy performance of the promises made unto their fathers.

C.    God’s attribute of self-existence is unique to Him in that He exists eternally. He was not created from or by anything. His existence is not contingent on anything outside Himself.

    1.    Hebrews 1:10-12 “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they all will become old like a garment, and like a mantle You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.”
    2.    Psalm 90:1,2 “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
    3.    Psalm 102:12 “But thou, O LORD, shall endure for ever, and thy remembrance unto all generations.”
    4.    John 5:26 “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.”
    5.    John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
    6.    Acts 15:18 “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.”

D.    Of further importance is the fact that God ordained the Creation, the Fall, the Incarnation and the Resurrection before the foundation of the world.

    1.    Acts 17:26 “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.”
    2.    Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”
    3.        Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”
    4.    Acts 2:22-24 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hand of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”
    5.    1 Peter 1:20 “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
    6.    Ephesians 1:4-11 “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”
    7.    Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
    8.    2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”

E.    Perhaps of all God’s attributes, immutability is the most comforting. Unlike man’s fickle instability, we can depend on God that He will not change His mind or His plans or His covenants—in essence His Word.

    1.    Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I change not…”
    2.    James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
    3.    1 Samuel 15:29 “Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”
    4.    Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
    5.    Psalm 89:34 “My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.”
    6.    Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

F.    Attribute: Incomprehensible: God’s ways are beyond our comprehension. What we know of Him comes exclusively from what He has determined to reveal to us through His Word. God simply knows everything. Unlike us, His knowledge of all things is infinite. Neither increased by instruction nor decreased by lack of study, His wisdom is supreme, for He created all things, and all things are held together by the power of His Word.

    1.    Psalm 147:5 “Great is our Lord, and of great power; His understanding is infinite.”
    2.    Ezekiel 11:5 “…I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.”
    3.    Romans 2:16 “On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”
    4.    Job 11:7-12 “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? They are high as the heavens, what can you do? Deeper than Sheol, what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea. If He passes by or shuts up, or calls an assembly, who can restrain Him? For He knows false men, and He sees iniquity without investigating. An idiot will become intelligent when the foal of a wild donkey is born a man.”
    5.    Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
    6.    John 3:27 “John answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.’”
    7.    Psalm 113:5,6 “Who is like the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth.”
    8.    Isaiah 55:8,9 “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”
    9.    John 8:23 “And he said unto them, ye are from beneath, I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.”
    10.    Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
    11.    Romans 11:36 “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”

G.    And now we come to the final attribute that Matthew Henry presents, that of faithfulness. In other words, everything God says and does is absolutely definite. Because He is truth, He cannot lie. Because He is God, He will not forget, falter, or fail in bringing about what He promised. It is fixed and certain. As the author of Hebrews expresses: The hope we have is an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast for He who promised is faithful.

    1.    Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
    2.    2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”
    3.    Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
    4.    Hebrews 6:18-20 “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
    5.    Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

VI. Exodus 3:16-17 “Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt. So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’”

A.    God again points out the importance of the covenant that He had made with His people. It is to assure them of His covenantal faithfulness and of His sovereign grace towards them. God was making it possible for them to renew their covenant with God by separating them from the world so that they could sacrifice unto Him for their sins.

    1.    Isaiah 49:7 “Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, to the despised One, to the One abhorred by the nation, to the Servant of rulers, ‘Kings will see and arise, princes will also bow down, because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.’”
    2.    Exodus 15:1-3 “Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and said, ‘I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; the horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will extol Him. The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is His name.’”

VII. Exodus 3:18-22 “They will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians.”

A.    It is vitally important that we understand that whoever owns the children and the land possesses absolute power, for family and property form the fundamental foundation of power and authority.

Marshall Foster in The America Covenant pages 105-113 says:

There is perhaps no more important question to address at this critical hour of American history than, “Who owns you and your property, God or Caesar?” If we do not settle this issue and settle it soon, what is left of our estates, our families, and our religious liberty will be confiscated by the humanist state.

Over the past 60 years [as of 2016, it would make it 95 years ago], the American people have been slowly boiled, so to speak, like an unwary frog, in a pan of candy-coated historical and theological distortions. Today we devote five months [now nearly six months] of every year to work as servants of the statist bureaucracy. That is how long it takes us to work off the tax burden at all levels. The Roman Empire fell with a tax burden of just over 20%, while we in America are facing well over a 40% tax burden.

Many in our nation, when warned of the above facts, shrug their shoulders and say such things as, “that is the cost we must pay for our societal benefits” or “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” They fail to recognize that whoever determines how you use your property will become your lord. The real question facing us today is: “Who is sovereign?”

