Read Exodus 6
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”
2 God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them. 4 I also established my covenantwith them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”
9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.
10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.”
12 But Moses said to the Lord, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?”
Family Record of Moses and Aaron
13 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.
14 These were the heads of their families:
The sons of Reuben the firstborn son of Israel were Hanok and Pallu, Hezron and Karmi. These were the clans of Reuben.
15 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These were the clans of Simeon.
16 These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years.
17 The sons of Gershon, by clans, were Libni and Shimei.
18 The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years.
19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi.
These were the clans of Levi according to their records.
20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.
21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg and Zikri.
22 The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri.
23 Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
24 The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These were the Korahite clans.
25 Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas.
These were the heads of the Levite families, clan by clan.
26 It was this Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.” 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt—this same Moses and Aaron.
Aaron to Speak for Moses
28 Now when the Lord spoke to Moses in Egypt, 29 he said to him, “I am the Lord. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I tell you.”
30 But Moses said to the Lord, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”
Today, Moses delivers some good news to the Israelites. He tells them what God has told him–how He has remembered His covenant with them, how He will free them and redeem them, and how He will take them to the Promised Land. You’d think the Israelites would be jumping for joy! At last, they’re going to be rescued! At last, God has remembered them! Wahoo!
But Moses’ message fell on deaf ears. Verse 9 says, “They did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.” The Israelites just don’t believe it. It all sounds too good to be true. And the guy giving them this “good news” is the same person who just got their workload increased. The Israelites were overwhelmed by their life circumstances. They knew God’s promise to their forefathers, had heard stories of what He was capable of, and yet, because they were focused only on the problems directly in front of them, they missed God’s provision for them.
The same is true for us. Many times, we are so discouraged and dismayed by what life is throwing at us that we can’t see the bigger picture. We can’t see God at work because our view is limited by our small, earthly perspective. Our human eyes only see problems, worries, fears, and anxieties because that’s all we’re looking at. And who can blame us, right? Look around–this world is a mess. Disease, sickness, brokenness, failures, hurts, and more overwhelm us. It’s easy to get lost in the despair of it all.
However, as believers, we get to be the most optimistic people in the world. Sure, in this world, we will have trials (like Jesus promises), but we know that what we’re going through now is not the end. And because of that, we can have an eternal perspective–one with our eyes fixed on Christ, rather than on our problems. Like Paul says in Colossians 3:1-2, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” What are you looking at today? Problems, pain, and worries? Or, are you looking up at Christ and allowing His perspective to guide and direct you even in the midst of tough circumstances?
What difficult life situation are you stuck in right now? What would it look like for you to have eternal perspective in the midst of it?
Not only does it look like the Israelties doubt God, but we also see here that Moses begins to doubt, as well. His confidence has been shaken. When have you doubted God? What do you do with your doubts?
Did You Know?
Verse 6 is the traditional reason why Jews drink four cups of wine at the Passover Seder. Each cup represents the divine promises in this verse and the following verse: “I will free you,” “I will deliver you,” “I will redeem you,” and “I will take you to be My people.” There are actually three more promises in the following verses, to total seven promises.