After these times of plenty when the Israelites benefited so much from Pharaoh, there came a time when there were so many of them in the land, the Egyptians did not like them very much because they were foreigners, little by little they made them slaves until the time when they even sent an order to kill all the male babies born to the Israelites. Moses was saved by being put in a basket, which floated on the river, at that time the daughter of the Pharaoh saw the baby and she decided to raise him as her own son.

Moses became great before the Egyptians and then was chosen by God to deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians. He was the first great blessing for the people of God, as a deliverer he prefigures Christ in many ways.

The Passover meal, great blessing

Pharaoh hardened his heart even tough the Lord sent seven plagues on Egypt. But the last punishment on the Egyptians came as the slaughtering of all the first born males both Egyptians or slaves, including Pharaoh's first born son.

The Lord instructed Moses to celebrate a Passover Meal which would protect anyone following his instructions. Every family had to slaughter a one year old lamb, without blemish. They had to separate the blood from the flesh, they had to roast the flesh and eat it with unleavened bread. They had to take some blood and put it on the doorposts and the lintel of their houses. When the angel of the Lord came he spared the houses of those who followed the Lord's instructions, but killed the firstborn in every house without the blood marks.

This great blessing of the Lord for the Israelites is a symbol of the great blessing that we have in the true lamb of God (John 1:29) who takes away the sins of the Lord, whose flesh and blood we have to eat and drink (John 6:53) in order to be spared from the anger of God, because our sins will be forgiven in Him who has the power to save. In the Old Testament sacrifices of animals were offered to God for the forgiveness of sins, in the New Testament, God the Son becomes the Altar, the Victim and the Sacrifice that is pleasing to God for the forgiveness of our sins.

Moses and the Israelites crossed the red sea by the power of God who caused the waters to be divided making way for the Israelites. All Pharao's army was destroyed that day by the Lord.

The crossing of the Red Sea

After eating the Passover meal, the Israelites were free to leave Egypt under the guidance of Moses. Moses was given power from God to lead and to command the elements. As they came to the Red sea, the Lord instructed Moses to extend his road over the waters and they divided, so that the people of God could cross on dry land, after they had crossed, the Egyptians followed them, but the Lord allowed them to go between the two walls of water, then when the whole army of Pharaoh was there the Lord instructed Moses to stretch his hand, at that moment the waters returned to their place and killed all the soldiers and horses of Pharao's army.

That day Israel was blessed with the gift of freedom and the knowledge that the Lord was with them and their servant Moses.

The priestly blessing

Aaron and his sons were priests of God appointed by Moses,
Numbers 6:22-27

22 The LORD said to Moses,
23 "Say to Aaron and his sons, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
24 The LORD bless you and keep you:

25 The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you:

26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

27 "So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them."

This blessing was to be continued by all priests and servants of God, we may use it too since we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, so that we may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9).

Perhaps people don't bless anymore because we have lost the true faith, once upon a time everyone who passed by a Church used to make the sign of the cross. Nowadays, many Catholics are ashamed of blessing themselves in public, the custom of the parents blessing the children is disappearing and we certainly don't know what we are missing by not blessing ourselves and others.

God blesses obedience

Moses said to the people:

Deuteronomy 7:11-16

You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command you this day.
12 "And because you hearken to these ordinances, and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which he swore to your fathers to keep;
13 he will love you, bless you, and multiply you; he will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock, in the land which he swore to your fathers to give you.
14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.
15 And the LORD will take away from you all sickness; and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict upon you, but he will lay them upon all who hate you.
16 And you shall destroy all the peoples that the LORD your God will give over to you, your eye shall not pity them; neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

God's choice: blessing or curse

Deuteronomy 30:16-20

16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it.
17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them,
18 I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live,
20 loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."

God blesses charity

18 but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.
19 "When you reap your harvest in your field, and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow; that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
20 When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.
21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.
22 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.

Blessing of Moses before his death

1 This is the blessing, wherewith the man of God Moses blessed the children of Israel, before his death.

2 And he said: The Lord came from Sinai, and from Seir he rose up to us: he has appeared from mount Pharan, and with him thousands of saints. In his right hand a fiery law.

3 He has loved the people, all the saints are in his hand: and they that approach to his feet, shall receive of his doctrine.

4 Moses commanded us a law, the inheritance of the multitude of Jacob.

5 He shall be king with the most right, the princes of the people being assembled with the tribes of Israel.

6 Let Ruben live, and not die, and be he small in number.

7 This is the blessing of Judd. Hear, O Lord, the voice of Juda, and bring him in unto his people : his hands shall fight for him, and he shall be his helper against his enemies.

8 To Levi also he said: your perfection, and your doctrine be to your holy man, whom you hast proved in the temptation, and judged at the waters of contradiction :

9 Who has said to his father, and to his mother: I do not know you; and to his brethren: I know you not: and their own children they have not known. These have kept your word, and observed your covenant,

10 your judgments, O Jacob, and your law, O Israel: they shall put incense in your wrath and holocaust upon your altar.

11 Bless, O Lord, his strength, and receive the works of his hands. Strike the backs of his enemies, and let not them that hate him rise.

12 And to Benjamin he said: The best beloved of the Lord shall dwell confidently in him: as in a bride chamber shall he abide all the day long, and between his shoulders shall be rest.

13 To Joseph also he said: Of the blessing of the Lord be his land, of the fruits of heaven, and of the dew, and of the deep that lies beneath.

14 Of the fruits brought forth by the sun and by the moon.

15 Of the tops of the ancient mountains, of the fruits of the everlasting hills:

16 And of the fruits of the earth, and of the fullness thereof. The blessing of him that appeared in the bush, come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarite among his brethren.

17 His beauty as of the firstling of a bullock, his horns as the horns of a rhinoceros: with them shall he push the nations even to the ends of the earth These are the multitudes of Ephraim and these the thousands of Manasses.

18 And to Zabulon he said: Rejoice, O Zabulon, in your going out; and Issachar in your tabernacles.

19 They shall call the people to the mountain: there shall they sacrifice the victims of justice. Who shall suck as milk the abundance of the sea, and the hidden treasures of the sands.

20 And to Gad he said: Blessed be Gad in his breadth: he has rested as a lion, and has seized upon the arm and the top of the head.

21 And he saw his pre-eminence, that in his portion the teacher was laid up: who was with the princes of the people, and did the justices of the Lord, and his judgment with Israel.

22 To Dan also he said: Dan is a young lion, he shall flow plentifully from Basan.

23 And to Nephtali he said: Nephtali shall enjoy abundance, and shall be full of the blessings of the Lord: he shall possess the sea and the south.

24 To Aser also he said: Let Aser be blessed with children, let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil.

25 His shoe shall be iron and brass. As the days of your youth, so also shall your old age be.

26 There is no other God like the God of the righteous: he that is mounted upon the heaven is your helper. By his magnificence the clouds run hither and thither.

27 His dwelling is above, and underneath are the everlasting arms: he shall cast out the enemy from before you, and shall say: Be you brought to nought.

28 Israel shall dwell in safety, and alone. The eye of Jacob in a land of corn and wine, and the heavens shall be misty with dew.

29 Blessed are you, Israel: who is like to you, O people, that art saved by the Lord? the shield of your help, and the sword of your glory: your enemies shall deny you, and you shall tread upon their necks.

Moses received the ten commandments from the Lord and instructed the Isarelites to obey them. He anointed Joshua son of Nun to continue his mission to direct the people of God.

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