In "Reading 1" I showed how God had commissioned Moses to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt and, if you have not read that essay, it would be a good idea to read it before continuing with this essay.
Remember that God made it even more difficult for Moses to accept the job by giving just a tiny glimpse of the confrontation Moses would face against the most powerful man in the world, Pharaoh, in doing that job. In Exodus 4:21-23, after Moses has started his journey with his wife and children, God makes it even tougher for Moses to continue his journey and do the job by showing a little bit more of that coming confrontation:
"And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all of those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in your hand; but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first-born.
And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me; and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy first-born."
Keep in mind that Moses is going up against the most powerful man in the world at that time and a man who is a dictator and tyrant, not exactly Mr. Nice Guy. Remember that Pharaoh was a man who he and his people believed he was a god and for him to give into any other god would have been a sign of weakness for Pharaoh as a god. Pharaoh couldn't afford to just give into the Israelis because the people of Egypt would have realized that Pharaoh wasn't a god and would have rebelled to overthrow Pharaoh and Moses had been raised in the House of Pharaoh and knew this.
BTW, since God has caused Moses to be raised up in the House of Pharaoh, Moses had been trained in and knew Egyptian court protocol and etiquette. You see, God had caused Pharaoh to try to slaughter the young boys of the Hebrews so that Moses' mother would put Moses in a basket in the Nile just upstream from the House of Pharaoh so the daughter of Pharaoh would find and bring Moses into the House of Pharaoh to be raised up to be a member of Pharaoh's family to prepare Moses for this job. God has His reasons for everything He does.
People, this battle between Moses and Pharaoh was David vs. Goliath times 100 or 1,000. It dwarfed the battle between David and Goliath. Just imagine a shepherd confronting China's tyrannical Xi Jinping, who, BTW, is insisting he be worshiped instead of Jesus, you know, as a pagan god. We are talking organ donor, baby.
Much more powerful men than the shepherd Moses went up against mighty Pharaoh and died, you know, like kings and powerful generals.
Why did God use a simple little shepherd to deliver the Hebrews out of Egypt and slavery instead of a mighty general or king?
So people would know that it was God who delivered the Hebrews out of Egypt and not the mighty Moses.
Can't you just hear Moses thinking, "What, you're going to cause Pharaoh to fight back against me, a sheppard, and then I have to tell him that you are going to kill his first born?"
I think it speaks highly of Moses that he didn't "accidentally get lost" and end up in China, you know, like Jonah tried to do, only Jonah was heading for Europe. It is about this time that most of us would have been looking for our boat ticket to China or Europe.
"Dear God, GIVE THAT JOB TO SOMEONE ELSE, I DON'T WANT IT!" Yeah, you know you would have said that, at least once, you know, before caving in to God's will.
This shows just how much faith Moses had in God but even Moses had his moments when he faltered because he was human.
Chapter 5 is where things start to get interesting. Moses and Aaron had gotten together with the Hebrew leaders who had agreed to go along with Moses and then Moses and Aaron went to "discuss the matter" with that tyrannical pagan god dictator, Pharaoh.
Exodus 5:1-2; "And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go" I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go."
Basically, what Pharaoh said was, "Who is this God of yours that I, the god Pharaoh, have to obey Him?" This was a power struggle between gods, the one true God of the Bible verses the pagan god Pharaoh with the shepherd Moses caught in the middle. We are talking a major epic war of the gods has just begun.
Don't believe me?
Study history and the scriptures. This is just starting to get interesting and will make the movies "Star Wars" look mild before it is over.
Exodus 5:3-14; "And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.
And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, loose the people from their works? Get you unto your burdens."
Basically, Pharaoh said, "Hey, you guys are costing me time and money by letting my slaves not do their work. You slaves get back to work."
And God said, "The love of money is the root of all evil." This was all about money and power and please note that the being God has NEVER taken one dime from us for his own Heavenly treasury. God can create infinitely more wealth than we humans can earn. God doesn't need slaves; He wants us to accept and return His love and be His eternal companions.
"And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens."
Remember that Pharaoh and the Egyptians were concerned about there being so many Hebrews that the Hebrews might rebel and overthrow Pharaoh.
"And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.
And the number of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish anything thereof; for they are idle; and therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.
Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labor therein; and let them not regard vain words."
This is a little god jealousy with Pharaoh saying, "How dare my slaves want to worship a god other than me." So Pharaoh decided to decrease the time the Hebrew slaves had to think and talk about worshiping another god by increasing the time the slaves would have to work. He also wanted to make the Hebrew slaves angry at Moses and Aaron so the people would not listen to them anymore.
"And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spoke to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.
Go ye, get your straw where ye can find it; yet not any of your work shall be diminished.
So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.
And the taskmasters hastened them, saying, Fulfill your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw."
And Pharaoh's strategy worked, turning the people and the Hebrew leaders against Moses and Aaron because of the increased persecution of the Hebrew slaves. The people and their leaders had simple mindedly thought that Moses and Aaron would just talk to Pharaoh and Pharaoh would give up his slaves and the huge profits he got from those slaves and just let them go.
Exodus 5:15; "Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants?"
Note that, even among the slave population, there was an upper class who had gained favor with Pharaoh, probably for selling out and controlling the people for Pharaoh. Most of the Hebrew upper class trash will be gotten rid of later by God.
And Pharaoh answered in Exodus 5:17; "But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle; therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord."
So the officers of Israel turned on Moses and Aaron in Exodus 5:19-21; "And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not diminish anything from your bricks of your daily task.
And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way as they (the officers) came forth from Pharaoh.
And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye made us offensive in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us."
Pharaoh persecuting the Hebrews because the Hebrews wanted to worship a god other than Pharaoh had turned the Hebrews against Moses and Aaron and not against Pharaoh. What God is doing here is that He will eventually use this persecution to turn the Hebrews against Pharaoh so they will follow Moses out of Egypt. Without the people being persecuted and being turned against Pharaoh, many of them would have refused to leave Egypt for an unknown existence in a foreign land. Most people are afraid to make such massive leaps of faith and have to be pushed to do it.
Moses responded by turning to God and questioning God because even Moses had believed that, though it was going to be difficult, it wouldn't be this difficult and it was just beginning because God has His reasons for everything He does, as you will see.
Exodus 5:22 & 23; "And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so badly treated this people? Why is it that thou hast sent me?
For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all."
Wow, even Moses thought that he would just talk to Pharaoh and Pharaoh would let all of his slaves go to worship another god and lose all of his profits when those slaves left, you know, just like our modern upper class trash just giving up on their plans for global power and wealth?
Listen, Pharaoh knew that, if he let the Hebrews go 3 days out into the wilderness, they were not coming back and would make a run for freedom. Pharaoh and the people of Egypt were not about to give up all of the wealth they were making on the backs of their Hebrew slaves plus Pharaoh was not about to permit anyone in Egypt to worship a foreign god and not him because he would lose control of the people.
This was a Goliath struggle for power and wealth between two gods with the Hebrews caught in the middle; one trying to keep his slaves and the other trying to free the slaves, you know, like today with the Christians wanting to remain free and the pagan globalists wanting the Christians to be their slaves under communism.
Learning a little about human nature, are we? Gee, you don't think history is repeating itself because the evil pagans never change and keep doing the same evil crap, do you?
In Chapter 6, it will get more interesting.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.