“Not Why, But Who”
II.) Vs. 22-8 I Am and I Will
III.) Vs. 9-13 Stick to My Plan
IV.) Vs. 14-27 Called by Grace not Giftedness
Moses greatest fears of chapters 3-4 have become the reality of chapter 5. Now God had told Moses that this was going to happen but that in the end Pharaoh was going to be forced to let Israel go. Folks, we can only grow in faith when the Lord allows us to be put in situations that we would not chose for ourselves. God reveals to us that He has everything in control and we rejoice only to come up against a situation that appears to reveal to us that He is not in control.
II.) Vs. 22-8 I Am & I Will
Vs. 22-23 Now under the affliction of Pharaoh the Israelites cried out to Pharaoh and cursed Moses, (5:16-21). Moses now cries out to the Lord. There is a since in which Moses complaint to the Lord is a good thing. At least he knew who to cry out to. Forty years earlier he had failed and he ran away from his problems now he issues his complaints to the Lord, that’s progress.
The jest of Moses complaint is that: “Forty years ago I failed and now I come back in obedience to You and I fail again. Lord I’m just a loser, I told you I was. Why, Lord if you knew that I was just going to blow it again would you send me back to Egypt just to fail.” (Vs. 22) Folks, it seems to me that we human beings are most prone to ask the WHY question. If we don’t ask the WHY question then we will at least ask the WHAT do you want from me God, question. I submit to you that though these are valid questions to ask they are not the ones that tend to bring you piece of mind. Security is a fragile thing when we are trying to make since out of life’s uncertainties. WHY does not bring me out of my problem, I just don’t understand but now if you come up to me and say, “Dale you can try to figure out this problem or you can trust me I know the answer I’ll do it for you!” The reason for my new confidence is because the answer to my problem was not WHY, it was a WHO!
A.) Vs. 1 Notice here the certainty of God’s answer back to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh.” There are no if’s or maybes here, only you shall see and will do. The first thing God does for Moses is to remind him that what He said He will do He will do. In Mal. 3:6 the Lord reminds us that, “I am the LORD, I do not change;”
B.) Second notice that the Lord tells Moses that he shall SEE, the Lord work on Pharaoh with a mighty hand so that he will let them go. God is telling Moses that he is going to find out based upon first hand personal knowledge. When we SEE what God is doing we will be better able to know Who He is! That goes to support my next point.
C.) Vs. 2 Four times in these 8 verses God answers Moses WHY question with the words “I Am”, which tells us that God is revealing WHO He is. (verse’s 2, 6, 7, 8) Moses asks WHY and God does not answer the WHY instead He says, “Moses the better question, the question that will make since of the WHY is the WHO. Therefor you need to know WHO I Am, so this is WHO I Am and this is what I’m going to do with little old Pharaoh and further more Moses your going to get to watch me defeat him.”
D.) Vs. 3 Here we have curious statement by the Lord to Moses.
First God says that He “appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty,” The words “God Almighty” are El Shaddai and refers to Gods invincible power and might. Though God did reveal Himself by this name some 6 times in Gen. and 31 times in Job, he clearly was known by His covenant name as well. In fact, Jehovah appears some 162 times in Genesis alone. So how could God say that by that name He was not known to them? The key to understanding this is to be found in the word, “known”. There are two basic uses of the word “known” in scripture, the first has to do with a casual acquaintance, the second refers to knowledge by experience. So it appears that the patriarchs knew God casually by His covenant name but not personally.
This brings me to my second point, God clarifies His covenant name here by making 8 statements about it. We are going to look at those 8 statements in a moment but for now let me just say that in each case they emphasize God as the One Who Redeems His people. Simple put the “I Will’s” reveal His will, which is to redeem.
God is telling Moses that the patriarchs had no personal understanding of God as their redeemer. God is saying in verse 4 that though they understood God as the One whom kept His promises they, according to verse 5, were not the ones that would understand HOW He was to keep His promises, namely by redeeming them out bondage. God is showing Moses that all that is happening is just furthering His work, which is to reveal WHO He is. This goes to answer part of Moses Why and what question. “What does God want? Well He wants to set you free.” Gods purpose and plan in allowing all that took place was to reveal to His people the only way that they could understand that He was by His very nature a redeemer, a God who desires to set you free. There are two parts to freedom.
