Sunday, July 30, 2017

Exodus 3:7-10 comments: God declares His intention

7 ¶  And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8  And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9  Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. 10  Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

God announced to Moses that he was aware of the suffering of the Hebrew slaves and planned on delivering them from their bondage. He would bring them into the land promised to them, the land of the Canaanite tribes. But, notice that God is going to use Moses as a vehicle of His deliverance as God often uses men to accomplish His purposes. We have a lot of negative words in this passage like affliction, cry, sorrows, oppression, and oppress along with positive notions in response like deliver, bring them up, a good land and a large, and unto a land flowing with milk and honey. While you might make a sermon about how God will deliver you from the bondage of your sin and turn your life around I like the thought that God came in the form of Christ to deliver us from death itself and Hell, to bring us up out of the agony and termination of this life, to deliver us from the bondage of death.

Hebrews 2:14 ¶  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Moses has knowledge and understanding of the Egyptian mindset, having been raised and educated with them. He knows the anguish of being a Hebrew and an outcast as well, a stranger in his own land, among his own people. Although he himself did not suffer being a slave any more than Christ suffered in Hell he and Christ did understand the suffering of the people whom they came to save, their suffering and their fears.

Hebrews 5:7  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Moses as a type of Christ begins to break down at Moses’ all too human doubts and his eventual disobedience that denies him entry into the Promised Land. But, this is a play in which God the Creator plays all the parts, as Christ representing the suffering multitudes trapped in the body of this death, a phrase Paul used in Romans 7:24, although without the sin that Paul was lamenting, and the deliverer who saves His people.

Moses lacks the foreknowledge and intent of purpose to be too much like Christ, as well as the obedience to and trust in God the Father. But, he is a chosen vessel to bring God’s word of deliverance from bondage to his people, as even we are. So, there is another view of Moses in type, as the Christian who is uncertain, perhaps unwilling, even afraid, to offer a testimony to the lost and is only able to with God’s power on him or her.

The point is, your people are dying and they are terrified of it, even as modern culture tries to insulate us from death and the bondage it holds over our imaginations and desire to live. We say, like the frightened child singing in the darkness they fear, “death is a part of life,” but that is a lie. Death is an aberration and, in fact, is part of the judgment over which Satan has, I am sure, gleeful control. Even evolutionary biologists who do not believe in God insist that death is not necessary to input into the definition of biological life.(1)  God will use you, who escaped from death itself, to go back into the Egypt of this world and bring the message of deliverance to God’s people, while God Himself does the delivering and defeats Satan, whom the Pharaoh is in type.

Luke 10:18  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Colossians 2:13 ¶  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

And again;

Hebrews 2:14 ¶  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

The ideas presented here are incomplete, of course, and there have been many great sermons on the ideas brought forth by this passage of Scripture but the typology, the metaphors, and the comparisons seem almost endless. I’m sure you can do better than I’ve done.

Let’s go back to the passage in question. God has announced who He is and has declared His intention of sending Moses to Pharaoh to bring Jacob’s children out of Egypt.

(1) William R. Clark, Sex and the Origins of Death (London: Oxford University Press, 1998), 54.

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