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A Brief Overview Of The Life Of Moses

by Rik Charbonneaux  
7/25/2017 / Christian Living

"And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt." Exodus 6:13 KJV


If you have heard of and wondered about the God of the Jews and Christians, you might really enjoy hearing about the life of Moses, a man that God chose to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. If you are just not very likely to read the Bible at all, please take the time to read the following somewhat brief topic about Moses and of his loyal service to God. If you might be interested in reading more about Moses, read of him in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy of the Holy Bible.


Moses - The Lord's Servant


"And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water." Exodus 2:10b KJV


Moses was born the son of Amram, who was of Kohath who was the son of Levi, who was the son of Jacob [Israel], who was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. His parents, who were in slavery to Egypt, set adrift in the river Nile in a basket in an attempt to save his life. He was indeed rescued from certain death from the Daughter of Pharaoh and she took the child and raised him as though Moses were her own and arranged for a nursemaid for him who secretly was his real mother. As he was growing up as a Prince and becoming highly educated n Pharaoh's household, no one ever discovered his Hebrew identity. Moses was favored by God to become excelled in all things, especially military tactics and architecture, and in being a Prince of Egypt, he would became one of the very few chief advisors to Pharaoh as an adult. While inspecting a building site, Moses struck and killed an Egyptian who was mistreating a Hebrew slave. For this reason he had to leave Egypt and flee for his life at age 40. He spent the next 40 years as a shepherd in Midian where he married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian.


"And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." Exodus 3:3 KJV


When God had heard His Hebrew people crying to Him to free them from slavery, the angle of the Lord called to Moses from a burning bush and told him that he was to return to Egypt to serve God's desire that he lead His chosen people in an exodus out of Egypt. When Moses asked what name he should he tell the Hebrews is saying this, God told him "I AM THAT I AM: and thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" Exodus 3:14 KJV When all of those who wanted Moses dead back in Egypt were dead, the Lord told Moses it was time for him to return to Egypt. After receiving permission from Jethro as well to leave, Moses took his wife and sons and left for Egypt, where they met Moses's older brother Aaron in the wilderness.


"Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt." Exodus 3:10 KJV


When they arrived in Egypt, the Hebrew people believed what Aaron said that God was going to set them free and he and Moses performed signs from God among them that increased their belief. Moses and his brother began a dialogue with Pharaoh to ask him to let the Hebrew people leave and go to the desert to worship their God for three days as God had told Moses to say. Pharaoh refused and immediately made it harder on the Hebrew slaves by making them glean their own straw at night to make bricks. God had told Moses he would harden Pharaoh's heart, and every time he would refuse Moses's requests, God sent a worse plague upon Egypt. From water turning into blood to the plagues of frogs and insects, the many plagues made for a very punishing time and experience for all Egyptians. The last time Pharaoh refused Moses' request to "Let my people go", God sent the angle of death to take the life of every firstborn of man and beast in Egypt, even unto the crops. God had told Moses of what they were to do in order for the angle of death to "passover" them. They were to take a lamb and butcher it and roast it to eat, taking the blood and marking the top and sides of their house doors. The angle of death would see the blood and pass over the house leaving the occupants alone. The night of the Passover, all of the firstborn not protected by the blood died. When Pharaoh's firstborn son died, he was heartbroken and told Moses to take the Hebrew people and get out of Egypt. When Moses gathered the Hebrew people and left for the Red Sea, Pharaoh became so enraged that he gathered his army to pursue the Hebrews and engage them.


"And Moses said unto the people, "Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show you today: for the Egyptians which you have seen today, ye will see them again no more for ever." Exodus 14:13 KJV


When Moses and the people arrived at the Red Sea with Pharaoh's army closing in, God provided an escape for the Hebrew people. He had Moses raise his staff and the Red Sea began to divide and made a way for the people to cross on dry ground to the other side. When all of the Hebrew people had crossed over to the other side, Pharaoh's army had already entirely entered into the divided sea. God had the divided sea collapse back in on itself and upon them, destroying Pharaoh's army. Being saved by the Lord and having seen the army destroyed, the Hebrew people had greater fear and belief of God and Moses. They joined in singing the Song of Moses to the Lord for His saving them that day.


