Exodus Chapters 1 – 14
Mystery, murder, and miracles make the book of Exodus exciting. In the beginning, we find the Hebrew people (descendants of Abraham) enslaved by the Egyptians. Why weren’t they in Canaan, where their ancestor Abraham settled? Just like many disasters, sin is at the root. A quick review:
1. Following God’s direction, Abraham moved to the land of Canaan; called Israel today. God promised Abraham’s descendants would be a great nation.
2. Abraham and Sarah had a son named Isaac, who married Rebekah. Isaac and Rebekah’s son Jacob had 12 sons of his own. These 12 son’s descendants (children) make up the 12 tribes of Israel. This is the great nation God promised Abraham.
3. Joseph is one of the 12 sons of Jacob. Unfortunately, Jacob favored Joseph over his other sons, and that made the other brothers jealous. A passing caravan (a group of people traveling together) provided a way to divest themselves (get rid) of Joseph, so the brothers sold Joseph to the people traveling with the caravan. Joseph ends up a slave in Egypt.
4. However, God blessed Joseph; therefore, he rose to a powerful place in this foreign land. In his position, Joseph prepared for a famine (a time when food is scarce), so the people of Egypt didn’t starve. People from other lands traveled to Egypt to purchase food: thus initiating a reunion of Joseph and his brothers. Forgiving his brothers, the family moved to Egypt to live close to Joseph. Thus, the reason the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are in Egypt instead of Canaan – the Promised Land God gave the descendants of Abraham.
5. Unfortunately, generations after Joseph’s death, the Egyptians were afraid the Hebrew people were getting too strong and numerous; thus they enslaved them to do the hard labor in the country. However, the Hebrew people continued to grow in number; therefore Pharaoh ordered newborn Hebrew boys thrown into the Nile River.
6. Into this chaos and turmoil, Moses is born. Desperate to save her son, Moses’ mother placed her son in a basket (a tiny boat made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed with tar) and placed it in the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. Since Moses was a baby, his sister Miriam stood by watching over him, waiting for Pharaoh’s daughter to arrive.
7. The plan works. Pharaoh’s daughter adopts Moses, and he experiences the luxury of a royal upbringing. However, Moses knows his roots, and in adulthood shows concern for the plight of the Hebrew people; prompting him to kill an Egyptian for beating one of the slaves.
8. The Pharaoh is mad that Moses killed the Egyptian, so Moses flees to Midian, where he marries and has a family. From what we know Moses didn’t consider God in his decisions, but God never forgot Moses.
9. In Midian, Moses is a shepherd. One day while tending a flock of sheep, Moses sees a burning bush, but strangely the bush doesn’t burn up. Carefully Moses approaches the bush to check out this odd phenomenon, and it is in this place Moses meets the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God instructs him to journey to Egypt (where he lived as a child) and lead the chosen people back to the Promised Land. At first, Moses protested; but as always, God won the argument and Moses travels to Egypt to free the Hebrews from slavery.
10. Depending on God’s power, Moses confronts the Pharaoh, but to no avail. After God sends ten plagues (severe trouble), the Egyptians demand the Hebrew people leave; furthermore giving them gold, silver, and clothing for the trip. To end the deliverance on a high note God parts the Red Sea; subsequently, the Israelites pass on dry land.
11. The Pharaoh changes his mind and orders his men to capture the Israelites. As they chase the Israelites through the Red Sea, the water collapses around the Egyptian military and they all drown.
We will finish the book of Exodus next devotion.
Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go…” (Exodus 5:1 NIV)
God struck Israel with ten plagues to convince Pharaoh to free the Israelites from slavery. The first nine plagues: the river turns to blood, frogs throughout the land, swarms of gnats, swarms of flies, their livestock die, people get boils, hailstorms, locusts, and three days of total darkness, did not convince Pharaoh to free the Israelites. Despite the Egyptians suffering, a hardened heart prevented him from allowing God’s chosen to leave.
Now, do you remember when Pharaoh ordered the drowning of all baby boys born to the Israelites? This is when Moses was born, and his mother saved him by putting him in a basket by the Nile River and the Pharaoh’s daughter rescued Moses and raised him in the palace.
The tenth plague showed the Egyptians the pain of losing children. Moses warned Pharaoh that the firstborn son of every house would die this night, but Pharaoh refused to believe him. The Israelites put blood from a lamb or goat on the sides and top of the doorframes of their homes. The plague passed over their houses and no firstborn died.
At midnight God went out into the midst of Egypt executing the tenth plague; consequently, there was wailing and intense sorrow among the Egyptians. However, peace reigned among the Israelites, for their children lived.
The next morning the Pharaoh and Egyptians were anxious to let the people go to worship their God. Pharaoh even asked for a blessing!
Today, Passover is still celebrated by the Jewish people; thus remembering the night God passed over their homes; saving their sons from death and delivering them from bondage (slavery).
When preparing the Passover meal there are precise instructions to follow. One thing the Jewish people acknowledge is that an innocent lamb died so they could smear blood on the door – the sign for God to pass over that house. The innocent lamb that died to save the firstborn of the Jewish people foreshadows Jesus’ crucifixion (death) to save us from the bondage of sin. We call Jesus the Lamb of God.
To learn more about this meaningful holiday; read Exodus Chapter 12 with an adult and write down three of the God-given instructions for Passover.
Dear God, The Jews have Passover and other feasts and holidays to remember your great works. When they celebrate Passover they remember Your great work in freeing their ancestors. Help me not to just have fun on our holidays, but to remember Christmas is about your birth, Good Friday is about your sacrificing your life to take my sin away, and Easter is about your resurrection so I may live again too. Help me to learn what every holiday means and at least part of the day focus on what is important. Amen.
My name is ____________________________________. I am
_________ years old. I am walking through the Bible with _________________________ on this date_______.
FOR A TODDLER
What you need: A simple magic trick from a child’s magic kit.
Read the following Scripture.
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind” (Exodus 14:21a NLT)
Have you ever seen a river, ocean, or even a large pool of water? Can you make the water part in the middle and walk through on dry land? Of course, not.
Well the Bible tells us about a time when God told His people to go to a land he was giving them to live. Bad men chased God’s people and tried to stop them from obeying. When God’s people came to a river they didn’t know what to do. So they turned to Moses, who was their leader.
God told Moses to put his hand out, and God parted the water of the river. The people walked through the river on dry land!
Don’t you wonder how Moses did that?
Now perform the magic trick for the child.
Ask the child if he/she knows how you did that? Do you think my magic trick is like Moses parting the Red Sea?
Explain that a miracle and trick are very different. People do tricks and God performs miracles.
Who parted the water? Of course, it was God. When Moses obeyed God and stretched out his hand, God parted the water.
Tricks try to fool people. Anyone can learn a trick. Only God can do a miracle. God does miracles to help his people.
Dear God, thank you for your miracles and help me to remember they always come from you. Amen.
My name is ____________________________________. I am _________ years old. I
am walking through the Bible with _________________________ on this date_______.