Moses, A Prophet of God
Moses is a great example to follow as we journey through this life.
Moses, the prophet of God, became an instrument in the Lord's hands in showing the world, then and now, the power by which all mankind may be redeemed or "saved."
His dealings with the Children of Israel can be used as an example, for us to follow today, as we journey through the wilderness or this life, and useful for instruction in guiding us to our land of Promise or the life to come. His example testifies of Jesus Christ.
Joseph, Son of Jacob
The Children of Israel, who they are and how they came to be in bondage to Pharaoh in Egypt.
In order to understand who the Children of Israel are we must begin with Jacob, the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. Jacob became known as Israel, as a result of the Lord giving him that new name. These three prophets, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are commonly referred to as "the three patriarchs", or sometimes "the fathers" of the Old Testament.
Jacob, aka Israel, had twelve sons which formed the "twelve tribes" that make up the group known as "the children of Israel." Ten of Jacob's sons conspired against their younger brother Joseph, who they thought desired to be a ruler over them, and because of their jealousy sold him into slavery. They then fabricated a story and told their father "his favorite son" had died. They thought that Joseph was completely out of the picture, but thankfully for them, they couldn't have been more wrong.
After being sold into Egypt, being blessed by the hand of the Lord, Joseph rose in position and stature and became Pharaoh's second in command. Joseph's story, like the one of Moses, also illustrates the doctrine of salvation, in that he "saved" his entire family from starvation and eventual death. He listened to the Lord, obeyed His word, and became prepared for the years of famine which were soon to be felt throughout the land
Joseph brings his family to Egypt for protection and food.
After years of separation from his family, Joseph who was in a position to offer life sustaining food, became reunited with his brothers, and eventually his father, as they sought his help while he was in Egypt. This is actually how Israel and his family end up journeying to and living in Egypt in the first place. They were invited, protected, and became very prosperous in the land; however, a little over 400 years later they find that Egypt was no longer a desirable place to be.
Those who are obedient are blessed by the Lord.
The children of Israel prospered in the land of Egypt because they were "favored", or blessed through the "covenant", which was made with their Father Abraham. The "Abrahamic Covenant" promised them great blessings in return for their show of obedience to God.
This prosperity and growth however, presented a problem for the new Pharaoh "who knew not Joseph", for times had changed. This king of Egypt did not know, or remember, the act of salvation the Lord had provided through Joseph, for his Egyptian people, in providing life sustaining food during the famine that was throughout the land.
In his dilemma, the King consulted his staff of advisors, A suggestion was made to have all the male children who would be born to the Hebrews (which is now another name the children of Israel are known by) killed, as a measure of population control.
Moses became the living "Ark of the Covenant."
In an attempt to save their newborn male child, "a man of the house of Levi, who married a daughter of the house of Levi" constructed an "ark", placed their baby who was Moses inside, and put it in the Nile River to escape death.
Notice the description that is given at this point of the parents of Moses. We are not told their names as yet, but are given their tribal lineage as being from the tribe of Levi. The "tribe of Levi" was the tribe, who upon receiving their patriarchal blessing from their father Jacob, was blessed with the "authority" or "priesthood" rights in administering the ordinances of the Lord.
This distinction is made so clearly to provide us with assurance that Moses is a "lineal heir" to that priesthood right, just as John the Baptist was (oops, that's another Hub.) When Moses is placed in that reed basket or "ark", he becomes the living "covenant" in the ark, or the "Ark of the Covenant", as was Noah generations before.
How did the Egyptians know baby Moses was a "Hebrew"?
It is significant to note, that Moses was kept hidden and raised by his natural mother until he was "three months" old. This little bit of information actually tells us quite a bit. If you were a male, at this point in history, to enter into the commitment and attached blessings that were established by the Lord regarding the Abrahamic Covenant, the token of circumcision was a requirement. This ceremonial act or ordinance was performed when the child was eight days old.
As the maid of the daughter of Pharaoh, pulled Moses from the river as a babe, she exclaimed, "This is one of the Hebrews children", I guess she could tell right away.
Did Moses himself, know who he was and what he was to do?
Moses knew he was different from the Egyptians, for it is recorded that when he was grown, "that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren." The scriptures teach that he knew the Hebrews were his people.
This incident becomes a major turning point in the life of Moses. As he witnessed this display of injustice toward one his brethren, he desired to "save" him from his plight. Interfering with the fight that ensued between the two nations, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand; this is his first public statement of loyalty to the Hebrews.
One of the problems with this display of "salvation" shown by "killing the Egyptian" is that it is done solely by the "hand of Moses"; however, this is not the Lord's plan. The Children of Israel will be delivered through Moses, but by the "hand of the Lord." Ultimately, this is the process that is taught to Moses, his people, and to us, through the account that is recorded in Exodus.
The Classic- The Ten Commandments
There is only one name by which salvation comes.
It was not long after this event that Moses received his call to serve, directly from the Lord. This is done in an experience that occurred at the "Mountain of God", or Horeb. He learned first hand that he is a son of God, and that God had a work for him to do.
We too, can learn first hand who we are, and that we have a work to do. By following the same pattern Moses did of looking to find, asking to know, listening for the answer, following in obedience, and submitting our will, we can know for ourselves. Thus, this great prophet teaches us by his example, how we also, can obtain salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.