Wednesday, September 15, 2021

2021.09.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 5:20–6:8

Read Exodus 5:20–6:8

Questions from the Scripture text: From where did the Israelite officers come in Exodus 5:20? Who met them? What did they want Yahweh to do now (Exodus 5:21)? Why? To Whom does Moses turn (Exodus 5:22)? What two things does he ask? What does he say has happened (Exodus 5:23)? What does he say hasn’t happened? Of what does Yahweh remind Moses in Exodus 6:1 (cf. Exodus 3:19–22; Exodus 4:21–23)? And of what in Exodus 6:2 (cf. Exodus 3:13–16)? With whom had Yahweh not used this Name (Exodus 6:3)? But what had He done with them (Exodus 6:4)? And to what circumstances is He responding by acting upon this covenant (Exodus 6:5, cf. Exodus 2:23–25; Exodus 3:6–9; Exodus 4:5, Exodus 4:31)? What will be the manner of Yahweh rescuing and redeeming Israel (Exodus 6:6)? By this plan, what relationship will God uphold (Exodus 6:7)? And what promise will He thus complete (Exodus 6:8)? What bookends Yahweh’s speech from Exodus 6:2-8?

The Lord certainly isn’t saving the Israelites because of their godliness, or using Moses to save them because of his godliness. The Israelites attack the one that God sent (Exodus 5:21), and then Moses turns to Yahweh, accuses Him (Exodus 5:22) and complains that He hasn’t delivered the people yet (Exodus 5:23). Remember: this is after Yahweh has told him, multiple times, that Pharaoh would refuse to let the people go and harden his heart until compelled by great wonders.

Dear Christian, do not be surprised when you find your heart to be as unbelieving as Moses. Repent of such wickedness; it is offensive in the mirror as it is in the text. But, do not dismay. Behold the mercy and patience of your God, Who continues to save anyway, for the glory of His Name (Exodus 6:2), for the keeping of His Word (Exodus 6:3-4), and for compassion to His people (Exodus 6:5). 

How does God respond to the faithlessness of His people? By reaffirming that He has joined them to Himself by covenant (Exodus 6:6-7) and reaffirming the promise He has made to them as their God (Exodus 6:8). Careful observers of the Scriptures note from Exodus 20:2 that God’s relationship with Israel is an administration of the covenant of grace, and that truth stands out quite clearly here. God actually responds to the wickedness of His people by committing Himself to their deliverance. What glorious grace!

We know that there are those in the church who perish in their sin for lack of faith, and that this entire Israelite generation would end up suffering the same consequence (cf. Hebrews 3:16–4:2), and that the Lord Jesus solemnly warns unrepenting churches in the seven letters at the beginning of the book of John. So, we can never take such mercy as an excuse for being lax about our sin.

BUT, when we are repenting of our sin and tempted to despair over it, let us turn to Him, rejoicing at His marvelous patience and free grace, rejoicing over the love that gave us Christ and the fullness of the atonement that Christ has made for us.

What difficulties have challenged whether you will keep clinging to the promises of God in Christ? What repeated sin in your life has you tempted to think that God will run out of patience with you, and how does this passage encourage you to keep turning back to Him?

Sample prayer:  Lord, forgive us for our impatience with You. We are like Moses, complaining after one try that “You have not saved Your people at all.” But how marvelous is Your patience with us! For the sake of Your Name, Your promise, and Your love, persist with us, forgive us, and cleanse us from this unrighteousness. For, we ask this in  Him in Whom You have revealed Your Name, kept Your promise, and displayed Your love, even Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP30 “O LORD, I Will Exalt You” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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