Exodus, Chapter 5, looked like a failure. Moses and Aaron were sent by God to ask for a small gesture of respect to the Lord. “May we please go into the wilderness to honor our God?” Pharaoh’s response was insulting and demeaning. “I do not know the Lord and I don’t have to obey Him.” On top of that, Pharaoh added cruelty to the insult, “Obviously you don’t have enough to do if you have time to come to me and complain. So, from now on you will have to make the same amount of bricks without me giving you the straw.”
The frustration Moses felt depressed him. Again he questioned God’s choice of him and why this failure. Chapter 6 is a word of exhortation to a frustrated, beaten, Moses as God lays down the purpose and overall plan for making Himself “known” not only to Moses and the Children of Israel but the whole world.
God begins with God’s promise of deliverance…
- The Promise of Deliverance (v 1-5)
God had made a promise to His old friend, Abraham, in Genesis 15. The promise had included many things, but one item in particular was the land that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had wandered as foreigners.
- The Purpose of Deliverance
God always keeps His promises. He would rescue the descendants of Abraham and bring them to the Promised Land. He never lies. God appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as “God Almighty” but as His name “the LORD” He had not made Himself “known” to them. The name the LORD here is an English translation of a name that means “I Am”. The first thing God wants His people to know is that He is THE real, true, living God. He will reveal Himself as the True God by using Pharaoh as a target to show His power. This would not only reveal God to Israel but to the Egyptians and eventually the whole world. The REAL God of the universe is alive and He is not silent.
- The Plan of Deliverance (v. 6-8)
Moses is told to go out and preach a message of deliverance and redemption to the people of Israel. God will “… bring you out from under the burden, deliver you from slavery, redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.” Not to mention, “I will take you to be my people, I will be your God.”
This vocabulary will be heavily used by the Gospel when Jesus dies on the cross and is raised from the dead to do the same thing for us.
Moses is told to go out there and preach.
- The Pessimism of Deliverance (v 9-13)
Moses faithfully preaches this good news of deliverance but it is ignored. “…they did not listen…”
God follows this “failure” with further orders to now go and speak to Pharaoh. This brings Moses back to the same old excuses he had when the story began.
Moses, once again, sees events in a different way than God sees them. To God, the plan is proceeding the way He has worked it together but Moses is again seeing failure and defeat.
Moses thinks that success is determined by positive reaction, acceptance of the good news, and release of the captives by Pharaoh.
Moses considers a negative reaction as defeat and, even worse, Moses considers it his fault.
Moses still had something to learn.
God never holds the messenger responsible for the reaction to His message.
He only holds all of us responsible for saying the message as God gave it. This is true all throughout the Bible. Jeremiah saw very little acceptance. Very few listened to him.
Isaiah 6 tells us of Isaiah being told to preach and that no one would listen to him.
God’s message is foreign and foolish to the world. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Moses wants success and acceptance and wants to quit the job because he thinks he’s not eloquent and quick witted to “sell the product” to the masses.
What most of us have to learn is that we have no control over the reaction we get from God’s message. Jesus talked about the word as being “seeds”. (Matthew 13:18-23) We simply cast the seeds and the type of soil it falls on is between the hearer and God.
But we want success and we want all the seeds to always grow. Many times we do a dangerous thing… We tamper with the message. We water it down, we make it taste better, and we change the real Jesus into a false one. (2 Corinthians 11:4)
God will not bless any other gospel than His own. (Galatians 1:8-9) His gospel is the only one that saves (Romans 1:16) and when one hears it and hates it then that is God’s judgment not ours. We are only responsible to speak the hard truth in love. “… Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
Preach the Word, when it’s convenient or not, and trust God with the results.
Moses learns his lesson eventually. God was ready to cast the people away at Mount Sinai and said that his presence would not go with them but Moses knew the source of the power by then.
Exodus 33 15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
If you’re not with us we got nothing.
Congratulations Moses. You finally get it.
17 And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
God’s blessing on the words Moses said. All of us want to hope and pray for God’s blessing on the fumbling, awkward, sloppy way we witness. “That went terrible!”
But we have no idea. If God was there blessing the heart of who we talk to, it will not fall.
When God’s presence is there, you got everything.
When God’s not there, you got nothing.
The Lord is the hero of this book, not Moses.
Please read the following Scripture before Sunday, October 22, 2017: