“Exposing the Exodus”
The Covenant Reiterated – (Chapter 6 Verses 1-9)
God will not break his word, not even when his people are unfaithful to him (2Timothy 2:3). He reminds us here of his own commitment to his people, he is as faithful to us today as he was to the Hebrews back then. As he was to the Patriarchs, his covenant is everlasting (Hebrews 13:20). It was entered into by God himself and promised his elect through Christ before the world began (Titus 1:2). If the covenant with Abraham guarantees the future for these Hebrews (v8), how more the same covenant ratified, and sealed with the blood of God’s Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7:22; 1Peter 1:4)? We must by faith lay hold of, trust in, all that God has shown himself to be to us. He has brought us this far, he will take us the rest of the way. He hasn’t changed, moved, gone back, he is constant, faithful, dependable, always. This is what he means when he says, “I am the Lord.” So live, not in fear, not in doubt, but in the fulness of faith, delighting in and enjoying his presence constantly. It’s all of his grace (v5). Isn’t it a shameful thing for the folk to turn away from him and blame him for their circumstances when his grace is towards them. Grace is the undeserved favour of God. All we get from him is through grace, his love, his Son, salvation. And he is never indifferent to our suffering. How can they, we blame him? He cares for them and for us (1Peter 5:7). So what response does his grace require from us? Surely to trust him yes. But also a thankful obedience. This is the very essence of true, spiritual worship. This is the very reason for the exodus, the deliverance, liberating his people so that they can worship him as he intends. Later on, we will see the incident with the golden calf in the desert, which must be seen in the light of this. It was an act of sheer anarchy, rebellion against such grace. Idolatry’s an expression of hatred towards the One who has revealed himself to his chosen people
As he has revealed himself, faithful, dependable, gracious and loving, should this not be our response to grace? The most reassuring factor here is not the response of the people, but God’s total remembrance, of his covenant, that he has formed and established and maintains. You see it is a unilateral covenant, it’s one-sided, kept by God, we are still covenant breakers, it would never maintain by us. The Hebrews here have long forgotten the covenant established with Abraham, but God’s not forgotten. This is the cry of the martyrs in the book of Revelation, that God would not forget them, but remember what was done to them and avenge their blood. “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 6:9-10)? They are given assurance that in God’s time, in the fulness of time their blood would be avenged. But the faithful covenant Lord doesn’t forget his people. But the time is always his, not man’s. There will be a time of accounting.For now, Moses, the people of Israel, must be patient in faith and watch the Lord work (v1). All Pharaoh does is increases the judgment upon his himself and bringing Egypt to utter ruin. The saying yet stands, “whom God would destroy he first deprives of reason.” This is Pharaoh King of Egypt. This is the same anti-Christian world-power today that would seek the oppression and destruction of God’s people. God does not stand idly by and watch, he will avenge his blood-bought people.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)