By My Hand Alone
Almighty God, You are truly God alone. You keep all Your promises by Your great and infinite power.
Read Exodus 5:22-6:12
 Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me?  Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”  Then the LORD said to Moses, “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.”  God also said to Moses, “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.  I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners.  Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.  “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.'”  Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.  Then the LORD said to Moses,  “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.”  But Moses said to the LORD, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat promise did God make? How would he do it?
Bewildered after his catastrophic failure, Moses returns and seeks the Lord with all his heart. In response, three times God reminds Moses, “I am the Lord” (2,6,8). Not just God almighty, as he had revealed himself to the patriarchs, but “Yahweh“: “I am who I am,” or, perhaps, “the Present One” (“I have come down to rescue them,” 3:8). Essentially, God is saying, “You’ve despaired, Moses, because you thought it depended on you or on Pharaoh’s will. It doesn’t. It will be by my hand alone. I made a promise to your ancestors, I have remembered that promise as their descendants have suffered, and now I will act by my hand alone. I am the Lord, and I will do this.” Although Moses disobeyed, God had warned him beforehand that he would not succeed. Again, I think Moses mistakes God’s intention: he’s simply to announce to the Israelites what is to happen, not to look for a positive reaction from them, before announcing it to Pharaoh. Moses has to announce God’s plan before it happens so that when it comes about everyone, Egyptian and Israelite, will know it’s come by God alone (6-8).
God worked around Moses’ failure. Take heart that God’s sovereign purpose will be worked out in your life, too.
Good Lord, I know I won’t always understand what You’re doing or how, but I do want to do my part.
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