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Exodus 2:16-25 (Seven Daughters Drawing from the Well)

Dec 7, 2014   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Exodus, Exodus Sermons (written), Torah  //  No Comments

Exodus 2:16-25
Seven Daughters Drawing Water From the Well

Introduction: Curious stories seem to pop up among other curious stories. Today’s verses show one of them, don’t they. In a period which spans forty years of Moses’ life, just seven verses are given. After that, three more verses are provided to take us right back to the plight of the Israelites in the land of Egypt – ten verses in all.

One has to ask, “What is so important about these seven verses in comparison to all of the other things that must have happened during those forty years?” Why is this single event recorded? The answer is, as always, because God wants us to see pictures of other things in redemptive history and to understand that His plan is precise and preplanned.

To me, that’s the most comforting thing about knowing the Lord. If He has everything already planned as to how it will come out, then He must know how things will turn out for me as well. And if His word says that because of Jesus, I’m included in the good things to come, then what an absolutely satisfying feeling that is.

If we see our name is listed in the will of a rich family member, it gives us something to look forward to with anticipation. Not anticipation that the person will die. But rather that death is inevitable, that they are old and will inevitably die, and that we have an inheritance which will come from that inevitable situation.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 1 that in Christ we have an eternal inheritance in store for us. He goes on to say that we even have a guarantee of that inheritance, which is the sealing of the Holy Spirit. It is the surest guarantee that could ever be given.

Unlike an earthly inheritance which could be lost before we receive it, or which may never come to us because we get run over by a car first, nothing in heaven or on earth can separate us from the inheritance we have coming because of our faith in Christ.

These stories which show us pictures of God’s plan are especially wonderful to understand because they remind us that the future is set. We have a sure path to glory and it is all because of the work of Jesus Christ. What a great feeling that should leave us with.

Text Verse: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13, 14

Everlasting life. We can’t even imagine what that will be like. Now, we get tired and we grow old. Things are temporary and more often than not, they bring us as much pain as they do pleasure. We might enjoy our pets, but when they die, we suffer through the loss.

We might have a car that we are crazy about, but when it gets a spot of rust or a dent, we tend to lose heart and get frustrated over it. Everything wears out, runs down, or fades in the bright sun. But Jesus promises us a fountain of water that will refresh us for all eternity. This is offered to those who call on Him.

It is He who waters His flock. A small picture of that is seen in today’s verses. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I.  The Father’s Flock (verses 16 & 17)

In the last short account, Moses set out to join with his Hebrew brethren and to deliver them from bondage, going so far as killing an Egyptian in order to rescue one of them. However, when he came to two others fighting the next day, they rejected his attempt to reconcile them and they rejected his authority over them.

Because of this, and because the word had gotten out that he killed the Egyptian, he fled from the face of Pharaoh. The last verse looked at said, “But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.”

We saw that it all pointed to the first advent of Christ and His appearing to His own people, but He was rejected by them. From there He went to the Gentiles. And this is where we start today…

16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters.

The “Priest of Midian” is the term kohen midyan. As we saw last week, Midian means “Place of Judgment.” The term kohen actually has two meanings. It means “priest” but it also means “prince.” And thus, this person is probably a man similar to Melchizedek who was seen in Genesis 14.

He would then fulfill the dual role of prince and priest. However, most translators simply call him a “priest” because he, or one of his descendants, is noted as performing priestly functions later in Exodus 18 where it says he “took a burnt offering and other sacrifices to offer to God.” (v. 12)

This person is likely a descendant of Abraham, born to his ancestor Midian who was born to Abraham’s concubine Keturah. This is recorded in Genesis 25:1, 2 –

“Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.” Genesis 25:1, 2

As a descendant of Abraham, he may have carried on the traditions of his father and been a priest and worshipper of the true God. There is no reason to think otherwise, especially because of his prominence in the life of Moses.

God directed Moses’ feet to this particular well where a seemingly chance encounter would take place which is actually not at all by chance. This priest of Midian is said to have seven daughters. Saying that may seem like an unnecessary addition unless it is trying to show us a picture of something else.

If not, it could have left the number seven out and not changed anything. Why are the seven daughters mentioned so specifically and right at his introduction, even before his own name is given?

16 (con’t) And they came and drew water,

The seven daughters are all out together, thus setting up the story in a specific direction. They have stuck together and have come to the well together. The word for “drew” is dalah. It’s used only five times in the Bible and 3 are in this chapter. Also it’s used once in the Psalms and once in Proverbs.

