Who Failed?

Posted: October 11, 2018 in Exodus, Uncategorized

Exodus 5-6, “Who Failed?

At what point is failure, actually failure? To read business and motivational books, failure is a necessary step on the way to success. If you never fail, you never learn – you never change – you never try something different or put extra effort into something that drives a person to succeed. Sounds great in terms of a motivational poster to hang on the wall, but not so much when it comes to medical function. Throw around the terms “heart failure,” or “kidney failure,” and these are not desired nor necessary at all! Not all “failure” is considered equal.

Yet when we think of failure, we typically think of falling short of the goal. We have a plan for ourselves, don’t reach it, and declare it failed. But even then, that’s not always the case. In a race, the person who starts off first doesn’t necessarily end first. Marathons are known for leaders falling off after 20-21 miles, when someone makes a move and surges out in front. It doesn’t matter what time you crossed at 5K or 13.1 miles; it matters what you cross at 26.2. You have to know what you’re racing before you can determine failure…you might be calling the final far too soon.

Christians experience a similar problem when it comes to our own struggles against sin, and against spiritual attacks. We experience a few bumps in the road, and think ourselves as having failed, when we’ve really only gotten started. That’s what happened with Moses and Aaron at the first encounter with Pharaoh. Things didn’t go the way they expected, and they believed they came up short. The Hebrew people certainly believed that Moses had failed! But he hadn’t failed at all – he had been faithful with what God had called him to do. The Hebrews were looking for a 5K; God was working a marathon. God had a plan at work that would not fail, and it didn’t matter that the Hebrews didn’t understand it or believe it, God’s word and promise was still true.

Remember what brought Moses to this point. The Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, having been oppressed for the last several generations with things getting worse as their numbers grew in size. The Pharaoh (likely Thutmose III) persecuted the Hebrews, ordering that all their male newborn children be destroyed, and the Hebrew people cried out to God for deliverance. God answered with the birth of Moses. Moses was miraculously saved from death, brought up in the house of Pharaoh’s daughter. Once an adult, Moses attempted to act on behalf of the Hebrews, but did so outside of the timing & calling of God & actually did fail, and was forced to flee as a fugitive to Midian.

Time passed (40 years!), and Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro when God miraculously appeared in a burning bush, calling Moses to be His mouthpiece and deliverer. God spoke to Moses His name (YHWH), and affirmed that the time had come for Him to keep the covenant that He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. From the start, God knew that the new Pharaoh (Amenhotep II) would not let the people go, so God would strike Egypt with His signs and wonders until the point that Pharaoh finally accepted defeat (Exo 3:19-20).

Despite God’s assurances, Moses hesitated. He didn’t know why Pharaoh would listen to this castaway shepherd with difficulty speaking. God gave Moses signs, and ultimately had to chastise him for his disobedience – but was also gracious to him, providing Aaron to speak on his behalf. Finally, Moses was obedient. He left for Egypt (and had to be disciplined along the way for his lack of faithfulness to the covenant), met Aaron, and demonstrated his God-given signs to the Hebrews. At that point, their reaction was good: Exodus 4:31, “So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.”

It wouldn’t stay that way! The Hebrews’ initial faith would turn to doubt and disbelief when Moses experienced (what they believed was) his first defeat at the hands of Pharaoh. But God had not failed! (Nor had Moses.) This was only the first step on a long road that led to their redemption. God knew what would happen, even when the people didn’t understand or believe.

Christian: trust the plans and word of God! He does not fail! He sees what we cannot, and He knows where our roads will lead. Trust Him to take you there.

Exodus 5 – Failure with Pharaoh?

  • The first meeting (1-9)

1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ” 2 And Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.”

  1. The first command of God to Pharaoh, delivered by Moses, spoken by Aaron. Moses and Aaron did exactly what they were supposed to do, themselves faithful to God’s command. Right off the bat, we can know they were not failures, because they were faithful to God.
    1. This is important to keep in mind regarding evangelism. Often Christians think they’ve failed when someone rejects the gospel. Not so! God didn’t call us to convert anyone (that isn’t in our power!); He called us to witness to them. When you testify of Jesus, you’ve been faithful. The only failure is when we fail to speak His name!
  2. What did God say? (1) His name. (2) His claim to His people. (3) His command for His people to be free to worship. He was identified clearly to Pharaoh as YHWH, the God known to & worshipped by the nation of Israel. He was clear that Israel was His people – the Hebrews belonged to YHWH; not Pharaoh. Finally, it was made known that His people were to worship Him in holy faithfulness. The Hebrews did not serve the gods of Egypt; they served YHWH alone. It was a short message to be delivered, but it told Pharaoh everything he needed to know.
    1. Likewise, we know the name of our God: Jesus. We know we have been made His people, a royal priesthood of God. And we know that we are to worship and serve Him alone. We fear the Triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), and none other!
  3. Pharaoh’s response: refusal. Remember that the Egyptians believed their kings to be divine, and the kings were all too happy to agree with the false religion. And as a “god,” Pharaoh did not know this other God, and refused to give YHWH His request. Egyptians were polytheists, but this YHWH was not recognized within their religion, so the “god” Pharaoh didn’t care what the Hebrew God commanded.

