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The Exodus and the Wilderness

God raises up Moses and delivers Israel from the captivity of Egypt and leads them through the wilderness to bring them to a new home. In the wilderness God intends to meet them and teach them to trust in Him as their one true God.

Moses sent to deliver Israel – While tending sheep, Moses is called up to Mount Horeb, where the angel of the Lord appears to him in a burning bush. The bush is on fire but is not consumed. The experience is compelling for Moses, but God spared his life and sent him to be a deliverer of Israel from their captivity in Egypt. (Moses was said to be a prophet like unto Christ because he followed the pattern of Christ in the Old Testament).


Moses returns to Egypt – Moses enters Egypt with a word from God that will teach all nations that the Lord is the one true God. In this message from Moses, Israel is given a promise by God that they will receive a new land and a new home and will see a mighty deliverance from Egypt. This is the same promise He gave Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 


When given a place to speak to king Pharaoh, Moses delivers the message to let God’s people go. At first, because God hardens Pharaoh’s heart, he rejects God’s word to let the people of Israel go.


Ten plagues in Egypt - God sent ten plagues upon Egypt because Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go through the prophet Moses. When the ten plagues were finished, Pharaoh decided to let the people leave Egypt.


Note: Plagues are meant to punish the wicked, not the righteous.


Ten Plagues in Egypt
  1. River turned to blood Exodus 7:14-24

  2. Frogs Exodus 7:25-8:15

  3. Lice (Gnats) Exodus 8:16-19

  4. Swarm of flies Exodus 8:20-32

  5. Cattle of Egypt died Exodus 9:1-7 

  6. Boils Exodus 9:8-12

  7. Hail and fire mingled Exodus 9:13-35

  8. Locusts Exodus 10:1-20

  9. Thick darkness Exodus 10:21-29

  10. First born of Egypt died Exodus 11:1-10, 12:29-32


Israel’s exodus from Egypt - After God finished the ten plagues that Moses sent upon the heart of Pharaoh and all of Egypt, Israel was finally delivered. Now it was time to be sent by God into the wilderness to face testing and to be proven before entering into the land of Canaan. Canaan was the land that God promised He would give them. This land was very prosperous and flowed with milk and honey.


Israel enters the wilderness – After Pharaoh released God’s people, they left Egypt and came to the red sea. Pharaoh regretted his decision to let Israel go and began to give chase. While at the Red Sea, God began to teach Israel how to trust God and not judge after the flesh by what they saw and heard. 


The people saw no way out, as the Red Sea was in front of them, and the armies of Egypt followed up behind them to kill them all. After much complaining by the people, God told Moses to lift his staff and part the Red Sea and show them dry land. 


The sea parted, and Israel walked across on dry land to the other side. Pharaoh and his army followed, but the Lord released the sea and destroyed Egypt’s army. Egypt is the enemy of God’s people. (This is an excellent example of going into the waters of baptism and killing the old man).


The wilderness journey – With the enemy of Israel destroyed, the people of God began their journey in the wilderness to learn how to serve God and to have no other gods before Him. The message was clear: there is only One God, and He is the one true God. 


As they traveled on, the people of God became very large. God told them to group themselves into twelve tribes according to the twelve sons of Israel. 


As they journey to the land of Canaan, they are put in many perilous situations that will teach them to look to the Lord and not trust in themselves. (This is why the wilderness is so important to the child of God. It is where you are taught God’s faithfulness and that His promises to you never fail).


The ten commandments – Moses is given ten commandments written by the hand of God to teach the children of Israel how to live righteously before Him. By giving commandments to men, they are taught the will of God and the mind of God. These commandments were written in stone and given to people on the earth and are the pattern of the spiritual laws that God said He would write upon one’s heart.


Notice: When you look at the commandments, do not look at them as just what you can and cannot do to please God. You must see them as God’s nature. God is one; He is holy, He doesn't kill, He’s not a thief, or doesn’t commit adulteries and fornications, or speak false witnesses. These commandments are His nature, and He has given them to us to show us that we, by these spiritual truths, can have the heart of God with Him.


The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20


  1. Do not have any other gods before Me.

  2. Do not make unto you any graven image.

  3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.

  4. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.

  5. Honor your father and your mother.

  6. Do not kill.

  7. Do not commit adultery.

  8. Do not steal.

  9. Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.

  10. Do not covet.


The tabernacle – While in the wilderness, God instructs Moses to build Him a tabernacle that He may abide in. His presence with Israel is what will keep them on their journey. This tabernacle is a shadow of the true tabernacle in heaven.


Hebrews 9:1-5 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.


Israel is a rebellious people – After much time in the wilderness, Israel had become a generation of evil and adulterous people and would not believe the promises of God. Through all the blessings God had given them and all the mighty miracles that they had seen God do for them, they still wouldn’t turn to God and believe. Even with the Law of God and His tabernacle, they still refused to be thankful and obedient to God. (This is a repeat cycle of death and curses that began with Adam and remained with them for generations).


Even when they got to the land that God promised them, they refused to take it. Moses sent twelve spies to scout out the land of Canaan; ten of those spies came back with an evil report saying they could not defeat the enemies there. 


Only two of them, Joshua and Caleb, brought back good reports, but the people would not listen. Because of this, they would not enter into the land of Canaan, which God promised them, but instead wandered in the wilderness until they died there. But God was faithful to do what He promised, so before they died, He raised a new generation of Israel to fear Him. Though still in the wilderness, this new generation would believe in Him and is given a second chance to take the land God promised their fathers. (God always keeps His word!)


Moses dies – Moses eventually died in the wilderness, but before he did, he taught the nation of Israel how to live in the new land that God promised them. He also anointed Joshua to be his successor in leading Israel. Joshua would be the one to guide Israel into Canaan to possess the land (God himself buried the body of Moses).

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