It means “to dangle” which then leads to the thought of letting down a bucket which would be for drawing out water. And so figuratively it would mean to “deliver.” This is the use of it in the  30th Psalm where it says –

“I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.” Psalm 30:1

The only other time it’s used is in Proverbs 20:5 –

“Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding will draw it out.” Proverbs 20:5

These girls have come to draw water from the well. It is a scene wholly reminiscent of the accounts of Rebekah and of Rachel, both of whom came to wells to draw water at the time of chance meetings which brought them to their future husbands. And yet, neither was chance and both were used to picture the work of Christ, just as this passage will as well.

16 (con’t) and they filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.

After drawing, they use the water to fill the troughs of their father’s flocks. Another interesting word to look at is the word for “troughs.” It is rahat. It was used twice in Genesis 30 when Jacob peeled rods of trees and placed them in watering troughs for the flocks to mate in front of.

All of that account pictured the work of Christ. The word is used again here and only one other time, in the Song of Solomon –

“Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel,
And the hair of your head is like purple;
A king is held captive by your tresses.” Song of Solomon 7:5

It might seem unusual to say that locks of hair are like a gutter used for watering animals, but the idea is that the beloved’s hair was flowing down like water, even like ringlets. And who doesn’t love the look of flowing hair on a beautiful young lady!

There is nothing to suggest that this account isn’t true. Rachel tended Laban’s flocks and even into modern times, a man named Burckhardt notes that the unmarried daughters of Bedouins have been the ones to tend to the flocks of the family. In this case, they are tending to the flocks of their father.

17 Then the shepherds came and drove them away;

Adam Clarke notes that the verb used here for “drove them” is the word yegareshum which is in the masculine gender and it therefore implies that the shepherds drove away the flocks of the daughters, not the daughters themselves.

This is certainly the case. The daughters took the time to fill the troughs and once the work was done, the worthless shepherds proceeded to drive away the animals in order to benefit from the hard work of those who came before them. What is this telling us?

First, it tells us that the priesthood of their father was not held in any esteem by them. If it were, they would have been considerate to them. Secondly, it showed a desire to profit off the work of another and to use it for their own benefit by directing it towards their personal flocks.

And finally, we will see that this was not uncommon. In the coming verse, their father will be surprised at their early return which means that this was a common occurrence which they had simply put up with and kept silent about in the past.

17 (con’t) but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

The last time Moses was mentioned was in the last sermon. It said in verse 15 that “he sat down by a well.” Now it says he “stood up.” The account is showing action on behalf of the daughters and thus for the flock.

But again, we need to ask why. Why the descriptive words when it could have simply said “but Moses helped them.” A picture is being given and we are being asked to reflect on what it is. Moses personally intervened and “watered their flock.”

The story is so remarkably similar to what happened in Genesis 29 that it cannot go without note. That is the account of when Jacob met Rachel. At that time Jacob pictured Christ, now Moses fills that role. Moses is watering the flock of the priest of Midian, a man who is an upright Gentile seeking the one true God.It should be noted that when Moses lived in Egypt, he lived as a royal in the royal and Great House of Pharaoh. He left that position and went to dwell among his own, but his own did not receive him. And so he instead went to the land of the Gentiles. He has found an opportunity now to be a servant and he has prevailed in that task. Does this sound like any other figure you may be aware of?

The father has seven daughters
Who tend to his flock, watching over His sheep
They are to pass to them the well’s healing waters
And to bring out for them the Bible’s mysteries deep

But there are other shepherds who would chase the sheep away
And disturb their peaceful lives, leading them astray

Yet the Lord is there to watch with tender care
And will carefully water the flock, all who are His own
And when He sees any danger there
To the false shepherds His anger will be shown

II. In Drawing He Drew (verses 18 & 19)

18 When they came to Reuel their father,

The father’s name is finally given, Reuel, which means “Friend of God.” As a connection back to Abraham, we read this in James –

“And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God.” James 2:23

The name Reuel, or Friend of God, ties him back to his great ancestor, Abraham. And he, like Abraham, is living in faith towards this true God, seeking to be His friend. As an added squiggle for your brain, the fantasy author JRR Tolkien is partially named after this guy. His full name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

18 (con’t) he said, “How is it that you have come so soon today?”

In this statement of surprise, we can see that the actions of the unruly shepherds were common. But we can also see that the daughters kept the matter quiet, not troubling their father with it in the past. They simply allowed others to push them out of the way and then they watered their flocks and headed back home.

