Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
Archive for April, 2012
1. A recorder during the reigns of David and Solomon
2 Sam. 8:16: – 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder.
1 Kings 4:3: – 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha — secretaries; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud—recorder
1 Chron. 18:15: – 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder.
2. One of Solomon’s purveyors (1 Kings 4:17: – 17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah—in Issachar).
3. A son of Asa, king of Judah, who succeeded his father
1 Kings 15:24: – 24 Then Asa rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king.
1 Kings 15:22: – 22 Then King Asa issued an order to all Judah—no one was exempt—and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using there. With them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and also Mizpah.
The Man with a Good Record
Because he carried out the religious reforms of his father, history gives Jehoshaphat a good name. What a beautiful expression that is “ . . .he walked in the first ways of his father David”—meaning in the former or earlier ways of David, as contrasted with his later conduct. Because of his godward bent, “the Lord was with Jehoshaphat.” Negatively, he “sought not after Baalim.”
Here was a man who in every point was equally strong, a man of foresight, a man of reverence, a man of an honest heart, a man who felt that idolatry and true worship could not coexist in the same breast. He did not concern himself with “the doings of Israel.” His was a blessed, spiritual singularity. He laid down a clear program for himself, and followed it out with patient and faithful endeavor. He did not seek riches and honor. No wonder the Lord “established the kingdom in his hand”! Points for the preacher to develop are:
I. He was one of the best kings of Judah (1 Kings 15:24: – 24 Then Asa rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king).
II. He had a godly father whose example he emulated (2 Chron. 14:2: – 2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God).
III. He developed a system of religious instruction for the people
2 Chron. 17:7-9: – 7 In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah.
8 With them were certain Levites —Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah—and the priests Elishama and Jehoram.
9 They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of theLord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.
IV. He commanded the judges to be just
2 Chron. 19:6-9: – 6 He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict.
7 Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”
8 In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the Lord and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem.
9 He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.
V. He trusted God for victory in a crisis
2 Chron. 20: – 1 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.
2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar ” (that is, En Gedi).
3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard
6 and said: “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.
7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?
8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuaryfor your Name, saying,
9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.
11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.
12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. ”
13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lordsays to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel.
17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.
19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful. ”
21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”
22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.
25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.
26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day.
27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.
28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.
29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had foughtagainst the enemies of Israel.
30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
31 So Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.
32 He followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
33 The high places, however, were not removed, and the people still had not set their hearts on the God of their ancestors.
34 The other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the annals of Jehuson of Hanani, which are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel.
35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, whose ways were wicked.
36 He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships. After these were built at Ezion Geber,
37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.
VI. He manifested weakness in his alliance with wicked kings
1 Kings 22:1-36: – 1 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel.
2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel.
3 The king of Israel had said to his officials, “Don’t you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?”
4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”
6 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”
“Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”
8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.
11 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”
12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”
14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”
15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”
“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”
18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.
20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that.
21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’
22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.
“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’
23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lordhas decreed disaster for you.”
24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.
25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”
26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son
27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”
28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.
30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.”
32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “Surely this is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out,
33 the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.
34 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.”
35 All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died.
36 As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: “Every man to his town. Every man to his land!”
4. Son of Nimshi and father of Jehu, who conspired against Joram, son of king Ahab
2 Kings 9:2: – 2 When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room.
2 Kings 9:14: – 14 So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth Gilead against Hazael king of Aram.
5. One of the priests who assisted in bringing up the Ark from Obed-edom (1 Chron. 15:24: –24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah and Eliezer the priests were to blow trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also to be doorkeepers for the ark). Also the name of a valley east of Jerusalem which figures in coming judgment
Joel 3:2: – 2 I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.
Joel 3:12: – 12 “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.
<photo id=”1″ />Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. ‘Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
Exodus 7 to Exodus 14
AFTER THIS, BY God’s command, Moses and Aaron went many times to Pharaoh to bid him let the people go. But Pharaoh would not, though God sent strange and terrible plagues upon him and his people to punish them for their wickedness, and make them obey Him. At length, as Pharaoh had commanded all the sons of the Hebrews to be slain, God in one night destroyed all the first-born in Egypt; and then, fearing for their own lives, the Egyptians hastily drove out the Israelites, men, women, children, and cattle, with their household goods, hurriedly gathered together.
