Exodus 1-11-daily devotionals for 18 days. 2015. By Kevin E. Jesmer

Exodus 1-11-daily devotionals for 18 days. 2015. By Kevin E. Jesmer



The book of Exodus is thought to have been written between 1450 to 1410 B.C. It was written by Moses while the Israelites were wandering in the desert.  It had been four hundred years since Joseph moved his family into Egypt. Now these descendents of Abraham had grown to be 2 or 3 million people strong. They had grown so huge in number that a ruling Pharaoh started to be afraid of what they would become. He made them into slaves in order to control them and they suffered much under the yoke of slavery. God heard the cry of his people and remembered his covenant with Abraham (Gen 15). At exactly the write time, he raised up Moses as a deliverer for his people. Under Moses’ leadership, the Israelites marched out of Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, making their way to the Promised Land. God was faithful to them. He revealed his love and power over and over again. At Mount Sinai God gave them the Law. He had an intense hope and desire to make this people a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, a nation that could bring glory to God throughout the world, and throughout the millennia. But first they needed to be set free from slavery in Egypt and be established as an independent nation living under God’s sovereignty.


A summary of the Book of Exodus is as follows:


  1. Israel in slavery in Egypt (1:1-12:30)
  2. Israel in the desert wanderings (12:31-18:27)
  3. Israel at Sinai (19:1-40:38)



Tuesday, September 1



Exodus 1:1- 22


“but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.” (7)


First, who could imagine how God will work? (1-14) God will multiply his people despite the world’s intrigues. God brought 70 people to Egypt so that he might make them into a great nation. But this involved suffering. When the dynasty changed, the new king did not remember God’s grace. He feared the Hebrews and oppressed them. But God was with them. Gold is refined in fire. The persecution became like a crucible to refine his own people.


Second, God blesses individuals (15-22). The cruel policies of the king did not slow the birth rate. The king commanded the midwives to kill the baby boys. But God intervened. He moved the hearts of the midwives to fear God more than they feared the king. They were strengthened to do the right thing and were blessed. They were saved and got families of their own, and God blessed the nation with a bright future. God blesses people who fear him more than they fear the people of this world. When God aims to bless no one can stop him.


Lord, things seem so hard. But I know that you are refining my faith and blessing my life. Thank you.


One Word: The God who refines and blesses

Wednesday, September 2




Exodus 2:1- 10

“…When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.” (2b)


First, Moses’ parents saw their child with eyes of hope (1-4). Though their son was born under an edict of death, they defied the king’s edict and hid the baby. God opened their spiritual eyes and communicated with them to see that Moses was no ordinary child. God wanted them to know that he had a special purpose in mind. And so, by faith, Moses’ parents did their best and God did the rest (Heb 11:23). God inspired them to find a novel approach. Love and faith found a way where there is no way. God hopes in every person, that they will overcome the darkness, glorify God and bear fruit. We need eyes to see others as God sees them.


Second, there is no accident in God (5-10). It was no accident that Pharaoh’s daughter was chosen to discover baby Moses. It was God’s plan for his mother to be found so she might instill faith and a spiritual identity in his heart while nurturing him. Later he would get a great education. God was laying a foundation for future ministry. God’s plan is better than Moses’ parents could ever imagine.


Lord, thank you for having a plan for each of our lives and fulfilling your work in us. We want to let go and allow you to be the shepherd of our lives.


One Word: God has a plan and is fulfilling it

Thursday, September 3




Exodus 2:11- 22

“Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” (22)


First, lead others in God’s strength and not by human impulse (11-14). Moses grew up in a palace, but he knew that he was a Hebrew. The suffering slaves were his own people. He could no longer turn his back on their suffering. When he realized that God had saved him for a purpose, he tried to stop the slave drivers with his own human strength. His people would not follow. He acted impulsively, revealing his need for more spiritual growth.


Second, embrace the “quiet years”. When Moses fled he tried to survive. God led him to meet Jethro. He started to raise a family, and for the next forty years he took care of sheep. God was training one proud and able person to be a humble and compassionate shepherd. Moses really needed to embrace those years and grow through them. You cannot rush God. He has so many things to teach us that we can not even imagine at this time.


Lord, I want to be impulsive and not follow the leading of your Spirit. Forgive me for being impatient. Help me to patiently wait on you and follow you…step by step.


One Word: God is teaching us patience, faith and compassion so we can be a blessing

Friday, September 4




Exodus 2:23-3:12

“So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites…”  (8)


     First, God acts in the right time (2:23-3:6). God’s people were groaning for a long time. They felt forsaken, but God heard their cries and remembered his promises. He was determined to act, but he was waiting until Moses’ preparation was complete. In the meantime, there were hundreds of servants of God teaching and praying, waiting for God’s deliverance. They were working in unison with the Lord to save the people.