3 So they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go three days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

  1. Moses and Aaron tried again, appealing to what they hoped would be Pharaoh’s better nature – his compassion. If the Hebrews were not allowed to go, there would be dire consequences. Surely Pharaoh would not want his servants to experience disease or death, right? Wrong – Pharaoh didn’t care (as we’ll see in a moment).
  2. There was an implied threat as well: if God fell upon the Hebrews “with pestilence or with the sword,” then it meant God would fall upon Egypt with those things. After all, where were the Hebrews? In Egypt. Who was responsible for keeping the Hebrews in Egypt? It wasn’t so much that the Hebrews were in danger of pestilence and violence; the Egyptians were. This was a bit of a preview of the plagues. Soon, all kinds of disease would fall on Egypt, and when fiery hailstones fell from the sky and the Angel of the LORD slew the firstborn of Egypt, it no doubt seemed as if the “sword” had come to them. This was Pharaoh’s chance to be free of this future – he was clearly warned of the judgment soon to come.
    1. So are we! When we preach the gospel, we preach the bad news along with the good news. The wonderful news of forgiveness and eternal life doesn’t make sense without the bad news of judgment and death. After all, we need to know why we need forgiveness if we’re ever to seek it in the first place. Our sin has left us condemned, facing the eternal judgment of God when sinners are cast into hell. It’s terribly bad news! But the good news is that we can be forgiven, rescued, and redeemed from that fate! We can be reconciled with God, and made His children…all through faith in Jesus Christ. Good news indeed! (And knowing the bad news makes the good news even better!)
  3. Question: Was this all deception on the part of Moses & Aaron (and thus, God)? The ultimate plan was not for Israel to travel three days into the wilderness, hold a feast unto the Lord, and then head back home to Goshen in Egypt; it was for total & utter freedom – to proceed back to the land of Canaan which was their centuries’ old promise from God. Yet the implication from Moses & Aaron seems to be otherwise, as if they were asking for a temporary leave-of-absence. Answer: No, this was not deception; it was an opportunity for Pharaoh to respond to the righteous command of God. God may have known how Pharaoh would reject Him, but that didn’t mean God would refuse to give Pharaoh an opportunity for mercy. Pharaoh had a choice, and he made it to his own destruction. 

4 Then the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people from their work? Get back to your labor.” 5 And Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are many now, and you make them rest from their labor!”

  1. If Moses and Aaron appealed to Pharaoh’s compassion, there was none to be found. Pharaoh soon tired of this conversation with the Hebrew prophets, and he accused them of inciting their people to laziness.
  2. As if just to prove that Pharaoh had no fear of YHWH or regard for Him, Pharaoh decided to pronounce a punishment upon the people…

6 So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their officers, saying, 7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And you shall lay on them the quota of bricks which they made before. You shall not reduce it. For they are idle; therefore they cry out, saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let more work be laid on the men, that they may labor in it, and let them not regard false words.”

  1. Extra burden! No supplies (straw) given for their task of brick-making. They had already been builders in the land of Egypt (having built two cities – Exo 1:11), but lately they had been forced to make their own bricks, combining clay & straw for their materials. Now the straw would be removed from them, and they would be forced to find it on their own. Brick making is laborious enough, still used today as basic enslavement. In Pakistan, people make an average of $3 per day per person making bricks, so it’s not uncommon for young children to be working alongside their parents just struggling to make enough per day in order to eat. (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pakistan-girls-brick-kilns_us_588b74f2e4b0303c07534ac9) It’s hard work, crouched on the ground all day long, slapping clay mud into molds, setting it aside to dry before taking it to a kiln for firing. When workers have to take a loan from their employer for medical expenses, it can easily force them into basic lifetime slavery for repayment.
  2. With that in mind, put yourself in the place of an ancient Hebrew slave. Things had already been bad enough. It just got drastically worse! How would you react? Who would you blame? Who should you blame? God hadn’t done this to them, nor had Moses made Pharaoh act this way. This was all Pharaoh’s fault.
    1. We need to stop blaming God for the acts of the enemy!
  3. Why did Pharaoh do it? He wanted to take away hope that was found in “false words.” To the ears of Pharaoh, any idea of freedom (be it freedom of worship or freedom from slavery) was deception and fraudulent. His punishment was meant to push this hope as far away from the Hebrews as possible. He wanted them discouraged because he didn’t want them looking to Moses or to the God Moses preached.
    1. Don’t let the enemy steal your hope! 
  • Pharaoh’s further oppression (10-19)

