Notes from End Times class on 10/20/2011

We began with a review of the 12 tribes of Israel and the covenant with Abraham.  Jacob was renamed Israel and began the nation of Israel.  Maps of the Ancient Near East were used throughout the lesson to better understand the location of each event.

God’s plan for Joseph, son of Jacob, took him on a very difficult journey, but ended in saving the nation of Israel.  Joseph was sold into slavery to travelling Midianites and then taken to Egypt.  After being falsely accused and thrown in prison, Joseph is promoted to Pharaoh’s second in command after God tells Joseph Pharaoh’s dream and interprets it for him.  If you ever feel like you’re in the pit, just remember that P.I.T. stands for Profit In Training!

The interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream is that after 7 good years, there would be 7 years of famine.  With this knowledge, Joseph is able to direct Egypt to store up food in preparation for the famine.  When the famine hits, Josephs brothers come to Egypt looking for food.  They do not recognize him when they bow down to him, but he recognizes them.  At Joseph’s request, the entire family relocates to Goshen, the best farm land in Egypt, where he can provide for them.

In this way, God used Jacob to preserve the eternal promise he made to Abraham, his great grandfather, to make Israel a great nation.

The nation of Israel has now left the Promised Land and resides in Egypt for 430 years until the Exodus.  During this time, Israel flourishes and grows to more than 600,000 men, which is likely about 2 million people including wives, children, and the mixed multitude of non-blood Israelites.

Leading up to the Exodus, the new Pharaoh is intimidated by the number, wealth, and organization of the Israelites and sees them as a threat.  Even though in bondage, he tries to reduce their numbers.  First, he instructs midwives to kill all the first born sons as soon as they are born, but the midwives tell Pharaoh that the Israelite women are having their babies in the fields and not coming to them.  Then Pharaoh decides to have all Israelite boys less than 1 year of age to be killed (foreshadows the killing of the innocents when Jesus was born).

One woman decided to save her baby by placing him in a basket in the river Nile.  His name is Moses, which means “drawn out.”  Moses is from the tribe of Levi.  Pharaoh’s daughter finds him and decides to raise him as an Egyptian.  Moses’ older sister, Miriam, is watching and tells Pharaoh’s daughter that she knows someone that can nurse the baby.  So Moses’ own mother is hired by Pharaoh’s daughter to nurse Moses for the first 5 years of life, which gives her time to raise him in the Hebrew tradition.

As an adult, Moses witnesses a fight between an Egyptian and a Hebrew.  In his anger, he kills the Egyptian.  For fear of his life, Moses runs away to Midian, the back side of the desert, gets married, and tends sheep.  God speaks to Moses through a burning bush and tells him to return to Egypt to set the Israelites free.  Moses argues with God and gives 10 reasons why he can’t go.  God gives many miraculous signs to Moses (changing water to blood, staff into a snake, and his hand white with leprosy and back again) to show he has been sent by God.  Moses begs God to send someone else (foreshadowing Jesus at Gethsemane), but agrees to go in the end with relatives to accompany him.

Once Moses speaks to Pharaoh, 10 plagues are unleashed upon the Egyptians that systematically undermine many of their false gods.

1)      The water is turned to blood (including the river Nile)

2)      Frogs invade the land

  1. Pharaoh’s magicians were able to imitate these first two signs, but not the rest.

3)      Gnats swarm everywhere

4)      Flea infestation

5)      Livestock get sick

6)      Boils on the people

7)      Hail strong enough to destroy crops and buildings

  1. These are the buildings that the Israelites had been forced to build as slaves

8)      Locusts eat the crops

9)      Darkness covers the earth

10)   Death of all Egyptian first born children

  1. Punishment for killing the Hebrew babies

The Hebrew people are spared from these plagues.  After the third through ninth signs, Pharaoh would agree to let the Hebrew slaves go if the plague ended, but each time he changed his mind.  After the tenth plague, he let them go.  The Egyptians give much gold and jewelry to the Hebrews as they leave.

About 2 million Hebrews are lead by Moses out of Egypt.  When they get to the Red Sea, they hear the sound of Pharaoh’s army coming after them.  He once again changed his mind.  God tells Moses to lift his staff over the water and the sea divides.  The entire Israelite nation crosses the Red Sea on dry ground.  God slows the Egyptian army down.  Once the Israelite nation has crossed, God tells Moses to once again hold his staff over the water.  This time the water closes back in and sweeps away the Egyptian army.

The Hebrews celebrate their escape and Miriam, the older sister of Moses, leads them in praise worship music.

Written on October 23rd, 2011 , Bible Study

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