BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 3, Day 5: Revelation 1:9-20

Summary of passage: John was exiled to the island of Patmos because of his beliefs in Jesus. He heard a voice tell him to write down and send to the seven churches a message. The 7 churches were: Ephesus Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

John saw 7 golden lamp stands and Jesus dressed in a robe and a golden sash. He held 7 stars in his right hand and a sword came out of his mouth. Jesus put his hand on John and told him he is God and he holds the keys of death and Hades. He commands John to write what he has seen, including how the 7 stars represent the angels of the 7 churches and the 7 lamp stands are the 7 churches.


12)  Verse 20 tells us:  “The seven lamp stands are the seven churches” previously mentioned:  Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

13)  Jesus is the Son of Man.  He is dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.  His head and hair were white like wool and snow and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.  His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

[Side Note:  The “Ancient of Days” in Daniel is God, harking back to God at the beginning, the Alpha.  In Daniel 7:22, the “Ancient of Days” is Jesus.  All are one as the Triune God.]

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  [BSF is assuming John is the Apostle John.  Seems to be BSF’s belief here.  The question is referring to John the Apostle.  John of Revelation or John of Patmos NEVER states he knew Jesus personally or was a “close friend”.]  John was overwhelmed seeing Jesus in his heavenly glory.  This teaches me not to judge others as they may cloak their true personas.  In worship, Jesus deserves all the glory for who he is.  Falling at someone’s feet is a sign of great respect and awe in the Bible.  I would imagine he was dumbfounded and speechless as I would be!

Conclusions:  I am a bit bothered that BSF doesn’t even mention that John of Revelation may not be John the Apostle.  I believe if we are to study the Word then we cannot ignore some facts (like John of Revelation may not be John the Apostle because in the Word John never identifies himself as such).  That needs to be made clear.  It’s fine if BSF wants to assume this is John the Apostle as most scholars agree with this.  However, it needs to be stated up front that this is their assumption for the rest of the study.  It is presented here as fact when doubt exists.

More and more scholars merely refer to John here as John of Patmos.  All we know for sure is he was a prophet (being given a vision by God/Jesus) and he was known to the churches he was writing to.  He was on the Island of Patmos (which the reasons exactly why are unclear besides “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus”).  And the text probably dates between 90-100 AD although some scholars say earlier in the 60’s AD.  See more thorough discussion HERE

There is a TON here and BSF has barely touched on this passage as it deserves to be studied. Please see End Notes below for a more thorough analysis.

End Notes:  This is an analysis of verses 12-20 only.  See Previous Post for an analysis of verses 9-11.

Verse 12:  We see the 7 lamp stands 7 times in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 1:12, 13, 20; 2:1, 5; and 11:4).

Jesus is still speaking here.  Note John saw the lamp stands first then Jesus.  These are not menorahs or candles stands.  These are free-standing and held the lamps on top.

THIS IS IMPORTANT AND CRUCIAL:  In the Old Testament in the Tabernacle, there was one lamp stand with 7 candles (Exodus 25:31-37).  Here there is 7 lamp stands.  As BSF asked us, the lamp stands represent the church.  In the Old Covenant, there was ONE church–the Jews.  In the New Covenant there are many churches (here 7)–signifying the Gentiles.  God’s people are now one.  Awesome!!

Light does not come from the lamp stands–it comes from the lamp on the lamp stand.  The church does not create the light (God does as the Light); the church merely displays it for all to see.

Verses 13-16:  The Son of Man is standing in his glory amongst all the lamp stands–Jesus is standing amongst all the churches.  This is a title all readers and listeners of these words would have understood.  Jesus used the title “Son of Man” about 90 times in the Gospels.  It was first used by Daniel in 7:13 to introduce the Messiah.  Remember, ancient Christians had much more of the Bible committed to memory than we do today merely because they couldn’t read and had to have it memorized.

His clothes are significant; they signify authority and royalty.  Only those who didn’t perform manual labor could wear long robes that would have hindered work to others.  The golden sash is something only the rich could afford.  The priests in the temple wore a sash with gold threads (Exodus 39:1-5).  Jesus’ is pure gold!

Jesus here is the high priest, our intercessor! (Exodus 28:2-4; Hebrews 4:14-16)

The high priest tended the lamp stands in the temple; so Jesus tends us.

