Passage: Exodus 5:1-6:13
Speaker: Steve Hands
Series: Coming Home – A Journey Through Exodus
Sometimes obeying God doesn’t bring wonderful results. Moses obeys God, but his confrontation of Pharaoh leads to miserable results; Moses’ obedience forces God’s people to make make bricks without straw (Exod 5:1–21). As a result, Moses asks the question, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people?” (Exod 5:22). Why would obedience bring such painful results? God never answers that question, but He assures Moses of His presence. Four times in Exodus 6:2–8, God reminds Moses, “I am the LORD.” When we know who God is we find strength to persevere, even when we don’t see the desired results. More specifically, since the LORD has kept his covenant (Exod 6:1–5) and will fulfill his promises (6:6–8), we can persevere even without immediate results (6:9–13).
First, we see that the LORD has kept his covenant(Exod 6:1–5). God doesn’t answer Moses’ question for why this evil is happening. Instead, He reminds Moses of what He has done in the past—appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, established His covenant, and heard the groaning of HIs people. Moses’ focus is lifted beyond the present problems to HIs past faithfulness over time; the LORD has kept his covenant.
The LORD has not only kept His covenant, but He will fulfill His promises (Exod 6:6–8). The LORD not only hears the groaning of God’s people but promises to bring them from slavery, redeem them with an outstretched arm, take them to be His people, and bring them into the land that He had promised. Once again Moses’ focus is lifted beyond the present problems to God’s promises that are yet to be accomplished. And Moses’ faith is lifted up to consider the greatness of the God who can fulfill such promises.
Since the LORD has kept his covenant and will fulfill His promises, we can persevere even without immediate results (6:9–13). After these glorious truths of God that the LORD speaks to Moses, the people of Israel still fail to listen to Moses because of their “broken spirit and harsh slavery” (6:9). Difficult situations can demoralize us so that we cannot hear hope. After failing to convince his own people, Moses despairs in confronting Pharaoh (6:12). Yet the LORD speaks to Moses and Aaron and gives them a charge. As God speaks to Moses, he gains strength and courage to persevere, even though he does not see the results he desires.
Similarly when our own strength lags and ability to go on dissipates, we must lift our focus to the LORD who has kept his covenant and will fulfill HIs promise, so that we might persevere even without seeing immediate results. Just as God spoke with Moses to strengthen his lagging resolve, so God speaks with us in HIs Word so that we will not despair despite the challenges that we see.