There were six hundred thousand men, besides women and children. God caused a pillar of cloud to go before them in the daytime, to show them the way they were to take, and at night He led them by a pillar of fire.
After the children of Israel had left Egypt, Pharaoh, though his kingdom had been nearly destroyed for his disobedience to God, was angry with himself for having let them go. So he gathered together a great army, and pursued them to where they were encamped, in the wilderness by the Red Sea.
When the people saw they were pursued, they were much afraid, and reproached Moses for bringing them there; for they thought it would have been better to be slaves in Egypt, than to be killed in the wilderness. But Moses bade them not fear; God would deliver them.
Then the pillar of cloud and of fire, that had gone before to guide them, removed, and went behind the camp, so that it stood between the Egyptians and the children of Israel. To the Egyptians it was cloud and darkness, so that they could not continue their pursuit; but to the Israelites it gave light.
Then Moses, as God had commanded him, stretched out his rod, or staff, over the sea; and the waters divided, standing like a wall on the right hand and on the left, leaving dry land between them, so that the whole multitude passed through the very middle of the sea to the opposite shore. The Egyptians, seeing this, hastened to follow; but God sent a violent storm upon them, which threw them all into confusion.
When they were in the middle of the sea, where the Israelites had gone safely, God bade Moses again stretch out his hand over it; and when he did so, the waters came back again to their place, and drowned Pharaoh, and all the Egyptians: there was not one of them left alive.
So God delivered the children of Israel, as He had said.
Dear Father, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, so that I could be free to live an abundant life in you. I receive unto me everything you came to give. Fill me with your love and show me your ways so that I can know you more.
In Jesus’ Name
When Jesus came to earth, He brought with Him everything you need to live a life of victory. He came as a little baby, but He was empowered with all authority in heaven and earth. When you make Him your Lord and Savior, He gives you access to all of His resources. You have access to His peace, power, authority, provision, joy and strength. He brought all of this “unto us” when He came to earth. Unto us a child is born…unto us victory is given. Unto us peace is given. Unto us provision is given. Unto us hope and healing are given. Unto us eternal life is given!
Whatever you may have need of today, remember, when Jesus came into the world, He made a way for every one of your needs to be met spiritually, emotionally and physically. Surrender your life to Him and receive all the spiritual blessings He has in store for you!
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Scripture Reference— Genesis 34
Name Meaning—Dinah means “justice” or “one who judges,” and was doubtless given her as a token of her parents’ belief in divine justice.
Family Connections—She was a daughter of Jacob and Leah, and as a member of a family under covenant blessing should have been more careful regarding her personal obligation in maintaining the honor of her home and nation.
Dinah’s love for sight-seeing set off a train of tragic consequences. Young and daring, and curious to know something of the world outside, she stole away one day from the drab tents of her father, to see how the girls in their gorgeous Oriental trappings fared in nearby Shechem. Roaming around, the eyes of Prince Shechem, son of Hamor lighted upon her. He saw hermeans he lusted after her (Job 31:1: – 31 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman), and then as the record puts it, “he took her, lay with her, and defiled her” (Genesis 34:2: – 2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her). Although Dinah’s vanity was flattered at Shechem’s attention so that she went to his palace, she never meant to go so far. Took her implies he forced her, and although she may have resisted his advances, resistance was futile and she was seduced.
Had Dinah been content to remain a “keeper at home” (Titus 2:5: – 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands,so that no one will malign the word of God), a terrible massacre would have been averted, but her desire for novelty and forbidden company spelled disaster. Josephus tells us that Dinah went to the Canaanite annual festival of nature worship (Numbers 25:2: – 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods) — a forbidden association for an Israelite. Sin, shame and death came to Dinah and Shechem through the windows of their eyes and ears (Genesis 39:7: – 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”). The young prince offered the usual reparation for his seduction of Dinah—marriage and a payment to her father which was sufficient according to Hebrew law
Deuteronomy 22:28: – 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered.