19 And they said, “An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds,

The daughters probably thought he was an Egyptian either by his clothes or his speech and so the shepherds would have seen this as well. The fact that Moses records their words is a sound indication that he is the true author. Someone else would have just called him a stranger or a foreigner.

There could be several reasons why he was able to overcome more than one shepherd. The first is that he wouldn’t be expected to be alone. It would seem improbable that an Egyptian would have travelled all this way by himself.

Another reason is because of the mere boldness in his demeanor, they may have been wary of him. Moses certainly had physical training in his years in Egypt and probably carried himself in a manner which reflected that. Whether for one of these reasons or another, he prevailed and was able to run off the offenders until the flocks were fully tended to.

19 (con’t) and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock.”

This is another hint that Moses is certainly the author of the account. The fact that he tells that he drew more water shows that the other flocks had already been moved in and had started drinking the water that wasn’t for them.

In this, the final two uses of the word for “drew” in this chapter are used. In Hebrew it says v’gam daloh dalah lanu – “and also in drawing he drew for us.” It is an expression which shows that he drew abundantly and zealously for them.

It’s interesting that the man named Moses, which means “He who draws out,” is shown to do so in the story and to do so in a manner of diligently drawing. The flocks were given an abundance, right from the hand of Moses. All of this allowed them to return home earlier than normal.

20 So he said to his daughters, “And where is he?

Reuel here asks what would be an obvious question, “And where is he?” In modern language, is would surely have been preceded by the elongated “Helloooooooo. This guy has put himself out for you and you have done nothing in return!”

Having heard the story that one man defended against a number of shepherds, he knew him to be trustworthy. If he wasn’t, what would he have done? He would have chased off the shepherds and then gone about violating the girls. Because they came home unscathed, he knew he was dealing with a man of integrity.

20 (con’t) Why is it that you have left the man?

And if a man of integrity, then a man who was not to be left unwelcomed into his own home. As he could figure this out, he was curious as to why the daughters, all seven of them, couldn’t. Why would someone be practically at the door and not welcomed into it. His words show that what is right and proper is to open the door and allow him in.

20 (con’t) Call him, that he may eat bread.”

The term “that he may eat bread” means more than just bread. The intent is that he be brought in to be entertained and have a meal. We would say, “so that he can dine with us.” The word “bread” is substituted for the entire process of dining. He defended them, so now he instructs them to call out for him.

Where is the Man who defends the daughters?
Why haven’t you brought Him home with You?
He has passed out the life-healing waters
Surely this one is Faithful and True

Bring Him into your home, don’t leave Him outside the door
Because when you invite Him in, He will protect you forevermore

And then tell others of the great things He’s done
Don’t keep it a secret or hide the word away
Be sure to let the world know of God’s glorious Son
That He has saved and will come again for us someday

III. A Bride and a Son (verses 21 & 22)

21 Then Moses was content to live with the man,

It’s obvious that Reuel found Moses to be a decent guy, just as he expected after hearing his daughters’ words. At some point he welcomed him into his home on a permanent basis. From this, it appears that Israel’s deliverer was set on a new and permanent course that led away from them.

Would he be the deliverer of these seven daughters only? At this point in time, it must have seemed like it to Israel. It will be a full forty years until he will be ready to return and deliver them. Until that time, he will live among the gentiles and come to have a gentile wife…

21 (con’t) and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses.

It should not go unnoticed that none of the other daughters are mentioned by name. Thus, Zipporah represents all of the daughters who were rescued by Moses. She is given to Moses as a wife. Her name means “bird” which is from the word tsippor.

It’s a word used to describe birds throughout the Old Testament, even in the Genesis creation account. But in a great parallel to Zipporah becoming Moses’ wife and what it pictures, the 84th psalm shows that the bird can find a home where the Lord dwells –

“Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.” Psalm 84:3

And this isn’t unique to the Old Testament. Jesus gives the same basic idea in the New –

“Then He said, “’What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.'” Luke 13:18, 19

The giving of Zipporah to Moses is certainly reminiscent of Laban giving his own daughters to Jacob many years earlier. He stayed and labored, thus receiving his wives. Moses is staying and has certainly come into Reuel’s family as a helping hand as well. Thus in return, he receives a bride.

