Sunday, September 22, 2013

Exodus 6: God Promises Deliverance

Today's Podcast


God sent Moses and Aaron to Egypt to ask Pharaoh to free the slaves. Pharaoh responded to this request by punishing the slaves harshly.

God Promises Deliverance (v. 1-13)

God says that he will do something to Pharaoh and the slaves will be driven out of the land. He reminds Moses that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that he has promised the Canaanite land to their descendants. He has heard the groans of these people and remembered his covenant and he will now deliver on that promise.

God tries to remember (pic source)
I highlight these words just because it suggests a God who isn't omnipotent. It's easy enough to dismiss these things (such as it being how Moses understood God and not how God really is), but I still find it very interesting that a much more human seeming God is depicted in the bible than the abstract and perfect God that is often thought of nowadays.

I looked through all of the commentaries on my list for this point, and no one even tries to address the idea of an omniscient God remembering something.

Also, I mentioned in my reading of chapter 5 that the strategy of simply asking that the slaves be let free for a few days to worship their God was poor. It seems to me that God is intentionally using a poor strategy so that he will be justified in punishing Pharaoh.

Moses told the Israelites this news, but their spirit was broken because of their harsh slavery and broken spirit.

I'm sure a large part of the broken spirit is due to what happened to them last time.

God told them that since the Israelites won't listen, Moses and Aaron should go right to Pharaoh. Moses complains, but then God gives them a charge to do it anyway.

I'm not actually sure what "gives them a charge" means, but it seems like God is telling them to go do it anyway, even thought they don't want to. Moses really doesn't seem to have a ton of faith in God here does he? 

Moses complains that Pharaoh won't listen to him because he has "uncircumcised lips"

I have no idea what the hell this means.

According to Guzik

This may refer to Moses' idea that he has a speech problem, or it may be that he recognized that he is a sinful man, and therefore unworthy to be used.
Fair enough, I suppose in either case Moses is saying he is unworthy of this task, which does make sense given the context.

The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron (v. 14-30)


Moral of the Story

I. Don't be of the world, instead trust in God

According to Guzik's commentary, the centuries of slavery had made the Israelite people think as slaves rather than people of the covenant. They thought of Pharaoh as bigger than God.
Many Christians find themselves in the same place. They find it hard to trust God and believe that He is for them. This is why Paul says we must not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The children of Israel needed their minds renewed, and we do also.
I remember hearing this kind of stuff growing up a lot, it's basically just saying "don't be bad", but simultaneously saying that all good things are "of the church" and all bad things are "of the world". I hate this kind of non-specific nonsense.

II. Don't give up so quickly (endurance and perseverance)
God wanted Moses to keep plugging away; to not look at Pharaoh, to not look at the children of Israel, to not look at even himself - but to look at God and God alone.
Moses wanted to give up after the first setback. God had much to do in his heart before Moses is ready to deal with all the discouragement ahead as he leads the people to the Promised Land.
God is building endurance in Moses, the ability to stick with God's plan and will even when it doesn't seem to work. This is faith; this is patient endurance in the LORD.
Well, obviously I'm not a fan of all of the leaning on God, but I do like the idea of endurance and perseverance.

Sorry for the uneventful post. I was planning on doing chapters 6 & 7 together given that half of this one was wasted with genealogies, but partly due to the addition of the moral of the story section I ran out of time this week.


  1. I find it ironic that God was concerned about the broken, enslaved Israelites in Exodus, but has no moral qualms about condoning slavery in other parts of the Bible. If slavery was so traumatic for one group, why condone it at all?

    I'm wondering if "uncircumsized lips" referred to a cleft palate?

    1. Furthermore, if slavery was so hard on his people, why let them be slaves for hundreds of years before helping them get freedom?


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