God Is At Work .... God’s Purpose Of Grace Moves Forward ... : Exodus 4-8
God Is At Work. Make Sure You Don't Miss Out On His Blessing!
Two great obstacles had to be overcome - Moses’ sense of inadequacy and Pharaoh’s stubborn resistance. Moses had to learn that ‘our competence comes from God’(2 Corinthians 3:5). Part of God’s provision for Moses was Aaron (14-16). We are not called to go it alone. What encouragement there is in the support of our fellow-believers. Weak believers need strengthening. Stubborn unbelief (Pharaoh) is ready to overwhelm us. We need strength if we are to ‘attempt great things for God’ and ‘expect great things from God’(William Carey). Concerning Pharaoh, God says, ‘I will harden his heart’(21). This was also Pharaoh’s own choice - ‘Pharaoh hardened his heart’(8:15,32; 9:34). God sent circumstances into Pharaoh’s life which led him to harden his own heart by rejecting God's Word. Pharaoh’s resistance did not hinder God’s salvation - he was ‘compelled by a mighty hand’(3:19). God is at work. Make sure you don't miss out on His blessing!
In 4:29-31, we see Moses, the elders and the people worshipping God. Pharaoh opposes them - ‘Who is the Lord, that I should heed His voice...?’(2) - , and ‘the foremen of the people of Israel’ start complaining (19-21). What does Moses do ? - He prays. Notice the honesty of his prayer - he asks the ‘Why ?’question, and he protests, ‘You have not rescued Your people at all’(22-23). God gives His answer - redemption will be given (6:1,6-8). Redemption - this is God’s answer to our suffering. He gave His Son to suffer for our sins. Through Christ, we receive salvation. Moses had to learn to wait for the fulfilment of God’s promise. God’s own people were not listening to him. How could he expect the unbelieving Pharaoh to listen to him (6:9,12)? It was not easy. Nevertheless, this ‘charge’ had been given - ‘bring the people out’. It shall be done!
God’s Purpose Of Grace Moves Forward According To His Power And Not Our Weakness.
This list of names emphasizes that God is concerned with the ‘little people’, and not only ‘the big names’ like Moses. Gifted individuals have their important place in carrying forward God’s purpose. Such individuals are used by God for the blessing of the whole people of God. The forward movement of God’s work is often preceded by great difficulties. We must ‘walk by faith, not by sight’(2 Corinthians 5:7). Adverse circumstances must not defeat us. The Lord is calling us on to greater faith. God’s purpose of grace moves forward according to His power and not our weakness. Moses spoke ‘with faltering lips’(30). God worked miracles (8-24). Turning to ‘sorcerers’ and ‘magicians’, Pharaoh, the servant of Satan, ‘would not listen’ to God’s servants (11,13;7:22). ‘Our God is marching on’- to glorious victory (Church Hymnary, 318)!
God’s work is ‘in the midst of the earth’. He claims His own people for Himself (22-23). To ‘all the ends of the earth’, He says, ‘Turn to Me and be saved’. Concerning His own people, He says, ‘In the Lord all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory’(Isaiah 45:22,25). In the plagues, we see God’s power and Pharaoh’s pride. There is a conflict between the reality of God and Pharaoh’s fantasy. Conflict is God’s training ground for spiritual growth. We take our stand on the reality of God. Those who oppose God live in a fantasy world, imagining that they can successfully oppose the mighty God of salvation - ‘To pluck from His hand the weakest, trembling soul, it never, never can be done’(Sacred Songs and Solos. 508). Pharaoh was neither the first nor the last to oppose God - and fail! Put to death by men, Christ was raised by God (Acts 2:23-24) - Hallelujah!