A nation’s, as well as an individual’s, view of property and liberty will be determined by who it views as the ruler of this world. We have already see in past chapters that the humanist, whether Greek, Roman, Russian or American, sees man and, more practically, the corporate man, “the state,” as sovereign. Modern scholarship, the curriculum of most public schools, and halls of Congress are dominated by this belief.

But how did this happen? In colonial America the God of the Bible was seen as sovereign over men and their property, reflecting the “Biblical worldview” of the Reformation. But in the past 100 years a disarming doctrine, which sees Satan as the sovereign of this world, has been accepted by many in Christian circles. Many Bible teachers today see Jesus as an absentee king who is concerned exclusively with building and maintaining His church until He returns to earth. They see Jesus as having the authority and right to rule, but as having given over powers to subjugate the world temporarily to Satan.

The world-view of the reformers was diametrically opposite to the view. Jesus Christ is the ruler of the earth (1 Timothy 6:16; Hebrews 2:14) and Satan, a defeated foe (John 12:3, Colossians 2:15).

One’s attitude toward the sovereignty issue is of paramount importance, because it affects what is done in every area of life. Here is the contrast:

If you see God ruling the earth:
 
Your commission is to subdue the earth and build godly nations through evangelizing and discipleship.
You see Christian culture as leavening all areas of life, replenishing the earth, and blessing all mankind.
All of God’s world is His and every activity in life is a religious activity, to be seen as a spiritual work of God.
Reformation is expected if a nation is obedient to God’s Word.

If you see Satan ruling the earth:

Your commission is just to concentrate on saving souls from this evil world.
You see Christian culture as counter-culture, an isolated, persecuted minority in an evil world.
Church activity is primary and spiritual, while worldly pursuits are secular and to be dealt with only as a necessity.
Reformation is impossible since things must get worse because Satan is in control.

If you see man ruling the earth:

Your commission is whatever you choose to do with your life since man is autonomous.
You see Christian culture as old-fashioned, irrelevant and restrictive.
All human activity is guided by human reason and evolution. Man is just a higher animal in a mysterious universe.
Reformation is unnecessary and impossible since there are no absolute principles to which man should reform.

The above contrasts illustrate the importance of ideas in determining consequences, because to the degree Christians have abdicated their leadership role and denied the “crown rights of Jesus Christ,” to that degree the humanists have filled the void.

In view of the foregoing, it is not surprising that the word “property” has a diminished value in today’s dictionaries which define it superficially and in strictly materialistic terms. One dictionary defines it simply as “that which a person owns, the possession or possessions of a particular owner. Foods, land, etc.…A piece of land or real estate.” If this is our only sense of property, it is easy to be deluded by claims made by socialists and communists that “property rights” are separate from “human rights” and are far less important. Such an external view of property does not show its connection with the individual’s life and liberty.

This partial, purely external view of property was not shared by our Bible-based Founding Fathers who fought the Revolutionary War in defense of their liberty and property.

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary sheds much more light on what the word property meant to our forefathers: “The exclusive right of possession, enjoying and disposing of a thing, ownership. In the beginning of the world, the Creator gave to man dominion over the earth, over the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air, and over every living thing. This is the foundation of man’s property in the earth and all its productions …The labor of inventing, making, or producing anything constitutes one of the highest titles to property… it is one of the greatest blessings of civil society that the property of citizens is well secure.”

If the Pilgrim had been asked: “Who owns you and your property?” they would have answered in a word “God.” Then they might have added: “We are free men who have been bought with a price—we are not slaves!” They recognized that they could not be any man’s slave because they were God’s property. “For we are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). And, as Paul also said, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

As our family searched for our own farm, we were struck by the incongruity of the farmers’ desire for their children to stay and live on their farm with the way they raised their children by sending them off to government institutions, which not only taught their children to be fiercely independent, but also completely destroyed the family covenant.

One farmer told us that his son’s departure for aviation school was the last straw, while another actually showed us areas on his farm that he had designated for his children’s homes. Yet sadly they all moved to Colorado because they loved to ski. Consequently, the clear message their predicament revealed to us is that you cannot leave your children in the world, which Egypt represents, and in this case—the world’s statist schooling that is at enmity with God—if you expect them to enter in the Promised Land.

Since God shares His Sovereign control with no one, and thus separates His children from the world, so, too, must we keep our children separate from the world. For God says in Psalm 78:1-7 “Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.”