White hair spoke of age; age spoke of wisdom in ancient times.  Also, snow is pure (Isaiah 1:18).  Also, Daniel 7:9 has the Ancient of Days with “clothing as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.”  The Ancient of Days (God) is Jesus as well.

Fire represents judgment (Matthew 5:22, 2 Peter 3:7).

Bronze is a very strong metal and is what the sacrificial altar was made of (Exodus 27:1-6).

Verse 16:  The 7 stars represent the leaders of the 7 churches here.  7 is the number of completion; therefore, Jesus is holding the entire church in his hands.  Cool!

The double-edged sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth is the Word–Jesus’ weapon. The Greek word for sword here is a heavy, battle sword used to kill and destroy.

Jesus had the same glory as in the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2).  Here is the real Jesus.

Fun Fact:  This is the only physical description given of Jesus in the Bible.  Isaiah 53:2 is vague in comparison.

Verses 17-18:  This is the first time John sees Jesus in all his glory.  Jesus’ touches him and comforts him.  He identifies himself 3 times–He is Lord of time–past, present and future.  Lord over resurrection.  Lord over death.  Only God and Jesus can determine life and death.  The devil has no power here.

Verse 17:  The First and the Last is God (Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, and 48:12).  This is one of the few places in the Bible where Jesus identifies himself as God himself.

Verses 19-20:  Second time John is commanded to write (Revelation 1:11 is the first) what he sees in the past, present, and future.

Revelation 1:  Past

Revelation 2-3:  Present

Revelation 4-22:  Future

Jesus tells us the 7 stars are angels.  Some scholars say the 7 stars are the pastors of the 7 churches.  The Greek word used here means “messenger”.  Some take it literally and say they are 7 guardian angels of the churches.  Some take it figuratively and say the 7 angels are the spirit of each church. What’s important here is they are representatives of the body of Christ.

Note Location:  Right Hand of Jesus.  We will see this in the next chapter as well.  In Jesus’ right hand, rests safety and strength–exactly where we want to be.

Remember–John is on the island of Patmos–maybe a prisoner.  Jesus is there in our sufferings and trials and we can know him and see him and trust him right where we are.

Conclusions to Lesson 3:  We learned the book of Revelation is all about Jesus and God’s plan for the future of His people–all peoples with the 7 churches.  There is so much here in Revelation that BSF does a good job of focusing the most important pieces and I hope the lectures will bring out more we don’t discuss.

I would encourage all of you to read my End Notes as they will bring out more BSF just can’t do in such a limited amount of time as well as do your own extra reading and analysis of Revelation. Commentaries will be most beneficial.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 3, Day 4: Revelation 1:9-20

Summary of passage:  John was exiled to the island of Patmos because of his beliefs in Jesus.  He heard a voice tell him to write down and send to the seven churches a message.  The 7 churches were:  Ephesus Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

John saw 7 golden lamp stands and Jesus dressed in a robe and a golden sash.  He held 7 stars in his right hand and a sword came out of his mouth.  Jesus put his hand on John and told him he is God and he holds the keys of death and Hades.  He commands John to write what he has seen, including how the 7 stars represent the angels of the 7 churches and the 7 lamp stands are the 7 churches.


10a)  On the island of Patmos in-between Turkey and Greece and he was suffering because of his belief in Jesus.

b)  They were killed, stoned, beaten, driven out of their homes, lost their jobs, banished from their homes, exiled, re-located, and discriminated against.

11a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Same as last year’s answer.  In comparison to others around the world, nothing.  I live in America where I have the freedom of religion and speech.  Increasingly, there has been a backlash against Christians but I have not experienced anything close to death or loss of livelihood, etc.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is with you.  You will be rewarded in heaven. He will triumph.

Conclusions:  We have question 11a every year.  It’s hard to compare today and 2000 years ago when persecution was as common as water.  I’m extremely blessed to be alive in this time period as to then where I am free.

End Notes:  PATMOS was a prisoner island where most of the inhabitants mined marble for Roman Empire use.  It is 10 miles long and 6 miles wide, rocky and overall desolate.  Because of the historical uses for Patmos, most scholars agree John was exiled there.  However, Revelation just says John was there “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus”.  It is possible he was there as a missionary to the exiled prisoners.

