Important Figures of the Bible: Moses

Characters in the Bible-Moses

The Bible is a message. The message is that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead. The Bible calls this the gospel message. To fully understand this message, one has to understand the foundations of important promises that God made to his people. Much of what happens in the Old Testament is foreshadowing to the coming of Jesus. Jesus was the true and most perfect covenant (see Hebrews 10:1). The happenings in the Old Testament simply paved the way for Jesus. One of the promises of God was that he would bring his people into the Promised Land. The role of Moses in the Old Testament was to bring God’s people out of the land of Egypt. Egypt was known as the house of bondage and the iron furnace (see Deuteronomy 4:20). Egypt is a symbol of the world that we all live in. Before a Christian is saved, he is bound by the lusts of the world. When a Christian first believes in Jesus he is freed from the world. Jesus prayed to God that he would take the apostles out of the world (see John 17:14). When Moses brought God’s people out of the land of Egypt it was symbolic of how a Christian is freed from the world and realizes that he is chosen to be a child of God.

Who was this very important figure in the Bible? Why did God choose Moses to deliver his people? What is the story of Moses? This article will answer these very important questions.

Moses the beginning
Moses was born out of the tribe of Levi. Jacob, who was the son of Isaac the son of Abraham, had twelve sons. These twelve sons are known as the twelve sons of Israel because God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Levi was one of these twelve sons. Moses was born of a mother and father from the tribe of Levi. The people of Israel at that time were slaves to the Egyptians. One of the decrees by the king of Egypt was that all the male children that were born were to be killed (see Exodus 1:16). The mother of Moses, seeing that he was a goodly child, placed him in a basket and then put him in the River Nile to save his life. The daughter of Pharaoh found him and made him her son. Moses grew and had compassion on the Hebrew people. The Bible does not say for sure, but he must have been told of his origins because the Bible refers to the Hebrew people as his brethren (see Exodus 2:11). His compassion was so great that when he saw an Egyptian hitting one his Hebrew brothers, Moses killed the Egyptian. Pharaoh sought to kill Moses so he fled Egypt to live in the land of Midian. While in Midian, Moses married, had children and kept a flock for his father in law Jethro, the King of Midian.

God’s call
When Pharaoh had died, God had decided that it was time for his people to be delivered out of the land of Egypt. He sent an angel to Moses in the form of a burning bush. God appointed Moses to bring forth his people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt (see Exodus 3:11). Moses could not believe that God had chosen him to do such great a task because he was slow of speech and of a slow tongue. The reasoning behind God’s decision to choose Moses as the deliverer lies in the fact that Moses chose his heritage over the riches of Egypt (see Hebrews 11:25, 26). To help Moses, God sent Aaron, who could speak well, to speak for him. Moses went to the elders of the children of Israel to tell them of God’s plans for them. The people believed and Moses became the leader of God’s people.

So Moses went to Pharaoh to ask for the deliverance of the Hebrew slaves. As God predicted, Pharaoh did not let God’s people go. In fact, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to multiply his signs and wonders in the land of Egypt (see Exodus 7:3). When Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh a second time, Aaron cast down his rod and it became a serpent, but still Pharaoh did not let God’s people go. Then Aaron, according to God’s command, stretched out his rod into the River Nile and it became blood. Still, Pharaoh did not let God’s people go. God then sent a plague of frogs but still Pharaoh did not let God’s people go. The next plague over Egypt was lice, but it did not persuade Pharaoh to let God’s people go. The plague of flies followed. Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened and he did not let God’s people go. Then God killed all the cattle of Egypt, but still Pharaoh hardened his heart. The plague of boils was God’s next plague. But still Pharaoh hardened his heart. God then sent a plague of hail, but still Pharaoh hardened his heart. Even the plague of locusts was not enough to convince Pharaoh to let God’s people go. God’s next plague was three days of thick darkness. Pharaoh still refused to let God’s people go. The final plague on Egypt was the killing of the first born sons. In the middle of the night the angel of death killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, even the firstborn of Pharaoh. God hardened the heart of Pharaoh so that He would show all of his mighty signs in the land of Egypt (see Exodus 11:9). The next day Moses led his people out of Egypt. God bringing out his people from the land of Egypt was the salvation of the Lord and foreshadowed the salvation of Jesus (see Exodus 14:13). Just when it looked as if the Egyptians were to come upon them because there was no where to go, Moses stretched out his hand over The Red Sea, made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided (see Exodus 14:21). When the Egyptians were in the midst of the sea, Moses again stretched forth his hand over the sea that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians (see Exodus 14:26). The people of Israel saw the great works that the LORD had done; and feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses (Exodus 14:31).

The Mosaic Law
Now that God had delivered his people, he then wanted to give them laws to abide in. God’s laws were not made to make life more difficult but for their own good. The law was given to Moses to give to the people on tablets of stone. These were known as the Ten Commandments. Also, it was Moses that God had appointed to teach his law to his people (see Exodus 24:12). Through Moses, God built his tabernacle and introduced the covenant of the atonement. Because God wanted his people to be free from sin, bulls and goats had to be sacrificed to atone for the sin of the people. Moses and Aaron were the first priests that administered this ministry unto his people. Again this is a foreshadowing of things to come. Jesus in the New Testament was sacrificed for the sins of the people (see Revelation 1:5). When the people began to rebel against God, they built a golden calf as their new god. Because of this grievous sin, The LORD wanted to blot them out of his book. Moses begged the LORD’s forgiveness and even asked if he could be blotted out of the LORD’s book instead of all the people (see Exodus 32:32). Again this is a foreshadowing of things to come in the New Testament. Jesus became a curse for God’s people and took the punishment of death in place of God’s people. The laws and commandments that were given to the people through Moses remained with the people of God until the coming of Jesus. The coming of Jesus marked the end of the Mosaic Law and started a new and more perfect covenant. Moses is mentioned in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament figure. The importance of Moses is shown when he appeared with Jesus during his transfiguration (see Matthew 17:3). The transfiguration of Jesus had great importance because it foretold of his resurrection. The fact that Moses stood beside him during this monumental event, demonstrates the importance of Moses.

The Promised Land
Although Moses led the people through the wilderness for forty years, he did not get to go into the Promised Land of Canaan (see Deuteronomy 34:4). The people were led into the Promised Land by Joshua. Just before he died, Moses sang a song unto the congregation of Israel (see Deuteronomy 32: 1-43). This song had such significance that it is prophesied to be sung again by seven angels when the great beast is defeated at the end of the world (see Revelation 15: 3). This direct correlation signifies that when God’s people finally reached the Promised Land it was as if all of God’s promises were fulfilled and the people were finally delivered from Satan.

Moses was a very prominent figure in the Bible. He delivered God’s people out of Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land. He administered the Law unto God’s people and Jesus spoke about him frequently throughout his ministry. Let us remember this great man and give him the honor that is due him.

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