“Exposing the Exodus”
The Proclamation – (Chapter 5 Verses 1-9)
Moses goes forward with dignity, with his God-given authority. He even speaks in God’s name (v1). He is a good example for any would-be ambassador for the Lord. This of course doesn’t mean his message will be accepted, in fact it is not. But it is for all that a divine message. He is speaking to a king who is known for his temper, his heartless cruelty. So do remember this is no small test of Moses faith and courage, he is, as we say, bearding the lion in its den. Of course the message is not calculated to pacify, as is most of the preaching we hear today. The language of God’s servant Moses is assertive, it is after all a royal demand., that is where Moses gets his authority from. It is the divine origin of the message that overcomes the spiritual law of gravity, overcomes the pull of the flesh, that imparts grace to a trembling heart. The mere words of men will never do this. Moses demonstrates strength in the mids of weakness (2Corinthians 12:10). This initial demand is somewhat limited but it sets out Israel’s mission. The conflict is to be fought on Jehovah’s ground, it is not just about rescue, though that is included. Everything is subsidiary to one purpose, Israel are to live in the presence of God. They are to be God’s are they are to worship him, and be free to do so.
They are God’s by creation and by choice, and so it is for that very reason, that the conflict was waged then, and is now, over the destiny of God’s people (1Peter 2:9). God has called his people out of the world, which prefigured here in Egypt. What for? To worship him. In the way that he alone dictates, as per his own self-attesting revelation. So the question is, are God’s people to remain slaves to the Egyptians, shackled to idolatrous pagan ways, or are they going to be his free people? God has controversy with Pharaoh, king of Egypt. It was the same call to freedom that challenged the Roman Empire many years later, in the times of the early New Testament church. Those early Christians of course made no demands of Rome. They didn’t ask for the pagan temples to be brought down, they simply wanted the freedom to worship God as prescribed in his word. But it was for this that they were thrown to the lions, burned, persecuted and killed. Today in modern Britain, in the entire West in fact, slowly, bit by bit, our freedom is being removed, we find ourselves in the midst of the same conflict. So here is the question, are we, you and I, going to be slaves of the state, or the Lord’s free people? But, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2Corinthians 10:4).
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)