Jesus in the Life of…

Moses – The Deliverer

 

by I Gordon

 

For the Jew there is probably no one greater than Moses, their great deliverer, who, through a series of great miracles, led the Israelites out of Egypt. Yet as famous as Moses was, and is, nothing can compare to the one of whom Moses was but a type – Jesus Christ. To the Jewish mind, scriptures and events such as the exodus out of Egypt were interpreted through an approach called ‘Midrash’. The main theme to this type of interpretation is that key prophecies and events are repeated over and over throughout history until they find their final fulfilment. For example, the exodus out of Egypt is quoted in the New Testament as a type of Jesus coming out of Egypt (see Matt 2:15 in connection to Hosea 11:1). It is also seen as a type of the Christian coming out of Egypt (the world) in 1 Cor 10. And this event will have its final fulfilment in the deliverance of Israel in the last days, as we shall see in this study. But let’s not jump the gun just yet! Because the life of Moses is rich in its application and types of the Lord Jesus, this study will be in two parts. This part simply looks at types in the person of Moses up until the exodus and gives an overview of God’s dealings with the world and Israel. Part two will cover the major types of Jesus in the deliverance out of Egypt, examining what these types teach us for our Christian lives. This first part also gives us a glimpse into the overall plan of God in his dealings with both the Jewish and Gentile nations. – Something quite useful in this crazy age in which we live… an age that is drawing closer and closer to the return of Jesus Christ!

 

Born into an oppressed race under a cruel leader

 

Exodus 1:15,16 ‘The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah “When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”’

 

Moses was born into an oppressed people. The Israelites struggled greatly at the time under Egypt’s rule. We see from this verse that all Hebrew boys born were to be killed. This gives a small picture of the conditions that Jesus was born into. Instead of Egyptian rule, Jesus was born into a Jewish nation under the rule of the Roman Empire. And like Moses’ birth, Jesus faced the same fate.  

 

Matt 2:16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

 

The commoner was actually a Prince!

 

Exodus 2:10 ‘When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” ‘

 

Acts 7:21-22 ‘When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. ‘

 

Even though Moses was born into a poor and oppressed race, he became a prince, being heir to Egypt’s very throne.  This speaks of Jesus in that although He came to this earth and became a man, He too was the Prince and Heir of the entire world. The book of Hebrews tells us that God has…

 

Heb 1:2 ‘…spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. ‘

 

He lay down his position on the throne

 

Heb 11:24 ‘By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God…’

 

Seeing the oppression of his own people, Moses gave up his position and honour on the Egyptian throne to associate himself with his Hebrew brothers. And no great rewards for seeing how Jesus did this for us! Philippians clearly bring this out about Jesus, stating

 

Phil 2:6-8 ‘Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! ‘

 

Now that is amazing! Like Moses, Jesus wanted to deliver His people and that meant being like them. For Moses, this meant giving up the Egyptian throne and all the power, wealth and authority that went with it. Yet as great as this commitment was, Jesus went much further! Jesus’ love for us led Him to give up His position over the throne of the entire universe and was made a man. And through that act, He will always, for the rest of eternity, be the God-Man – 100% God, yet 100% man. A great mystery indeed!

 

The Deliverer is rejected by his people! (See also Ex 2:11-14)

 

Acts 7:23-27 ‘When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’ But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?’

 

Unbelievable! Having taken the great step in laying aside the Egyptian throne and associating himself with his own people, you would think that the Israelites would welcome him and allow him to be their deliverer, would you not? Nope! Their only comment was ‘who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ Of course, this rejection is only a small picture of the one who came to deliver Israel 1500 years later. Their reaction to Jesus then was far worse.

 

Matt 12:24 ‘But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” ‘

Matt 27:22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”

 

Listen to Jesus’ heart for Israel even though they rejected him.

 

Matt 23:37 ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.’

 

It is also important to see that as a nation, the rejection of Jesus by Israel occurred long before the cross. The book of Mathew was written primarily to the Jews of his day, and as such, it presents Jesus as the long awaited Messiah. From this book we can clearly see the rejection of Jesus, and it’s results, in Mathew chapters 12 and 13. Here is a footnote if you want to know more.[1]

 

The Deliverer takes a gentile bride!

