Our last reading this week – Exodus 3:11-22
If G-d were to call you would you be quick to respond, and would you trust Him no matter how difficult that call might be?
v11: In Hebrew ‘G-d’ is written as ‘THE G-d’. This emphasises that He is the one and only true G-d. Did Moses understand the implications of that fact? Do we? Do we believe we are in covenant with The G-d who is without limitations, and through whom ALL things are possible?
Moses wasn’t quite ready to accept all the truth concerning the attributes of G-d.
· Who am I: This is the problem. Moses focuses on himself and on his own ability. When G-d has called us to do something we need to do it in light of who He is, and not in light of who we are. Every victory is brought about by G-d – but He delights in using His people as vessels, to participate with Him in His glorious exploits.
· Children: Inheritance and promise. G-d calls them out of Egypt so that they can inherit His promises.
v12: Be with you: That’s all we need to know. If G-d is with us it doesn’t matter who’s against us.
· Upon this mountain: This promise (sign) was personal to Moses. G-d was promising to bring him safely – together with others (the fifth ‘you’ is written in the plural) – back to this place.
v13: “What is His name?”: Name is related to character. Who is this G-d? What is His character or attributes? Many religions have many different names for their gods, and they pick and choose whom they will. We do not get to choose who our G-d is – the one and only true G-d never changes from this season to that, from this need to that.
v14: English translations translate this phrase “I AM who I AM”. If you look up this verse in BIblehub.com it would literally be translated “I will be who I will be.” This places an emphasis on the future, and not on the here and now. As Kingdom people we are future minded. The promises of G-d, His covenantal blessings, are yet future – Hebrews 11:39-40.
G-d, through Moses, wanted to convey to the people a future reality and, therefore, hope. Faithfulness, on our part, is not just based upon what G-d has done or on what He is doing, but our motivation is in the future promises of G-d.
v15: Mention of the patriarchs = Reminder of faith and of G-d’s promises – that have future fulfilment.
· This is My name forever: Eternal Kingdom implications.
· Memorial: A memorial causes us to remember something. G-d remembers His covenant from generation to generation. His Name causes us to remember His promises.
v16: Elders of Israel: the leadership. This implies that the Hebrews did not assimilate entirely. They still had their own elders.
· I have surely visited you: G-d is all in. He is going to move mightily in their situation in order to redeem them.
· Seen what is done: Proverbs 15:3
v17 I will bring you up: Philippians 3:14 – an upward call. Being given a different perspective. In the weeks to come we are going to see that G-d gave the Hebrews, as well as the Egyptians, a different perspective of who He is.
· Milk: Nourishment for the purpose of growth.
· Honey: When we grow and become the people that G-d wants us to become the outcome is sweet.
v18 They will heed your voice – G-d promised Moses that the people were going to hear and respond to him.
· Hebrews: This word ‘Hebrew’ has to do with the other side – speaking about those who have come across (The implication is that now G-d was going to take them back to where they had come from).
· Please let us go: This was a very polite request and not a commandment. G-d gave Pharaoh the opportunity to willing submit to Him – Philippians 2:9-11 (ALL will do this. Some will do it willingly, but most will do it unwillingly)
· Our G-d – Pharoah considered himself a god. This was a challenge for him to hear that not everyone thought so.
v19 G-d is transcendent, not bound by time – He knows all things, even what happens in the future. G-d saw, into the future, what Pharoah’s choices would be.
· Mighty hand – mighty deeds. Pharoah was going to be unmoved by the supernatural miracles (plagues) of G-d.
v20 Striking (like we saw the other day) involves death. Redemption cannot come about without death.
· After that he will let you go: G-d warned Moses that it was going to be a long and difficult process.
v21 -22 The best way to understand this is that redemption paves the way for a payday. These Hebrews had worked for decades, and they were going to collect their wages when they left.
· Plunder: To exploit. The Egyptians thought that their wealth was going to be used for their own joy, but G-d- through His work of redemption – allowed a transfer of their assets to take place. The Egyptians submitted to the wrong authority and so they were going to suffer loss – in their eyes they were going to consider themselves plundered.