Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Exodus 6 - God's Charge to Moses

body of water during golden hour

It continues to be a wonderful task to exposit the Old Testament. I preached through the book of Exodus in the second half of 2018 verse by verse and paragraph by paragraph. We left no word unread and did not skip the exposition of any section. It is a wonderful exercise for myself to go back now, chapter by chapter, and review the wonderful truth of this book. I pray that it is as beneficial for you, the reader, as it has been for me. More resources can be found at www.fbcroxana.com

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land.”

Moses thought that God had failed. But the LORD had desired Pharaoh to refuse to let the people of Israel go. So now God would begin to show His wonders in the land of Egypt so that Pharaoh would let the people go and all the people of Egypt and Israel would know that the LORD alone is God.

2 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, 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 sojourned. 5 Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Say, therefore, to the sons 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 their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.’” 9 So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.

Here is an exposition on the name of God. The LORD gave the people two reminders of the past: God had revealed Himself as God Almighty to the Patriarchs and had made a covenant with them to give the land of Canaan to them. He assured them that, in the present, He had heard the groanings of Israel because of their affliction and remembered His covenant with them. There are seven promises of God to the Israelite people in this passage which God was communicating to the people through Moses. First, He promised to bring them out of Egypt. Second, He promised to break the bonds of their slavery. Third, He promised to redeem them with great and powerful judgments. Fourth, He promised to make the people of Israel His people. Fifth, He promised to be their God. Sixth, He promised to give them the land which He promised their fathers. Seventh, He promised that it would be their possession. All of these past, present, and future declarations are tied together with one repeated statement: I am Yahweh. He is eternal, faithful, and powerful to bring it all to pass.

10 Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the sons of Israel go out of his land.” 12 But Moses spoke before the LORD, saying, “Behold, the sons of Israel have not listened to me; how then will Pharaoh listen to me, for I am unskilled in speech?” 13 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a charge to the sons of Israel and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

Moses went and spoke God’s self-revelation to the people of Israel, but they did not believe him. How slow are people to believe all that God has promised? Their harsh treatment was keeping them from believing. So Moses despaired that Pharaoh would listen to him if his own people would not. But God charged him to go. He had to believe that it was God who would bring about His will.

We are finally introduced to Moses and Aaron on a genealogical level. This genealogy reminds us of the place of Levi as the third born of Israel’s household, being the younger brother of Reuben and Simeon.

14 These are the heads of their fathers’ households. The sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn: Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben. 15 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon.

Finally, Levi’s family is more fleshed out so that we are introduced to the main players in this story. The three sons of Levi:

16 These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon and Kohath and Merari; and the length of Levi’s life was one hundred and thirty-seven years.

The grandsons of Levi through Gershon:

17 The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, according to their families.

The grandsons of Levi through Kohath:

18 The sons of Kohath: Amram and Izhar and Hebron and Uzziel; and the length of Kohath’s life was one hundred and thirty-three years.

The grandsons of Levi through Merari:

19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations. 20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; and the length of Amram’s life was one hundred and thirty-seven years.

So Moses and Aaron were from the tribe of Levi and the family of Kohath. The genealogy continues with the grandsons of Kohath, Levi’s great-grandsons.

The grandsons of Kohath through Izhar:

21 The sons of Izhar: Korah and Nepheg and Zichri.

The grandsons of Kohath through Uzziel.

22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael and Elzaphan and Sithri.

The great-grandsons of Kohath through Aaron, Amram’s son. This would become the line of the priests.

23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

The great-grandsons of Kohath through Korah, son of Izhar.

24 The sons of Korah: Assir and Elkanah and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites.

A notable person from the fifth generation after Levi was Phinehas, grandson of Aaron.

25 Aaron’s son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas.

This list gives us the genealogical makeup of Moses and Aaron. They were not prominent within the line of Levi. Though four hundred thirty years had passed, they were great grandsons of the patriarch. They were the sixth generation after Abraham.

These are the heads of the fathers’ households of the Levites according to their families. 26 It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, “Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts.” 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt; it was the same Moses and Aaron.

They were of the household of Israel. They were not prominent members within the nation. But God had called them and had charged them with proclaiming His message.

28 Now it came about on the day when the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 that the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “I am the LORD; speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I speak to you.” 30 But Moses said before the LORD, “Behold, I am unskilled in speech; how then will Pharaoh listen to me?”

So God was dealing with an unwilling prophet who was afraid his rhetoric would not move the king of Egypt.


We can all identify with Moses. God often calls us to do things that we do not feel qualified to do. We might fight against it. We might argue with Him. But He calls us according to His purpose and His wisdom. How could we think for a moment that we know better than God? Just like Moses, God has called us to proclaim deliverance and redemption. The redemption we proclaim is not from slavery in Egypt but from slavery in sin. We proclaim to all the world that God sent His Son, Jesus, a greater deliverer than Moses, so that all who believe will be delivered from slavery to sin because of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, the forgiveness of sins. He bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might be given eternal life through Him. Therefore, we call all to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who takes away the sins of the world.

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