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Read Exodus 6:1
The LORD Delivers
When God called Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, both He and Moses knew that Pharaoh would not favor this idea. In Exodus 5, Moses had returned to Egypt, first having met the leaders of Israel at a wilderness rendezvous to brief them of God’s intention to deliver His people. In Egypt he presented God’s demand to Pharaoh: “Let my people go.”
As expected, Pharaoh rejected this idea of liberation, concluding that such ideas were a sign that the people needed more work. Instead of agreeing to God’s demand, he increased the Israelites’ workload, telling them they were now responsible to gather their own straw when making bricks and that the daily production quotas would not be reduced. Clearly, this was not the outcome for which Moses had hoped and he complained to God, asking why He had brought trouble on the people and not rescued them (Exodus 5:22-23).
It is against this backdrop that we read the LORD’s response to Moses in Exodus 6:1: “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of My mighty hand he will let them go; because of My mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” This statement underscores two important truths. Firstly, getting Pharaoh to let God’s people go was not ultimately Moses’ responsibility but the LORD’s responsibility. The LORD told Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharoah.” It was not up to Moses to convince Pharaoh of the action he should take by the power of persuasive speech or logical reasoning. He was not tasked with wearing Pharaoh down by constant reminders and pressure. Instead, Moses was simply a spokesperson for the LORD, the agent through whom the LORD would demonstrate to Pharaoh His absolute sovereignty. Secondly, the LORD stated that it is by His mighty hand that Pharaoh will let the Israelites go. The God of Israel is a God of action, acting on behalf of His people.
As we compare Moses to Jesus this week, it is helpful to remember that even in Jesus’ deliverance of us from sin, it is God who is acting on our behalf to rescue us from our slavery to sin. As with Israel, our deliverance is not because of our own efforts but because of God’s mighty hand.
How do you see God’s mighty hand in your life?
For Living Stones Ministries
Pray for the release of I Love You, No Matter What. The book is part of Living Stones Ministries’ growing children’s book series, which addresses gender and sexuality from a biblical perspective. Pray for the young hearts being reached through these books and for children to be assured of their God-given identity.
Read Exodus 6:2-5
The Covenant-keeping God
Yesterday we looked at the LORD’s clear statement that he was the One who would deliver Israel from Pharaoh. Today’s text focuses on the why.
God’s explanation of why He was going to deliver Israel from Pharaoh is all about Him: “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.” The name God uses for himself is the LORD (with all caps), which in our English text is a reference to YHWH. This name, YHWH, was deemed so holy by Israel that they did not speak it. Instead, whenever they encountered this name in the text, they read “Lord” (Adonai); hence, the use of LORD by English translators whenever this name occurs in the Old Testament.
God was reminding Moses that this name, YHWH, was the name by which God had revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 3 at Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush. When God gave Moses this name, He explained it with the statement: “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). So, God was essentially confirming for Moses that He was going to deliver Israel because of who He, YHWH, was.
This idea is unpacked further in the following two verses in which the LORD reminded Moses that He had established his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (v. 4) and that the pleas of the enslaved Israelites had caused Him to remember this covenant (v. 5). God was identifying Himself once again to Moses as the covenant-keeping God. He would surely deliver Israel from Pharaoh’s hand because He had made a promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He was not about to break that promise.
We who are Christians are not participants in God’s covenant with Israel, but Jesus came in part to establish a new covenant, one in which people from all nations are welcome and God delivers us from enslavement to sin by the death of His Son and the power of His Spirit. Just as God could not forget His covenant with Israel, so He cannot forget His new covenant established through His Son.
How does thinking of God as the covenant-keeping God impact the way you think of Him? How does it alter your confidence in His ability to keep His promises?
For Living Stones Ministries
Pray for Living Stones Ministries’ support group leaders as they minister to many families through both in-person and online meetings. Pray also that those who attend these groups will be encouraged and strengthened by others who are walking the same journey. Pray that each person will feel comfortable enough to share his or her concerns and heartaches.
Read Exodus 6:6-8
Deliverance with a Purpose
One of the remarkable features of today’s text is how many times the LORD proclaims what He will do. The Lord’s statement begins and ends with the reminder, “I am the LORD.” Again, God’s actions proceed from His identity as the covenant-keeping God.
Speaking to Moses, God states “I will” seven times in these few verses. What will God do? “I will bring you out.” “I will free you.” “I will redeem you.” “I will take you as My own.” “I will be your God.” “I will bring you to the land.” “I will give it to you.” When we read these abbreviated statements in this manner, it is easy to see God’s essential threefold message to Moses emerge.
Firstly, the LORD will deliver His people from slavery in Egypt. The work the LORD is about to do is fundamentally a work of liberation as He plans to reverse the fortunes of His enslaved people. Israel will no longer be oppressed by Pharaoh and their Egyptian slave masters. What joy the prospect of freedom must have been for those who had grown up as slaves and had never known freedom.
Secondly, the LORD will make Israel His own people. He is not simply liberating them from their slavery, but He is giving them a new identity as the people of YHWH. The LORD links his action to making Israel His own possession to their acknowledgement of all He had done for them: “Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians” (v. 7). God’s acts of deliverance lead to Israel having a new identity as the people of YHWH, which in turn should remind them of His acts of deliverance.
