“Exposing the Exodus”
Moses Authority (Chapter 4 Verses 1-9)
But (v1). Moses continues to oppose God. First of all it was his own unworthiness (Exodus 3:11). Then it was his ow inability (Exodus 3:13). The graciously defused both of these arguments, giving his servant both reassurance and the promise of a sign (Exodus 3:12). He gives Moses his name “I Am” plus an explanation accompanied with prophecy concerning things to come. Still Moses raises another objection. He doesn’t, we think, want to go to Egypt. Perhaps it’s his previous experience there. But what is astonishing here is, after all these verses he is still arguing. It is a startling denial of all God has asserted and revealed of himself. God’s demonstration with signs would convince the deepest skeptic, or you would think so anyway. However it is not the case (Luke 16:31). It’s not evidence(s) people need, it is submission to the God they know exists and to his word. God in grace often condescends to our weakness. The highest reach of faith is simply to take and stand upon the word of God. Another factor we must remember is that God works supernaturally in judgment as well as in redemption, as we will see in due course as we study these chapters. The revelation of God is always twofold, to some it is the savour of life and others, death (2Corinthians 2:15).
Faith, saving faith is belief, confidence in the propositions set before us in the gospel. But more than that, the dimension of trust is also involved. Relationship is built upon trust, Moses at this point seriously lacks this dimension. He needs for this relationship to go somewhere. What if (v1), equals unbelief. He means that the Israelites must accept or reject his report on subjective grounds, they can’t verify his experience with God. All he has for them is just words, they must take his leadership on the mere basis of trust. But this is his problem, he does not have that trust, in fact his reputation is already shot. He is returning to Egypt under the indictment of murder and telling God’s people he has had a message and he is to lead them to the promised land. Yeah, sure you have Moses! From a human perspective he has a strong argument. But, what he omits is that is God who is sending him. He has to learn to trust (Numbers 11:23; 2Corinthians 5:7). When God sends he opens the way and provides all that’s necessary. God begins to condescend to the weakness of his faith (v2ff). He is given three signs designed to teach him vital lessons. But it must be said, God’s word should have been enough. However we say that knowing the weakness of our own faith.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)