Life of Moses
A Bloody Branch of Hyssop…
Orig. 4.27.03; ed. 2.15.15
Introduction… God’s deliverance can be seemingly so unpredictably swift–worshipfully simple to the faithful and yet, powerfully devastating to those caught in the crossfire of evil’s destruction.
Doesn’t it surprise how unpredictable life can be at times? Sometimes, it is seemingly not so good, and other times, it can be beyond our wildest hopes and dreams? But just about the time we think neither good or bad is coming, wham! It comes sudden and unexpected. Our only defense against life’s ups and downs is the simple—the tried and true…a simple meal eaten with friends in the presence and dependence of God. God never goes away, sees all and knows all. He is our salvation everyday. We eat simple meals in trust that he is delivering us everyday and that someday he will deliver us forever. Simple meals, eaten in the presence of God with like-minded friends. Does it get any better than this, be it the Passover lamb or the body’s communion with our Lord…
What were the devastating costs required for Yahweh God to redeem (or buy back), his chosen people, the Children of Israel, via their miraculous Exodus (or way out) from harsh Egyptian enslavement?
- Moses makes 12 appearances before Pharaoh.
- There are 39 mentions of Israel’s “release” or “deliverance” in order to celebrate a festival to Yahweh God in the desert.
- 7 times Yahweh predicts that Pharaoh will not listen to Moses.
- In order to motivate Pharaoh to release his enslaving grip upon the Israelites, Yahweh unleashes 10 Consecutive, Pervasive and Devastating Curses upon Egypt.
- 10 times the text clearly says that Yahweh God distinguishes between Israel and Egypt with respect to the plagues’ devastating affects.
- Neither Pharaoh’s diviners nor his gods are any match for Yahweh’s mighty hand.
In delivering Israel from Egypt, Yahweh God could be defeating as many as 118 Egyptian deities.
It is also interesting to note that Yahweh’s last and greatest curse against Egypt, the curse of Egypt’s firstborn, is not just directed against the firstborn of man and beast, but also “against all the gods of Egypt” (Ex. 12:12).
- Under intense national pain and pressure, on several occasions, Pharaoh will express a momentary remorse and contrition for not releasing Israel to worship.
Pharaoh is momentarily contrite (3x) while admitting sin (2x) and asking Moses to prayerfully intercede on behalf of Pharaoh’s disobedience to Yahweh for not releasing the Israelite as commanded by Yahweh, in order that they may fully serve Yahweh God in the desert with sacrifices (4x); Once Pharaoh even asks for forgiveness.
- 7x Pharaoh will declare that Israel can go and sacrifice (after plagues 2, 4, 7, 8, 9 [2x]; 10);
- But because of the hardening of his heart, Pharaoh will change his mind and recant his promise 4x;
- In fact, there are 17 references to the “hardening” of Pharaoh’s heart.
Moses makes mention of this “hardening” a total of 17 times, with 9 references being attributed directly to Yahweh’s divine intervention, 6 neutral occurrences, which could be inferred to as being attributed to Yahweh and 3 more occurrences in which Pharaoh and his servants are given the credit of “hardening” their own hearts.”
- 4x Pharaoh unsuccessfully attempts to make a bargain with God or Moses so that not all of Israel will go and worship.
- So what’s the point to all this protracted salvific drama?
So with this one protracted drama acted out on history’s stage, God reveals the truth concerning God and man. God is big; man is small. Though for a time, it may seem that man can be God, when man attempts to play God, he is ultimately crushed by God, and those who choose to keep God, God and man, man, or those that ally themselves with God through faith, with will not only be delivered from corrupt man, but will be rewarded for their trust. Continue reading