Marriage Covenant Language (6:7)
“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.”
In Exodus God was doing more than righting a wrong or standing up against a human rights violation. God was establishing a covenant with a people who would be uniquely “His people.” They would bear his name in the same way that a wife takes the name of her husband. God would protect and provide for them in the same way a husband is to protect and provide for his wife.
As you read and study the Exodus narrative, reflect on the extent of God’s faithfulness to the covenant promise He made with His people (Exodus 6:8). Recognize that God’s faithfulness is not linked to the faithfulness of His people. It is merely who He is. Notice the freedom this gives from a guilt-laden, performance-based Christian faith. Observe how foolish God’s faithfulness makes Israel’s sin appear. Then reflect back upon your own sin and let the foolishness of that sin be revealed – not for the purpose of shame, but for conviction and freedom.
Listening With a Broken Spirit
“Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.”
Pain makes it hard to hear. God was about to enact the second greatest deliverance in human history (second to Calvary) and His prophet was alerting them to the good news, but their spirit was broken so their ears were closed.
A broken spirit tends to make our world small. As we hurt and see no hope for change our world shrinks to the size of our suffering. In that type of small world there is no room for God. God becomes either irrelevant or too painful to consider (as “hope deferred makes the heart sick” – Proverbs 13:12).
The question becomes, “How do we maintain ears that are open when our spirit is broken?” The following points are meant to provide guidance for this difficult question.
- Recognize it will be hard and do not beat yourself up for the struggle.
- Continue to pray (Exodus 2:23).
- Pray specifically for the courage and strength to maintain hope.
- Rest so that physical fatigue does not fuel spiritual doubt.
- Consider studying Exodus, Job, Psalms, or I Peter in your personal Bible study. These books have a significant focus on suffering, deliverance, and God’s comfort.
- Do not isolate yourself. This will only allow your negative thoughts to echo uninterrupted in your mind throughout the day and night.
If you are in a season of suffering, be aware of the spiritual side-effects. If you are aware of them, you will be more prepared to combat and compensate for them. Once Satan has you down, there is nothing he would like more than to make you blind and deaf (i.e., cynical) to God’s help.
Age and God’ Service (7:7)
Isn’t this an interesting footnote to the text? There doesn’t seem to be any clear reason why the author would break from the flow of the story to detail that age of Moses (80) and Aaron (83). Except, maybe, to remind us who the main character of the Exodus is. It would be easy to get wrapped up in the life of Moses and Aaron as the dynamic heroes of Exodus (like Batman and Robin).
Yet the story makes much less sense (without God, that is) when leading the charge. Oppressed octogenarians don’t make the most imposing superheroes. Throughout Exodus (and the whole Old Testament, for that matter) God is having to continually remind Israel who He is and Who delivered them.
Reflection: When/how do you tend to make yourself the “main character” of your own story? How does this promote pride or insecurity? As you reflect over the life of Moses, how did his tendency to make himself the main character promote both pride and insecurity in his life? As you read through the Bible (not just Exodus), remember to always read it with God as the main character. As you live each day, remember the only character more present and active in your story than you is God (He never sleeps, never forgets, and is working every detail for His purpose).
Introduction to the “Living Our Faith” series.