A final point about this verse is that in marrying his daughter, Moses is symbolically adopted into the tribe of Reuel. We see this later in Exodus 4 when Moses receives his call to return to rescue Israel. At that time, he actually asks for permission to fulfill his calling. There in Exodus 4:18, it says –

“So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, ‘Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.'” Exodus 4:18

22 And she bore him a son. He called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.”

Time and again, when a child is born in the book of Genesis, he was given as a picture of something in redemptive history or even as a picture of Christ himself. Such is the case here. The name Gershom indicates being a stranger in a foreign land.

The first half of the word, ger, means “stranger.” The second half shom, comes from either sham, “there” or shem, “name.” And so his name means “Stranger There” or “Stranger is His Name.” However, Abrarim notes that the verse –

“… merely says that the boy was named such-and-such because his father was a so-and-so. There is no law that demands that the such-and-such should be etymologically akin the so-and-so. For all we know Moses might have been expressing his gladness for having finally settled, or grief for having been expelled from his familiar homeland. A verb that may have been on Moses’ mind is גרש (garash), meaning to drive or cast out.”

Thus his name may also mean “Exile.”

While the Lord is building the church, a beautiful bride
He has a son who is gone into exile
And someday soon the church will be at His side
And once again on the firstborn son God will smile

The story is given to show us of God’s faithful and tender care
To His people, those who call on Him, at all times and everywhere

See the marvelous things that God has done for all of us!
For any and all who will call out to Him through Jesus

IV. So God Heard Their Groaning (verses 23-25)

A sudden, even dramatic shift now takes place in the story. In the first 22 verses of the chapter, God was never mentioned. In these last three verses, he will be mentioned 5 times. Where the focus has been on Moses, it will now be on Israel.

As Stephen shows us in Acts 7:30, about forty years have passed with complete silence. And yet the details of this next year will be overflowing in the biblical account. As seen in the last sermon the number forty is associated “with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement.” And more specifically a “chastisement of sons, and of a covenant people.”

Understanding this, we can see that Moses’ heart was turned toward his people when he was forty, but they rejected his advances and thus their probation continued for another forty years. That time is drawing to a close and Moses’ heart will again be turned towards his people.

23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died.

The Hebrew says, v’hi bayyammin ha’rabbim ha’hem – “And it came to pass in time much the same.” It is a superlative way of saying that a whole bunch of time passed and things remained unchanged. But suddenly, there was a change which matters to the redemptive narrative. The king of Egypt died.

Notice that it doesn’t say Pharaoh, but the king of Egypt. The position remains, but the ruler changes. Certainly at a time like this, the people would look for a change in their fortunes as well. Maybe a new policy towards the people would be enacted and there would be an acceptance of them instead of the years of bondage they had thus-far faced.

23 (con’t) Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out;

The bondage didn’t change, the slavery continued, and the people groaned in their agony. When they looked for a lessoning of their anguish, they were rewarded with only more of the same. And so they cried out.

While Moses was dwelling among the Gentiles, the Hebrews toiled in the land of double distress. While he was in the open fields tending sheep, their lives were filled with the narrow confines of slavery and bondage. He was free to enjoy contentment of life while they faced nothing more than oppression and trial.

But when they cry out to Him, there is good news for God’s people. He is the covenant keeping God and His ears will not forever be shut to the sound of His people’s trials…

23 (con’t) and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.

Once again, out of twenty versions of the Bible that I check for each sermon, and out of the multitudes of commentaries I researched for this passage, not even one seized upon the importance of these words. It says v’taal shavatam el ha’elohim – “and came up their cry unto ‘the‘ God.”

It presupposes that their cries of the past 40 years had not been to “the” God. Rather, if they cried out it was to a god or maybe between one another, but “the” God had been left out of the picture. Now He is petitioned once again. How translators can skip such an important definite article is beyond imagination. A point is being made which is completely lost in the translation.

God will allow His people to go their own way and to face their own difficulties until they are prepared to call out to Him. Such is the wonder of how He deals with His children. When they are ready to reach out to Him, He will hear and He will respond. As the Geneva Bible succinctly states it –

“God humbles his by afflictions, that they should cry to him, and receive the fruit of his promise.” Geneva

24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

Here in verse 24, and verse 25 to come, God will be mentioned four more times. All four times, it will simply say elohim; God. With the matter of the true God being restored to the hearts of His people, God, meaning that same true God, hears and responds.

Their groanings have come to His ears and in turn He is said to have remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. He never forgot as we tend to think of such a term. But rather, in the Bible when something is forgotten it is simply pushed out of the mind.