Plainly, God commands fathers to teach God’s Word and way to their children that future generations might know, even the children yet to be born so that they will tell it to their children. Now that is multigenerational living and what we must grab hold of to restore God’s order—an order that produced a Hebrew nation that was by far the most cultivated and productive nation on earth, eventually resulting in America’s Christian Republic, which shortly after its founding increased the standard of living by 900%. (Marshall Foster, From Terror to Triumph DVD series)

We must understand, then, that whoever owns the children and the land possesses absolute power; for family and property form the fundamental foundation of power and authority. So let us now contrast America’s bondage to the State, and its similarity to the Israelites’ bondage in Egypt, with God’s liberty in the land flowing with milk and honey where each family owned land as their inheritance. Keep in mind that Pharaoh represents Satan, while Egypt represents the world.

“Pharaoh’s servants said to him, ‘How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?’ So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, ‘Go, serve the LORD your God! Who are the ones that are going?’ Moses said, ‘We shall go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we shall go, for we must hold a feast to the LORD.’ Then he said to them, ‘Thus may the LORD be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Take heed, for evil is in your mind. Not so! Go now, the men among you, and serve the LORD, for that is what you desire.’ So they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence” (Exodus 10:7-11).

Satan, whom Pharaoh represents, certainly had no intention of losing his control over families and their private property. This is relevant to us today, as the enemy continues to carry out his agenda established by the Communist Manifesto, which includes abolition of the family and private property, progressive graduated income tax, abolition of all rights of inheritance through the inheritance tax—while securing this agenda through State-controlled education.

Pharaoh’s vehement prohibition of allowing the children to leave his control, and Moses’s subsequent refusal to allow the Israelite’s children to remain in Egypt, reveals the antithesis, which exists even today—the question of who controls the children and the property. In essence, since the beginning of time, the battle has been over lordship.

In the King James Version we read: “There shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God” (Exodus 10:26). All we possess belongs to the Lord and therefore must be used to worship Him. This includes our children, our homes, and even our animals—for all are under God’s dominion to be used for His glory, and subsequently, for our enjoyment! They don’t belong to the State!

God clearly reveals these truths in the following scriptures. “The earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1). “O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all, the earth is full of Your possessions” (Psalm 104:24). “For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). “The LORD makes poor and rich…” (1 Samuel 2:7). “You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18). “Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting; to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for it is his reward. Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in this labor; this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:18,19). “You [God] make him [man] to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:6).

Following Pharaoh’s refusal to allow the Hebrew people to take their children or possessions with them, God engulfed Egypt (the world) in total darkness, to the point that no man moved because they could not see their hand in front of them (Exodus 10:23). Yet God called His children out of that darkness into His marvelous light and set them apart from the world, thus the three days’ journey.

In the final analysis, God is taking back what rightfully belongs to Him. He is reconciling those of His who are in the world (Egypt) to Himself. And that is what is happening in this country with the homeschooling movement, as God turns the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the hearts of the children back to their fathers. And this is the blessing of the covenant, and this is what will turn our country back from destruction. For we “are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that (we) may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called (us) out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

God Does Not Share His Sovereignty

Ultimately God would not share His sovereignty with another, and that is why He destroyed Egypt’s gods. In contrast to the heathen, to preserve the doctrine of God’s unity, His sovereignty, and parents’ duty to teach their children His Law Word, the Hebrew people daily repeated the Shema—Israel’s morning and evening prayer—the essence of the Decalogue.

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is one LORD! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I command you today, shall be in your heart. You shall teach the diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

Created in the image of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—three in one points to the solidarity of a family—father, mother, and children. This refers also to preserving the unity of the family, as the last six commandments refer to the protection of the family. “Honour thy father and thy mother…. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:12-17).

The second part of the Shema stresses the blessings of obedience and the consequences for disobedience, which is tied to the land. “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the LORD’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you. Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth” (Deuteronomy 11:13-21).

The last part of the Shema in Numbers 15:37-41 emphasizes obedience to His commandments because “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord your God.”

Since Covenantal families are God’s strategy for efficacious dominion taking, children should not be encouraged to fly the coop to pursue their own lives. On the contrary, they should continue to work together with the same purpose towards the same goal of strengthening their own family dynasty. For the strength of the family is the foundation on which the Church and the state rest.

B.    God graciously lays out exactly what will happen according to His plan. For the success of this plan did not depend on Moses, but on God who always keeps His covenant. Again let us remember that since the people had been living in a land filled with idolatry, they needed to be reminded that God is the one and only Almighty God.