Second, God had a plan that we could never conceive (7-12). The Lord set out to deliver in a way that we would not expect. He did something even more powerful than sending a liberating army. God called Moses and gave him a mission, essentially saying, “Go, I am sending you. Bring my people out.” (10) God’s way is the most effective and fruitful way.


Lord, thank you for carrying out your plan of salvation. It is glorious and effective and we trust in you.


One Word: Thank you for calling us to be your servants in your wondrous plan

Saturday, September 5




Exodus 3:13-22

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you. ‘” (14)


     First, we are sent forth by the great “I Am” (13-15). Moses wanted to know who was sending him. And so God told him his name, “I AM who I Am.” Yahweh is derived from the Hebrew word “I Am.” God was reminding Moses of the covenant promises. The Egyptians had different gods. By calling himself, “I Am”, we know that our God is a unique God with a unique personality and way of salvation. What God promised he was now fulfilling. We can have peace and confidence, for the Lord “is” and we “are” in him through faith.


       Second, God goes on ahead to prepare hearts (16-22). God reassured Moses that the elders will listen to the message (18b). It is because all people are created in God’s image with an innate capacity and desire to listen to their Creator. God promises that his word will not return empty (Isa 55:10-11). God will communicate his words into listener’s hearts by his Spirit. He will blaze a path.


Lord, thank you for revealing yourself to your people. Help us to tell others who you are and your salvation plan, knowing they will listen.


One Word: God is the great “I Am” who reveals himself to people

Sunday, September 6




Exodus 4:1- 17

“Then the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ ‘A staff,’ he replied.” (2)


      First, being helpless is a good spot to be in (1-9). God can work when we realize we are totally helpless to do his will with our human efforts. Once Moses had been confident in his ability to lead his people out of bondage. Now, after 40 years in the wilderness, he had lost all his self-confidence. Those 40 years were not a waste, but a necessary season of Moses’ life. He learned to depend on God in his helplessness. God is faithful to work in any person’s heart and transform them until they can bring God glory.


Second, take your staff, utter a prayer and go! (10-17) Moses had no more presumptions about himself. Now was the time to take it to the next level in the Lord. God promised to be with him to help him (11-12). He was going on ahead, to open peoples’ ears to accept the message Moses was called to preach. We have the Creator God on our side. Just take “your staff in your hand”, whisper a pray, trust the Lord and go.


Lord, I am unable, but you are more than able. I am helpless and full of excuses, but you are my Creator who gives me words to speak and the strength to go. I place my hope and trust in you.


One Word: God has already equipped you

Monday, September 7




Exodus 4:18- 31

“Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people.” (29-30)


First, a decision of faith to obey the Lord (18-23). God gave commands and Moses simply obeyed, setting off as God directed. Moses never debated with God or insisted on understanding everything first. He simply obeyed. It is basic that anyone answering the call of God must have an attitude of trust in, and obedience to God as they live by faith.


     Second, God is forming his larger team (24-31).

God’s work is never done by one person. It requires a team. Here we see a spouse, a brother and community elders. Behind every great man is an even greater woman. God helped Moses by inspiring Zipporah to circumcise their son. When Moses was too weak to do the right thing, his wife stood in the gap. God brought two brothers together. Aaron saw God’s hand and committed himself to the mission. Siblings may be part of the team. Vision casting among the elders is essential. It is importance to get all the community elders on board with God’s plan.  The team joined in worship.


Lord, help me work with other members of the team you have formed so that you may be glorified.


One Word: God is building a team so get on board!

Tuesday, September 8




Exodus 5:1- 21

“Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.”’ (1)


     First, we can boldly speak the truth of God (1-5). Pharaoh was the leader of a superpower nation. Moses and Aaron were straight out of the desert…dusty, old and poor. Yet they could stand with such boldness because God was with them. They had confidence that God would give them the words to speak and go on before them. Pray, step out in faith and speak. See what God will do.


Second, there is trouble before a great deliverance (6-21). Pharaoh became very angry, increasing the work load to the breaking point. The cost of freedom was beginning to be felt. Freedom is never free. In fact, it is normal to experience some “trouble” before tasting the fruits of freedom. It is the darkest before the dawn. The mother experiences pain just before birth. The chains are the most taut before breaking. Don’t give up. God is at work bringing about a great deliverance.


