Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord . And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended. Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel. Deuteronomy 34:1-12 NKJV
The Lord had brought six different plagues on Pharoah and his people through Moses and Aaron. The Lord asks Moses to tell Pharoah the following:
But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. Exodus 9:16-17 NKJV
The Lord says that He has a purpose for Pharoah. He has raised him to power that the Lord may show the world His power. Since Pharoah is against the Lord’s people, He brings a seventh plague: hail, such that Egypt has never seen before. Any man who did not fear the Lord did not seek shelter. Any animal, man, or herb that was outside was destroyed.
Now, Pharoah calls for Moses and Aaron and tells them the following:
And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time. The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked. Entreat the Lord , that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.” Exodus 9:27-28 NKJV
Interestingly, Moses says that he knows Moses and his people will not yet fear the Lord, but he stops the hail from coming to show them that the world belongs to the Lord.
And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses. Exodus 9:34-35 NKJV
One of the most popular phrases from the Bible is, “Let My people go.” Being depicted now in a major motion picture, the account of Moses and the Exodus is one of the most fascinating accounts in the scriptures. Moses and Aaron tell Pharoah to let God’s people go. God wants his people to be free and to hold a feast unto Him.
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. Exodus 5:2 KJV
The Lord was seeking rest for His people and Pharoah knew it. Moses and Aaron were worried about what the Lord would do if they did not obey God in his request to hold a feast unto Him. The Hebrews had their God, the God of the universe.
Pharoah does not recognize the God of the Hebrews and is upset that they are requesting rest from their work. He does the opposite in defiance. Pharoah gives the Hebrews more work and takes away provisions to make the work more difficult.
The Hebrews are puzzled and ask Pharoah why he is dealing with them in this way. Once they realize it was Moses and Aaron who asked Pharoah to let the have a feast unto the Lord, what was their respons?
And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. Exodus 5:2, 21 KJV
They blamed Moses and Aaron. Moses returns to the Lord to ask Him for guidance. The Lord responds with a beautiful and amazing response to His people:
Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord : And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord , and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord . Exodus 6:1-8 KJV
Hebrews 3 teaches us about the difference between faithfulness and unbelief in God’s kingdom. Moses was considered faithful in God’s eyes. He delivered God’s people out of the hands of Pharoah and was a testimony of events to come in the new testament.
And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward… Hebrews 3:5 NKJV
However, the people were an example of unfaithfullness, or unbelief in what God had spoken. When they faced trials, they hardened their hearts towards God and chose their own way. This is evil in God’s eyes. The consequence was that God determined they could not enter into His rest.
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; Hebrews 3:8, 10-12 NKJV
I always tell my son, “Who builds homes?”
Of course, he answers “people.” Then, I ask him, “Who built people?”
To which he answers “God.”
I love that Hebrews 3 refers to this. It is this type of reminder that gets our thinking straight. It sounds so simple, but many people do not think or believe this way. They key is listening to God’s word, believing Him and obeying. We must learn to trust Him and align our will with His through that trust.
Hebrews 3 speaks to hardness of the heart. To understand this, I think of children. Their hearts are inquiring, pliable. They have an uncanny ability to believe. Sin is deceitful. The more we are deceived, the more we lose the ability to trust, or believe. I am always on guard of a hardened heart in myself. I want to enter into God’s rest.
Do I trust Him? Do I obey Him? Many times I miss the mark. But, I do believe. I keep my heart open to Him because I love Him, I trust Him. Hebrews 3 gives us great advice to hold steadfast in our confidence that comes from believing in Him.
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:14-15 NKJV
What happened to those with unbelief? They used their free will to choose unbelief and the consequences were not good.
For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:16-19 NKJV