A Look Ahead: Moses Bible Study Week 4:
Monday: “God Himself Will Deliver”
Homework: Read Exodus 7:14 – 10:20
Wednesday: ”The Plagues”
Homework: Read Exodus 10: 21-29
Friday: “Darkness and Death”
Homework: Read Exodus 11
On Friday when we left Moses he was on his knees pleading with the Lord. He was asking why (ever been there before?). Moses was clearly confused and completely defeated…again. In a nutshell, he was telling God, “you said this would work, you said you would save your people, and it didn’t work”! This is such a humble reminder to me of how shortsighted we are as humans. God certainly understands the reality that we cannot see the future, and He is obviously ever patient and understanding that only He knows what will happen next; but He probably is thinking (at least a little) “You know, you could have a little more faith for crying out loud! After all you have only had one meeting with Pharaoh”.
But as we see the Lord’s response to Moses, I can’t help but see that even this was all in God’s plan. Before we consider today’s scripture, let’s look back at the burning bush. Do you remember all that God had foretold to Moses that day through the fire, do you remember all the complaints and excuses that Moses had for God, and do you remember what God’s response was? Moses exhausted his whole list of reasons why he was not the right guy to deliver God’s people, and God told Moses time and time again that He Himself was going to be the one that ultimately did the delivering. Considering that history, check out where we are today in our scripture reading in verses 22 – 23 while Moses pleads with the Lord…pretty much the same place he was in front of the burning bush. Moses is still doubting, still questioning why God chose to send him. Oh what little faith we have! God’s response is so powerful and poignant that I want to read it again here together:
God said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.”
This is one of those “speeches” where the crowd stands up at the end and roars with a continuous applause, I just know the angels were high fiving each other. As I read this the first time, I just simply read it. And yes it seemed powerful and full of promise, but it wasn’t until I went back and read it again in a different tone that it seemed to better carry the message that it is intended carry. I was reading it to my girls, and I was kind of getting that blank stare back from them, but then when I kicked up my enthusiasm and determination (in somewhat of the likeness that God must have been using when He voiced the words), then they “got it”! This is one of those times where I long to hear the audible voice of the Lord. This is a proclamation that I know can only fully and completely be grasped when heard from the lips of God himself.
In these verses God patiently, lovingly, and completely hears the groaning and pleading of Moses in his defeat; and then does the thing that God does best, he does the thing that makes God, God. He takes the focus and burden off of Moses and places it on Himself, because He knows that He is the only One fit to carry them! God knows that we are not made to carry such burdens. He knows that in our own strength, we are not capable of fulfilling and completing our calling. He knows that we are but dust, that we are as defenseless and helpless as sheep. As God’s children, we are only called to believe and be obedient, God himself promises to do the rest. And so God responds to Moses with this reminder of “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians, I will free you from being slaves to them, I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and mighty asks of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God”. Check out all those “I’s”! I think it was God’s plan for Moses’ first plea to Pharaoh to be a failure. I think God wanted to remind Moses (and prove to the Israelites) that it would be God doing the delivering…NOT Moses. Do you need that reminder today as well? What are you currently facing that you know full well you cannot make it through without the mighty “outstretched arm” of God? Then hear His response! Take your situation, your struggle, your need, your addiction, your fear, and place it in the blanks of these words from your father in heaven:
I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from ____________________ , I will free you from being slaves to ____________________ , I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and mighty asks of judgment. I will take you as my own, and I will be your God!
As I type out these words, I wish I was speaking with you face to face. This promise that God is speaking to us is a big deal! Friend, though we often forget our covenant with the Lord, He has promised to never forget! We as believers of His Son are forever marked as His children, He will never leave us or forsake us. He sees our struggles and promises to lead us out from them. And let’s not forget where we are going. He is walking us to our very own Promise Land, a place He has uniquely created for us to enjoy a life of blessing. God doesn’t promise His children mediocrity, He doesn’t promise you and me that He will redeem us…but only by the skin of our teeth. He promises a mighty and powerful redemption, one that will leave us knowing that He is our God and that He alone is capable of leading us to Canaan.
My family and I traveled back to my home last weekend so that I could attend a bridal shower for a sweet friend of mine from childhood. Both of my girls went with me, and while we were there my younger daughter wandered to a back room and then found herself locked behind a broken door. She couldn’t get herself out, she was trapped. My Caroline began hysterically crying in total panic that I would leave her trapped behind that locked door, a door that she herself had wandered into. Well of course I found her, and of course I didn’t leave her there. And as I was hugging her through her sobbing she said “I thought you wouldn’t be able to find me and that you would leave me”. I love these moments God gives us as parents. We are graciously given them for our own personal comfort, as much as we are given them as opportunities to show comfort to our children. As I was speaking words of security and comfort to Caroline, I could hear my Protector in heaven speaking the same words to me. I told my sweet Caroline that she never had to worry about me leaving without her. I told her that I would always find her. That’s just what parents do, they always find their wandered off sheep and bring them back home. Your Father in heaven is speaking the very same thing over you today friend. You are His very own child that He promises to redeem, and He is your God! Worship Him for that…
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