The Making of a Nation

God established His covenant with the people of Israel.

This lesson is about the establishment of the nation of Israel under the leadership of Moses and Joshua. The first two chapters of Exodus tell about the birth and first 40 years of Moses’ life in Egypt. This lesson begins (Exodus 3:1) near the end of the second 40 years of Moses’ life, when God called him to become the leader and law giver of Israel the last 40 years of his life. When this call from God came to Moses, the Israelites were slaves in Egypt (lasted 430 years), but under the leadership of Moses they were led to freedom and formed into a united nation of 12 tribes descended from the 12 sons of Jacob. Then, under the leadership of Joshua, Israel was established in Canaan.

To understand this lesson entirely, we must understand the beginning of the life of Moses and Gods people in Egypt. Even prior to understanding Moses, how did Gods people appear in Egypt? The answer is through Joseph. Joseph, a son of Jacob (who is called Israel) who is the son of Abraham, was sold by his brothers to Midianite merchantmen after being thrown into a dry well by his brothers. Joseph’s brothers were extremely jealous of him. The merchantmen traveled into Egypt and sold Joseph to be a servant of Pharaohs captain guard Potiphar. During this time, God blessed Joseph tremendously in Egypt and gave him power over all and multiplied Gods people. After the Pharaoh that loved Joseph died, an evil ruler came in and noticed how great and powerful the children of Israel were. This Pharaoh decided to force them into hard labor which eventually turned into slavery (Exodus 1:8-13). By the time Moses was born, there was a decree made to kill every newborn male child (Exodus 1:16). When Moses’ mother delivered him she absolutely could not turn him over to be killed. She kept him for 3 months until she couldn’t hide him any longer and decided to make a small boat to place him in and allow him to float down the river. While he was floating down the river, a daughter of Pharaoh seen the boat and requested for a servant to fetch it. When she looked at Moses she fell in love and found compassion on him. She took him in and raised him in the house of Pharaoh his entire childhood and part of his adult life.

We can now begin to understand the life of Moses and how he came out of Egypt in the beginning.


A. Israel is Heard and Loved by God

Exo 3:1  Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

Exo 3:2  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

Exo 3:3  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

Exo 3:4  And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

…….We better know it is an amazing thing when God speaks to man! The powers and unction that will come following are always remembered. How many times have you felt that the Lord has spoken to you personally?

Exo 3:5  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

…….God told Moses don’t come any closer, you can’t handle this. When God speaks it’s not important to see the voice, but to simply hear it and obey.

Exo 3:6  Moreover he said, 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.

Exo 3:7  And the LORD said, 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;

Exo 3:8  And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Exo 3:9  Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.

Exo 3:10  Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

…….All of Moses’ life led up to this point right here! God created him from the beginning and in this very time set to be the deliver of God‘s people. What a thought, that God would send a man into so much affliction as a baby and raise him up through a time of oppression in the house of a king, to 40 years later drive him away from what he thought what his home to compel him to go back and tell the king that if he doesn’t listen to him God is going to destroy Egypt in many ways. Only the voice of God will cause a man to work like this.

B. Passover and Deliverance

Exo 12:23  For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

…….In this verse, Moses is giving the explanation to the people of Israel of the last plague that would come to every home in Egypt if Pharaoh would not let God’s people go. These are the plagues and the order of them: Nile river Water turned into blood, infestation of frogs, infestation of lice, infestation of flies, pestilence or death of livestock (cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep), boils, thunderstorm of hail, infestation of locusts, darkness for three days and the Passover, which is the death of every firstborn child.

Exo 12:24  And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

Exo 12:25  And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.

Exo 12:26  And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?

Exo 12:27  That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Exo 12:28  And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

Exo 12:29  And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

Exo 12:30  And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

Exo 12:31  And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.

Exo 12:50  Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

Exo 12:51  And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.

…….What a horrific night it must’ve been in the land of Egypt. Verse 30 says there was a great cry and I could only imagine the sound of it. When God gives his warning and sins his remedy it must be taken seriously. This world must know about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said in 1st Corinthians 5:7 Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.


A. Made a King of Priests

Exo 19:1  In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.

Exo 19:2  For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.

Exo 19:3  And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

Exo 19:4  Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

Exo 19:5  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

…….Here are a few scriptures that have been given to all of us Gentiles (anyone who is not an Israelite by birth) to ensure that we are accepted as children into the family of God and made family members. Ephesians 2:11-13; Ephesians 2:19; Ephesians 3:6. Romans 11:17-24 verse 17 literally says that we have been grated in. But lets read through 24 to get the fullness of the scriptures; Rom 11:17  But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,

Rom 11:18  do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.

Rom 11:19  Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

Rom 11:20  That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.

Rom 11:21  For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.

Rom 11:22  Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.

Rom 11:23  And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

Rom 11:24  For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

…….We must never forget that we were called to God because of his mercy, and we must never forget that we didn’t acquire or attain this by birthright or heritage. We are here because He loves us!

Exo 19:6  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

…….When we have come into this great family of God, we have joined an entire nation of priests. Hebrews 5:1  For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: It is the duty as priests to minister to God in worship, and minister to people in service. May we never forget our spiritual duties.

Exo 19:7  And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.

Exo 19:8  And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

B. Made God’s Holy People

Deu 7:6  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

…….It is important to always remember that while reading the Words of the Lord spoken to His people, the words are directed also to us.

Deu 7:7  The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

…….Once again, it is by grace that we were saved! Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Deu 7:8  But because the LORD loved you, (that’s it right there, because He loves us!) and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deu 7:9  Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Deu 7:10  And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.

…….As oppressed as the church or Gods people may seem to become, never forget that God will not tolerate or forget the ones who have lived a lifetime tormenting His people.

Deu 7:11  Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.


After their exodus from Egypt, the Israelites resided in the Sinai Peninsula (“the wilderness”) for 40 years because of their rebellion against God. Most of that time (38 years) was spent in the northern Sinai peninsula in the vicinity of Kadesh-barnea. As a judgment from God for their rebellion, every Israelite (with the exception of Joshua and Caleb) over 20 years of age at the time of the Exodus died in the Sinai wilderness.

A. Joshua Commissioned to Lead

Jos 1:1  Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,

Jos 1:2  Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Jos 1:3  Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

…….What a promise! Wherever you walk is yours!

Jos 1:4  From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

Jos 1:5  There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Jos 1:6  Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

Jos 1:7  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

Jos 1:8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Jos 1:9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

……. The Lord continuously encouraged Joshua to be strong and of great courage because he would be a warrior priest conquering all evil men who came against the Lord! It would be Joshua who led the children of Israel and God’s armies into the greatest victories of battles and wars ever known to man!

B. Joshua, Commander and Prophet

In the following passage, Joshua gives a summary and reminder of all that God had performed for them. Between the commissioning of Joshua in chapter 1 and his last address to the leaders of Israel in chapter 24, it is believed that probably 25 years had passed.

Jos 24:1  And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

Jos 24:2  And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

Jos 24:3  And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.

Jos 24:4  And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

Jos 24:5  I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.

Jos 24:6  And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.

Jos 24:7  And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.

Jos 24:8  And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.

Jos 24:9  Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:

Jos 24:10  But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.

Jos 24:11  And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.

Jos 24:12  And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.

Jos 24:13  And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

Jos 24:14  Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD

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