Moses & the gods of Egypt- INTRO 1
Read exodus 3:1-22
By Richard Lodwick
The intro to this study could be extended out into 15-20 studies, but it will be sufficient, as a warm-up to the Tabernacle, to limit it to an overview. I want us to see a little of the culture that God brought His people out of, and the worship system He set up for them in contrast.
First, we must remember that this was an extensive and powerful culture in it’s time. The Pharaoh’s were considered by themselves and the people… as gods. They got worship from the common people. On top of this is the fact that they were a polytheistic culture (worship of many gods) AND those false deities were inculcated into the fabric of the lives of all the people of the land. Note how many times “God” is in our text!
They had many temples to their “gods” that were built on the physical and financial backs of the people, and they were huge. The multitude of shrines, inscriptions, and religious art make it clear, religion was prolific and nothing in Egypt was secular. It was idolatry and Israel was exposed to it! Also, Egyptians considered Pharaoh “lord of this world.” Pharaohs lived in unchallenged power and unbelievable luxury, for the times. They had despotic power and designed buildings of great splendor, even by todays standards. They rode on human carried barges on land and elaborate, ornate barges on the Nile. Both were gilded in gold. Further to this remember, the Pharaoh’s not only were believers in the false deities, as we said above, they considered themselves to BE gods, so any challenge to the status quo, and them specifically, face to face, and before the people AND their gods… AND wise men, was nothing short of epic! As we see in Exodus, it was face to face with the Pharaoh of that day, that God sent His man, Moses! It was in open and direct opposition to their gods, and Pharaoh, that God would show His power, and in no uncertain terms. The means by which God would accomplish His goals for His people would harden Pharaoh’s heart. You, a slave peasant, dare to challenge me… a god. But Pharaoh failed to realize, it wasn’t Moses he was in opposition to, but the rue and living God!
My, O my, what it would have been like to see it all!