The Pattern of Deliverance
*Unfortunately due to technical difficulties, the audio skips throughout the sermon*
The Burning Bush
 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.  And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”  When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”  Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
 Then the LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings,  and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.  And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.  Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”  But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”  He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”  God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.  Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt,  and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’  And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’  But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.  So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.  And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty,  but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” (ESV)
Moses Given Powerful Signs
 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’”  The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.”  And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it.  But the LORD said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”  Again, the LORD said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow.  Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh.  “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign.  If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”
 But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”  Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?  Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”  But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”  Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.  You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do.  He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.  And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”
Moses Returns to Egypt
 Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”  And the LORD said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.”  So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand.
 And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.  Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is my firstborn son,  and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”
 At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death.  Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses' feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!”  So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.
 The LORD said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him.  And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD with which he had sent him to speak, and all the signs that he had commanded him to do.  Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel.  Aaron spoke all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people.  And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped. (ESV)
Making Bricks Without Straw
 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’”  But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”  Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”  But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.”  And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!”  The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen,  “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves.  But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’  Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”
 So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw.  Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.’”  So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw.  The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw.”  And the foremen of the people of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?”
 Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this?  No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.”  But he said, “You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’  Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks.”  The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, “You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day.”  They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh;  and they said to them, “The LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
 Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me?  For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.” (ESV)
The Pattern for Deliverance