Exodus 5 -- 7
God commanded Moses to face the Pharaoh of Egypt, the most powerful ruler in the world, who also believed himself to be a god, and say to him: Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Let My people go, that they may hold a feast (offer a sacrifice) to Me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go (Exodus 5:1-2).
Moses' immediate reaction was to blame God: Why have You so evil treated this people? Why is it that You have sent me (to Pharaoh)? Since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all (5:22-23). How often in life our questions far outnumber our answers: "Why have I been diagnosed with terminal cancer? Why did my husband divorce me? Why must I raise our children alone with no father? Why did my child become a drug addict? Why was my child born with handicaps? Why are my children so cruel to me? Why did I lose my job? Why? Why? Why?" God didn't answer Moses' questions, and seldom will He answer yours or mine in the way we expect.
When Moses cried out: Why, Lord? God merely reminded him who He was. What is important to know is that God is the Unchangeable, Almighty, Loving God of Truth, and He said: I will bring you out . . . I will rid you out of their bondage . . . I will redeem you . . . I will take you to Me for a people . . . I will be . . . your God. . . . I will bring you into the land . . . I will give it to you (6:6-8). Before He spoke the first I will, God said: I am the Lord, meaning: "I am the only One who knows what is best and I am altogether sufficient to meet every situation" (6:2); and after the seventh I will, He repeated for emphasis: I am the Lord (the only Self-Existent One) (6:8). God has never once failed to keep His Word; but, seldom is the fulfillment of His promise as soon as we expect, and almost never in the way we think would be best.
Immediately following His promises, God sent the first plague upon the Egyptians. The River Nile turned to blood, which resulted in the death of all its forms of life (7:20-21). Traditionally, the Nile was looked upon by Egyptians as a sacred, life-producing deity. So, this death-producing water had to be a shocking surprise to the people and a powerful demonstration of the mighty power of the One True God over one of the many false gods of the Egyptians. But, Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken to them (7:22).
Pharaoh persisted in keeping the Israelites under his cruel authority. However, as had been foretold, the judgment of God was poured forth on each false Egyptian deity, on every household of the Egyptians, on Pharaoh's son, and eventually on Pharaoh himself and his armies.
It is a fearful fact that every rejection of the will of God becomes a hearthardening process against the gracious love He desires to bestow upon anyone who will turn to Him. It is an insult to God to ignore His gracious invitation to repent of our sin and live to fulfill His will. Today . . . hear His voice, harden not your hearts (Hebrews 3:7-8).
5:8 tale = quota; 5:9 vain words = worthless promises; 5:11 not ought = none; 5:13 hasted = kept driving; 5:19 minish = make fewer in number; 5:21 made our savor to be abhorred = made us offensive; 7:15 against = waiting to meet him.
Government Officials: Rep. Frank Mascara (PA) and Rep. Ron Packard (CA) · BPM Staff: Steve Harle · Pray for Christian Resources International and Bruce Craft, Director · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Shelley and Chuck Robertson · Country: Slovenia (2 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian · A capital offense for a Muslim to accept Christ as Savior · 96% Roman Catholic; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Offer up your prayer to God, your King, who will hearken to your prayer (Psalms 5:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: