By Shelly Volk

Ex 1:1 – 6:1

Exodus is the story of the birth of the nation Israel through God’s providential care and direct intervention. Their condition before the exodus out of Egypt is described in:

Exodus 1:9-13 – “And he (Pharaoh) said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and in the event of war, they also join themselves to those who hate us and fight against us and depart from the land.’ So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so they were in dread of the sons of Israel. And the Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously.”


Exodus 2:24-25 – “So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And God saw the sons of Israel and God took notice of them.” 

It takes a Pharaoh for God to raise up a Moses. The birth, as well as circumstances surrounding Moses’ birth, is a demonstration of God’s providential care for His people. We read, Pharaoh declared to the Hebrew midwives that when a Hebrew boy is born they should put him to death. The midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, feared the Lord and let the boys lives. They told Pharaoh the Hebrew wives were vigorous and gave birth before the midwives could get to them. Pharaoh then declared that every son born was to be cast into the Nile.

Hebrews 11:23 – “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” 

After hiding the baby for three months, Moses’ mother, Jochebed, built an ark from bulrushes, which could float. She put the baby in the ark, placed it in the Nile, and had the baby’s sister, Miriam, watch to see what would happen to him.

Here we see the providential care of God––Pharaoh’s daughter who was bathing in the Nile saw the ark, heard the baby cry, and saw he was a Hebrew boy. Moses’ sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter if she should call a Hebrew nurse to feed the child, and Pharoah’s daughter agreed. Moses’ sister called the child’s mother to nurse the baby. Bless the Lord for the providence of God! The child grew, and his mother, Jochebed, brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter; and he became her son. Pharaoh’s daughter named the baby boy Moses because she drew him out of the water, and he was raised in Pharaoh’s palace.

Proverbs 19:21 – “Many plans are in a man’s heart. But the counsel of the Lord will stand.”

Fast forward forty-years:

Hebrews 11:24-25 – “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. Moses went out to his brethren and saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew; seeing no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. The next day, he saw two Hebrews fighting and said to the offender, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’ The man answered, ‘Who made you a prince or judge over us? Are you intending to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?’ Moses then realized the matter had become known, and Pharaoh tried to kill Moses. He fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian. Once again we see the providence of God in the life of Moses being prepared to be the deliverer of the sons of Israel.


Fast forward another forty years:

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, at the backside of the desert. Moses came to Horeb, the mountain of God; and the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. Moses looked at the bush and saw it was burning, yet it was not consumed. He turned aside to see this marvelous sight––when the Lord saw Moses turn aside to look––God called him from the midst of the bush––He said:

Exodus 3:1-10 – “Moses, Moses!” And Moses replied, “Here am I (Hineni).” The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt. I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians … therefore come now and I will send you to Pharaoh so that you may bring my people, the sons of Israel out of Egypt.”

God assured Moses He would be with him. Moses felt inadequate, questioning whether the Israelites would believe him––knowing God had said Pharaoh would not permit Israel to go except under compulsion. Nevertheless––Moses obeyed the call of God.

Why a burning bush:

Deuteronomy 4:20 – “But the Lord has taken you out of the iron furnace from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession.”

I Kings 8:51 – “For they are Thy people and Thine inheritance which Thou hast brought forth from Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace.”

Jeremiah 11:4 – “…in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace.”

The sons of Israel were considered to be in an iron furnace when enslaved in Egypt. The burning bush not being consumed is a picture of Israel going through the fire of affliction, yet never totally destroyed. And, God was in the midst of the burning bush!

Isaiah 48:10 – “Behold I have refined thee, but not as silver; I have tried thee in the furnace of affliction.”

The manner in which the call came to Moses was in effect a picture of what has been and what will be the history of Israel. The final ‘fire’ will be the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), which will bring forth the ultimate redemption of the sons of Israel. In Exodus 3:8 we read that God said: “I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians.” In the last days, Yeshua––Jesus will come down to earth to deliver Israel from the modern day Pharaoh––the anti-Christ––and from the furnace of affliction (the time of Jacob’s trouble).

The enemies of the sons of Israel will be defeated. Yeshua––Jesus, the Messiah—will rule from Jerusalem, and the Kingdom of God shall be established. The Law will go forth from Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2).

Thank the Lord for His providential care and divine intervention––there for you and for me even today…

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About the Author

Honored to be the father of Scott Volk! Shelly Volk a Jewish believer––saved in 1974––called by the Lord in 1975 to serve Him with Arthur Katz. Arthur had founded a community of believers in Northern Minnesota. Shelly left his lucrative position in the world. In 1976, along with his wife, June, sold their home with most all their possessions and gave to the poor. With their three children: Scott, Dean & Suzi moved to Ben Israel Ministries. Shelly served as a leader of the community with Arthur Katz and Arthur Beebe for 81/2 years. This marked the beginning of Shelly’s journey, walking by faith and trusting God for all things.

In 1985 Shelly was called by the Lord to Phoenix, Arizona, through the Kaplans He joined them at Jewish Voice Broadcast where he was the leader of Phoenix Messianic Congregation and hosted Jewish Voice radio and TV programs; he also taught the bible and preached the Gospel. Shelly and June led tours to Israel.

In January of 1987, Shelly became the Senior Pastor of Calvary Church of the Valley. He led the two Congregations for several years and served as senior pastor for CCV for 10 years. The church grew from 75 to 500: marriages were restored, God moved with salvation of many youths and restoration of families; barren women conceived and alcoholics delivered. Shelly led many of his Jewish kinsmen to the saving knowledge of Yeshua as their Messiah.

He founded Immanuel Congregation of Phoenix in 1996. He and June have had a weekday radio program: For Zion’s Sake, for almost 30 years.

Shelly resides in Phoenix, AZ, with his wife, June. They have been married 55 years. Their three children are married and gave them eleven grandchildren (5 married) and 2 great grandsons along with a great granddaughter due in April.

Shelly’s Burdens: Encouraging Leaders; The Kingdom of God; The Mystery of Israel and the Church; The Time of Jacob’s Trouble; The Restoration of All Things and the salvation of Israel.


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