This is the first of four times John mentions being in the Spirit.  Scholars agree this means he received revelation from the Spirit and was not just literally walking in the Spirit.  The four times John mentions this are:  1)  Patmos (Revelation 1:10), 2)  in heaven (Revelation 4:2), 3)  in the wilderness (Revelation 17:3), and 4)  on the mountain of God (Revelation 21:10).

Some also say “in the Spirit” means John was praying.  Again, speculation.

What is the Lord’s Day?  Scholars are unsure.  Romans honored the emperor with Emperor’s Day the first day of the month so perhaps this was something similar.  What scholars do agree on is this is NOT The Day of the Lord as mentioned in the Old Testament.

Some scholars say the Lord’s Day is Sunday morning because the early Christians traditionally gathered together on the first day of the week.  Speculation.  Ask yourself:  would a man exiled on Patmos take the risk of gathering together with other Christians when he was exiled for being a Christian?  Unless he was a missionary…  Again, we just don’t know.

Note John was commanded to write (the first of 12 times he as commanded in the book of Revelation).  This is a good lesson for us.  Don’t just reveal visions to others unless commanded to do so.  Some are meant to be private.

John responded.  Very important.  When called, respond.  When hear Jesus, respond.

The number 7 is the number of completeness.  Why these 7 churches?  As I discussed BEFORE, it could be random.  It could be because they are in a circular pattern on a good modern road.  It could be because these letters are complete and these 7 churches represent complete churches.  Scholars are unsure.  Interestingly, Paul also wrote to 7 churches.

Point to us:  These letters are for us–as the church.

Map of 7 Revelation Churches HERE

Day 5 discusses primarily Revelation 1:12-20.  The commentary for those passages will follow Day 5.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 3, Day 3: Revelation 1:4-8

Summary of passage:  John writes to seven churches in Asia, wishing them grace and peace in God’s name, the seven spirits’ name, and in Christ’s name–Christ who had freed us from sin by his blood and made us priests to serve God.  Christ will come with the clouds where all can see.


6a)  God always existed (the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the one who is, was, and is to come).  He is the Creator.

b)  He alone is in control and knows the future.

7)  John 3:16-17:  Jesus is God’s only Son, sent to bring eternal life and save the world.

1 Corinthians 15:3:  Christ died for our sins to free us.

1 Corinthians 15:20:  Christ was the first to rise from the dead so that we may follow and rise as well.

Philippians 2:9-11:  Jesus rules the earth as Lord to the glory of God forever.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Christ has freed us from our sins through God’s great love for us.  He will forgive me no matter the gravity of my sins and I will live again in Him and with Him.

9a)  Everyone will witness Jesus’s return including the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  Non-believers are those who have pierced him.  Also, those who condemned Jesus when he was alive.  Non-believers and believers and all nations and all peoples of the earth will mourn.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t have to be in charge.  God is.  God has a plan.  I don’t have to have one.  I don’t have to worry about other people.  All I have to do is share His love for them.  He’ll do the rest.  Everyone will know when Jesus returns.  It won’t be some big secret for the elect.  God wants me with Him.

Conclusions:  We are diving right in with God’s purpose in sending Jesus:  to free us from our sins.

End Notes:  Verse 4:  Here we get our first glimpse into numbers and the importance of Old Testament references.  Notice the number 7 here, which comes from Isaiah 11:2, which describes the 7 aspects of the Holy Spirit.  Because of this, the number 7 is considered the number of completeness and perfection (after all, it took God 7 days to create the universe).  Note there are not 7 different spirits.  One Holy Spirit with 7 characteristics listed here.

Why these churches when there were many more?  As we read Jesus’ words to the different congregations, we’ll begin to get an idea of why they were chosen.  However, because there were 7 of them and 7 is the number of completion, scholars take this to mean Jesus was speaking to all churches.  Therefore, these words are for us (the church) as well.

Verse 5:  Jesus is the faithful witness which is the same Greek word for martyr.

“The firstborn from the dead” means Jesus was the first to rise from the dead AND he’s first amongst the risen (Romans 8:29).  Firstborn is a title, not a literal reference to a birth (Exodus 4:22; Psalm 89:28).

Here, in one greeting, we see the Triune God:  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–separate but the same.

“To him who loves us”.  Here, this is also translated as “loved” past tense.  “Loved” takes us back to the cross where our life began.

