Then the LORD said to Abram, "You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers and travel in a land they don't own. The people there will make them slaves and be cruel to them for four hundred years.
(Gen 15:13 NCV)
The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for four hundred thirty years; on the very day the four hundred thirty years ended, the Lord's divisions of people left Egypt.
(Exodus 12:40 - 41 NCV)
Moses was destined to be the deliverer of Israel even before they were in bondage to Egypt. As far back as Abraham, God was declaring that Israel would go down to Egypt and be in bondage for around 400 years. Thus, Moses bore the expectations of his people (since many of them would have been aware of Abrahamís prophecy about their bondage to Egypt for 400 years).
1. Does Acts 7:20 indicate that Moses carried a sense of destiny throughout his early life?
The name Moses means drawn out the water. In ancient Egyptian literature there is reference to a Tuthmoses III (Holman Bible Dictionary) but no reference to Moses the Hebrew. All we know of Moses is drawn from the Scriptures.
2. The New Testament consistently describes Moses with one word. Note these Scriptures and determine what that word is, and discuss why he is described that way: Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:2, 5
When Israel went down to Egypt under Josephís administration, they were welcomed, and Egypt was blessed as a result. But in time their numbers grew and the new Pharaoh was threatened by their potential to overthrow his government (Ex. 1:10). He then embarked on an active campaign of oppression against the Hebrews.
3. What happened when Pharaoh increased his oppression against the Hebrews? (Ex. 1:12)
What lessons can be drawn from this for the church today?
4. Why didnít the Egyptian midwives carry out Pharaohís command to kill all newborn Hebrew boys? And what was the result for them? (Ex. 1:17, then verses 20-21)
Jochebed (Ex. 6:20), Mosesí mother, could see that Moses was a special child. Often parents can see a childís potential and character very early in their life. But with Moses, there was also a sense of Godís destiny on Moses. Thus Jochebed could float her son down the Nile with the confidence that God had His hand on her son.
5. How does Exodus 2:5-9 further indicate that Moses was born with a grand destiny?
Being brought up in the Palace of Pharaoh meant that Moses would have been privileged to have had a classical Egyptian education (Acts 7:22). He would have been raised in the company of world leaders and diplomats as he acquired his education in the royal courts. Supplementary to this upbringing was Mosesí own motherís input. It would seem reasonable that she shaped the sense of prophetic destiny in the life of her son.
6. Compare Exodus 2:11-12 with Acts 7:23-29 and determine whether Moses did have a sense of his destiny?
MOSESí IN THE DESERT
When Moses fled into the Midian desert he met Jethro (Reuel). He became Mosesí father-in-law, and a trusted counsellor (Ex. 17). After Moses had been married for about 40 years and raised a family, God called him back to his original destiny. It is more than probable that when Moses slew the Egyptian, he acted too hastily. He tried to fulfil his destiny rather than walk one step at a time. I suspect that he jumped the gun by 10 years.
7. Compare Genesis 15:13 with Exodus 12:40-41 to determine why your learned pastor suspects this?
8. While Moses was out in the wilderness, what were the people of God doing back in Egypt? (Ex. 2:23-25)
9. What relationship does prayer have to fulfilling prophecy?
10. What do think Moses learnt during his forty years in the Midian desert?
To be continued...