Deuteronomy 22:29: – 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
Evidently there was more than lustful desire on the part of Shechem, for we read—“His soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto her.” When Hamor went to Jacob and his sons to discuss the matter of marriage between his son and Dinah, he said, “The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter. I pray you give her him to wife.”
The sons of Jacob, angry over the shame brought to their sister and nation, said that such a thing “ought not to be done.” By what Dinah had become—a seduced woman—she caused her father to be a “stink among the inhabitants of the land.”
Seeming to acquiesce in Hamor’s suggestion that his son and Dinah should marry and that there should be established a friendlier association between the Israelites and Shechemites, the sons of Jacob, particularly Simeon and Levi, said that they would agree to Hamor’s proposition on one condition. The condition was that all the male Shechemites submit to the rite of circumcision—an act of priestly consecration. When the pain of the operation was at its height and movement was difficult, on the third day, Simeon and Levi attacked and slew all the males in the city, including young Shechem himself. For centuries, among the Arabs, seduction was punishable by death, the judgment being generally inflicted by the brothers of the one seduced. For their crime, Simeon and Levi received a curse instead of a blessing from Jacob their father, as he came to die.
One salutary effect of this tragedy was the reconsecration of Jacob who had lapsed somewhat as the result of his settlement near Shechem
Genesis 33:17-20: – 17 Jacob, however, went to Sukkoth, where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkoth.
18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city.
19 For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor,the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent.
20 There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.
Remembering his vow to make an altar at Bethel to God who had appeared to him while fleeing from Esau years before, his family surrendered their strange gods and purified themselves, and at Bethel the forgotten covenant was fulfilled. In this way God overruled evil for good
Genesis 35:1-5: – 35 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”
2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.
3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone. ”
4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears,and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem.
5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.
How many young Dinahs there are today captivated by the glitter and glamor of the world, and, tired of life at home, leave without warning, and become lost in the whirl of a large city. There is an alarming increase in the numbers of girls who, anxious for change and wanting to see something of the world, turn aside from the shelter of a good home and are never heard of again. Many of them end up in sin, crime and degradation. May we never cease to pray for those who try to seek out and restore the lost, young womanhood of our day!
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom–it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats. -Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
|The Israelites’ Burdens
Exodus 2:11 to Exodus 6:13
MOSES WAS BROUGHT up in the court of Egypt. But when he was about forty years old, he went among his own people again, and was grieved to find how sadly they were oppressed by the Egyptians. Once he saw an Egyptian ill-treating a Hebrew; so he killed the man, and buried his body in the sand. The king would have put him to death for this, but Moses escaped into the land of Midian, and dwelt there.
One day, when he was feeding his flock near Horeb, God called to him out of a bush that flamed with fire, and yet was not burned. And He told Moses that He had seen the sufferings of the people of Israel, and would deliver them, and bring them into the good land of Canaan, as He had promised to Abraham. And He commanded him to tell Pharaoh to let the people go, that they might serve God in the wilderness.
He also appointed various wonderful things to be wrought before Pharaoh, that he might know that He who had sent him this command was the true God, whom he and his people ought to worship.
Moses was very unwilling to go to Pharaoh, for he thought the king would not heed what he said; but God would have him do it, and also told him to take his brother Aaron with him. So he went; and when he came before the king, Pharaoh asked who the Lord was that he should obey Him. And he told Moses and Aaron that they hindered the people in their work by telling them about their God wanting them to go and sacrifice to him in the wilderness. It was only because they were idle that they wished to do so. They should not go. And he ordered that more work should be given them than before.
The Hebrews had been making bricks of clay mixed with straw. So Pharaoh commanded that no more straw should be given them, but they should get it for themselves where they could; while, at the same time, they were obliged to make as much brick as when straw was found for them.
But, instead of making bricks, their time was now spent in seeking straw; and they were beaten because the usual quantity of work was not done.
The poor Hebrews were very sad, and bitterly reproached Moses and Aaron for making their condition so much worse than it had been.
And though God assured them, by Moses, that He would certainly deliver them out of Egypt, they were so unhappy and faint-hearted that they would not believe it.