Tuesday after Septuagesima Sunday
Posted on February 19, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Exodus 6:1-13 (NKJV)
6:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
2 And 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 LORD I was not known to them. 4 I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.
6 “Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.'”
9 So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.
10 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go out of his land.”
12 And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying, “The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?”
13 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
Israel’s bondage in Egypt was difficult. It is also difficult for us to understand. Why did they have to suffer so long before God finally rescued them?
Their slavery to the Egyptians was a pattern of mankind’s slavery to sin. Their suffering was a reflection of the temporal and eternal punishment we all deserve from God. But God had promised beforehand to rescue Abraham’s descendants from slavery in Egypt, just as He promised beforehand to redeem the children of Adam and Eve and to make Abraham’s Seed a blessing to all the families of the earth. And just as God’s mighty deliverance of Israel depended entirely on His covenant and was carried out entirely by His own powerful deeds, so the Lord’s deliverance of mankind is the work of God alone—the work of the Father who gave His Son into slavery and death so that the guilty slaves might go free through the Spirit’s work of conversion.
God used Israel both to depict and to carry out the greater salvation that is proclaimed in the Gospel. Martin Luther points out in his commentary on 1 Peter that, while God continued to reveal Himself to Israel little by little, more and more (as He told Moses in today’s reading, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD I was not known to them”), He has now, in these end times, given us the final revelation of Himself in the Gospel. Both Israel’s bondage and Israel’s redemption pointed ahead to our bondage and to our redemption through Christ!
We pray: Father, we praise You for all Your dealings with Israel and for pointing us in Your Word to the redemption that is ours in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.