[Lesson 27: Joseph: The Rest of the Story] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 29: The Prophet Moses]

Lesson 28

Review of the First Book

of the Torah

Genesis 1-Exodus 1

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

We are still studying in the Torah. As you know, the Torah is the first book in the Writings of the Prophets and is divided into five sections or books. The first section is called Genesis (Lit. the Beginning). In our last broadcast, we completed our studies in Genesis. Today then, we begin the second section of the Torah, which is called The Exodus. The book of Exodus contains the amazing and wonderful account of how God freed the children of Israel from the bondage of their slavery in the land of Egypt.

Before we get into the book of Exodus, let us review what we have studied in the first book of the Holy Scriptures. It is crucial that we have a thorough knowledge of the book of Genesis, because it is the foundation that God has laid so that we might understand and believe all that is written in the other books of the prophets which follow.

Do you remember the first verse of the book of Genesis? It says: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." This is important. "In the beginning God!" When nothing yet existed-only One existed. That One was God! Next, we learned how God created millions of holy angels, by the power of His Eternal Word and His Holy Spirit. God created the angels so that they might serve Him and praise Him forever. Among the angels was one with superior wisdom and beauty. That one was Lucifer, the chief of the angels. However, the Scriptures tell us that there was a day when Lucifer became conceited and despised God in his heart. Lucifer and many other angels began to devise a plan to overthrow God. However, no one can overthrow God. God cannot tolerate those who rebel against Him (Lit. refuse His rule). Consequently, God expelled Lucifer and his evil angels and changed the name of Lucifer to Satan, which means Adversary. And after God expelled Satan and his angels, He created for them the fire of hell. The Scriptures say that on the Day of Judgment, God, the Righteous One, will throw Satan into that fire along with all who follow him.

Next we read how the Lord created the world for the people whom He planned to create. Man {neuter: A human} is the most important creature of all that God created, because man was created in the image of God! God wanted to have a deep and wonderful relationship with man. That is why He placed in the soul of man a mind capable of knowing God, gave him a heart capable of loving God, and entrusted him with a will capable of obeying God.

Next, we saw how God placed a test before the man and the women whom He had created. God warned Adam saying, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for [in the day that] you eat of it you will surely die!" that is: you will be separated from me forever!

However, we saw how our ancestors, Adam and Eve, chose to obey Satan by eating from the tree which God had forbidden. Consequently, the Word of God says: "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men." (Rom. 5:12) How true it is that "an epidemic is not confined to the one from whom it originates!" {Wolof proverb} Because of Adam's sin, we are all sinners. Because of Adam's sin, we all deserve to die and face God's judgment.

Next, we learned how God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise because of their sin. However, before He expelled them, God announced how He planned to send into the world a Redeemer to save the children of Adam from the power of Satan and from the penalty of sin. God, in His wonderful design, had a plan to redeem sinners. His plan was to send into the world a perfect Man who would not be contaminated by the sin of Adam. This righteous Man would willingly shed His blood to pay the debt of sin for the children of Adam. In this way, God could forgive people of their sins, without compromising His justice. Truly, what God promised concerning the coming Redeemer was an amazing promise!

Next we saw how God confirmed that wonderful promise by sacrificing some animals, and making for Adam and Eve clothes of skin. God was teaching Adam and Eve that "the payment for sin is death" and that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin."

After that, we learned about Adam's first two sons, Cain and Abel. We saw how Abel offered God a lamb without blemish and slaughtered it, thus symbolizing the Redeemer who was to come into the world and die for sinners. As for Cain, he tried to approach God through his own efforts, offering Him what he had cultivated. Consequently, the Scriptures say: "the Lord accepted Abel, but He did not accept Cain." Why did God not accept the sacrifice of Cain? Because God's law did not say: "the payment for sin is good works!" Rather, it stated: "the payment for sin is death!" and "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin." God pleaded with Cain to repent and accept the way of righteousness that He had ordained, but Cain became furious, and killed his younger brother, Abel.

Most of Adam's descendants followed the footsteps of Cain, so that by the time of Noah, the Scriptures say that God "saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." Because of man's wicked heart, God purposed to send a flood to wipe out rebellious sinners. In that corrupt time, only Noah believed God, which was why God told him to build a large boat, which would be a refuge for all who entered it. God was patient with sinners for a long time while Noah was constructing the boat. However, no one repented and entered the boat, except Noah and his family.

Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. The prophet Abraham descended from Shem. We read how God commanded Abraham to leave his father's house and go to the land of Canaan (Palestine). God planned to make of Abraham a new nation from which the prophets of God and the Savior of the world would come forth. That is why God said to Abraham, "You will be a [door of] blessing…and all nations of the earth will be blessed through you." (Gen. 12:2,3)

Thus, Abraham became the father of Isaac in his old age, just as God had promised. Isaac then became the father of Jacob, and Jacob, whom God renamed Israel, became the father of twelve sons. And from the twelve sons of Jacob originated the new nation which God had promised Abraham, the nation of Israel.

In the past three programs, we have been looking into the captivating story of the sons of Jacob, particularly the one named Joseph, the eleventh son. The elder brothers of Joseph hated him, but God blessed him and made him the ruler over all the land of Egypt. After that, a famine fell on Egypt and the whole land of Canaan, causing great misery. As a result, Jacob and his sons had nothing to eat. When Jacob heard that Egypt had grain, he sent his sons there. We then saw how Joseph made himself known to his brethren, forgave them, and called his father and all his family to move and settle in Egypt. Thus, at the end of the book of Genesis, we see that the children of Israel were no longer in the land of Canaan which God had promised Abraham, but in Egypt. However, all this happened to fulfil what God had told Abraham a long time previously when he said to him:

"Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and ill-treated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterwards they will come out with great possessions." (Gen. 15:13,14)

God Himself had his hand on all that happened to the children of Israel. Why did God allow Abraham's great grandchildren, the Israelites, to settle in Egypt, when He had promised them the land of Canaan? Because God intended to show forth His glory and His power through what would happen to the Israelites in the land of Egypt. God planned to deliver the children of Israel by His awesome power, so that everyone might know that He is the King of kings; Lord of lords, the Almighty!

Now, listening friends, in the few minutes that we have left today, let us read from the first chapter of the book of Exodus. The Scripture says:

(Exodus 1) 6Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them. 8Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. 9"Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. 10Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country."

11So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13and worked them ruthlessly. 14They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.

15The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16"When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live." 17The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?" 19The midwives answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive."

20So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. 22Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live."

This is where the first chapter of the book of Exodus ends. In the will of God, in the next broadcast, we will get into this extraordinary story and see how God called a man and prepared him to deliver the children of Israel from the hand of Pharoah, the wicked king of Egypt. Do you know the name of this man? Yes, it is Moses--the prophet of God, Moses.

Thank you for listening….God bless you. And remember:

"Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (Rom. 15:4)