    1.    Isaiah 46:9-11 “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.’”
    2.    Deuteronomy 32:7 “Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders, and they will tell you.”
    3.    Psalm 33:10-22 “The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; from His dwelling place His looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. The King is not saved by a mighty army; a warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us, according as we have hoped in You.”
    4.    Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good?”

C.    Just as God foretold of Egypt’s stubborn heart, He compelled them to release the Hebrews.

    1.    Exodus 10:7 “Pharaoh’s servants said to him, ‘How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?’”
    2.    Exodus 12:33 “The Egyptians urged the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, ‘We will all be dead.’”

D.    The fact of God’s sovereign grace is apparent, for the Egyptians after seeing miracle after miracle, plague after plague, did not turn to God, but continued in their unregenerate state. It was not that they did not believe; they believed in this God, or they would never have let their slaves free. They just did not want Him as their Lord and Master but instead wanted to be rid of the people causing them so much trouble.

    1.    Jeremiah 13:23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”
    2.    John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws Him…”
    3.    Romans 8:7,8 “Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
    4.    1 Corinthians 2:14 “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
    5.    Ephesians 2:1-3 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”

E.    It is significant for us to realize that in spite of the fact that neither Moses, nor the present generation, entered the physical Promised Land, the covenant was everlasting.

    1.    1 Chronicles 16:15-17 “Remember His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. He also confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant.”

F.    Finally, let us look to scriptures to see what God has to say about slavery. Though God forbid His people from kidnapping one another and selling them into slavery, if a Hebrew thief could not make restitution for his crime, he could be sold for his theft.

    1.    Deuteronomy 24:7 “If a man is caught kidnapping any of his countrymen of the sons of Israel, and he deals with him violently or sells him, then that thief shall die; so you shall purge the evil from among you.”
    2.    Exodus 21:16 “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.”
    3.    Exodus 22:3 The thief “…shall surely make restitution, if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”

G.    Also, if a Hebrew or a Hebrew family became impoverished or incurred debt, which they were unable to pay, they could become slaves. But after six years a Hebrew slave was to be set free. When set free they were not to go out empty handed but would be furnished liberally by their master for their service. Before we look at the verses pertaining to this, let us first look at the verses that expressly provide for the poor to show that this situation could only occur under severe circumstances. If the Hebrew people were obedient to God’s law, they would never find themselves in want.

    1.    Deuteronomy 24:19-21 “When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.”
    2.    Deuteronomy 14:28,29 “At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”
    3.    Deuteronomy 15:7-11 “If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,’ and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to the LORD against you, and it will be a sin in you. You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in the land.’”
    4.    Leviticus 25:35-38 “Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you. You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.”
    5.    Exodus 22:25 “If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest.”
    6.    Deuteronomy 27:19 “‘Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’”
    7.    Exodus 22:22-24 “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.”
    8.    Leviticus 25:39-42 “If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.”
    9.    Leviticus 25:10 “You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.”
    10.    Deuteronomy 15:12-15 “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today.”
    11.    Exodus 21:2-6 “If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife, and she bear him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.”
    12.    Exodus 21:7-11 “If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do. If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. If he designates her for his sons, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.”

H.    However, God makes a clear distinction between Hebrew slaves and pagan slaves in that the Hebrew slaves are to be treated like servants rather than slaves. Also, if a Hebrew sells himself to a stranger, he maintains the right to purchase his freedom and is still to be treated as a hired man.

    1.    Leviticus 25:39-43 “If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers.”
    2.    Leviticus 25:47-55 “Now if the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family, then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him. If there are still many years, he shall refund part of his purchase price in proportion to them for his own redemption; and if few years remain until the year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he is to refund the amount for his redemption. Like a man hired year by year he shall be with him; he shall not rule over him with severity in your sight. Even if he is not redeemed by these means, he shall still go out in the year of jubilee, he and his sons, with him. For the sons of Israel are My servants; they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

I.    God allowed His covenant people to take slaves from the Gentiles who could be kept for life, but again God makes a distinction between the Gentiles and His chosen people.

    1.    Leviticus 25:44-46 “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.”

J.    Captive women, children and animals were considered spoils of war.

    1.    Deuteronomy 20:14 “Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you.”
    2.    Deuteronomy 21:10-14 “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have humbled her.”

