The Gospel of Exodus
Mighty God, in my brokenness bring healing; in my waywardness and turmoil, bring Your assurance and peace.
Read Exodus 5:22-6:12
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.
A reading of the psalms shows us that the writers, on many occasions, vented their anger and frustration to the Lord. He patiently listens and then brings words of assurance to our tormented hearts.
Today’s reading is bracketed by Moses’ anger and frustration. He acknowledges Pharaoh’s agency, but he accuses God of doing evil to the people (5:22, cosmetically reduced in the NIV to “brought trouble”); and after another experience of not being listened to (6:9) he returns again (in what tone of voice: whining, desperate?) to his own lack of eloquence, his own heavy tongue (6:12; he is still at it in 6:30). I remember gratefully that my ranting and raving is heard by the God who has very patiently been listening to his servants’ complaints for many centuries. Moses says angrily, “Is this [emphatic] why you sent me?” (5:22). What is my “this” which is causing me such problems at the moment–the thing which I resent, which I find so hard to bear?
God’s reply to Moses’ blustering and desperation is so wonderfully generous that this section has been called “The Gospel of Exodus.” I remember how the phrase “mighty hand and outstretched arm” echoes throughout the Old Testament as a reminder of his powerful, redeeming grace (Deut. 4:34; 2 Chron. 6:32; Psa. 136:12). I notice that four times God reminds Moses, “I am the Lord.” I list the 14 verbs describing what God has done and what he will do, and I turn these action-words over and over in my heart. God revealed himself to the patriarchs as “God Almighty” (Gen. 17:1; 43:14; 48:3; 49:25); he revealed himself more fully as “I AM WHO I AM” (Exod. 3:14) and most fully of all in Jesus Christ our Lord (Heb. 1). What more do I want him to be and to do for me? Am I sure that he will do everything that he has promised? With relentless honesty we are told (6:9) that because of their sobbing spirit and harsh bondage the people did not listen to Moses or to God. I pray for anyone I know whose demoralization makes them too deaf to God or their friends.
It seems in Moses’ reaction (5:22,23), the burning bush of chapter 3 has been overshadowed by the Egyptian tyrant (ch. 5) and the complaining Israelites (5:19-21). In the pressures of life, what takes your focus off Almighty God? Why do you think this is? What can you do about it?
Lord, I renew my trust today in Your mighty hand and outstretched arm.