Lord, thank you for your desire to see your people set free from the power of the devil and sin. Raise up a modern day “Moses”’ who can declare your truth.


One Word: Stand in faith and declare God’s truth

Wednesday, September 9




Exodus 5:22- 6:30

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.’” (6:6)


      First, God is almighty. He can accomplish what he promises (5:22-6:8). Moses’ efforts to help seemed to bring more suffering. He sought understanding. God revealed that he was ready, willing and able to deliver his people. God had a plan and was going to do it in his time and in his way. Moses and his people could not see it, but God would deliver them by his mighty hand.


Second, there is a cure for a broken spirit (9-30). The cruel bondage had broken the peoples’ spirit (9). Moses was discouraged. He focused on his own weaknesses instead of God and God’s almighty power. Moses needed to take his eyes off of the impossibility and commit himself to the task at hand. Moses and Aaron also needed to remember who they were (20). God would be with Moses and Aaron as they stood as his chosen servants to serve a great and glorious purpose.


Lord, thank you for being with us. Help me to have faith in your power and find my identity in you.


One Word: God is mighty to deliver. Stand firm in faith

Thursday, September 10




Exodus 7:1- 13

“And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.” (5)


      First, God makes impossible missions possible to reveal his glory (1-6). God reveals his glory so that people would believe and trust in him for salvation. He reveals his glory through those who embrace his “impossible” mission. Pharaoh’s tenacity would reveal that it was by God’s power alone that the Israelites could be set free. The entire world, for all generations, would know that God is the sovereign ruler of all the earth and he is mighty to save and strong to deliver (1 Cor 10:31).


     Second, God’s glory will conquer counterfeits (7-13). Satan generates counterfeit miracles to deceive people. When Pharaoh asked for a miracle to prove their authority, Aaron threw down his staff and it became a snake. But the Egyptian magicians did the same thing. Aaron’s snake swallowed them up by a miracle of God. The things of God are lasting and genuine. They reveal the things of this world for what they truly are. Never settle for the fake miracles of this world.


Lord, thank you for revealing your glory. May your glory shine to the ends of the earth.


One Word: God’s power and glory shines forth amidst counterfeits and so trust in God alone

Friday, September 11




Exodus 7:14- 25

“This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood.” (17)


      First, the spiritual battle is tenacious, but God is victorious (14-19). Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. Pharaoh’s stubbornness reveals that Satan does not give in easily. Confronting him is going to be a spiritual battle. To win this battle, we need to remain in the Lord and obey his word. God will go on ahead of us so that many captives may be set free.  Then the whole world will know that the “I Am” is the great God, mighty and awesome.


      Second, humbly repent and let God’s glory shine (20-25). God found the most meaningful and symbolic thing to bring judgment upon ancient Egypt…the Nile River. This 3,000 mile waterway was a river of life. It was worshipped. It provided water for drinking, farming, fishing and bathing. This miracle from God was truly a blow to the gods of Egypt. Despite of Pharaoh’s resistance, God’s glory and power were revealed. There is only one reasonable response…humble repentance.


Lord, the spiritual battle is not easy. But I know that you are going on ahead. Help me to simply trust and obey you as you bring forth the victory.


One Word: Be humble and let God’s glory shine

Saturday, September 12




Exodus 8:1- 19

“…so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God.” (9b)


First, there is no one like the Lord (1-15). The second act of judgment was the plague of frogs. Pharaoh’s heart was still hard.  Yet God confronted him with the truth that he must let the Hebrews go. Aaron again stretched out his staff, and frogs filled the land. This plague was directed at the frog god of Egypt, Heqet. The frog was worshipped as a symbol of fertility. Pharaohs’ inability to control the frogs proved that he was not a god as he claimed to be. He was vulnerable, an ordinary man with a stubborn heart who needed ask for God’s mercy for him, his people and his land.


      Second, God is leading us to the point of surrender (16-19). The continued, hardened heart of Pharaoh was answered by a plague of gnats. Even animals were suffering. The magicians surrendered to God saying, “This is the finger of God.” They were on their way to having a personal encounter with the God of the Bible.


Lord, on my own I would just follow the stubbornness of my own heart. But thank you for working so that I could listen to your word and acknowledge your mighty work.


One Word: This is the finger of God


Sunday, September 13




Exodus 8:20-32

“But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land.” (22)


      First, flies were everywhere but not in Goshen (20-30). Pharaoh refused to repent and so God sent swarms of flies to plague Egypt, but protected his people. God makes a distinction between those who are in him and those who are not. He does that so it is clear who hold the keys of salvation. We must allow God to make our lives different from the world. Then the world will know that they can trust the Lord. They will see how God is with his people.


