Exposing the Exodus”
The Reassurance Given – (Chapter 6 Verses 1-9)
This now is for the people of Israel (v6-9). The book of Exodus is a God-centred book, with a God-centred message instructing us in the way of a God-centred life. Whatever we face in life it is vital, most important that we know who God is and that we trust him as he has called us to do. When trouble comes if we are not grounded in the biblical doctrine of God we are going to be all over the place. Note here the number of I’s in the text (v6-9), seven. All full of grace, promise, faith builders in other words. One, I will bring them out from under Egypt’s tyranny. Two, I will deliver them from slavery. Three, I will redeem them. Four, I will make them my people. Five, I will be your God. Six, I will bring you into the promised land. Seven, I will give you the land for a heritage. Each one is prefaced with “I am the Lord.” Remember what his name means? Faithful, dependable, constant, unchanging covenant God. Could it be he is saying the Israel, and perhaps to you also, “get your eyes off of your circumstances, your oppressors, and get your focus on me?” The One with whom all things are possible. They, you, may have failed in the past, and most certainly will in the future but nothing can change the biblical fact, that those who are truly God’s by the right of redemption, are his forever. Nothing can change his love for them. It’s true some become prodigals. They wander, do the stupid, become rebellious, waste their time and resources and opportunities. But they remain his people. What assurance’s he gives us, this is the blood-bought right of every Christian (1John 3.14). Our assurance lies in the very fact that we now believe. There was a time we did not believe, had no thought or care to think about God, let alone believe. But something’s happened a change has come over us, now we find ourselves believing him, his word. God worked that change in us, not we ourselves (Ephesians 2:10).
Surely this is an exposure of their unregenerate hearts (v9), the majority at least as their history proved. Never been changed, circumcised. In New Testament terms, never been born again. Ignorant of God’s grace, unable to understand, and to hold on to his gracious promises. Relief will never come until the blood of the cross is applied by the Holy Spirit. They can’t hear the words of Moses, they’re too busy complaining and grumbling. But are there not many like this in our world today, wherever we live? People with broken spirits, hopes and lives, crushed by unbearable experiences? Doesn’t God say he will not break the bruised reed, “a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench” (Isaiah 42:3)? God didn’t abandon these grumblers. On the contrary, he seemed to understand and care for them. Maybe we need to learn to be more like God, in this sense I mean, not laying burdens on folk they’re not able to bear? Maybe helping them to bear the burdens they already have. Doesn’t the New Testament speak of sharing one another’s burdens? “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Next we will see that God gives them a specific charge, the command to go (v11). Moses went, we must never forget that he went. It is not always what a man says, in the end, it is what he does that matters. When God gives you a definite command what do you do? “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him” (Matthew 21:28-32). “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7.21).
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)