At God’s command, Moses leaves Midian and sets off for Egypt to free the Israelite people from bondage. It’s worth noting that, even before Moses gets there, God warns him that God will “harden Pharaoh’s heart.” God also tells Moses to warn Pharaoh that his firstborn son will die!
On the way to Egypt, Moses’ wife, Zipporah, circumcises their son, making Moses a true member of the Israelite people.
God tells Aaron, in Egypt, to go out into the wilderness and greet his brother Moses. So he goes, and he kisses Moses. Then Moses fills Aaron in on everything God has told him.
The two go before the elders of the people of Israel and tell them the whole story and they all say OK.
So Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh and say “The God of Israel says: Let my people go so they can hold a ceremony and sacrifice to God in the wilderness.
But Pharaoh says “Who is this God that I should listen and let everyone go have a ceremony? I never heard of this God. If you have time to go off into the wilderness, you’re not working hard enough, you lazy bums!”
And he tells the overseers to no longer give the Israelite workers any straw to make bricks with. From now on, they would have to find their own straw, but still make the same number of bricks!
The leaders of the Israelites blame Moses for this situation. “You made us smell terrible in the eyes of Pharoah. You’ve given him an excuse to kill us!”
Moses turns to God. “Why did you ever send me? I’ve just brought trouble to this people!”
God answers Moses: “Just wait!”
If this story is starting to sound familiar, you’re right. We are smack dab in the middle of the Passover story!
More of this exciting story next week…
Food for Thought
Why do you think God hardened Pharaoh’s heart?