When something is remembered, it is called back to the center of attention. As you can see, the remembrance was based on His faithfulness to the covenant and to His covenant people. When God makes a promise, it will never fail. God promised to the patriarchs and when their descendants returned to Him, He has determined to return to them.

It is the fulfillment of the words He first spoke to Abraham in Genesis 15 –

“Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Genesis 15:13-16

The four hundred years are ending, the iniquity of the Amorites has now reached its fullness, and the people of Israel have at the same time returned to the God, the true God. It is a confluence of events in redemptive history that seems beyond astonishing. And yet it is a confluence of events which has been repeated in history and which will again be repeated, maybe in the span of our own lives.

*25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

Albert Barnes notes that, “The whole history of Israel is foreshadowed in these words: God heard, remembered, looked upon, and knew them. It evidently indicates the beginning of a crisis marked by a personal intervention of God.”

The many times that the word “God” is mentioned in these three verses hints to us that something great is to be expected in the pages ahead. And so it will be. Great things are just around the corner for Moses and for the suffering Hebrew people. God heard, remembered, looked upon, and knew His people once again.

If you depart from God, not calling on His name
He will let you wander off though you may suffer harm
But if you return to Him, He will do the same
And restore you to His favor by His mighty right arm

He will never leave you nor forsake you
But He will allow you to set your own trail
So choose to follow Him in all you say and do
And He will guide You, His word will never fail

Stand firm then upon that precious word
And fix your eyes resolutely on the Lord

V. Wonderful Pictures

Now that we’ve looked at the surface of the story, the historical and cultural aspects of what happened, we need to ask ourselves, “Why is this story here? What is it that God wants us to see? The answer is, as always – Jesus.” Here is the Light –

Time and again, the Bible focuses on receiving a Gentile bride by the man who is the main focus of the narrative. At the same time, the Bible never departs from the concept that God’s covenant people Israel are still on His mind. Even if they have rejected Him.

Last week we saw Moses’ rejection by his own and His departure from them while they remained in bondage. It pictures Christ who came to Israel and they rejected Him. And so He went to the Gentile people. As Moses went to Midian, the Place of Judgment, so went Christ to the Place of Judgment on heaven’s throne.

Moses sat by a well where water comes forth; Jesus sits at heaven’s throne from whence the Spirit issues. Along came the seven daughters of the Priest of Midian. These seven daughters represent  the seven churches of the church age mentioned in Revelation. In fact, the term “church” in Revelation is a feminine noun.

The daughters come and draw water from the well, picturing the churches drawing from the Spirit during the church age. The word used to describe their effort was dalah. It figuratively means to deliver. This water is used for the flocks which in the Bible consistently picture individual groups of people under a shepherd.

The water is brought out and put into the troughs for the flocks, just as the Spirit is intended for the people of the church. The same word for “troughs” was used in the story of Jacob watering the flock and there it carried the same pictorial connotation, a source for the people of the church to drink from.

However, there was a problem. Other shepherds came and drove the flocks away. It is the false shepherds of the church age, the heretics, the money-grubbers, the cult leaders and those who care nothing for God or the people of God. But rather, they care only for themselves and the flocks who they have already led astray.

But there was good news. Moses was there and stood up for the daughters. Likewise, Jesus is there and He is ready to stand up for those churches who are faithful to Him and His word. Though He is there by the well in the Place of Judgment, He is not idle.

In Revelation 2:1, which is a record of the church age, it says, “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.” There He is, even now, walking among the seven churches, the seven golden lampstands, tending to the flocks of His faithful churches.

It’s not coincidence that the daughters then tell their father that the man who rescued them was an Egyptian. Though Moses is actually a Hebrew, this was all but hidden from them. And it is the same with the church. For 2000 years, the fact that Jesus is a Hebrew and a Jew has been almost completely overlooked, both by the Jews and by the church as well.

He has almost carried the appearance of a Gentile in the minds of the people, but His true nature didn’t change because of that. It is a misperception that will be corrected in the story of Moses and it is a misconception that is being corrected more and more each day in the minds of the church and in the eyes of the Israeli people. The Christ of the nations is the Messiah of the Jews and He is a Jew.

After this, Reuel asks, “Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.” The Lord doesn’t force himself into the seven churches, rather he awaits his invitation, only then will He come and dine with us. In Revelation 3:20, it says this –

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

After this, the next words said were, “Then Moses was content to live with the man.” This is exactly what Paul says would occur in the Gentile church –

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16

And of course, like many of the major figures used in these pictures of redemptive history, a Gentile bride is received. Isaac received Rebekah, Jacob received his beloved Rachel, Joseph received Asenath, and now Moses receives one. As only one daughter’s name is given she is representative of all of them.

