St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
A General Overview of the Old Testament
A Discussion led by The Rev. Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The Old Testament — Exodus: Chapters 5 – 9
Moses and Aaron got positive responses from the Israelites so far. They were now becoming a majority in Egypt and the Pharaoh was getting concerned about their numbers. They were asking if they could take time off to make a sacrifice to God, to which Pharaoh refused their request. Instead, he chose to make them work even harder. He even made them gather their own raw materials yet still make the same quotas as before. In particular, the Israelite supervisors were caught in the middle of this dilemma.
The people now became disgruntled and blamed Moses and Aaron for their fate. They, in turn, blame the Lord! Pharaoh’s plan to keep them fighting amongst themselves seems to be working.
In chapter six, we now move to the Priestly source and here the Lord is speaking to Moses. “I am Yahweh!” The Lord repeats over and over that he is there for them but because they are so oppressed they do not believe.
The next few verses trace the lineage of Moses and Aaron from the House of Levi.
Aaron once again speaks for Moses as his prophet to Pharaoh. He turns the staff into a snake. Pharaoh responds in kind with his magicians, but Aaron’s snake swallow the Pharaoh’s snake! Next, there is a similar repeat contest but this time turning the Nile to blood. Following this event came the ten plagues or “signs.” These also became contests between God and Pharaoh’s magicians. First, there were frogs. But even after they were cleared away, Pharaoh would not agree to allow the Israelites to go away to worship God. This was followed by a similar situation with gnats and then flies. Pharaoh’s heart is still hardened.
In chapter nine the flies are followed by a pestilence placed on Pharaoh’s cattle, horses, and flocks, but not on the Israelite’s. This still did not convince him. Ratcheting up one more level, there was fine dust thrown into the air followed by boils appearing on both humans and animals. Pharaoh would still not agree to let them go! Next, came the hailstones, the worst storm ever. Pharaoh starts to be humbled and he admits he has sinned. Finally he agrees to let the Israelites go!