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Moses is given great POWER by God

After God appeared to Moses at the burning bush, God told him that he was being sent to rescue the Israelites from Egypt. Because Moses failed to gain the support of the Israelites 40 years earlier, he is nervous about returning. Though God promised to go with him, Moses asks how they will believe him on his word alone. God then shows him three miracles; a wooden staff to a living snake, a leprous hand to restored flesh and a jar of water to blood. Moses should have had confidence in God’s power by seeing Him making dead things alive, decaying things restored and pure things defiled. God can make the impossible, possible (Luke 18:27)! As a last ditch effort to get out of the mission, he reminded God of his speech problem and lack of eloquence. Believing the Pharaoh will be unimpressed with his presentation, he asks God to find someone else. God’s anger burns at Moses’ lack of belief after the miracles he has just seen—God made his mouth and can transform it by His power. God is never surprised by a circumstance, so believers should be confident in God’s calling! In response to his lack of faith, God sarcastically claims that his brother Aaron can ‘speak well’ and will send him to be his spokesman. Even when believers are faithless toward God, God is faithful to them (2 Tim. 2:13)!


Moses is in great DANGER from God

Moses returns from Mt. Sinai with his father-in-law’s flocks and leaves for Egypt. As Moses journeys with his wife and sons, God appears at a rest stop, coming to kill him. His wife realizes what is happening, and though not an Israelite, as his helper, saves her husband’s life by circumcising her son (Gen. 17:9-11). God often puts others in our lives to help us live for Him. As Moses should have done the circumcision she is angered by his lack of leadership and throws the skin at his feet in disgust. Either because of laziness or rebellion, Moses failed to follow God’s direction as He holds the leaders of His people and the home to high standards (1 Tim. 3:5). No one is indispensable or untouchable. It is the pleasure of God to use anyone, it is the privilege of believers to be used, and it is the prerogative of God to remove anyone. After meeting Aaron, they leave for Egypt and share the good news of liberation. God’s power goes with His presence in His people!

The Pharaoh increases Israel’s BURDEN

After Moses showed the elders the miraculous power of God, word spread that freedom was near—so many Israelites stopped working. Realizing the economic disaster this would create and believing they had too much time to sit around and think up a new God to save them, Pharaoh makes them scavenge for straw to make bricks instead of having it provided for them. What looked like a moment of deliverance had become a moment of dismay both for the people and for Moses. God did not tell Moses he would be rejected by both the Pharaoh and the Israelites—as their lives became more miserable than before—so he wanted to give up. God often allows a believer’s situation to become worse to test their faith and remind them afterward about God’s power and provision. People who exercise no faith in a time of testing either prove their unbelief or show their spiritual immaturity (Prov. 24:10). Often times the darkness is the deepest and most despairing before the dawn. Disappointment from God should not lead to pessimism about God but prayer to God. While the Israelites label themselves to the slave drivers as ‘Your servants/slaves’, God refers to them as His favored ‘firstborn son’ and promised to provide for them as His covenant people (4:22; 5:15). Regardless of the personal situation, believers must never forget who they are based on Whose they are!

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