The Deserts of Shur, Sin and Sinai


Traveling on into the desert with such a large group of people and their households was a demanding task for Moses and before too long the people began to murmer against Moses, saying they were better off when back in bondage to the Egyptians and they were here in the desert starving. God would hear the people murmuring against Him and gave them water when needed and gave them the manna "the bread from Heaven" to eat. Even with His marvelous gift of manna, the people complained to Moses that they wanted meat and God sent them quail to net and eat. He strengthen Moses when the people's murmurings against him would wear down his resolve and strength as a leader. The Lord was good to such a complaining bunch of people because He loved them, having already saved them from the Egyptians. Besides the people complaining all of the time, Moses also had to deal with challenges from other peoples, such as Amalek, whose people were defeated by the Lord as whenever Moses raised his staff, the battle went with Joshua the Hebrew forces and whenever he lowered his staff, the battle tided against the Hebrew forces. With Aaron and Hur to hold up Moses arms, the Hebrews won that battle by the power of the Lord. When Moses father-in-law heard of how the Hebrews were being blessed by God in both battle and prosperity, he traveled to see his son-in-law and family again. When Jethro saw Moses, it was evident to him that Moses was under great stress in trying to settle all of the arguments among his people as well as fulfilling all of the demands of being their leader. Jethro told Moses to train and appoint many judges to do handle the complaints of the people and that would leave only the most difficult of the cases for him to decide, which Moses did. The other thing that Jethro saw was that Moses God was above all gods and with that in his heart, he bid farewell to Moses and his family and returned to Midian. Three months after leaving the bondage of Egypt, Moses and the Hebrew people were finally traveling into the Sinai wilderness.


"And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God." Exodus 29:45 KJV


When Moses and the people reached Mount Sinai, they camped at the base and Moses went up the mountain to speak with God. God spoke to Moses from within the mountain saying: "You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bear you on eagles wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words that thou shall speak unto the children of Israel." Exodus 19:4-6 KJV What a glorious message to be given from God! Moses was told to ready the people to be in the presence of God within three days, by cleansing and informing them in preparation. Moses assembled the children of Israel before Mount Sinai as instructed and God came down upon the mount amid smoke, storm clouds, thunder and lightning and the ground quaked. The people withdrew to a distance out of fear and only Moses and Aaron were told to come up. The Lord verbally gave Moses His Ten Commandments to tell to the people of and when Moses had done so, the people said that they would do what God askes, only they did not want to see Him face to face out of fear and they asked Moses to speak for them from that time forward. A great number of other judgments [laws] were given by the Lord to Moses for the people to live by. Further, the Lord told Moses of three annual feasts that the people were to begin observing: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of the First Fruits and the Feast of the Harvest. The Lord God promised that He would send an His angel to go before them to clear the enemies they would encounter and to lead them to the land that God had promised he would be taking them to. The Lord communicated many instructions to Moses of how, by whom and when he would be worshiped by the people, including instructions for the special building of a tabernacle to house an Ark of the Testimony, an order of priests for it, and the promise of God that he would live among them: "And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God." Exodus 29:45 KJV When God had finished communing with Moses He gave him two tablets of stone that contained the testimony that He had written into the stone with His own finger. God then told Moses to go back down to the camp of the people of Israel because they were corrupting theselves worshiping a molten calf. Then the Lord told Moses to stand aside while he destroyed these sinful people and that He would give Moses a new group of people for the start of a nation. Moses immediately asked for mercy for the people of Israel. He asked the Lord to repent of His anger so that the Egyptians would not be able to say of how the Lord brought these people out of Egypt only to kill them in these mountains, and asked the Lord to remember His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob [Israel] to multiply their seed like the stars of heaven to inherit the land God promised to give them forever. Our gracious and loving Lord granted Moses his request. Moses was so angry when he arrived at the camp that he smashed the stone tablets. He listened to Aaron's miserable excuse that the false worship occurred because everyone thought Moses was gone so long that he had to be dead. He then ordered that the golden calf be ground to power and had it mixed with water and given to all of the people to drink. He then ordered the Levites to kill three thousand of the people and told the rest of the children of Israel to consecrate themselves to the Lord. When Moses went back up the mountain to ask God's forgiveness of the people's sin, the Lord told him that He was going to blot the name of everyone who worshipped the calf out of His book, and for Moses to start the people again on the journey to the land of promise and that His angle would go before them. Many more instructions for proper worship procedures would be given and Moses would be given new tablets of testimony. He would have the great honor of God revealing His goodness to pass before him and when Moses appealed for forgiveness again for the still-necked people he was leading, the Lord told him "..I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy upon whom I will show mercy." Exodus 33:19b KJV More feasts would be declared, many more laws and a series of blessing defined and Joshua, he son of Nun would become more and more of Moses's right hand man in all things, much like a general.


"Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I gave unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall you send a man, everyone a ruler among them." Numbers 13:2 KJV