Thirdly, the Lord will give Israel the land He had promised to their forefathers. In these promises God confirmed His intentions to keep the covenant promises He had made to them. God had not forgotten His promises and He had not forgotten His people, the descendants of those to whom the promises had been made. He will deliver. He will make them His. He will give them the land.
Do we recognize our slavery to sin and death? How has God delivered us from them? What does it mean for us to be people of God or followers of Jesus? What promises is He fulfilling in our lives?
For Living Stones Ministries
Pray for the Living Stones Ministries’ staff and board of directors. They want to be open and sensitive to God’s leading in every aspect of this ministry. Pray that God will protect them and their families as they continue to proclaim His message of healing to hurting families and help them move forward in hope.
Read Hebrews 3:1-2; Numbers 12:1-15
Jesus, the Faithful One
In today’s reading, the writer of Hebrews identifies the readers as brothers (and sisters) “who share in the heavenly calling” (3:1). Although the author does not further explain this calling, we can assume it is God’s calling of us, His people, like the calling Israel received by God out of Egypt. The author’s exhortation to the readers is to fix our thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.
Hebrews 3:1 is the only place in the New Testament that identifies Jesus with these two terms, apostle and high priest. The word apostle refers to one who is sent, presumably by God in this instance. A high priest is one who represents people to God. So, in the imagery used here, Jesus is both the One sent by God and the One who in turn represents us to God. These descriptors anticipate what the writer of Hebrews says later about Jesus being our Mediator (see Hebrews 8:6, 9:15, and 12:24).
The writer of Hebrews proceeds to highlight an important truth about Jesus—that He was faithful to God, just as Moses was faithful. Although the previous day’s text focused primarily on God’s promises to Moses rather than Moses’ response, we know from the rest of Scripture that Moses was faithful to do what God commanded him. The author sums it up by stating, “Moses was faithful in all God’s house” (3:2). This is likely an allusion to Numbers 12:7 in which God affirms Moses’ faithfulness when Aaron and Miriam had been talking against him. God underscores the special relationship he had with Moses and Moses’ faithfulness to God’s commission.
The comparison drawn here between Jesus and Moses focuses on their fulfillment of the tasks God gave them to accomplish. As the Apostle, Jesus was sent by God with a similar commission as Moses—to deliver God’s people. But instead of delivering them from slavery in Egypt and leading them to the Promised Land, Jesus’ task as the Messiah—God’s Anointed One—was to deliver God’s people from slavery to sin and lead them to eternal life with God. Both Moses and Jesus were faithful in fulfilling the work God had given to them, but Jesus’ work was greater.
How do you see God’s faithfulness in your life? What tasks has God given you? What does it mean for you to be faithful to what God has called you to do?
For Living Stones Ministries
Pray for the release of Living Stones Ministries’ Moving Forward in Community and the family members who will use the curriculum and videos to help them in their walk of faith with a loved one identifying as LGBT. We ask God to fill each one who will use this resource to trust God in his or her journey.
Read Hebrews 3:3-6
Honoring the Son
The writer of Hebrews expands the comparison between Moses and Jesus in today’s reading by focusing on how Jesus is greater than Moses. The author uses the analogy of a house and its builder, arguing that as fine as a house may be and as much as people may praise it, the higher honor always goes to the builder. If we consider for a moment a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the truth of this argument is evident. Wright, whose architectural genius was reflected in the buildings he designed, deserves greater honor than any of his buildings.
Next, the author reminded the readers that everything is built by God. Accepting this as self-evident, it is obvious that God deserves the highest honor, for He is the Master Architect.
The author then referred again to Numbers 12:7, reminding us that “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house.” But the author used this reference to Moses as God’s servant to draw a contrast to Jesus. Christ (notice the use of “Christ” for “Jesus”) is God’s Son rather than servant. Moses was a servant in God’s house, but Jesus is the Son over God’s house. This means that Jesus is deserving of more honor than Moses.
Then the author adds one more twist to the analogy. The house of God about which he refers is not a temple or the kingdom or heaven. It is us, God’s people (3:6). But the writer of Hebrews reminds the readers that not everyone is part of God’s house. Rather, God’s house refers to we who “hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” In the context of the rest of the book of Hebrews, this likely refers to those who continue to demonstrate faith (confidence and hope) in God and His power to deliver them from the difficulties and challenges they are facing. Those of us who hold onto hope comprise the “house” of God.
The writer of Hebrews will explore such conditional statements in greater depth later in the letter. But for now, it is enough to note that this text teaches us that Jesus deserves great honor as the head of God’s house.
Do we submit to His authority in our lives? Do we see Him as the head of the house rather than merely a servant in it? Do we honor Him as He deserves?
For Living Stones Ministries
Pray for all those caught in the LGBTQ+ lifestyle and for children and teens who are confused about their God-given identity. Pray that they will come to know Jesus as their Savior and King, for He is the only One who can meet their deepest needs and heal their deepest wounds.
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