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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:

Exodus 1:1-2:22

1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who entered Egypt – each man with his household entered with Jacob: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 All the people who were directly descended from Jacob numbered seventy. But Joseph was already in Egypt, 6 and in time Joseph and his brothers and all that generation died. 7 The Israelites, however, were fruitful, increased greatly, multiplied, and became extremely strong, so that the land was filled with them.

8 Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power over Egypt. 9 He said to his people, “Look at the Israelite people, more numerous and stronger than we are! 10 Come, let’s deal wisely with them. Otherwise they will continue to multiply, and if a war breaks out, they will ally themselves with our enemies and fight against us and leave the country.”

11 So they put foremen over the Israelites to oppress them with hard labor. As a result they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread. As a result the Egyptians loathed the Israelites, 13 and they made the Israelites serve rigorously. 14 They made their lives bitter by hard service with mortar and bricks and by all kinds of service in the fields. Every kind of service the Israelites were required to give was rigorous.

15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you assist the Hebrew women in childbirth, observe at the delivery: If it is a son, kill him, but if it is a daughter, she may live.” 17 But the midwives feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live.

18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this and let the boys live?” 19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women – for the Hebrew women are vigorous; they give birth before the midwife gets to them!” 20 So God treated the midwives well, and the people multiplied and became very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he made households for them.

22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “All sons that are born you must throw into the river, but all daughters you may let live.”

2:1 A man from the household of Levi married a woman who was a descendant of Levi. 2 The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a healthy child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she was no longer able to hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him and sealed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and set it among the reeds along the edge of the Nile. 4 His sister stationed herself at a distance to find out what would happen to him.

5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself by the Nile, while her attendants were walking alongside the river, and she saw the basket among the reeds. She sent one of her attendants, took it, 6 opened it, and saw the child – a boy, crying! – and she felt compassion for him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get a nursing woman for you from the Hebrews, so that she may nurse the child for you?” 8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes, do so.” So the young girl went and got the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him.

10 When the child grew older she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “Because I drew him from the water.”

11 In those days, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and observed their hard labor, and he saw an Egyptian man attacking a Hebrew man, one of his own people. 12 He looked this way and that and saw that no one was there, and then he attacked the Egyptian and concealed the body in the sand. 13 When he went out the next day, there were two Hebrew men fighting. So he said to the one who was in the wrong, “Why are you attacking your fellow Hebrew?”

14 The man replied, “Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Are you planning to kill me like you killed that Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Surely what I did has become known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard about this event, he sought to kill Moses. So Moses fled from Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, and he settled by a certain well.

16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and began to draw water and fill the troughs in order to water their father’s flock. 17 When some shepherds came and drove them away, Moses came up and defended them and then watered their flock. 18 So when they came home to their father Reuel, he asked, “Why have you come home so early today?” 19 They said, “An Egyptian man rescued us from the shepherds, and he actually drew water for us and watered the flock!” 20 He said to his daughters, “So where is he? Why in the world did you leave the man? Call him, so that he may eat a meal with us.”

21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 When she bore a son, Moses named him Gershom, for he said, “I have become a resident foreigner in a foreign land.”