April 27, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Exodus 17-20
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Context: When the Israelites grew thirsty, they complained to Moses, instead of going to the Lord, which is what Moses did. Following the Lord's instructions, Moses struck a rock which produced water. The rock represents Jesus Christ, as well as the manna produced by the Lord. He is the Water and Bread of Life. When the Israelites came up against the Amalekite's, we see that if we fight our battles alone, we cannot completely win. Only when we rely on God can victory be complete. When Jethro, Moses' father-in-law comes to visit, he suggests that Moses lighten his load by teaching and appointing others to do what he does. This may seem, on the surface, like a good idea. However, God never suggested it and was not consulted in its implementation. God must have had His reasons. If we fast forward a few thousand years, this group is known as the Sanhedrin, the group that ensured Jesus' death. Moses led the Israelites to Mount Sinai where the Lord would present Himself to the people if they were willing to live under His laws. They agreed, and Moses was given the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments are not the end of the Law, but the beginning. Throughout the remainder of this book and the three following books, God will provide instructions on nearly every aspect of life, as He is with us in every aspect of life.
World History: Although the pharaoh who ruled during the time of the Exodus is uncertain, many scholars believe it was Thutmose II, whose wife was Hatshepsut, the most successful female pharaoh in Egypt. Hatshepsut, who came into power following the death of her husband, could have ruled during a portion of the time the Israelites were wandering the desert.