After 40 years of Moses living a rather quiet shepherd’s life in the desert, God hears the cries of His people under their Egyptian bondage. By consulting the Bible Timeline, we can ascertain that this would have been the year 1451 B.C., making Moses 80 years old, when God calls him to active duty. The Bible tells us that God responds to the Israelites cries and their sufferings under the Egyptian rule and decides to deliver them out of their captivity because of the covenant that He had previously made with their ancestors, – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
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God initially makes contact with Moses through a burning bush:
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
God then begins to speak directly to Moses. He tells Moses that He has heard the cries of His people in Egypt and that He is calling upon Moses to be the one who will go there and free the Israelites from their bondage under the God explains that Moses was to lead the Israelites out of slavery and into a land flowing with milk and honey.” Moses hesitated…he knew he was not up to the task. God tells Moses when they ask the name of their God, to answer that His name is:
“I AM THAT I AM”
God continues by telling Moses to explain to His people that He is the God of their ancestors – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and that He is going to deliver His people and bring them into a Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
After receiving all of the divine instructions from God, Moses still questions the Lord about all of this. He proceeds to explain to the Lord that he is slow of speech and slow of tongue. God then responds back saying to him:
“And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the LORD?”
After God makes this authoritative statement to Moses, Moses continues to question God on choosing him. By this point, the Bible says that the anger of the Lord was roused against Moses. However, realizing Moses’ lack of self-confidence in himself, God then determines to have Moses take his brother Aaron with him. God says that Aaron can speak well and for Moses to convey God’s message to Aaron and that God will be with the both of them and will teach them both what to say and what to do.
God tells Moses that Aaron will be the spokesman to the people, that he will act as Moses’ mouth and that Moses shall be to Aaron “as God.” Bible timelines show that Aaron would have been 83 years old at this time.
When Moses and Aaron first approach the Pharaoh, they tell him that he is to let their people go so they can go into the wilderness to hold a feast with their God. The Pharaoh completely refuses this first request, so God does His first miracle in front of the Pharaoh and his court.
Aaron takes the rod of Moses, throws it to the ground, and it becomes a serpent. However, Pharaoh’s magicians threw their rods down, and they also became serpents. God then goes on to prove whose power was greater. God caused the rod that Aaron had thrown down that had turned into a serpent to consume all of the other rods that had turned into serpents from the Pharaoh’s magicians.
After seeing this display of God’s power, the Pharaoh’s heart hardens, and he refuses to let the Israelites go. This begins the 10 powerful plagues that God sets in motion against the Pharaoh in order to break his spirit so he will let the Israelites go from their bondage.
Here are the 10 specific plagues that God used to strike Egypt with. Please notice that some of these plagues will be the same ones that God will release once again during the 7-year Tribulation – just before Jesus returns for His second coming.The Ten Plagues Of Egypt
- Water Turned Into Blood
- Pestilence on the Livestock
- Death of All the Firstborn
The tenth plague finally breaks the Pharaoh’s will, causing him, in his own mourning, to relent and allow the Israelites to leave. Through consulting the Bible and Biblical timeline, we can see the Israelites had been kept under Egyptian bondage for 430 years, or since 1881 B.C.
The Israelites prepared to leave rapidly, however, God had one more massive miracle for them to witness before their Exodus could really begin!
This next miracle by God is perhaps the most extraordinary and magnificent in all of the Scripture. The children of Israel have now left Egypt. The Pharaoh, after allowing them to leave, changes his mind and decides to chase them with all of his army to try to get them back, or at the very least, kill them. When the Israelites realize this, they start murmuring to Moses.
They come to the Red Sea, with seemingly nowhere else to go. If they attempt to cross it, they will surely drown. If they try to move backward, the Egyptian army that is quickly closing in on them will catch them. Only God Himself can save them now.
Moses then steps forward in this desperate situation and declares to the Israelites:
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
God then speaks to Moses:
“But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”
God parts the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to cross over on dry land, and even more than that, when they had all crossed over, God then tells Moses to “stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.”
Moses then proceeds to stretch out his hand over the sea and then the sea returns to its full depth while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. The Bible says that the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea! The waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen and all of the army of the Pharaoh, and not one of them was left standing!
After the Israelites had crossed over and seen this supernatural event occur right before their very eyes, they then believed in Moses and the Lord.
Before God decides to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land, He first tests them by keeping them out in the wilderness for about two and half years. Please remember, it was only about a 3-day journey to get to the Promised Land of Canaan.
However, God apparently took them on the longer route to test their patience, their resolve and whether or not they would stay faithful and loyal to Him through this journey. During the time of testing in this wilderness experience, the first thing God wanted to see was whether His people would keep His laws and commandments. Therefore, God then presents Moses with the laws that He wants the Israelites to abide by, during a private and dramatic meeting up on Mt. Sinai.
