I want to start with an apology to all of you who are with me daily and have suffered through the rebuild of my site. Things are back to normal now and up to date. There were several new posts included with my last major upload. Now we are all starting fresh from today. PRAYING God gives us mercy and guidance as we continue on in His word.
Moses had just cried out to God, “Why did You send ME!” He was distraught because the people were angry with him and Aaron. Their plea to Pharaoh had backfired as far as they were concerned. Things had gone from bad to worse. Now we get to hear what God has to say about this latest development.
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In answer to Moses’ cry, God said “Good! NOW you will see what I will do!”
Moses’ mouth hangs open. He wanted to scream, “What do You mean ‘good’? This is ANYTHING BUT GOOD!” The people were raging against him. The requirements of the Egyptians were impossible to meet so the people were continually punished. And no one believed God was really on their side.
What Moses did instead was shut his mouth and listen.
“Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land” (verse 1b).
“Things aren’t going according to plan” Moses thinks. He has seen the new requirements of Pharaoh. He had seen the people’s faces as they fall further and further behind. He was their faces and heard their anger as they left Pharaoh’s court. That anger was pointed directly at him and Aaron.
God didn’t leave Moses to stew in his thoughts. “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 known to them (verses 2b -3). They knew me but you and the children of Israel will know me in a more personal way. I introduced myself by Name to them so they would know how true my promises to them would be. But you will have a much more personal Name to go with our new relationship.
Moses is awed by this comment. What does God mean?
God continues with His explanation. “I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners” (verse 4).
“They never did see that promise” ponders Moses “but we ALL believe it still. We just don’t know how or when.”
“I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I WILL bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I WILL deliver you from slavery to them, and I WILL redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgement. I WILL take you to be My people, and I WILL be your God, and you shall know that I AM the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, I WILL give it to you for a possession. I AM the LORD’” (verses 5-8, emphasis added by me).
Moses is excited by God’s message! “Thank You Lord! I will make sure the people hear all of Your message right away.” He can hardly wait to do as God has instructed him. He rushes off to find Aaron.
Aaron is working in one of the brick groups. He is hot and sweaty. The men in Aaron’s group look up when they see someone approaching them. When they see it is Moses, their faces darken in anger. “What are you doing here? Come to torture us some more with your false claims of deliverance?”
Moses doesn’t answer them, only touches Aaron on the shoulder and asks if they can meet privately. Aaron walks over to an area where straw is waiting to be assembled to begin the brick making process. There are much fewer people. Moses pitches in and helps get the straw ready as they quietly talk.
“Aaron, we need to call another meeting. I spoke with the Lord about the people’s concerns and how things have gotten worse. He has promised me that Pharaoh’s reaction is only temporary. He WILL let us go. It’s just going to take time.”
“Ok. I’ll pass the word and we will meet together tonight after dinner.”
“Thank you Aaron. I couldn’t do this without you.”
“You could if you really had to, but I’ll stand beside you through whatever the Lord sends our way. I’m honored to be used by Him and you.”
After evening meal the elders begin to gather in Aaron’s garden. None of them were too happy to be here again. Aaron welcomes them all and gets right down to business.
“Brothers, I know we are all troubled by Pharaoh’s actions. We were counting on the Lord freeing us immediately. But Moses has spoken with Him again about out struggles. He promised Moses He WILL bring us out!”
“Sure! Right after we also learn to make bricks with no water!”
“The Lord didn’t promise Moses our departure wouldn’t come at a cost but He did promise that Pharaoh himself would drive us out of this land and that the Lord Himself would be our God and we would be His people. He also promised to give US the Promised Land.”
“Yah. Just like He promised to give it to Abraham, Isaac AND Jacob. It’s been more than 500 years and we are still waiting. Better to give up now and learn how to survive under Pharaoh’s hand than to keep holding onto a ‘promise’ that may never come true.”
“I don’t think we can survive another of Pharaoh’s replies to the ‘promises’ the Lord is ‘sharing’ with Moses. Just let us do our jobs in peace.”
With that last statement the men begin to leave Aaron’s garden. Moses and Aaron watch the backs of the retreating men. They all walk with the weight of the world on their shoulders.
“They don’t believe us Moses. Now what do we do?”
“I will have to ask the Lord. I’m out of ideas.”
Later that night Moses is in his favorite spot, under a quiet tree, when he turns to the Lord for direction. “Lord God of my fathers, Your people won’t believe me. All they see is their current pain. They can’t imagine anything different. They have lost hope.”
“Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land” (verse 11).
“Lord, I don’t think You heard me. I told them what You said and they didn’t believe me. How am I supposed to make Pharaoh listen? I’m just a nobody!”
While God and Moses were talking under the tree, He called Aaron from the house to join Moses. Aaron approaches as Moses proclaims himself ‘a nobody.’”
God spoke directly to Moses and Aaron. “This is a task that you WILL finish because I WILL finish it for you. All I need is your faithfulness to do whatever I tell you to do. This will NOT be a one day trip nor will it be easy. But you are the ones I have chosen out of ALL the earth. You WILL see this through! And I WILL walk beside you ALL THE WAY.”
Moses and Aaron each individually and corporately agree to do ‘whatever’ God tells them to. They don’t know what to expect, except for it to be a long hard road.
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I often wonder what it is about the different people in the bible that inspires God to use them as He does. What was it about Moses that God spared his life as an infant? What was it Moses was doing in his life that prompted God to get his attention with the burning bush? Was he close to God while out in ‘the wilderness’ with his father in law? Was he personally searching for God during that time?
I was thinking about this same issue regarding Jesus’ disciples the other day. I realized that they were actively searching for their Messiah. Several of them were disciples or followers of John the Baptist. They were ready to believe when he pointed to Jesus. I’m sure it was hard parting company with John, but the promise of walking with the Messiah was too good to pass up.
But what about Moses and Aaron? What were they doing to grab God’s attention? I have a feeling this is going to be another ‘bench question’ for when I get there.
Thank You Father for choosing dedicated people. I shudder to think what the world would be like today If You hadn’t picked AND trained these men. Thank You for sharing their stories with me. I want to be as determined as Moses FOR THE RIGHT THINGS! I have too many things in my history that I was “determined” about and they were NOT all pleasing to You. Help me fix that Lord. Help me stay the course with You, no matter what the cost!