 

Ex 2:15,16,21 ‘But Moses…went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well…. Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters…Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.’

 

Upon his rejection by his fellow Israelites, Moses left Israel, went to a gentile land, and took for himself a bride. Upon His rejection by His fellow Israelites, Jesus turned to the gentile nations and took, and is taking, for himself a bride. Now it would be wrong to say that the bride of Christ is only gentile, for there are many Jewish believers in Christ. But on the whole, in the age in which we live, the nation of Israel has been hardened and the church is predominantly gentile, just as it is written –

 

Rom 11:25 ‘I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.’

 

The disciples struggled to understand this. All they had been taught was that when the Messiah came, He would rule and reign in His Kingdom, from Jerusalem, and all of Israel’s enemies would be defeated![2]

 

Israel’s bondage increases!

 

Exodus 2:23 ‘Now it happened in the course of many days that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.

 

What is the next thing that happens? Moses has been living with his gentile bride for ‘many days’ and near the end of this time, the bondage that comes upon the nation of Israel is so great that they cry out to God for His help. In the overall view that exodus gives us of the plan of God, it is in this verse that we move into the picture of our present day events. Like Moses, Jesus has been away taking a bride from among the gentile nations, and has been away from the nation of Israel (apart from the remnant) for ‘many days’. In the very day in which we live however, we see tremendous pressure, oppression, and bondage coming upon Israel as a nation.[3] But it is not in vain. God, like He did in the days of the exodus, has allowed this oppression to continue so that the hearts of the people would cry out to Him and look for His salvation![4] And just as Egypt is a picture of the world, so, in the fulfilling of these events in our day, the pressure is beginning to increase on Israel from all sectors of the world.

 

God remembers Israel and the Deliverer is sent!

 

Exodus 2:24-25 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.’

 

Exodus 3:7-10 ‘And the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.“ So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey… I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”

 

Here, in the course of our study, we move from the present and into the future. But not too far into the future! We read here that Israel, in great bondage, cry out to God to deliver them. And God remembered His covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! What an amazing picture this is! For we know that when the full number of the gentiles has come into the church, then the God of Israel will once again turn to that people, and, in remembering His covenant to Abraham, He will deliver them!

 

Rom 11:26-28, ‘…and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” “And this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.’

 

God’s covenant with Abraham was unconditional and eternal. (Gen 12:1-3, 15:4-19) That’s why we read above that Israel is loved ‘for the sake of the fathers.’ As a nation they don’t deserve God’s deliverance. But then none of us do! It is simply the faithfulness of a Holy God that will do these things to show himself to be true. (Read Ezek 36:16-37) Let us not think that Israel’s deliverance comes easily however. It was through bondage and hardship that caused Israel to cry out for deliverance from Egypt. And so it is, in these end times, that Israel is not delivered until they have passed through the ‘day of Jacob’s trouble’. (Please read Jeremiah chapter 30). But like Moses getting the call to turn back to Israel again, so shall Jesus be sent to her again and she will be saved!

 

Judgement is pronounced upon Egypt!

 

Exodus 7:2-5 ‘You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.’

 

God had remembered his covenant with Abraham and was about to deliver Israel through His deliver, Moses. But first, the judgement had to come so that all of Egypt would know that the God of Israel is the true God – the Lord God Almighty, In issuing the judgements upon Egypt, Moses stands again as a type of Jesus Christ who alone is worthy to break the seals of judgement in the last days. (Rev 5:6-9)

 

The judgements that were poured out upon Egypt[5] are a type of the catastrophic judgements that are poured out upon the earth in the last days. These judgements in the ‘day of the Lord’ are made upon a wicked, stubborn and proud world of which Pharaoh and Egypt are a type. Most of the ten plagues upon Egypt are repeated in the book of Revelation.

