Reading: Exodus 3:1-10
The Israelites are burdened under Pharaoh’s cruel affliction. When they cry out God acknowledges them (Exodus 2:24). Israel suffers for a long time. Eighty years has passed since Moses is born, and now God leads him to Mt Horeb (also called Mt Sinai). There, from the burning bush, God says “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them” (Ex 3:7-8). God repeats His promise of Genesis 15:16 that He will bring Israel into the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey (Ex 3:8). What a wonderful promise!
God commands Moses “Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (Ex 3:10). Moses fears this difficult task and raises objections. He says “who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” and, what if the Israelites ask me awkward questions like: what is God’s name?
God gives Moses a wonderful answer: “ ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’ ” (Ex 3:14-15); I remain the same always. Moses and the Israelites are comforted by this. God, who never changes, is forever faithful; His promises will be delivered;
We, living so long after Moses, are also encouraged. John Calvin says that in Israel’s bondage in Egypt we a picture of our own spiritual captivity by Satan, which held us until our heavenly Father set us free by His divine power and leads us into His Kingdom. Long ago God released the Israelites from the oppression of Pharaoh to worship God’s name. Today God his children releases from the devil’s deadly power.
Key text: Ex 3:16-17 “Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”‘
Question: God’s promises that He will deliver Israel out of Egypt, the house of bondage. How is the church encouraged by this today?