Scripture Read: Exodus 6 - 7
Title: God's Deliverance Begins:
(H) Highlight verse: "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. 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."" Ex. 6:6-7
(E) Explain: In these passages the process and promise of God's deliverance is made to Moses. God gives Moses the words to say to the Israelites and to Pharaoh, just as He promised, but unfortunately neither listened or believed. One would expect Pharaoh to be hardhearted because he did not acknowledge or worship God. However, the response of the Israelites is another story. The story of unbelief is one we will hear over and over. Exodus 6:9 says, "Moses spoke to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery." The people of Israel were basically mad at Moses and still blamed him for their added work load.
In chapter 7 Aaron and Moses go to Pharaoh and did what the LORD commanded them, but Pharaoh's heart was hardened. They performed miracles to show that God was with them, but this did not convince Pharaoh. They warned him of coming judgments and even started the first plague, turning water into blood, but we are told Pharaoh hardened his heart. His actions were not just unbelief, they were outward rebellion and heartlessness. He didn't care what God said, He was not going to change his mind at all.
(A) Application: In these passages we see two types of sins against God. The first is unbelief and the second is hardening of heart. I find it interesting that the people of Israel heard the words of Moses, but chose not to listen. This unbelief was a willful choice of not believing. The Israelites didn't believe because they were mad a Moses and they were being stubborn. Pharaoh, on the other hand didn't even acknowledge God at all. His response was coldness, callousness and heartlessness towards God and the Israelites.
Humanity still struggles with unbelief and hardheartedness. Sometimes, I choose to not believe God. I guess it is not a conscious decision I make, but I do anyway. There are times when I struggle with believing God will do something and I don't think, "Hmm, God's not going to pull this one off." No, I just sit back and worry and wonder if it's actually going to come to pass. I do know that in my late teens and early twenties there were times I was a hardhearted jerk to God. I was living in open rebellion and sin, and I knew it, but I refused to change my way of living for God. I remember praying, even in my rebellious state, that God would not judge me for my sinful life choices (that I wasn't giving up by the way). I knew God was real., I knew the consequences of my sins, but I harden my heart to Him, so I could live the way I wanted.
(R) Respond: Lord, may I be obedient to you today. I pray that my heart will not be hardened against you. Help my unbelief when I struggle. Keep reminding me of your promises, and may my faith be strengthened everyday because of your faithfulness.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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