“Exposing the Exodus”
The Defiance & Deliverance of God (Chapter 3 Verses 19-22)
Even as Moses is told to approach Pharaoh God knows the request will be denied, not all the coercion of men will bring the king to acquiesce, it will take more power than man can produce. God knows (v20). The issues are already settled in the Divine mind, God always knows what he is doing. God is working in his people the will to do his will, that when the time comes they will be ready to move forward as he commands, to bring about his great and glorious work of redemption. There is nothing sentimental or even romantic about this that is given to Moses to accomplish, it will be difficult, there will be opposition and rejection over a long period of time. And some of this hardball will come from God’s own people. Yes, some who at the beginning will have encouraged him to go for it will be his sworn enemies in the end. But he is assured there will also be miracles of deliverance (vv20-22). On the basis of this revelation given to Moses God calls his people to forward and out from amongst this idolatrous nation of Egypt, they do not belong there.
God also predicts (v21). When Israel leaves, they will leave with everything they need for their journey. This is not the first time that this was prophesied and promised (Genesis 15:14). The word of God is sure, it is steadfast, it will be as he has said. So great a triumph it will be, that even the women and children will plunder the Egyptians. It is an awful thing to stand against the Almighty. Now some will of course attribute this success to Moses, to faith and faithfulness. If that determines success in God’s work then we are in big trouble. Yes, we ought to believe, to trust and to be faithful. But what was Moses in reality? He was weak, timid, hesitant, at times fearful and even unbelieving. If God waited for us to be what we should be, utterly trusting, faithful and obedient, then he would have to wait an awful long time. God is not limited by our failures, weaknesses and sinfulness. He remains faithful to himself and what he as spoken, even when we are unfaithful. God will demonstrate who and what he is by his great and sovereign power (v22), and he will accomplish this exodus, deliverance for his people, both then, and now, and to the end of the age.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)