When the children of Israel reached the wilderness of Paran, the Lord told Moses to send leaders from every tribe to go into Canaan and search out the land. Moses did so, including sending Joshua along with the instructions of where and what to focus on. After forty days, they returned to meet with Moses and the people at Kadesh in the wilderness of Puran to show them the fruit of the land, speaking of the land as flowing with milk and honey as the Lord said it would. Then they spoke of walled cities and of the many strong people of large stature and of the giants of Anak: "...and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." Numbers 13:33b KJV  Once again the people murmured against God and Moses saying that it would have been better for them to have died in Egypt than to die in this wilderness and they called for a captain to take them back to Egypt. Immediately in reacting to what the people had just said, Moses and Aaron lay face down on the ground and Joshua and Caleb tore their own clothes, telling the people that they should proceed to take the land of Canaan because the Lord promised that He would go ahead of them and they would be successful in all things to take the land. The people then said that they wanted to stone Moses and all who agreed with him, to which the Lord's presence appeared in the tabernacle and God spoke to Moses: "How long will these people provoke me? and long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs I hve showed among them?" Numbers 14:11 KJV and, once again, the Lord told Moses He was going to eliminate these people and give a new nation to Moses. And, once again, Moses pleaded for the lives of the people and God pardoned the people from immediate destruction, but made it clear to Moses that all of these rebellious people will wander in the wilderness forty years and would die there, never to see the land that they could have had by His promise, except for Caleb and Joshua and all of the children less than twenty years old, as these would see the land of promise. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the men who had went into Canaan and came back saying that the land could not be taken, were killed by a plague of the Lord. Hearing of their fate to wander in the wilderness until their death, some of the people went against the Amalekites and the Canaanites and were slaughtered. Moses had told them that the Lord was not with them to gain the ground and they paid with their lives for not listening. Later at Kadesh, the people were thirsty and were complaining again against Moses and Aaron. Moses turned to the Lord for a solution and the Lord told him to gather the whole assembly of the people congregation in front of a specific rod and to take his rod and touch the rock and water would come forth for all to drink. The Lord said they would sanctify Him before the children of Israel by doing this as he said to. Moses did as the Lord said, except he lost his temper with the attitudes of the grumbling people and said "Hear now ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?" Numbers 20:10b KJV. Their failure to sanctify the Lord before the people that they would be thankful to the Lord for the miracle of the water from the rock cost Moses and Aaron dearly. The Lord told them both that neither of them would lead these people into the land of promise.


"And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face" Deuteronomy 34:10 KJV


Leaving Kadesh and beginning the forty years of wanderings through the wilderness, a man named Korah tried to ursurp Aaron's role as priest given to him by God. Korah and all others who supported him were killed as the Lord opened up the ground beneath their feet and the ground swallowed them up along with their families and possessions. Further, the Lord sent fire down upon 250 more men and destroyed them for offering incense on their own initiative. The Lord made it clear that Aaron was his appointed priest and even had Aaron's rod bud into flower when placed the eleven other rods of the tribes. Trying to find a suitable route through that part of the wilderness, Moses sent a message to the King of Edom asking permission to travel the king' high way on through to the borders. The king refused and the children of Israel went another way. As they approached Mount Hor from Kadesh, the Lord told Moses that Aaron would die upon that mount and that Aaron's son was to be made priest by Moses at God's direction and Aaron was mourned for thirty days. When they got underway again by way of the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom, the people complained and spoke against the Lord and Moses. In response, the Lord sent fiery serpents among them and many of the people died. The people came to Moses and admitted they had sinned against God and asked that the serpents be taken away. The Lord told Moses to make a serpent of brass and mount it upon a pole and all who looked upon it would live. The people were grateful for the mercy that the Lord showed to them.


"When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he seperated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel" Deuteronomy 32:8 KJV


With the protection of the Lord, the children of Israel prevailed in the wilderness. They were grateful to their God but would fail to depend totally upon Him and at least once some worshiped Baal-peor, the god of the people of Moab. The Lord told Moses to kill those who had worshiped Baal-peor and before it could be completely accomplished by the judges, Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron sought out a one of the people who had brought a Midianitish woman into the camp right in front of Moses, and killed them both with a javelin. The Lord was pleased with Phinehas's zeal for Him and stayed the rest of the executions, although twenty-four thousand of the children of Israel paid with their lives for the false worship of Baal-peor. The Lord would later tell Eleazar the priest to number all of the men twenty years old and higher in age, which was more than six-hundred thousand in number. This count was to assist in determining how the land of promise would be divided among the tribes when the time came by the use of lots to decide these things, except for the men of the Tribe of Levi who would not receive an allotment because their service was to the Lord and He was their inheritance. Many more challenges would be given to Moses by the children of Israel, the people of land of Canaan and he would serve the people and the Lord tirelessly and one of the last acts of intercession on the part of Moses on behalf of the people was to appeal to the Lord for the daughters of Zelophehad to be given their father's land inheritance parcel in the land of promise as he had no sons. The Lord agreed to this and then told Moses that he would die and not lead the people into the land of promise. The Lord told Moses it was because he had rebelled against the Lord's commandment to sanctify Him to the people at the striking of the rock that gave forth water for the people in the desert of Zin, where Moses and Aaron both failed at doing this for the Lord. Moses accepted the Lord's judgment and asked that the Lord name a replacement for Moses to lead the people into the land of promise. The Lord said it was to be Joshua and for Moses to place him before Eleaser and the people and for Moses to place his hands upon Joshua and give the charge to him as the one who would now lead the people. Later, Moses went up onto Mount Nebo and the Lord showed him all the land that the Lord had promised to Abraham, to Isaac and unto Jacob. Having been given this kindness by the Lord to be able to see all of the land, Moses dies in Moab at the age of 120 years and was mourned by the children of Israel for thirty days. Moses was a true servant of God.

Rik Charbonneaux is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.

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