When Moses complains to God in Exodus Chapter 5, we can see that he was quite disappointed and discouraged, because he was too impressed by Pharaoh and not impressed enough by God. We occasionally observe that the Pharaohs of this world seem to possess greater authority than our God.
Pharaoh consistently ignored the Israelites’ requests for freedom, instead he added to their suffering. Then the Israelites grumbled to Moses that their work load had increased, and turned against him as well.
Carrying the story from the previous chapter, let’s reflect on Chapter 6
Exodus 6:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land. In His answer, the Lord said to Moses words that were comforting, gracious, and encouraging. He tells him His timing is at hand. God uses the term compulsion to describe how He will deal with Pharaoh and will compel Pharaoh to let the Israelites go.
Moses had done what God told him to do, and now complained to God that there was no evidence God was keeping His end of the deal. This would indicate that God is happy to answer our concerns when we are walking in obedience. His mighty hand is always with us and we don’t need to be afraid. But it is also clear that God will do things in His time and we should not expect miracles and wonders instantly.
Exodus 6:2-5God also spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord.I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name ‘The Lord’ I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they resided as aliens. I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant.
The patriarchs were the people of the covenant and many promises were made to them. Moses and Israel were the people of the fulfillment of the covenant and fulfillment of the promise takes place with the new Israel. God says, ‘I revealed Myself as the God Almighty’ to them but to you I revealed my name ‘Lord Yahweh’ – the one who ‘I AM.’ For us, God wants to be more than God Almighty – He wants us also to know Him as a personal, promise making and promise keeping God, whom we can trust in everything. We should ask ourselves if we really know God by such names. The LORD is fully aware of their outcry in the midst of their suffering. He says that I have remembered My covenant to give them the land He had promised them, and is now ready to lead them there.
Exodus 6:6-8Say therefore to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.
I am the LORD: God went to the furthest length possible to confirm this covenant with the people of Israel. In His seven ‘I will’ promises, God said, “I’m going to do it. You can count on me.”
Jesus Christ will bring about the fulfilment, and as a result, we enter into the Kingdom, where He is the Head and we are the Body, and are united to Him. All of us who put our faith in Christ have the confidence, that we will be transported to Heaven.
Do we acknowledge and embrace Jesus as our Lord and Saviour? Are we obedient to the sacraments and linked with Christ?
Exodus 6:9 Moses told this to the Israelites, but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.
Israel doubted both God and His messenger because their centuries of slavery, made them think like slaves instead of people of the covenant. Pharaoh was bigger in their eyes than God. Many a times, in our lives, we may find ourselves in similar situations. We find it hard to trust God and believe that He is for us. This is why Paul says we must not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1-2).
There is a strong contrast with the later five ‘I will’ statements of Satan in Isaiah 14:13-15 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.
The great difference is that Satan was powerless to make any of his “I will” come to pass. God is more than able to fulfill each of His promises. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the omnipotent God of all creation and the reigning King over all kings and princes.
Exodus 6:10Then the Lord spoke to Moses, go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command: God wanted Moses to be steadfast in his obedience; not to look at Pharaoh, not to look at the people of Israel, not to look at himself even – but to look and listen to God and God alone. God’s solution was to command Moses to follow Him in any situation. This would indicate that when we experience failures and rejections, the best antidote for the resulting fear and doubt is obedient action.
Exodus 6:11-13But Moses spoke to the Lord, the Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am? Thus the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them orders regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, charging them to free the Israelites from the land of Egypt.
God instructed Moses and Aaron to just obey, listen, follow His orders and move forward, and then see the miracles, that He will perform. God will keep his ultimate promise – to not only deliver them from the bondage of Egypt, but to also give them the land promised to the patriarchs.
This is the summary, glory to the Saviour of Israel.