During the second meeting with God, Moses was given specific instructions on building a tabernacle where God’s manifest presence could dwell with the Israelites out in the wilderness for the 40 years they were going to have to stay out there. It was during this second meeting that God gives Moses the 10 commandments written on a stone tablet.
He was given two tablets and the tablets had writings on both sides. All of the writing on the tablets was the handwriting of God Himself – literally engraved right on these stone tablets.
Near the beginning of the 40-year journey through the wilderness at about the two and half year mark, God brings the children of Israel up to the borders of the Promised Land – the land of Canaan. According to Biblical timelines, this would have been about 1449 B.C. Moses sent 12 spies into the land to investigate it out before decided to enter in.
Ten of the twelve spies come back with a negative report. They tell the rest of the Israelites that the people who dwell in this land are giants and that cities are high-walled and well protected.
Therefore, fears about larger men and strong walls kept the Israelites from having faith that God could give them victory. After hearing these negative reports, Caleb speaks out and says:
“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”
When God hears this lack of faith, He says that is enough. Here is the direct word from God Himself:
“Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.”
God goes on to declare:
“Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me.”
Joshua and Caleb were the faithful two spies, and they would be the ones to lead the younger generation under 20 years old into the Promised Land, and they were successful in conquering and overcoming all of the giants and strongholds that the older generation initially saw. The rest of the Israelites 20 years and older all died out in the wilderness over the next 40 years due to their lack of faith in the one true God.
Even Moses was forbidden from entering the Promised Land because he took the focus off of God and allowed the people to believe that he was performing a miracle by striking a rock to get water to come out of it. God said:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, ‘Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.’
Important World Leaders and Events During This Time
- Egypt is the undisputed world power during this time.
- Egyptian bondage and oppression increase, especially towards the Hebrew people.
- This period saw the beginning of the Hurrian conquests.
- Hittite King Mursilis I fought the Hurrians on the upper Euphrates River.
- The Cretan palaces at Knossos and other centers flourish despite disasters.
- The city of Mycenae, located in the northeast Peloponnesus, comes to dominate the rest of Achaea, giving its name to Mycenaean civilization.
- Cecrops I builds or rebuilds Athens following the great flood of Deucalion and the end of the Golden age. He becomes the first of several Kings of Athens whose life account is considered part of Greek mythology.
- Cecrops I, legendary King of Athens, dies after a reign of 50 years. Having survived his own son, he is succeeded by Cranaus.
- Egypt started to conquer Nubia and the Levant.
- The element Mercury had been discovered in Egyptian tombs dating from this period.
- Settlers from Crete, Greece move to Miletus, Turkey.
- There is evidence of the Mayan civilization developing in Belize.
- The Phoenicians develop an alphabet.
- King Cheng Tang of Shang of China, the first ruler of Shang Dynasty, ruled China for 29 years beginning in 1600 B.C.
- The Edomites lived south of the Dead Sea and blocked the passage of the Israelites to travel through their territory on their way north.
- The rise of Assyrian power begins to be established.
- The Kassites rose to political power in Babylon.
- The Hyksos kingdom was centered in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt.
- In Greece, there was a group of people known as “The Pelasgi,” who lived in the region of the Aegean Sea before the coming of the Greeks.
- The historical, recognizable beginnings of Persia took place in this era.
- The ancient Chinese art of astronomy is recorded.
- China is recognized as implementing the first old-age pension plans.
- Lyrical poetry begins among the ancient Greeks, usually accompanied by a lyre or other stringed instrument.
Main Bible Characters
Numbers 20:12 Numbers 32:11Numbers 14:22-24Numbers 13:30Exodus 14:16Exodus 14:13-14Exodus 4:11KJVExodus 3:14 KJVExodus 3:2 KJV
- Moses, the younger brother of Aaron, led the Israelite’s Exodus out of Egypt.
- Aaron, the older brother of Moses, was the first high priest of Israel.
- Joshua, son of Nun, was an attendant and helper to Moses during the Israelites’ 40-year trek through the Sinai wilderness. He was appointed by God to lead the Israelites after the death of Moses.
Picture By Sébastien Bourdon – www.oceansbridge.com, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10586813
Main Bible ReferencesExodus 1:1-14, 1:15-2:10, 2:11-25, 3:1-4:31, 5:1-10:29, 11-12, 13:1-16, 13:17-15:21, 15:22-18:27, 19:1-20:21, 20:22-32:35, 24:9-18; 32:1-35, 33:1-34:35Numbers 13:30; 14:22-24