1st Plague – Nile turned to blood (Ex 7:14-24 compare with Rev 8.8, 16.4)

5th Plague – Disease (Ex 9:1-7 compare with the pestilence in Rev 6:8)

6th Plague – Boils (Ex 9:8-12 compare with Rev 16:2,11)

7th Plague – Hail (Ex 9:13-35 compare with Rev 8:7, 16:21)

9th Plague – Darkness (Ex 10:21-29 compare with Rev 8:12, 16:10)

10th Plague – Death (Ex 11:1-12 compare with Rev 6:8, 9:15)

 

Just as God made His name known to Egypt through these judgements, so will He make His name known to the world through the judgements that are to come. Ezekiel 38 and 39 speak of a war against Israel that is still to come in these end times (most believe it to be a Russian attack on Israel), but listen to what God says about His judgement of the nations that attack Israel.

 

Ezek 38:22-23 ‘I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.’

 

What God did to rescue Israel from Egypt will be repeated soon. But tell me… did the judgements upon Egypt and its Pharaoh cause them to glorify God and let Israel go free? Nope! Not in the long run, even though they consented temporarily. And neither will it cause the majority of the world to glorify God in the last days.

 

Rev 16:9-11 ‘The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him… and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.

  

And nor, for that matter, will it stop the world from coming against Israel with all its might just as Egypt would not be stopped from trying to destroy Israel in the book of Exodus.

 

A hardened heart is hardened further some more!

 

Exodus 7:10-13 ‘So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.’

 

Exodus 8:13,30-32 ‘But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.’… Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD, and the LORD did what Moses asked: The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.

 

Exodus 9:12 ‘But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.’

 

Sorry for repeating the same thing over and over but if you haven’t guessed, I’m trying to make a point! Over and over again we read that Pharaoh hardened his heart. Even in the midst of miraculous signs that God was doing through Moses and Aaron. Finally we read that ‘the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart.’ The point? This speaks of the end time judgement, where God, faced with a world that repeatedly hardens it heart against Him, finally gives them over to the wickedness they so desire. We read about this act in 2 Thessalonians.

 

2 Thess 2:9-12 ‘The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.’

 

Through judgement, Israel is delivered.

 

Exodus 14:8-14 ‘The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon. As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD… Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” ‘

 

We come now to the climax of the matter. Israel has reached the red sea and has nowhere to go. The Egyptian armies have reached them and it’s not looking good. Yet, in their terror they cry out to the Lord. Listen to Moses’ response – ‘stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord. The Lord will fight for you.’ Those words will one day ring true again in an even more amazing way. Like Egypt, the world will one day harden its heart to the extent that even terrifying judgements from the throne of God will not stop it amassing it troops to destroy Israel. The attitude of the world will be like what is seen in Revelation 16:8-10

 

‘And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues; and they did not repent, so as to give Him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.’

 

Hardening their hearts like Egypt of old, the nations of the world will gather themselves to destroy Israel. It’s called the battle of Armageddon. And as in this passage, with their backs to the wall and nowhere to go, Israel will again cry out to the Lord, and the Lord will come and literally fight for them. This is seen in Zechariah and many other passages.

 

Zech 14:2-3 ‘I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west.’

 

How awesome! Jesus said that in this coming, every eye will see Him, and as lightening lights up the sky from east to west, so will His coming be! Did Egypt stand a chance once God fought for Israel at the Red sea? Not likely. Neither will the world when faced with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

 

The victory song of Moses is sung!

 

Exodus 15:1-3 ‘Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.’

 

Finally, with their enemies defeated, Moses and the Israelites sang this song of praise to the Lord. And this song will be sung again, after another great victory in the last days. As if to show us that the victory over Egypt would be fulfilled again, we read in Revelation about those who sing the song of Moses.

 

Revelation 15:2-3 ‘And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb.’

 

Conclusion

 

Just to quickly recap… As Israel initially rejected Moses, so the nation of Israel rejected Jesus. Leaving Israel, Moses turned to the gentiles and took for himself a gentile bride. But just as Moses was called back to again deliver Israel, so God will not forget His chosen people but will send Jesus to deliver His people once again. The bondage and judgement that Israel had to pass through however speaks of the terrible times that will come for that nation before they are finally delivered. God has a plan and nothing will stand in the way of its completion.

