Things were difficult for Israel yet ‘the more they were oppressed the more they multiplied’ (12). Difficult times can be the making of God’s people! Pharaoh (and Satan!) is murderously anxious about the growth of God’s people (15-16; John 10:10). God is about to move in saving power – His ‘midwives’ are preparing for the ‘birth’ of His redeemed people (17,20). Moses was preserved in ‘a basket made of bulrushes’ (2:3). Born again, we are preserved through God’s Word and Spirit – ‘the living and abiding Word of God’ (1 Peter 1:23). Moses was drawn out of the water (2:10). Israel was drawn out of the bondage in Egypt (6:6-8). Like Israel, we have been redeemed by blood (12:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Redeemed by the Lord, we are to be consecrated to Him. In 20:1-2, ‘the Ten Commandments’ are introduced by a declaration of God’s salvation. Our obedience to God is to be grounded in this: He has redeemed us!
Salvation, service, personal faith, life among God’s people – God has much to teach us. Moses sins (2:12). God graciously forgives (Micah 7:18-19) – this is salvation. His sin forgiven, Moses is called to service. He is called by the eternal God, the God who draws near to His people (3:14-15). Saved by Christ, we are called to serve Him, the eternal ‘God’ who ‘became flesh and dwelt among us’ (John 1:1-14). Saved, we belong to God’s people (1 Peter 2:10). Serving, we play our part within the ‘one body’ of Christ (Romans 12:4-5). Moses was to serve God’s people, the people whose prayer God answered – delivering them from bondage and leading them on to great blessing (2:23-25; 3:8). Moses was a key figure, but he did not stand alone. The work of God made progress because the people of God went forward together. In God’s work, we are to be participators – not spectators!
Two great obstacles had to be overcome – Moses’ sense of inadequacy and Pharaoh’s stubborn resistance. Moses had to learn that ‘our competence comes from God’ (2 Corinthians 3:5). Part of God’s provision for Moses was Aaron (14-16). We are not called to go it alone. What encouragement there is in the support of our fellow-believers. Weak believers need strengthening. Stubborn unbelief (Pharaoh) is ready to overwhelm us. We need strength if we are to ‘attempt great things for God’ and ‘expect great things from God’ (William Carey). Concerning Pharaoh, God says, ‘I will harden his heart’ (21). This was also Pharaoh’s own choice – ‘Pharaoh hardened his heart’ (8:15,32; 9:34). God sent circumstances into Pharaoh’s life which led him to harden his own heart by rejecting God’s Word. Pharaoh’s resistance did not hinder God’s salvation – he was ‘compelled by a mighty hand’ (3:19). God is at work – make sure you don’t miss out on His blessing!
In 4:29-31, we see Moses, the elders and the people worshipping God. Pharaoh opposes them – ‘Who is the Lord, that I should heed His voice…?’ (2) – , and ‘the foremen of the people of Israel’ start complaining (19-21). What does Moses do ? – He prays. Notice the honesty of his prayer – he asks the ‘Why ?’ question, and he protests, ‘You have not rescued Your people at all’ (22-23). God gives His answer – redemption will be given (6:1,6-8). Redemption – this is God’s answer to our suffering. He gave His Son to suffer for our sins. Through Christ, we receive salvation. Moses had to learn to wait for the fulfilment of God’s promise. God’s own people were not listening to Him. How could he expect the unbelieving Pharaoh to listen to him (6:9,12)? It was not easy. Nevertheless, this ‘charge’ had been given – ‘bring the people out’. It shall be done!
From my Daily Devotional Readings