K.    Yet God protected slaves from abuse and even gave them certain privileges.

    1.    Exodus 21:26,27 “If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.”
    2.    Exodus 21:20,21 “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken for he is his property.”
    3.    Deuteronomy 23:15,16 [This is a slave from a foreign people.] “You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall live with you in your midst, in the place which he shall choose in one of your towns where it pleases him; you shall not mistreat him.”
    4.    Deuteronomy 24:17,18 “You shall not pervert the justice due an alien…but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.”
    5.    Genesis 17:12,13 “And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”
    6.    Exodus 12:43,44 “The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘This is the ordinance of the Passover; no foreigner is to eat of it; but every man’s slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it.’”
    7.    Deuteronomy 5:14 “But the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.”
    8.    Proverbs 17:2 “A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, and will share in the inheritance among brothers.”

L.    The New Testament did not abolish the institution of slavery.

    1.    1 Timothy 6:1-5 “All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles. If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness; he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.”
    2.    Ephesians 6:5 “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.”
    3.    Colossians 3:22 “Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.”
    4.    1 Peter 2:18-20 “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.”
    5.    Titus 2:9-15 “Urge bondslaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
    6.    1 Corinthians 7:20-24 “Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called. Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.”
    7.    1 Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”
    8.    Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
    9.    Colossians 3:11 “…there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”

M.    All men are slaves either to sin or to Christ. If to Christ, then we are to remain free from sin and not subject ourselves again to the yoke of slavery of sin.

    1.    John 8:31-36 “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, “You will become free”?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.’”
    2.    Romans 6:12-23 “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    3.    Galatians 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

N.    Although God sent the Israelites to Egypt, Israel’s enslavement was due to their sins. For God had forbidden His people to kidnap and sell one another into slavery. But since Jacob’s sons were to be the heads of God’s nation, then the nation would be punished for the sins of their fathers to the fourth generation. So even though it was God’s plan to use the Egyptians as His chastening tool towards His people, they were still culpable for their sins toward them.

In return for Joseph’s commendable service to Egypt for saving them from famine, Pharaoh civilly covenanted with Joseph’s family by promising them the land of Goshen as their own possession. So even though the Egyptians were not God’s chosen people, and while it was years after the first Pharaoh made that covenant to the Hebrew people, God judged them nonetheless for breaking their nation’s prior covenant. Thus since nations cannot be judged in the world to come, God judges them here on earth.

Since kidnapping was punishable by death, and since Egypt had kidnapped God’s firstborn, God brought the death penalty to all of Egypt’s firstborn. To compound their sin, because they did not free them on the Sabbath year, they were required to give them their just due as slaves plus an additional pecuniary penalty for their theft.

And finally, since the Egyptians were in essence exerting their sovereignty over God, God made His sovereignty known by eventually taking their children, their possessions, and finally their land and freedom through the Amalekites. And of course we must also remember that God curses those who curse His people.

    1.    Genesis 15:13-16 “God said to Abram, ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.’”
    2.    Genesis 45:7,8 “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”
    3.    Genesis 37:26-28 “Judah said to his brothers, ‘What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.’ And his brothers listened to him. Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.”
    4.    Deuteronomy 24:7 “If a man is caught kidnapping any of his countrymen of the sons of Israel, and he deals with him violently or sells him, then that thief shall die; so you shall purge the evil from among you.”
    5.    Exodus 20:5 “…I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.”
    6.    Psalm 94:12-15 “Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD, and whom You teach out of Your law; that You may grant him relief from the days of adversity, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For the LORD will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance. For judgment will again be righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.”
    7.    Genesis 47:5,6, 11 “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.’ So Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had ordered.”
    8.    Exodus 1:8-11 “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war; they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.’ So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Ramses.”
    9.    Exodus 4:22,23 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I said to you, ‘Let My son go that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’”
    10.    Exodus 12:29 “Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle.”
    11.    Deuteronomy 15:12-14 “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty handed. You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you.”
    12.    Leviticus 6;4,5 “Then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him or the lost thing which he found, or anything about which he swore falsely; he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering.”
    13.    Exodus 12:35,36 “Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.”
    14.    Genesis 12:3 “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

O.    The Hebrews’ experience as slaves was to continually remind them of God’s law concerning slavery and the justice they should show to strangers.

    1.    Exodus 22:21 “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
    2.    Exodus 23:9 “You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
    3.    Deuteronomy 10:17-19 “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”
    4.    Deuteronomy 15:15 “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today.”

P.    Just as God had promised Abraham that his descendants would come out of Egypt with much, God blesses His children abundantly with the wealth of the wicked.

    1.    Genesis 15:14 “But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions.”
    2.    Isaiah 61:6 “But you will be called the priests of the LORD; you will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.”
    3.    Proverbs 13:22 “…the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”