Lesson 14 – “Ye Shall Be a Peculiar Treasure unto Me.”
Taught by Jeff Stone April 11, 2010
This lesson introduces us to the Genesis of the Exodus (sorry; I couldn’t resist). We learn about the amazing miracles giving to the Israelites in the wilderness, and how quickly they forgot who saved them (The Lord). It’s the classic story of swift to do iniquity; slow to remember God. Here we “meet” manna, the Ten Commandments, The Law of Moses and learn about supporting our leaders.
Scriptures Covered in This Lesson:
Short Historical Recap and Summary:
- It must be gathered every morning (Exodus 16:21)
- It could be baked (Exodus 16:23)
- It spoiled overnight for the first 5 days, but on the 6th day it would last 2 full days (Exodus 16:19–20)
- It was not delivered on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:27)
- It happened every day (other than the Sabbath) for 40 years – 12,400 times! (Exodus 16:35)
- Sometimes it could be kept permanently (Exodus 16:32)
Manna was more than just a bread wafer to feed Israel . . . It was a daily reminder of the miracles of the Lord. It was an act of faith to trust in the Lord to provide it everyday and thus not gather more than needed for the day. Israel had to gather it daily to maintain physical strength, just as we must daily nourish our physical and spiritual self.
The Battle Against Amalek
The short story is that the Israelites where tasked with defending themselves against Amalek. As long as Moses kept his arms raised Israel prevailed. Eventually, of course he got tired and couldn’t keep his arms up on his own. I mean after all, he was the judge (Exodus 18:16), Israel’s representative to God (Exodus 18:19), responsible for teaching ordinances and law (Exodus 18:20), responsible to show them the “way” and show them what to do (Exodus 18:20). No wonder he was tired. No wonder Jethro (his father in law) told him to get help (Exodus 18: 13–23).
So of course after a while of holding up his arms to remain victorious, he grew weary. Aaron and Hur took it upon themselves to hold up Moses’s arms for him (Exodus 17:12). Of course the metaphor is beautiful simple . . . Support your leaders.
Regarding this principle, president Ezra Taft Benson said: I am reminded how Moses up on the hill raised his arms for the victory of the armies of Israel. As long as his arms were raised, Israel prevailed, but when they dropped from weariness, then the enemy prevailed.
And so Aaron and Hur ‘stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side,’ and Israel was victorious (Exodus 17:12). So will we be victorious as we hold up the arms of the Lord’s anointed servants (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 98; or Ensign, May 1986, 77).
The Law of Moses From the Lesson Manual:
When the Lord spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai, he revealed a law that included the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood (D&C 84:19–23). However, the Israelites’ idolatrous behavior showed that they were not ready to live the fulness of the gospel (Exodus 32:1–9; D&C 84:24). Because they forgot the Lord so quickly, he withdrew the Melchizedek Priesthood from them and revealed a lesser law—the law of Moses (Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34:1–2; D&C 84:25–27).
The law of Moses did not replace the commandments, covenants, or principles of the gospel. Rather, it provided “a law of performances and of ordinances, a law which they were to observe strictly from day to day, to keep them in remembrance of God and their duty towards him” (Mosiah 13:30). The law of Moses taught people to confess their sins and make amends, to follow strict rules in offering animal sacrifices, to keep their bodies healthy, to give to support the Lord’s work, to give thanks, and to be reconciled to God.
Elder M. Russell Ballard taught:
Although the law of Moses was fulfilled, the principles of the law of sacrifice continue to be a part of the doctrine of the Church. While the primary purpose of the law of sacrifice continued to be that of testing and assisting us to come unto Christ, two adjustments were made after Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.
First, the ordinance of the sacrament replaced the ordinance of [animal] sacrifice; and second, this change moved the focus of the sacrifice from a person’s animal to the person himself. In a sense, the sacrifice changed from the offering to the offerer . . .
After his mortal ministry, Christ elevated the law of sacrifice to a new level. … Instead of the Lord requiring a person’s animal or grain, now the Lord wants us to give up all that is ungodly. This is a higher practice of the law of sacrifice; it reaches into the inner soul of a person (The Law of Sacrifice [address delivered at the Church Educational System Symposium, 13 Aug. 1996], 5).
Here’s what president Spencer W. Kimball had to say on the subject of idol worship:
Idolatry is among the most serious of sins. . . . Modern idols or false gods can take such forms as clothes, homes, businesses, machines, automobiles, pleasure boats, and numerous other material deflectors from the path to godhood. . .
Intangible things make just as ready gods. Degrees and letters and titles can become idols. . . Many people build and furnish a home and buy the automobile first—and then they ‘cannot afford’ to pay tithing. Whom do they worship? Certainly not the Lord of heaven and earth . . . Many worship the hunt, the fishing trip, the vacation, the weekend picnics and outings. Others have as their idols the games of sport, baseball, football, the bullfight, or golf . . . Still another image men worship is that of power and prestige. . . .
These gods of power, wealth, and influence are most demanding and are quite as real as the golden calves of the children of Israel in the wilderness (The Miracle of Forgiveness , 40–42).
- Joseph, his father (Jacob/Israel) and his brothers move to Egypt and are loved by the Pharaoh
- Jacob dies – he is carried back to Canaan and buried with his family:
- Wife Leah
- Parents (Isaac & Rebekah)
- Grandparents (Abraham & Sarah)
- The family returns to Egypt after burying their father
- Joseph Dies at the age of 110
- After he died, there eventually a time (about 65 years) came when the Pharaoh had never known Joseph
- The Israelites continue to grow in number
- Because the Pharaoh feared the Israelites they were enslaved (Exodus 1:1-14)
- Ultimately the Pharaoh ordered the death of all male Israelites (Exodus 1:15–22)
- Moses is born and hidden for 3 months
- To protect him he is eventually placed in a basket and floated down the river
- Miriam (his sister) watches as the Pharaoh’s Daughter finds Moses
- Miriam rushes over to her (Pharaoh’s Daughter) and offers to find a Hebrew to nurse the child
- Miriam gets her (and of course Moses’s) mother for the job
- Moses is raised as an Egyptian (Exodus 2:1–10)
- At Age 40, Moses sees a slave being beaten, fights the task master and kills him
- Moses flees Egypt to Midian, meets Jethro and Marries Zipporah (Jethro’s daughter)
- 40 Years later (Age 80) Moses is called to free the Israelites
- Aaron (Moses’s older brother) is called to serve with Moses
- Moses and Aaron ask the Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to leave
- He Says “No” and is cursed by 10 plagues
- After each plague, he continues to say “No.”
- Finally after the 10th plague he lets Israel leave
- As they leave he comes after them
- Moses parts the Red Sea and Israel passes on dry ground while Pharaoh’s army is overtaken by the water
- Israel Sings songs of rejoice and praise for their freedom (Exodus 15:1–22)
- They are quick to forget and begin to murmur about lack of food and water (Exodus 15: 22–27; Exodus 16:1–31; Exodus 17:1–7)
- Manna was provided for all of Israel
- Israel fights and defeats Amalek as long as Moses held up his hands (Exodus 17:8–13; Exodus 18:13–26)
- Moses meets with The Lord on Mt. Sinai and is given the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19; Exodus 20)
- The Ten Commandments and The Law of Moses are introduced (Exodus 32; Exodus 33; Exodus 34)