Free Children of God
Loving Father, I stand before You today. Unpeel my pretenses, masks, and facades. May Your Word do Your transforming work in me.
Read Exodus 4:18-31
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
As children, we are “heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Rom. 8:17).
Moses’ concern for his own people while he was in Midian (18), his meeting with Aaron (27,28) and the believing response of Israelite leaders (29-31) are straightforward steps on the path towards deliverance. In between, however, come two sections that have caused much debate.
God “hardening the heart” of Pharaoh (21) raises issues of human responsibility. Here, as in 7:3, God’s action is in the future, but similar words follow later statements about Pharaoh hardening his own heart: “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (9:12), comes after Pharaoh “hardened his heart” (8:15,32). As previously in the call of Moses, the response of the humans who encounter YHWH, whether appropriate or inappropriate, often leads to a further response from YHWH, which takes the human action into account. The words here assure Moses in the face of Pharaoh’s future intransigence: Moses’ words will be inadequate, but God’s purposes will not be thwarted. Note the parallel: the continuation of Pharaoh’s power, with the Israelites as mere property, is centered in his firstborn son, but God has wider purposes for his own “firstborn son”, Israel (22), the one who receives the inheritance. Our thoughts, however, go to the focusing of God’s saving purposes in the Son of God. In Christ the powers that oppress have been defeated and all may enjoy the status and freedom of “children of God,” “co-heirs with Christ.” (Matt 2:14,15). The second problematic incident is Moses’ mysterious divine encounter (24-26). This incident, with release through the “blood” of a “son,” is one of the most enigmatic incidents in the Bible, but in some way, Moses, like Jacob (Gen. 32:22-32), is prepared for his task.
Straightforward events, the interplay of divine and human actions, troubling experiences—all play a part in the journey of faith.
Despite struggles and unresolved issues, encourage yourself and others with the knowledge that we are “co-heirs with Christ.” What will that mean for you today?
Loving Lord, I praise You because I’m not an orphan adrift in the cosmos; I’m Your child, loved and cherished.
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