Athlete, Don't Doubt

*This series was written by the AIA staff team at the University of Virginia

Exodus Overview

God establishes the people of Israel as a nation in the book of Exodus.  These are the people through whom He will save the world.  First, He must deliver them from bondage and oppression in Egypt in order to provide political independence.  This exodus or deliverance from Egypt becomes one of the primary images in the New Testament of the deliverance from sin and death that God provides through Jesus, and our struggle with his deliverance (chapters 1-18).  Second, God gives Israel a law, to show them how to live as his redeemed people, to enjoy the abundant life for which He had saved them (19-24).  Finally, God gives Israel the design for the tabernacle or “Tent of Meeting” through which Israel would experience God’s glory, forgiveness and empowering presence (25-31, 35-40), though they were quick to rebel against God’s law when He seemed absent (32-34).  As Israel struggles against God’s deliverance, law, and presence, we see God discipline the people He loves, but He never gives up on his people.  His grace is greater than all our sin.  

Read Exodus 1-2

We see the compassionate heart of God in the last three verses of our passage (2:23-25).  He hears the cries of his people as they endure the oppression of a fallen regime and world, He is concerned, and He is faithful to remember his covenant promises, which were made in love.  In order to act on his compassion, God begins to prepare a man through whom He will deliver his people.

Moses is God’s man, and nothing the king of Egypt does can thwart God’s deliverance.  This cruel king of Egypt doesn’t want to appear as cruel as he actually is, so he tries to enlist the Hebrew midwives to do his dirty work (1:16).  The faithful midwives revere God and surely risk capital punishment by refusing to obey his order, but God protects and blesses them (1:17-21) while the king’s evil is exposed (1:22).  Moses, like Jesus, was born under the rule of a tyrannical king.  Just as Pharaoh ordered the death of every nearby baby boy, so did Herod the Great after Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2:16).  Moses was placed in a basket on a river.  Jesus was placed in a feeding trough.  Both boys find shelter in Egypt (2:5ff.; Matthew 2:13ff.).  Both men were rejected by their own people whom they desired to save, perhaps understandably in Moses’ case (2:14).  But God protects Moses and provides a refuge for him in the household of a polytheistic priest in Midian, who later becomes a believer in the one true God.  

Questions for Reflection and Prayer

1. Do you ever doubt that God hears your cries and feels your pain?  We should consider that God never forgot his people during their long stay in Israel, even though He seemed to be absent.  God was moving to prepare Moses long before Israel had any idea that He was acting.  Moreover, God was preparing the way for Jesus through Moses and Israel, 1,400 years before his coming.  This is not a full-proof exercise for removing doubt, but take time to reflect on the character and timing of God and how this passage may speak into to your own life and our current time.
2. Consider, too, the faith and courage of the Hebrew midwives.  Consider the state of your own commitment to the Lord.  Consider the inability of worldly forces to stop God’s deliverance through Moses and ultimately through Jesus.  From what has Jesus delivered you?  Take time to give thanks.  How is God calling you to be courageous for the sake of his kingdom?

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