Exodus 3 - Outline of Exodus (Book Notes menu page)
3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian:
Jethro, meaning 'his excellence' or 'his abundance,' is another name for Reuel (Ex 2:16,18).
Midian was a territorial region located in the northwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula and extending westward into the Sinai Peninsula.
and he led the flock to the backside of the desert,
and came to the mountain of God, [even] to Horeb
{meaning 'desert'; another name for Mt. Sinai}.
3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush:
and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush [was] not consumed.
3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
3:4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see,
God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses.
And he said, Here [am] I.
3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither
{ie., do not approach near here}:
put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy ground.
3:6 Moreover he said, I [am] the God of thy father,
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
3:7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which [are] in Egypt,
and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
3:8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians,
and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large,
unto a land flowing with milk and honey;
unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites,
and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
Moses' 40 years of preparation in the desert were coming to an end. cp. Acts 7:30-34
the Angel of the Lord...- The Lord sometimes sends 'an angel' with a message to men.
(The word 'angel' means 'messenger' or 'representative.') However, in the OT, an appearance of 'the Angel of the Lord' is usually the tangible manifestation of His Presence, and can be regarded as a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ (cp. Gen 22:15-18; 48:16; Isa 63:9).
the bush burned... was not consumed.-
  • This supernatural phenomenon was sufficient evidence for Moses, that the voice, which called to him, spoke the Word of God.
  • The nation of Israel is much like this bush. It has continually burned in the fires of persecution, yet it has not been consumed (neither destroyed nor assimilated by the nations). Yet, through Israel, God has made His Word known in the world. This is powerful evidence that the Bible is God's Word. cp. Mal 3:6; Rom 9:4,5
Here, we can observe: Some elements of the Presence of God...
  1. His Holiness - There is no approach to Him, for those who are unholy.
    • draw not near here...- Moses was cautioned against a casual approach to the Holy God.
    • put off thy shoes...- in recognition of the need for cleansing from the pollutions of the world. cp. Joh 13:8-10
    • Moses hid his face...- in awe at the presence of One who is so 'other' than His creatures. cp. Isa 6:1-5; Joh 1:18
  2. His Grace - The Holy One comes down, drawing near to us, to meet us in our need.
    1. in His promise - "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." (v.6)
    2. in His knowledge of our need - "I have seen... I know..." (v.7)
    3. in His action in our behalf - "I am come down to deliver..." (v.8)
      Note that God's deliverance is both 'from' and 'to' something...
      from the Egyptians & Egyptto a large and good land (v.8)
      from Adaminto Christ (1Cor 15:22)
      from deathinto life (Joh 5:24)
      out of darknessinto light (Acts 26:18)
      from slavery to sinto the service of God (Joh 8:34-36; Rom 6:22)
3:9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me:
and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh,
that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
3:11 And Moses said unto God, Who [am] I, that I should go unto Pharaoh,
and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee;
and this [shall be] a token unto thee, that I have sent thee:
When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt,
ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
Here, we can observe: Some elements of Spiritual Service...
  1. His calling - 'Come now... I will send thee...' (v.10)
    The role of God's servant requires obedience to the Master.
  2. His Presence - 'Certainly I will be with thee' (v.12). See both elements in Mat 28:19,20.
    The role of God's servant requires dependence upon the Master.
    • During his 40 years in the desert, Moses had learned that he was not sufficient in himself. When he was younger, he thought he knew God's purpose for his life, and he thought he was capable of accomplishing that purpose. But that was then. Those aspirations had faded with the years. Now he saw himself as a simple shepherd on the backside of the desert.
      [Note the change in Moses' attitude between Ex 2:12 (cp. Acts 7:24,25) and Ex 3:11.]
    • Now he must discover the sufficiency of God. cp. Joh 15:5; 2Cor 3:5; 12:9,10
3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, [when] I come unto the children of Israel,
and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you;
and they shall say to me, What [is] his name? what shall I say unto them?
3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM:
and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel,
The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever,
and this [is] my memorial unto all generations.
Who sent you? - Moses had no personal qualifications or credentials
that would commend him to Israel as their deliver.
What is his name {HB= shem, name, reputation, fame, glory [OLB]}?-
A name, according to Hebrew concept, is more than a title. It is descriptive of the character.
Moses was instructed to go in the authority of two descriptive names of God:
  1. I AM...- HB= hava, 'to be', which is closely related to HB= chava, 'to live'.
    The name 'Jehovah' is rooted in these words.
    Therefore, Jehovah is 'the self-existent One who is the source of life' (cp. Joh 1:4; 5:26; 8:51).
    - - His existence is underived. He is, because He is. He causes others to be.
    The name 'I Am' declares...
  2. The Lord God of your fathers: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -
    1. This is my name {HB= shem} forever.-
      • God describes Himself as eternally the God of the Jews. cp. Rom 11:1,2,28,29
      • He permanently identifies Himself with those who believed His promises. cp. Mat 22:31,32
      • He stakes His reputation upon His faithfulness to those promises. cp. Mat 5:17,18; Rev 19:11
    2. This is my memorial {HB= zeker} to all generations - cp. Gen 17:7; Psa 135:13; Isa 26:8
3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together,
and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying,
I have surely visited you, and [seen] that which is done to you in Egypt:
3:17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt
unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites,
and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites,
unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
3:18 And they shall hearken to thy voice:
and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt,
and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us:
and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness,
that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
they shall hearken to thy voice.- God assured Moses that
the people of Israel would respond favorably to the message from God.
let us go three days journey...- If Pharaoh had also responded favorably,
perhaps Israel's departure from Egypt might have been in several phases, with lessened impact upon his country.
3:19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.
3:20 And I will stretch out my hand,
and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof:
and after that he will let you go.
3:21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians:
and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:
3:22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour,
and of her that sojourneth in her house,
jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:
and ye shall put [them] upon your sons, and upon your daughters;
and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.
Pharaoh's hardness would lead to...
- - a demonstration that the LORD, He is God. v.20; Rom 9:17
- - the spoiling of Egypt. v.21,22
Upon whom did Israel's deliverance depend? Entirely upon the LORD.
Six times (in this chapter), He says: "I will..." v.10; v.12; 17; 20 (2x); 21

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