It is the continuing theme of the Bible. While Israel is in exile for disobedience, God is taking a different course of action, not frittering away the hours, but using them wisely until Israel is finally ready to call out to their Messiah.

If you go back and read the two quotes about the birds that I read from the 84th Psalm and from Luke 13, you will see how Zipporah, the little bird, pictures those in the church who have found a home among the Lord’s temple and in His kingdom.

Along with Zipporah though, there is a son. His name is Gershom. Curiously, Moses has another son, Eliezer, whose birth isn’t recorded and he won’t even be mentioned until Exodus 18:4, kind of as an afterthought. The Bible is focusing on this one son, the firstborn. He is a picture of Israel.

In Exodus 4:22 it will say, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn.'” At the time of his birth, his name is given as Gershom. During the time of Jesus’ reign over the church, the son named Exile, the Stranger There, is in exactly that state. His name is Stranger; he is a stranger there; and he is in exile.

If you can see it around us, we must be close to the end of the church age now. The story of Moses’ time in Midian, until the time that God hears the cries of Israel, is almost completely empty with the exception of a few verses and names.

The time of calm is coming to an end, Israel is back in the land, and God’s focus is even now being redirected to the end times, all of which will be prefigured in the coming chapters of Exodus – filled with plagues and the glory of God being revealed.

As the Hebrew of verse 23 said, v’hi bayyammin ha’rabbim ha’hem – “And it came to pass in time much the same.” The years have gone by and things have remained unchanged. The Church Age has had many ups and downs, but it has been the Church Age. Things have remained much the same.

But all of a sudden, the ancient prophecies have been coming to pass, even before our eyes. The time is at hand. When Israel’s groanings are finally directed to “the God” the true God, meaning the Lord Jesus, He will hear and He will reveal Himself to them. We saw it clearly in the Joseph sermons and we will see it in the coming chapters of Exodus as well.

This is the marvel and this is the beauty of the age in which we live. But this age will end. The church will be taken to glory in the twinkling of an eye and the great plagues of Egypt will come on a global scale. There will be horror and dread and terrifying choices to make.

The Bible says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” If you have never come to know the salvation which is found in Jesus Christ, I would ask you to not wait another day. The Bible gave us these ancient stories to show us of what is coming and how to avoid it.

It is coming individually in each of our deaths, and it is coming collectively upon an unrepentant world. But God sent His Son in order to bring us back to Himself before one or both occur. Let me tell you what you need to know to be a part of His great work of salvation…

Closing Verse: “In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” Psalm 18:6

Next Week: Exodus 3:1-6 (Standing On Holy Ground) (6th Exodus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

Watering the Father’s Flock

Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters
And they came and drew from the well’s waters

And they filled the troughs for their livestock
Yes, they filled them to water their father’s flock

Then the shepherds came
And drove them away
But Moses stood up and helped them all the same
And watered their flock that day

When they came to Reuel their father, he said
“How is it that you have come so soon today?”
And they said, “An Egyptian delivered us instead
From the hand of the shepherds who treated us in a bad way

And he also enough water for us drew
And watered the flock until they were through

So he said to his daughters, yes to them he pled
And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man?
Call him, that he may come and with us eat bread

Then Moses was content with the man to live
And to Moses, his daughter Zipporah he did give

And she bore him a son we understand
He called his name Gershom, for he said
“I have been a stranger in a foreign land
And not been among the people from whom I am bred

Now it happened in the process of time
That the king of Egypt died
Then the children of Israel groaned
Because of the bondage, and out they cried

And their cry came up to God because of the bondage
So God their groaning He heard
And God remembered His covenant
With Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, yes His spoken word

And God looked upon the children of Israel
And God acknowledged them as the Bible does tell

Surely it is better at all times to remember God
Never departing from His love and grace
Than to forget Him while in this life we trod
Until we come to a difficult or an unhappy place

If we can keep our eyes always focused on Jesus
Then whether things are good or difficult it will be the same
We will know that He is always attentive to us
Because we have held fast to Him and His wondrous name

In this there will be great rewards when we are ushered into glory
And we stand in front of our great and awesome Lord
So let us always hold close to the Bible and the gospel story
Keeping hidden in our heart God’s precious saving word

Hallelujah and Amen…

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