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From Eternity Past

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    The Time for Freedom Comes!

    “In process of time ... the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God... . And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” The time for deliverance had come.EP 172.2

    God's purpose was to be accomplished in a manner to pour contempt on human pride. The deliverer was to go forth as a humble shepherd, with only a rod in his hand, but God would make that rod the symbol of His power.EP 172.3

    Leading his flocks one day near Horeb, “the mountain of God,” Moses saw a bush in flames, yet not consumed. He drew near, when a voice from out of the flame called him by name. With trembling lips he answered, “Here am I.” He was warned not to approach irreverently: “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground... . I am the God of thy 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 upon God.”EP 172.4

    As Moses waited in awe before God, the words continued: “I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of the land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey... . Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt.”EP 172.5

    Amazed and terrified, Moses drew back, saying, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”EP 173.1

    Moses thought of the blindness, ignorance, and unbelief of his people. Many were almost destitute of a knowledge of God. “Behold,” he said, “when I ... shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them?” The answer was, “I AM THAT I AM: ... I AM hath sent me unto you.”EP 173.2

    Moses was commanded first to assemble the elders of Israel who had long grieved because of their bondage and to declare to them a message from God. Then he was to go before the king, and say: “The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.”EP 173.3

    Moses was forewarned that Pharaoh would resist the appeal. Yet the courage of God's servant must not fail. The Lord would manifest His power. “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.”EP 173.4

    The Lord declared, “It shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: but every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment.” The Egyptians had been enriched by the labor unjustly exacted from the Israelites, and it was right for the latter to claim the reward of their years of toil. God would give them favor in the sight of the Egyptians. The requests of the bondmen would be granted.EP 173.5

    What proof could Moses give his people that God had indeed sent him? “Behold,” he said, “they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.” He was told to cast his rod upon the ground. As he did so, “it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.” He was commanded to seize it, and in his hand it became a rod. He was bidden to put his hand into his bosom. He obeyed, and “when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.” Being told to put it again into his bosom, he found on withdrawing it that it had become like the other. By these signs his own people, as well as Pharaoh, would be convinced that One mightier than the king of Egypt was manifest among them.EP 174.1

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