 

Right now we stand at the end of one dispensation and the resumption of another. For the Christian, It is awesome and exciting times in which to live! The church will not face the wrath of God that is coming (1 Thes 1:10, 5:9), but our hope is in the near return of Jesus Christ. He has been preparing a home for us in Heaven and it will not be long before the rapture occurs to take us to that home. For however long we remain on this earth, let us look more and more to the one who controls all things, and…

 

‘…deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

 

 

Other Bible Studies in the 'Jesus in the life of' Series


[1] According to Jewish scholar Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Jewish tradition held that when the Messiah came, He would do three key signs to prove the validity of His claim. Firstly, He would raise to life someone who had been dead for more than three days. Secondly, He would cleanse lepers. And lastly, He would heal someone blind and dumb. In Matt 12:22, Jesus performed this last sign to which the crowds were amazed and said ‘could this be the Son of David?’ In other words, ‘this really could be the Messiah!’ This was a pivotal moment! But instead of accepting Him, they allowed the Pharisees to answer for them, who said that Jesus did these things by the power of Beelzebub. (vs 24). Note the grave consequences that occurred after this…

1.       Jesus said that to say such things was blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which could not be forgiven. (vs 31,32).

2.       With His rejection, Jesus starts alluding to His death on the cross for the first time in this book. (vs 38-40)

3.       Jesus and John the Baptist had ‘swept the house of Israel clean’ yet by not accepting Him as their Messiah, Israel’s end result would now be far worse than what they were at the beginning. (vs 43-45)

4.       Jesus ties with natural Israel seem to be broken as indicated in verse 46-50.

5.       Jesus now begins speaking in parables so that those who have rejected Him will not understand, but those who have ears to hear will. Note that even the disciples didn’t understand why he now spoke in parables. (Matt 13:10-15)

 

[2] It was this thought that lead to Peter rebuking Jesus when He spoke of the cross! (Matt 16:21-23). It was also why Peter was willing to take up his sword to protect Jesus. (John 19:10-11). And even after the resurrection, when Jesus had spoke to the disciples for forty days about the kingdom of God, look at what their only real question is! (Acts 1:3-7) When you read the Old Testament, it is quite understandable why they thought this way. The church age is a ‘mystery’, something not revealed in the Old Testament. Therefore, when the prophets spoke, they drew no distinction between the first and second coming of Jesus, but made it sound like it was all one event. For two examples see Isaiah 61:1-3 (especially in regard to how much Jesus said was fulfilled at His first coming in Luke 4:18-19) and Zech 9:9-10

 

[3] I write this shortly after the horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. When the US-led coalition ‘against terrorism’ first began to form, I was hoping that the world would now understand a little more of what it is like for Israel to live in the backyard of these Islamic nations who live for their destruction. I thought leaders might be more sympathetic of Israel’s cause and their daily fight against terrorism. But no! More and more I hear Israel being blamed for the event because of their struggle with the Palestinians. Israel isn’t even allowed to join the coalition in fear it would unite the Arab nations against them. Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel recently said that they feel ‘more and more isolated from the world.’ Ramon Bennett in his book ‘The Wall’ said ‘the nation of Israel has replaced the wandering Jew as the scapegoat of the world.’ How true. God has blessed the United States in the past for its support of Israel and the US would be wise to continue this. But it has been prophesied that in the end, every nation shall come against her, and as I listen to the news I can’t help but think that even the US will desert her soon. Her bondage is nearing breaking point!

 

[4] At the moment, the majority of Jews in Israel aren’t religious, and large percentages don’t even believe there is a God. But the pressure applied in these days, and in the days to come, will force them to look not to their military strength, or their renowned intelligence, but to the God who called them from the beginning to be a special people before Him!

[5] Israel wasn’t totally exempt from the judgements either. They were affected by the first three, but not by the last seven. So at the end of the age, God will also judge Israel to bring them back to Himself, but He will ultimately deliver them!