The Call of Moses and the Exodus

Discovery for Students

The Call of Moses and the Exodus


Exodus 1:1 through 11:10

“And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.” (Exodus 3:20)


Approximately four hundred years had passed since Joseph had brought his family to dwell in Egypt. The Children of Israel were in Egypt from about 1800 B.C. to approximately 1400 B.C., and while the early part of their stay had been favorable, the latter years were spent in slavery. The Pharaoh ruling Egypt at the time of Moses’ birth was greatly concerned because the Hebrew population had increased to nearly two million, so he took steps to control their expansion. Oppressed and afflicted, the heart’s cry of the Hebrews was for deliverance.

The theme of Exodus is just that: deliverance. The opening chapters give an account of how the Children of Israel were forced into slavery in Egypt, the birth of Moses, God’s calling of Moses to leadership, Moses’ dealings with Pharaoh, and the plagues that God sent against the Egyptians. Time and again, we see what a special relationship Moses had with God. Initially, God spoke to him through a burning bush, and communicated with him directly several more times during the process of the release of the Children of Israel. God performed many miracles in leading His chosen people out of Egypt. In so doing, He displayed His awesome power.

It is interesting to note that many of the plagues sent upon Egypt were a direct insult to the gods the Egyptians worshipped.

  • Hapi, the god of the Nile River, could not prevent the river from turning to blood.
  • Hathor, the cow goddess, could not prevent the Egyptian cattle from dying.
  • Osiris, the god of vegetation, could not protect their crops.
  • Ra, the sun god, could not stop the three days of darkness that God sent upon the land.
  • Seth, the god of chaos, was supposed to protect from anything that threatened the harmony of Egypt, but clearly was unable to withstand the power of the God of the Hebrews.
  • Isis, the protective goddess, was supposed to bring help to those in need, but the dire results of Pharaoh’s defiance could not be lessened.

The plagues showed the inadequacy, and in fact, the non-existence of these purported gods.


  1. Through what series of miraculous events did a Hebrew baby become a prince in the palace of the Pharaoh of Egypt? Exodus 1:22; 2:1-10
  2. After spending forty years tending sheep in the desert, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush that was not consumed. What was God’s command to Moses in Exodus 3:5, and what did Moses’ response signify?
  3. Read Exodus 3:7-8. What did God promise Moses He would do for the Children of Israel? How can we find encouragement when we apply these verses to our own lives?
  4. In Exodus 3:12, God promised Moses a token. What was that token?
  5. God told Moses, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:14). In the original Hebrew, the tense used could equally indicate past, present, or future. Why would that have been significant to Moses? What encouragement is found in this verse for us?
  6. Moses saw the challenges of his assignment and was reluctant to accept it. What excuses did he offer God, and how did God respond? Exodus 4:1-17
  7. When Moses appeared before Pharaoh to request that the Israelites be allowed to leave to worship their God, the ruler refused. His stubborn disobedience brought terrible suffering upon himself and his entire country. What were the first nine plagues God sent upon Egypt? Exodus 7:14-25; 8:1-7, 16-19, 24; 9:1-12, 22-26; 10:12-15, 21-26
  8. Pharaoh’s sorcerers were able to mimic some of Moses’ miracles through enchantments (see Exodus 7:22 and 8:7). Ironically, they only made matters worse. Why were the sorcerers unable to reverse the plagues?
  9. How did God demonstrate His concern for Israel during the plagues? Exodus 8:22-23; 9:4-7, 26; 10:23
  10. What suggestion did Pharaoh make in Exodus 8:25, and how did Moses respond? What lesson can we learn from his response?


The life of Moses should be an inspiration to all of us. Although he felt inadequate to face the challenges of the task assigned him by God, he ultimately followed. The lesson is plain: God knows us better than we know ourselves, so we must simply trust Him and obey. The command of God will never lead us where the power of God cannot enable us!