Notice the order:  He loved us first, then freed (or washed in some translations).  God loves us first.  No matter what we have done.  Then He cleaned us.  Because He loves us.  He didn’t clean us first then love us.  Powerful.

Also, some translate the washed/freed as “loosed”.  There is only one letter difference in the ancient Greek between washed and loosed.

Verse 6:  Jesus made us kings and priests–something impossible for those in the OT.  It was forbidden to be both.

Power here is also translated as dominion.  We are recognizing God’s glory and dominion over every aspect of our lives–body, soul, and spirit.

Amen means “Yes” in Greek and is the worth for truth or faithfulness in the Hebrew.  So, literally, when you say “Amen” you are saying “it is true”, “so be it”, and “yes” to God’s will.

Verse 7:  John praises Jesus.  He jumps straight away into describing his return.  We are to watch for his return, which will be in clouds.  Every believer in the first century knew Jesus would return in a cloud since he told us he would (Matthew 26:64).  Also, we are described as clouds (Hebrews 12:1) and clouds are associated with God and His presence as we saw last year in our study of Moses (Exodus 13:21-22, 16:10, 19:9, and 24:15-18).

Verse 8:  Now, scholars believe Jesus is speaking since it is after all his revelation.  Some also say it could be God here as well since both claim the title of Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:4; 22:13).

All emphasized the Triune God and the eternal nature of God.  He is in control of everything from Alpha (A in the Greek alphabet) to Omega (Z in the Greek alphabet) and everything in between.

The Greek word “Almighty” here means “the one who has his hand on everything”.  It is used 10 times in the New Testament, 9 times here in the Book of Revelation.

BIG THEME OF REVELATION right here in chapter 1:  God is in control of everything.

Map of Seven Churches John was writing to in the province of Asia (modern-day Turkey):

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 3, Day 2: Revelation 1:1-3

Summary of passage:  An angel appeared to John to deliver and bear witness the revelation of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, which was given by God.


3a)  Jesus Christ

b)  An angel gave the revelation to John to reveal what must soon take place in order to bless the listeners.

4)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  The definition of bless according to Webster’s Dictionary is:  “to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word; to invoke divine care for; to confer prosperity or happiness upon”.  Basically, blessed in the religious sense describes the favorable circumstance granted by God to a person.  I anticipate furthering my knowledge of God’s word, of His character, of what is to come, and increasing my closeness to God.

5)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  To take to heart means to take something seriously and to internalize or live according to something.  Personally, it means to live like Jesus is coming at any moment.  Live in God’s ways.

Conclusions:  I liked the message to truly live out what is written.  It’s different to know something than do something.  That is the crux of good and wrong.

End Notes:  Revelation has a two-fold meaning.  Jesus is the one revealed, but he also is the one doing the revealing.

Note God gave this to us (believers) to know the future.  He gave us what we need to know.

This is predictive prophecy meaning it will come to pass.  Why are we studying prophecy?  Because it’s in the Bible.  If God deemed we should know it, then we should know it and try to figure out why He wants us to know it.  It also is proclaiming the word of God; hence, we need to know what God says/commands/ instructs.

Five keys parts here:  1)  Revelation  2)  Given by God  3)  To us  4)  Given to John  5)  John is witness

In the original Greek, what is translated here as soon is supposed to be shortly.  This word doesn’t mean it will happen soon.  It means when it does happen, it will be sudden.  “Time is near” is also soon to God for His time is not our time.

“He made it known” was originally translated as “signified”.  This word is rooted in signs.  Revelation is a book of signs.  These signs are from heaven and trying to put them into earthly words requires such means.  Paul says his message from heaven is “inexpressible” (2 Corinthians 12:4).  Can you see the difficulty?  Don’t worry.  We’ll all get it when we get to heaven.

Last year, in the study of Moses, we were asked repeatedly, “Why study the Old Testament?”  I asked myself this as well especially in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  Because 70% of the Book of Revelation is rooted in the Old Testament.  It contains more than 500 allusions to the OT and out of 404 verses in the Book, 278 refer to the OT.  Worth your time, yeah?

Many of the signs and visions are from an angel to John in the Book of Revelation.

