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 (Manna 17)
Moses Contended against Pharaoh
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God commissioned Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. At first Moses was not willing. He said he was not eloquent. but God assured him that he would be his mouth-piece and teach him what to say and that his brother, Aaron, would also go with him. With this assurance Moses went up to Pharaoh add spoke to him. He said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, ‘‘Who is the Lord, that I should heed his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover I will not let Israel go” (Ex 5:1—2). Pharaoh would not allow two million Israelite slaves to go unconditionally.

But if God wants to do something who can stop Him? God then sent plagues to afflict the Egyptians. The first plague was the swarming of the water of the Nile into blood so that the Egyptians could not drink from it (Ex:20, 21). The second was the plague of frogs. The whole Nile was swarmed with frogs. The frogs went up into the houses of the Egyptians, into their bed - chambers, their ovens and their kneading bowls (Ex 8:1-6). The third plague was the plague of lice. There were lice on man and beast in all Egypt (Ex 8:16—18). The fourth plague was the plague of flies. There were great swarms of flies which flew into the house of Pharaoh and into the house of the servants (Ex 8:24). Pharaoh became afraid. He summoned Moses and said to him:

            “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land” (Ex ).

            But Moses unreservedly said, “We must go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord OUF God as he will command us” (Ex ).

Pharaoh was the king of Egypt and Egypt prefigures this wicked world (Rev 11:8, 9). Pharaoh prefigures the ruler of this world, Satan (Jn 14:30). Sa tan will never allow us to worship God. Satan wants us to worship God the way the people of the world do.

             only you shall not go very far away” (Ex ).

Further plagues from God compelled Pharaoh to make some concessions. He allowed the Israelites to worship God outside Egypt but not too far away. Pharaoh hoped that the Israelites would eventually return to Egypt to be his slaves. But Moses insisted that his people would leave far a way from Egypt. He did not want to worship the Lord close to Egypt. The Bible records that the Israelites were a people dwelling alone and not reckoning itself among the nations. God wanted to make a distinction between the Egyptians amid the Israelites.

Paul said, “What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? … Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you” (2 Cor 6:15—18). Therefore, we should not be mere believers but must actually separate ourselves from the world as far away as possible.

            “Go, the men among you” (Ex ).

Since Moses could not accept Pharaoh’s proposal, Pharaoh did not allow the Israelites to go out of Egypt. Then God sent the fifth plague, the plague on the cattle. Pharaoh lost all his cattle, horses, asses, camels, herds and flocks but Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened. So, God sent the sixth plague, the plague of boils (Ex 9:8-10). All the Egyptians and their beasts were afflicted with sores.

Then God sent the seventh plague, the plague of hail storm. The hail storm struck down everything that was in the fields throughout all the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and the hail storm struck down every plant and every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, there was no hail (Ex -25).


Once again Pharaoh summoned Moses and said to him, “Go, serve the Lord your God; but who are to go?” Moses replied, “W will go with our voting and our old; we will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds for we must hold a feast to the Lord” (Ex 10:8, 9). But Pharaoh again refused to let them go. Only men were allowed to go (Ex 10:11). Pharaoh wanted the Israelite women and children to remain in Egypt so that the Israelite men would return to him. Satan adopts the same strategy today by restraining some members of our families from believing in Jesus. However, we must be firm like Moses who insisted on bringing the young and old out of Egypt. As Joshua has said, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Jos 24:15).

            “Let your flocks and herds remain behind” (Ex ).

Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he did not let the Israelites go. God sent the eight plague, the plague of locusts. The locusts were so many that the land was darkened and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruits of the trees which the hail had left; not a green thing remain, neither tree nor plant of the field through all the land of Egypt (Ex 10:15). Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened so God sent the ninth plague, the plague of darkness, over the land of Egypt for three days. In this plague the Egyptians could not see one another for three days, but all the Israelites had light where they lived. Pharaoh became frightened and he sent for Moses and said to him, “Go, serve the Lord; your children may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind” (Lx 10:24). This is yet another deceit of Pharaoh. When he had failed to hold back the Israelite women and children he told Moses to leave behind their hocks and herds. But Moses persisted, saying, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. Our cattle also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the Lord our God” (Ex —26).

Pharaoh tried to entice the hearts of the Israelites to turn back to Egypt. The Lord Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt 6:21). Moses being fully aware of this told him unreservedly, “Our cattle also must go with us; not a hoof should be left behind .“ When Satan is unable to restrain us and our households from worshipping the Lord he will try to make us worship God empty-handed. But the Bible has this to say, “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the lord your God which he has given you” (Deut 16:17). May the children of God have the determination of Moses who did not want to worship God in Egypt, and who did not want to worship God close to Egypt. We must bring our whole family to follow the Lord and to offer Him our possession given by God to serve the Lord (Lk 8:3).

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