Have you ever taken a step of faith and done something out of pure obedience to God, only to have that situation blow up in your face? I have. With the wrong perspective, it can feel soul-crushing, sending a tsunami of doubt and discouragement. It can even dismantle your confidence in the Lord. In today’s passage, God responds to just such an event. He comforts and challenges Moses, all the while reminding him that the response of others does not negate the call to obedience.
- How does your perceived success or lack of success affect your resolve to pursue God’s specific will for your life?
READ THE WORD: EXODUS 6:1-13 (ESV)
6:1 But the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
2 God spoke to Moses and said to him, “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 known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7 I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’” 9 Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.
10 So the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land.” 12 But Moses said to the Lord, “Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?” 13 But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh king of Egypt: to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Chapter 5 ended with Moses telling God that ever since he was obedient to speak God’s words to Pharaoh, more harm had come to the Israelites. What did God say to buttress Moses’ sagging spirit (vs. 1)?
- In verses 2-5, God continued to comfort Moses. Of what did he remind Moses? How might this have impacted Moses’ morale?
- How many times did God say “I will” in verses 6-8? What does this teach us about what we should remember when we feel overwhelmed by carrying our burdens while waiting on God’s deliverance?
- The people did not listen to Moses (vs. 9). What were they focused on that caused them to miss the encouragement that Moses had experienced?
- When you are struggling with a downtrodden spirit or a harsh situation, what can you do to focus on the power of God and the promises of what he will do?
RESPOND TO GOD
This passage is an instruction manual for dealing with oppression and disappointment. God kindly and systematically responded to the very real pain of his people. To bring comfort, he first reminded Moses that the promised deliverance was near. Next, he prompted Moses to remember his character. Lastly, he told Moses to go and be obedient. God did not diminish the difficulty of what the Israelites were experiencing; he just provided them with knowledge that would bring lasting relief. True comfort comes from remembering and acting on God’s promises, his purposes, and his power.
- Spend some time asking God to comfort you in the midst of your very real pain.
- Pray to have the courage to accept his comfort instead of focusing only on your brokenness.