Lesson 12 – Moses and the Passover

The Bondage of Israel

We ended our last lesson with the children of Israel (Jacob) entering the land of Egypt.  We now begin to study the second book of the Bible called Exodus which means “going out”.  We will discover how God, after 400 years, brought the Israelites out of Egypt and back into the land that He had promised to give to Abraham.  Joseph and all his generation died in Egypt.  Joseph’s relatives continued to live in Egypt after the drought ended for another 400 years.

During this time, the children of Israel prospered in Egypt.  They grew from a family of 70 people to nearly two and a half million people.  However, things were about to change.

The Bible says in Exodus 1:8,11, “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph … Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.” 

Satan guided the new Pharaoh to make slaves of the Israelites.  Satan knew that God had promised to send the Savior and that He would come through the nation of Israel.  Therefore, Satan wanted to destroy the nation of Israel so there would be no Savior.  Satan even moved Pharaoh to instruct the Israelite midwives to kill all the male babies that would be born. They refused to obey Pharaoh and chose to trust God.

God Prepares a Deliverer

In an effort to protect her infant son from being killed, one Israelite mother placed her son in small boat and hid him in the bushes on the river, praying that someone would find him and protect him. God allowed Pharaoh’s daughter to find the child when she came to the river to bathe.  When she saw the baby, she decided to adopt him as her own child, and she called his name Moses.

God planned to use Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery. God knew that Moses would be safer in Pharaoh’s house than anywhere else.  He also knew Moses would learn many things that would be important for him to know.

Moses grew up into a man.  One day, he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite slave.  He killed the Egyptian man and fled into Arabia where he became a shepherd.  He married and had children.

About 40 years later, God told Moses to return to Egypt and bring the Israelites into Canaan, the land He promised to Abraham.  God knew that Pharaoh would not allow the Israelite slaves to go free. He would have to be persuaded that God was the true and living God before he would allow them to go free.

The Powerful Plagues of God

The Bible says in Exodus 5:1-2, “And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilder-ness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” 

Pharaoh refused to obey God’s command given through Moses. Pharaoh did not know God, the Creator of the whole earth.  The Egyptians worshipped the creation rather than the Creator.  They worshipped the Nile River, the sun, moon, and many kinds of animals. 

They had many gods and even worshipped Pharaoh as a god.  God wanted to teach the Pharaoh that idols are false gods and that the true God is the Creator of everything.  Therefore, God is to be worshipped alone.

God allowed nine plagues to come upon Egypt to show the Egyptians that their false gods could not deliver them from His great power.  First, God turned the water in the Nile river to blood.  Next, he sent plagues of frogs, then lice, and then flies.  God then caused the Egyptians’ horses, cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys to become sick and die. 

Next, God caused all the Egyptians to have terrible boils.  This was followed by a terrible destructive hailstorm, then a plague of locusts, and then three days of thick darkness in all the places where the Egyptians were living.  Pharaoh and the Egyptian people could not save themselves from these terrible plagues.  Neither could their false gods save them.

The Israelites would have suffered from the plagues too, but God’s love and mercy protected them so that the plagues did not affect them even though they were living nearby in the same country. God protected Israel from the plagues so that the king of Egypt would realize that the God of Israel was the only true and living God. God knew all along that Pharaoh would be stubborn and would refuse to release them.

The Passover Deliverance

The Bible says in Exodus 11:1, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.” 

God told Moses the last plague would bring death to all the firstborn males to both Egyptians and Israelites.  However, God gave a set of instructions so anyone who followed these instructions would be protected from the last plague.

The Bible says in Exodus 12:3-5, “Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:….Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:”.

The head of each home was supposed to choose a lamb or goat.  The lamb or goat had to be without blemish.  God is perfect and He requires a perfect sacrifice.  He would never accept an animal offering that was sick or hurt.

The Bible says in Exodus 12:6, “And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.”

The lamb was to be kept until a specified day by God, and then killed.  The lamb had to die.  Its blood must be allowed to flow out.  This was to remind the Israelites that the punishment for sin is death.  Isaac was saved by the death of an innocent ram.  Now, the Israelites would be saved by the death of an innocent lamb.

The Bible says in Exodus 12:7, “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.”

God told the Israelites to catch the blood in a basin.  They were to take a small branch and dip it into the blood.  They were to apply the blood on both sides of the door posts and over the door of the house where they were going to eat the lamb that night. 

It was the blood of the lamb on the doorpost that would save the firstborn from the plague.  God promised that when He saw the blood on a house, He would pass over the house and not allow the plague to enter and kill their firstborn.

The Bible says in Exodus 12:29, “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.”

In every home where there was no blood applied to the door the firstborn child died.  But, in every home where the blood was applied, the firstborn lived.  Imagine if every family in your country had someone die on the same night. 

The Bible says that every Egyptian family in the whole country had someone die.  It is possible that if a grandfather, father, and son were all firstborns and living in the same house, then all three would die.  Can you even begin to imagine what this disaster would be like?

This event would picture how the coming Savior would save people from judgment and separation from God.  This event would also become known as the Passover, because God passed over each house that had the blood on the doorpost. 

What would have happened if a man said, “I don’t want to mess up my door posts with blood. I will dump it on the ground outside the back door.”  Would God have passed over that house?  No! 

They may have done it with the best of intentions, but they would not be following God’s instructions.  They would be doing their own thing, just like Cain and Esau. Their firstborn would have died because they refused to believe God.

What would have happened if an Egyptian heard what God was about to do and decided to follow God’s instructions?  Would God pass over his house and he escape the plague?  Yes, because he believed God.

Pharaoh did not believe God, and his own firstborn son died in the plague.  Pharaoh called Moses that very night and told him to take the Israelites out of Egypt. 

Everyone that refuses to believe God will lose.  Adam and Eve lost.  Cain lost.  So did the people of Noah’s day and in Sodom and Gomorrah.  Now Egypt lost.  Everyone has a choice.  All of them made the wrong choice.  God blesses those who believe Him and look for the coming Savior.

God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt that very night. He began to lead them back to the land that He promised Abraham.

God protected Israel so that the great Savior could eventually be born into the world.  It was God’s desire that Israel would share the news of the promised Savior with all the world, so that others could believe on the One True God and be saved!

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Lesson 12 Questions

1. What was the population of the nation of Israel, after 400 years in Egypt? ___________

2. Satan wanted to destroy the nation of Israel, so there would be no _____________.

3. Pharaoh was willing to obey God’s command and release the children of Israel.  (True or False)

4. God sent plagues to Egypt because ….
a.  He wanted to torture them for making Israel into slaves.
b. He wanted to teach them that He was the Only True God.
c. They had been cursed by their ancestors.

5. God was surprised that Pharaoh stubbornly refused to release Israel.  (True or False)

6. God commanded Israel to kill a lamb because …
a. He wanted to remind them that the penalty for sin is death.
b. He wanted to teach them that they could not pay for their own sins.
c. He wanted to see if they would believe God or not.

7. God promised to pass over the house when He saw the blood on the ___________.

8. The Passover was to picture how one day the Savior would save people from the _______________ of God.

9. God protected Israel so that the _______________ could be born into the world.

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