Exodus 5-6

Because I AM – I will

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will free you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with mighty power and great acts of judgment. I will make you my own special people, and I will be your God. And you will know that I am the LORD your God who has rescued you from your slavery in Egypt. Exodus 6:6-7 NLT

Okay, so things didn’t get off on the best note. After Moses breaks the news to the people that they are going to be set free by God and they rejoice and worship, he breaks the news to Pharaoh. The response he got from Pharaoh was slightly different. A resounding, “No way I’m going to let you go. What do you think, I’m crazy or something?” Pharaoh rejected Moses’ request and told he and the people to get back to work. The more Moses pushed on the subject, the angrier Pharaoh got, until he began to turn up the heat on them. He demanded they make the bricks for his work projects, but instead of him providing the straw, they would have to get their own. He doubled their daily quota of bricks. He had them beaten and pushed relentlessly. It got so bad that the Hebrew foreman (who were being beaten as well), went to Pharaoh and begged him to relent. He simply told them they were lazy and to get back to work. They had had enough. So the next time they see Moses and Aaron, they give them an earful. “May the LORD judge you for getting us into this terrible situation with Pharaoh and his officials. You have given them an excuse to kill us!” (Exodus 5:21 NLT).

Even Moses couldn’t explain this situation. He had come here to set the people of Israel free and things had just gotten worse. So he takes his frustration to the Lord. “Why have you mistreated your own people like this, Lord? Why did you send me? Since I gave Pharaoh your message, he has been even more brutal to your people. You have not even begun to rescue them!” (Exodus 5:22-23 NLT). Moses couldn’t understand why things were going so wrong. He wanted to know why God had not done what He said He would do. Moses began to question why he ever agreed to do this job in the first place.

But God was not done. He rarely is. He knew exactly what He was doing. He always does. And He reminds Moses who he is talking to and what He is about to do. “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will free you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with mighty power and great acts of judgment. I will make you my own special people, and I will be your God. And you will know that I am the LORD your God who has rescued you from your slavery in Egypt. I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It will be your very own property. I am the LORD!’” (Exodus 6:6-8 NLT). God tells Moses to tell the people that their God is Yahweh, the One who will redeem them. He had always been known to them God Almighty (El Shaddai), but now they would know Him in a different way – as their redeemer. He tells Moses to tell the people just exactly what Yahweh is going to do for them:

I will free you

I will redeem you

I will make you My special people

I will be your God

I will bring you into the land

I will give the land to you as a possession

Because He was the great I AM, He was going to do all these things for them. And the result would be that they would know that He was the Lord their God. But the people did not listen to Moses. They were so hung up on the condition of their circumstances that they refused to listen to Moses or believe what he was saying. As far as they were concerned, their God had caused them nothing but trouble. They were worse off ever since Moses came to “deliver” them. But God was about to reveal Himself to the people of Israel. They were going to see Him perform incredible acts on their behalf. He would reveal Himself to them as He acted on their behalf. And He is still doing that today. God wants to reveal Himself in my life and your life each day by acting on our behalf. But like the people of Israel, we refuse to believe it. We look at our circumstances and think there is no way that God can get us out of the mess we’re in. We even think He may be the cause of it! But God is the redeemer-God. He is in the redeeming business. He wants to redeem us daily, free us, make us His special people, be our personal, intimate God and fulfill every one of His promises to us. And He will, because He is the great I AM. God is still in the redeeming business.

Father, thank You for redeeming my life from slavery to sin through Jesus Christ, my kinsmen-redeemer. He gave His life so that I might have eternal life and life to the full right now. Help me to see You at work in and around my life today. Help me to trust You and take You at Your word. You keep all Your promises. You will fulfill all Your plans for me. Because You are faithful.  Amen.

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org