- Vs. 5 To set a person free from bondage. We are most familiar with this concept, the release from the things in this life that hold us, but I want you to see that Gods redemption has another equally important part.
- Vs. 4 It is also to place in a new place that is characteristically full of joy. The promised land if you will. God places the Joy before the release from the things that hold us. God would have us run to something and not away from something. We will only let go of the things that hold us if we are certain that what we are going towards is better.
“God does not just want to set you free from the things that hold you, He wants to place you into a new state of eternal joy! Look at verse 7 and 8.
- Vs. 7 “I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” The words, “out from” is the first part of redemption or freedom taking you “out from the burdens” of what in slaves you.
- Vs. 8 “And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage:” the words, “bring you into” that’s into the new place of joy.
The 7 “I will’s” in verses 6-8:
First of all, these are not the only 7 “I will’s” recorded in scripture.
- There are the 7 “I will’s” of Gen. 17 where God promises to bless Abraham.
- Then there is the 7 “I will’s” of Jer. 31. Where the Lord promises to bless all people through the New Covenant.
- Lastly there is the 7 “I will’s” of Satan recorded for us in Isa. 14, yet in this statement all of Satan’s promises are towards himself and he is unable to fulfill any of them. Where as Gods are towards us and He is able to fulfill all of them.
- I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians: This speaks of Gods gracious purpose, to redeem us from the world. The things of the world are oppressive. So God promises to bring us out of this world system.
- I will rescue you from their bondage: This was more then just relief from the things that burden us it is a complete severance from the condition. A slave can be sold to a good master, but he still is a slave. God is promising to take us away from slavery all together.
- I will redeem you with an outstretched arm: Here the promise is to purchase us by use of His own outstretched arm. Our redemption will be through His purchasing us, through His Son’s outstretched arm! 1 Peter 1:18-19 tells us that we were purchased with the precious blood of Jesus.
- I will take you as My people: Here we see that they are promised to occupy a unique relationship to God, they would be His people. God does not save us then run off and leave us. He takes us back to His house that we can live with Him! If you are truly saved you won’t run off and start living as you once did because you have been transformed.
- I will be your God: Here we see a God who serves us, who ever lives to bless us. God chose us and has placed His love on us not because we deserve it, but rather because of who He is. When you are weak He will be strong.
- I will bring you into the land: Here we see that He will always keep His promises even if they were not made to us but to our forefathers, or even if we do not live to see them completed He will always keep them. He has a plan which is to bless you!
- I will give it to you as a heritage: Lastly, we see that He also has a purpose, to give you a heritage. He gives you a gift, you can not earn it. In Eph. 1:3 we read that He has, “..blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” It’s our inheritance, which as we all know is ours by way of relational association. Simply put we did not earn in we were born into it!
III.) Vs. 9-13 Stick to My Plan
Vs. 9-13 Now these last two sections we will cover rather quickly. In verse 10 and in verse 13 God gives Moses an opportunity to go by himself, then after Moses does not go God includes Aaron. I think God is always giving us the opportunity to grow and mature.
Vs.12 Moses says that the Jewish leaders won’t listen to him so how does God expect Pharaoh to listen to him? Moses is looking at this through his ability or the lack of it.
Vs. 13 God does not give into the pity party, instead He commands them both to Go. The consequences are not up to you and I they are up to God. He knows just what He is doing. God is telling Moses here, “Don’t give up get going!” Endurance to God’s plan is the key to seeing success!
IV.) Vs. 14-27 Called by Grace not Giftedness
Vs. 14-25 In the middle of all of this God has Moses right down his family background from Jacob’s first three sons Reuben, Simeon, Aaron & Moses forefather Levi. To let them know that God had not made a mistake He had it all planed out that even from a bunch of losers like these guys He could still accomplish His purposes. If he could do it through there ancestors, then He would do it through them. It was about Gods ability, all they had to was, follow God. The fact of the matter God had prepared them for the task they had and it was seen in their being born into that family. Gods calling automatically means Gods enabling!
Vs. 26-27 God tells us here that He is so sure that these two guys are going to succeed that He is recording the ancestry to prove that they are the same two losers. God can spin gold out of straw and He does so that all may marvel not at the straw but in He who alone can do wondrous things.