We’ve already discussed extensively who John is (See my post HERE and BSF’s Lesson 2, Day 3)

Here, we receive the first of seven beatitudes in the book of Revelation.  This first blessing (“blessed are those who read, hear, and take to heart what is written”) also gives credence to the fact Revelation is meant to be holy scripture since blessings weren’t given to ordinary works.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 3, Day 5: Exodus 4:18-31

Summary of passage:  Moses returned home and told his father-in-law he was going to return to Egypt to check on his people.  He left with his wife and sons with the assurance from God that those who wanted him dead are now dead themselves.  He took the staff of God with him.

God told Moses to go before Pharaoh and perform all the wonders God gave him the ability to perform but Pharaoh will have a hard heart.  Therefore, Moses must tell Pharaoh God will kill his first-born son since he won’t let Israel go free.

On the journey, God was about to kill Moses’ son but his mother, Zipporah, circumcised him so the Lord let him alone.  God told Aaron to meet Moses in the desert.  Together they gathered the elders of the Israelites and revealed God’s words to them and the signs from God.  They believed and bowed and worshiped the Lord.


8 )  He asked permission from his father-in-law first.  He put his wife and sons on a donkey and started back to Egypt.

9)  “Israel is my firstborn son and I told you, ‘Let my son go, so he may worship me.’  But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.”

10a)  He didn’t circumcise son.

b)  His wife, Zipporah

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure.  Nothing that I know of.

11)  Aaron is a Levite who can speak well.  He will be glad to see Moses.  He will speak to the people for Moses.  He is obedient to God.  He helps Moses by bringing together  the elders and speaking to them.

12)  They followed all of God’s instructions.  They called together the elders, performed the signs, and spoke with them about what the Lord had told them.  The Israelites believed in the Lord again and that He had seen their misery and they bowed down and worshiped God.

Conclusions:  My favorite part was how Moses didn’t circumcise his son.  It makes sense cause his son was born in a foreign land so Moses probably thought “I don’t need to do this”.  Yet following God’s laws was so important that Moses’ indifference almost cost him his son’s life or his own.  Great example for us.  Just because we think it’s not important God may think otherwise.  I also like how his wife took up Moses’ slack.  Perfect picture of marriage!

End Notes:  Moses asked his employer as well for permission to leave.  He just didn’t shout out “I saw God!  Gotta go!!”  He followed the custom of the land as well as God.

Pharaoh could have had a soft heart if he had so desired.  But Pharaoh was given over to sin.  God withheld his mercy.

God exchanged the life of his firstborn (the nation of Israel) for the life of Pharaoh’s firstborn.

God is threatening to kill Moses (or some translations say his son) because he didn’t circumcise him.  Before Moses can return to the land of God’s people, all must be right with all members of the family.  Some scholars suggest his son was not circumcised because Zipporah was not a Hebrew and objected to the custom.  Perhaps this is why she herself had to perform the circumcision and not Moses.  Of course, this is all speculation since we are not told.  What is clear is that Zipporah is not happy afterwards, calling Moses a “bridegroom of blood”.  Whoever was at fault, it had to be put right before Moses could continue with his calling.  This shows the importance of following God’s laws–even ones that we may consider trite.

Everything happens as God promised Moses–Aaron helping him and the elders accepting him. God keeps his promises.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 3, Day 4: Exodus 4:1-17

Summary of passage:  Moses, still doubting God and asking what happens if the people don’t believe him, is given three signs by God to use to show the people that God indeed appeared to him.  These signs are:  Moses’ staff turning into a snake when he throws it on the ground, his hand becoming leprous and then healing in his cloak, and Nile River water turning into blood.

Moses still says he is not eloquent enough to lead.  God says He will help him speak and teach.  Moses asks God finally to choose someone else as a rescuer of his people.  God got angry with Moses for his lack of faith and doubting him.  God tells Moses his brother Aaron will come and help him and God will help both to speak and lead but Moses will be the one in charge.


7a)  The people would not believe or listen to him when he told them God appeared to him and that he isn’t eloquent enough to lead and that he doesn’t want to do it.

b)  God gave Moses miraculous signs to show the people (staff turning to a snake–verse 3, his hand turning leprous and then miraculously healing–verses6-7, Nile River water turning to blood–verse 9).  When Moses said he wasn’t eloquent enough, God said He would help Moses speak and teach–verse 12.  When Moses said he doesn’t want to go, God told him his brother, Aaron, would help Moses and God would help both of them to speak and teach–verses 14-16.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He closes the door when I veer off the path.  Sometimes when I insist on doing it anyways, the door slams harder!  God lets me do it, but then it closes anyways and I learn it wasn’t for me.

