under a special agreement with
presents "Light from the Old Testament"
under a special agreement with
Lesson 3 (Part 3)
While Joseph was living, Jacob's descendants, the children of Israel, were treated well. But after Joseph died, there arose a new king in Egypt who had not known Joseph. He dealt harshly with the children of Israel and made slaves of them.
At this time Egypt was the most powerful nation on earth, and Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, was the most powerful ruler in the world. In spite of their affliction, the children of Israel were multiplying, so Pharaoh ordered the midwives to kill all the newborn sons of the Hebrew women. But the midwives feared God and would not kill the male babies.
One godly mother hid her newborn son for three months. When she could no longer hide him, she made a little waterproof basket for him and put it in the bushes in the river where Pharaoh's daughter came daily to bathe. The mother put her little daughter, Miriam, nearby to watch and see what happened.
When Pharaoh's daughter came to bathe, she discovered the little basket. When she opened it, the baby cried. This touched her heart, and she had compassion on him. She said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children."
Just then Miriam, the baby's sister, came up and asked, "Shall I go and call to you a nurse of the Hebrew women that she may nurse the baby for you?"
Pharaoh's daughter agreed, so Miriam went home and brought back her mother. Pharaoh's daughter said, "Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages."
The child grew and in time his mother brought him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her adopted son. Because she had drawn him out of the water, she called his name Moses, which means "to draw out."
Moses was raised in Pharaoh's palace as a prince. He was being trained to become a ruler of Egypt. But God was preparing Moses for a greater work. He was to be the deliverer of his people, the Israelites.
When Moses was 40 years old, he went out to his people and saw their hardships. An Egyptian slave-master was beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. Moses killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand. Moses chose to identify himself with the children of Israel, a race of slaves at that time. The Bible says,
"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Hebrews 11:24-25
When the Egyptians discovered what he had done, Moses had to flee for his life. He went into the land of Midian and lived there with the priest of Midian. Moses became a shepherd. The priest of Midian gave one of his daughters to Moses to be his wife.
In Egypt the children of Israel were slaves of Pharaoh and idol worshippers. They were bowing down before Egypt's gods. They had hard, merciless taskmasters who beat them daily with whips.
Yet they had their little pleasures. Pharaoh allowed them to have fish, cucumbers, melons, onions and garlic. It helped make them content to remain his slaves.
This is a picture of every unsaved person. He is a slave of Satan in Satan's world system. Yet Satan allows him to have his little pleasures in the world because they help to keep him content to remain Satan's slave, in Satan's world system.
Because of their great suffering, the children of Israel cried out to God, and God heard their groanings and their cries. God appeared to Moses in the wilderness and said, "I am come down to deliver them."
How did God deliver His people? He gave them a deliverer—Moses. Moses was raised in the royal palace as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He was in line to become a ruler of Egypt. He had everything that this world could offer him, but God called him to identify himself with the children of Israel, a slave race.
Moses refused Egypt's greatness, wealth and pleasures, and chose to obey God. Pleasing God and obeying Him was more important to Moses than "enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season." The Bible says,
"By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible." Hebrews 11:27
Moses seemingly had thrown his life away. For forty years he was an obscure shepherd in the land of Midian. Then one day God appeared to Moses in a burning bush.
"the cry of the children of Israel is come to Me…Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt." Exodus 3:9-10
Moses obeyed God and became one of the greatest heroes of faith in the Bible. There never was a man who might have had a greater life in this world than Moses. But he turned his back on all that this world could offer him. Why? Because he counted the reward that God would give him in the next world of far more value. The Bible says, "he was looking ahead to his reward." (Hebrews 11:26 NIV)
What if Moses had not obeyed God? What would he have gained? Nothing! He would have lost everything.
It pleases God when we, like Moses, refuse the sinful pleasures of this world and choose to serve Him. God has great rewards for us in the next world. The Bible says,
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9