Second, repent to please God and not just get relief (25-32). Pharaoh sought a compromise. Moses prayed and the flies left. But Pharaoh was not sincere. He reneged on his promise. When people are in a crunch, they promise many things to be set free. But when their suffering has abated, they turn back and forget God’s grace. But God seeks people who repent because they seek to please the Lord. Then the difference faith makes will become clear. God’s light will shine in the dark.


Lord, May your presence in our lives show the world that you alone hold the keys of salvation.


One Word: Let God make you different


Monday, September 14




Exodus 9:1-12

“The Lord set a time and said, ‘Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.’ And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died.”  (5-6)


First, there was a plague on the animals (1-7). Moses warned that the fifth act of judgment would strike the livestock. In doing this God was striking another symbolic blow, for more of Egypt’s popular gods were the bull, cow and ram. This plague would deliver a symbolic impact. Despite God’s patient attempts, Pharaoh hardened his heart all the more, sealing his own condemnation. He had no one to blame but himself. God was reaching out.


Second, the plague of boils (8-12). The furnace mentioned here was probably the furnace where human victims were sacrificed to the Egyptian god Typhon, offered up to avert the plagues. But these very ashes brought fresh plagues. The magicians were helpless to do anything. This plague proclaimed the helplessness of these Egyptian demonic gods to save. The God of the Hebrews was infinitely more powerful. Humanity must stop making sacrifices to “idols”, hoping to be saved and come to only one who can save, the Lord God.


Lord, thank you for trying again and again to save us. Soften my heart so that I can respond to you.


One Word: Surrender to God who alone saves

Tuesday, September 15




Exodus 9:13-35

“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (16)


    First, God has a “world mission” purpose in all he does (13-26). God could have worked all at once to stop Egypt, but he had a larger purpose in mind for all the plagues. First, it was to set the people of God free from slavery so that they may worship him. Second, it was so that the Egyptians may know that there is no one like the Lord. Third, it was to display his power so that his glory may be proclaimed throughout the earth. Fourth, it was to show Pharaoh that God is the Supreme One over nature.


      Second, insincere repentance causes unnecessary suffering (27-35). Pharaoh acknowledged his sin and asked for relief. He negotiated, agreeing to let the Israelites go free. Pharaoh was saying all the right words, but he was filled with incomplete repentance. He never intended to change his ways. Pharaoh’s stubborn heart caused more damage to his nation. Yet God relented and the hail stopped.


 Lord, you want your glory to be revealed to all people. Fill my heart with your world mission vision.


One Word: Proclaim the name of the Lord in all the earth


Wednesday, September 16




Exodus 10:1-29

“ that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.” (2)


     First, passing on the faith to the next generation (1-2). The purpose of the plagues was to teach God’s people his power, so that future descendants might love, fear and obey the Lord. We have a responsibility to pass on the faith to our kids, grandkids and new believers. We can do it by living out the faith, teaching through formal means, celebrating the history of God’s grace, and sharing our own personal testimonies.


      Second, fully surrender with no conditions (3-20). God wants full surrender. Pharaoh only partially surrendered. Moses warned Pharaoh about the impending invasion of locusts, but Pharaoh calculated the material loss and refused. Pharaoh laid out many conditions. God wanted complete surrender with no conditions.  And so the locusts brought vast destruction. God is looking for complete surrender like clay in the potter’s hands.


Lord, teach me what full surrender means. Teach me to repent without conditions. Help me to pass the faith to the next generation.


One Word: Lord, I surrender all


Thursday, September 17




Exodus 11:1-10

“Now the Lord had said to Moses, ‘I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.’” (1)


First, God calls his people to act in faith (1-3). Egypt had now become a total disaster zone, but one more plague would strike. Before this happened, the Hebrew slaves needed to step out in faith and ask their Egyptian neighbors for silver and gold. They were oppressed by their neighbors and now they were to ask for their wealth! It took faith to step out like this. But they believed God was with them and going on ahead of them, fulfilling his word.


    Second, never remain stubborn to the bitter end (4-10). Moses gave Pharaoh the final, ominous word of the Lord, warning Pharaoh that all the firstborn sons of Egypt would die. The Israelites, however, would be protected. Moses was angry because he knew that all of this suffering was unnecessary. It was brought on by those who refused to bend their knee to the demands of God. He reflected God’s righteous anger.


Lord, I come to you for forgiveness and grace and restoration. Be the king of my life. Help me to live by faith even when it is difficult.


One Word: Soften our hearts to the word of God

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