We will begin our story like every good sequel: a brief review of where we left off (Joseph dying and God’s people in Egypt from the book of Genesis), some background information about what’s happened since to the characters left (all of whom have died and a new tyrant has taken over), and the ‘inciting incident’ as it’s known in book writing–the event that sets everything in motion–Pharaoh’s order to kill every Israeli born-boy.
Exciting, right? The book of Moses contains some of the most well-known stories (and subsequent movies) in the Bible. Classic stories of good versus evil (Pharaoh versus Moses and God). Awesome miracles. Triumphs and tragedies.
Should be a good year!
In fact, one-eighth of the Bible is devoted to the Story of Moses (so probably a lot of reading this year). That is nearly two-thirds the length of the New Testament. Should be a clue on how important Moses is to God.
Time period? Ancient Times. Exact dates differ from scholars but probably either 1520 BC or 1225 BC can we place Moses’ birth. 350 years since we left Joseph. God’s people are now slaves, working on Pharaoh’s vast building projects. Oppressed. God has been silent all those years. Now is the time for liberation and God chooses Moses. To him has fallen the task of uniting God’s people, telling them God is with them and they must flee, and leading them through it all.
Moses will not be alone (although he may sometimes feel like he is like we all do); by his side will be God. (After all, Moses is the first person recorded in the Bible to work miracles). He talks with God, sees God, is the closest to God. He wrote many of these books we will study. He is revered by Jews as the liberator. He is indeed special.
Moses’ name is said to mean “drawing out” (Exodus 2:10) from a Hebrew word but some scholars speculate it was Egyptian. Note how no one else in the Bible has the name of Moses so many other great OT leaders. Little is known of Moses’ childhood but as an adopted son to Pharaoh’s daughter, he would have had the best education of the times.
The Book of Moses is divided into two parts. The first 20 chapters will fly by as they describe the exciting events of Israel’s flight from Egypt.
The last 20 chapters focus on the laws and regulations given to God’s people for how to live: moral rules, civil and social rules, religious and ceremonial rules.
This second half is just as important, if not more so, than the first half for all of God’s laws will point to the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and we must look for Jesus in this half. This part may be difficult to read and boring but if you have Jesus in mind, you will power through it along with Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers.
Hebrews 7-10 will help us connect the Old Testament to the New and Moses to Jesus. It should be read along with this study.
Exodus 32-35 is where Moses speaks to God. This will probably be my favorite part for I often wonder what it would have been like and what it will be like when I get to heaven to speak with God, hear His voice, see His face.
We will cover a lot of God’s history this year but for me this will be about Moses. How God chose a man who was far from perfect, gave him incredible abilities to do His will, how Moses succeeded and failed when he obeyed God and disobeyed God, how he sinned and how he was punished, and how God still loved him and forgave him in His mighty grace.
All this applies to everyone of us. We will be able to see parts of ourselves in Moses and see how God is always there, loving us every step of the way. Moses was born a Hebrew slave but rose up to be God’s right hand man. He was chosen by God for a purpose and he accomplished it. This is true for us all. With faith, we too will accomplish our purposes as well.
This will be an exciting yet challenging year to say the least.
If you have Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary or a similar one, you can look up “Moses” and read a short summary of all that happens in his life. I highly recommend this before class so you have an idea of where we start, where we are going, and where we’ll end.
Please feel free to share this post with your friends and family who are on the fence about BSF and are wondering what we will learn this year. At the end of this post is a share button which you can click on and share via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. So invite your friends and family for one of the most colorful and impactful characters in the Bible and for an in-depth study of some of the most well-known stories in the Bible as well!
God bless and many hugs and kisses from the bottom of my heart!
Side Note: Did anyone else know Rembrandt painted Moses? I didn’t until I did this post. He is most well-known for his self-portraits and portraits of others that I had missed this one. Cool stuff in my book!!