Conclusions:  I can almost hear the Lord’s frustration at Moses.  It’s ok to question God but I think when He answers you should believe and not keep doubting as Moses does.  We finally learn Moses doesn’t really want to go and God punishes him for it.  How many times have we said “not me” to God and we end up paying the price?  Nice short lesson.

End Notes:  Moses doubts God and “buts” Him.  Severe lack of faith.

God uses what you have (a staff in your hand).

The tail of the snake is the most dangerous place to pick a snake up.  Here, Moses has faith in what God is saying.

The first two signs (staff and leprosy) has to do with transformation from good to bad and back to good.  The third sign is the sign of judgment–the water turns to blood and stays that way.  Either you turn to God and are transformed or you are judged.

Still, Moses protests.  He doesn’t believe in himself anymore that he can do the job.

Finally, Moses just says he doesn’t want to go.  “Send someone else,” Moses says.  He is unwilling to answer God’s call.  The other reasons were merely excuses.  Truly, Moses doesn’t want to go.

God brings Aaron as a punishment rather than help.  He will cause trouble for Moses the entire trip to the Promised Land.  This is God’s judgement for Moses’ unwillingness to go.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 3, Day 3: Exodus 3:11-22

Summary of passage:  After God calls Moses to go to Egypt and rescue His people, Moses asks “Why me?”  God assures Moses He will be with him and he will return to this mountain again in worship.  Moses, still questioning, asks what should he tell the Israelites about who sent him.  God replies “I am has sent you and the Lord, God of your fathers–Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”.

God says to assemble the elders of Israel and tell them of his commission to bring them up and out of Egypt.  Then take the elders and go to Pharaoh and tell him.  Pharaoh will not let you go but I will strike the Egyptians with all the wonders until they do.  God will turn the Egyptians’ hearts so that they will leave with silver and gold and clothing and plunder.


5a)  Moses asks “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”  He asks God what should he say once he tells the Israelites he has been sent by God and they ask who is God?  What is his name?

b)  Verse 12 reassures Moses that God will be with him and a sign will be that Moses will worship God on this same mountain afterwards.  Verse 14 & 15 says that Moses should tell the Israelites that “I am has sent him” and that he is the God of their fathers–Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God is with Moses on his journey because I know God is with me on mine.

6a)  Both Jesus and God call themselves “I am” and both existed before Abraham was born.

b)  Jesus says that he existed like God has existed and they are one and the same “I am”.

Conclusions:  It’s not hard to understand Moses doubt here.  After all, he tried once before 40 years ago to rescue the Israelites and they rejected him so Moses is confused.  He doesn’t quite understand yet that Moses needed God and God’s timing and that he couldn’t rescue the Israelites without God so he asks God “Are you sure you want me?”  God says yes.  He also wants to know what to tell the Israelites once he gets there so he’s not rejected again.

Again, I thought not a lot of meat to these questions.

End Notes:  The Israelites probably number around 3 million people now.  Can you imagine leading 3 million people out of slavery, across desert, to a Promised Land?

I read pages and pages of commentary on the revelation of God’s name here to Moses.  Fascinating.  But for me it came down to one point:  God says “I am” and then you fill in the blank with your need.  “I am the light” when it is dark.  “I am the bread of life” when we are hungry.  “I am your comforter” when you mourn.  God is everything to us and that is what He is saying here when He says “I am.”

Jesus calls himself “I am” as well (John 8:28; 8:24; 8:58; 13:19).

I found it fascinating that God tells Moses first to go to his people (the elders) and then go to Pharaoh.  God often starts with His people first and then the rest of the world.  Like Jesus who revealed the Good News first to the Jews and then the Gentiles.

God promises the people will listen this time around.  This must have been huge encouragement for Moses.  Note too the Israelites probably didn’t desire to leave Egypt.  After 400 years, they probably just wanted to improve their lives but not leave everything they’ve ever known.  All around, Moses did not have an easy task before him and he knew it; hence, his doubts.

Not only will the Israelites follow Moses, they won’t go empty-handed–the Egyptians will shower them with gifts.  This is fitting pay after 400 years of hard labor.  Deuteronomy 15:12-14 says to give slaves gifts when they leave your service.