“Exposing the Exodus”
The Question of Authority (Chapter 3 Verses 10-16)
God has clear plans, and he also recognises the difficulties that lie ahead. Especially so with his own people and Pharaoh himself. He knows exactly how he is going to deal with them. One way or another the presence of God always provokes a response. God assures Moses that his presence will go with him, this will provoke a response among the people of Israel. There will be questions. Where is the proof that God sent and is with Moses, and fulfil all this that God’s servant proposes to accomplish? But there is one central, fundamental question, always asked by humanity in general, and it is asked here. Where is your authority for doing these things (Matthew 21:23)? The short answer is God. But then who or rather what is God? Therefore God gives to Moses a definition of who and what he is. This is in answer to Moses question, what will I say (v13)? I mean it’s no small difficulty, to go up to a bunch of people and say, God sent me and wants me to lead you. Imagine some guy walking into your church one Sabbath morning and saying that? Yeah, right, sure, uh huh, of course he did. So you see Moses dilemma? Remember also that this is a people entrenched in Egyptian idolatry, they’ve been there a long time.
So all these questions will be asked, and more. Then of course Egypt is the then super-power and Israel are under that power, they are not their peers by any stretch. The Egyptians have no regard for God, they are unbelievers, religious, idolatrous, but unbelievers. They have a pantheon of gods, so called. They are heavily into new age, evolutionary, pagan superstition. From Pharaoh all the way down they are under the influence of this stuff. Moses has to confront Pharaoh, the top man, who claims much more than apostolic succession, he claims divinity. Against this backdrop Moses quite legitimately asks the question, how am I going to accomplish this task? Fair play, don’t you think. What credibility do I have, what authority for this before Israel never mind Pharaoh? Who am I going to say sent me? What shall I say is your name? The answer? The LORD is his name, “thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it – the LORD is his name” (Jeremiah 33:2).
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)