10 And the taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people, saying, “Thus says Pharaoh: ‘I will not give you straw. 11 Go, get yourselves straw where you can find it; yet none of your work will be reduced.’ ” 12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.

  1. Order relayed by the taskmasters. The Hebrews had to gather what they could find. Apparently they had little to no access to the Egyptian fields, but now had “to gather stubble instead of straw.” They were forced to gather up the chaff that was leftover from the Egyptian grain. So not only were they not given straw, they had to gather up far more chaff in a much more labor-intensive way to compensate for the lack of straw. Their job wasn’t made simply inconvenient; it was made virtually impossible.

13 And the taskmasters forced them to hurry, saying, “Fulfill your work, your daily quota, as when there was straw.” 14 Also the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?”

  1. The Hebrews experienced harassment and beatings for their reduced output. Obviously this wasn’t their fault; the Egyptians were purposefully antagonistic toward them. They wanted to make it as hard upon the Hebrews as possible.
    1. The enemy will often try to antagonize us. 

15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, “Why are you dealing thus with your servants? 16 There is no straw given to your servants, and they say to us, ‘Make brick!’ And indeed your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people.”

  1. Hebrew representatives appealed to Pharaoh. What Pharaoh had commanded of them was unreasonable and illogical. Why should they be punished for failing to complete an impossible task?

17 But he said, “You are idle! Idle! Therefore you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ 18 Therefore go now and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the quota of bricks.” 19 And the officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in trouble after it was said, “You shall not reduce any bricks from your daily quota.”

  1. Pharaoh passed the buck to Moses, quoting Moses’ and Aaron’s own words back to them. He implied that if Moses and Aaron had come to him, wasting his time with this request to leave, that none of this would have happened. The Hebrews (he said) had stopped their labor in order to listen to the words of Moses, so if they had time to listen to this prophet then they had time to go gather their own straw.
  2. It was a blatant lie, even when he quoted Moses correctly. Moses said the words, but it was Pharaoh who rejected God and oppressed the Hebrews.
    1. The enemy will lie about the word of God.
  • Complaints (20-23)

20 Then, as they came out from Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron who stood there to meet them. 21 And they said to them, “Let the LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

  1. The Hebrew officers/representatives took their leave of Pharaoh, and apparently Moses and Aaron were waiting for them at the door (or at least at their homes). Sadly, even though the Hebrews knew they were mistreated by Pharaoh, they still bought into the lie of Pharaoh, and they blamed Moses. They believed Moses had instigated Pharaoh to be cruel, so they took the blame off of the person it should have been on, and placed it right on Moses & Aaron who had spoken on their behalf. Earlier (chapter 4), they were amazed by the signs of God, and believed that Moses had been sent by God, thanking God that He had heard their prayers. All that previous faith went out the window as they blamed Moses as a rabble-rouser.
  2. Interestingly, the Hebrews wanted God to serve as a judge in this instance; they didn’t want or trust God’s plan. They were all to happy to see Moses struck down for their troubles by divine judgment, but they weren’t willing to trust the divine will. It goes to show that they didn’t really trust God at all.
    1. How quickly we lose faith! Like Peter walking on water, we believe for a moment, but then we see the raging sea instead of our loving Savior, and we forget. We sink into despair, confusion, and anger. The Hebrews saw their troubles and believed they were on their own, when it was really just the beginning. They need to hold on to hope – hold on to the God of their Fathers, the great I AM who promised them deliverance. If they would just look to Him, then they would find the strength to endure the rage of Pharaoh. 

22 So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.”

  1. Moses took the complaints of the people back to God, with some complaints of his own. Did Moses lose faith? Not really. Moses certainly forgot what it was God had told him. Back on Mount Sinai, God made it clear that Moses’ word to Pharaoh would be rejected, and that it would take a mighty work of God to bring the people out from Egypt. Exodus 3:18b–20, “(18b) … and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ (19) But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. (20) So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go.” Verses 18-19 ought to sound very familiar, because it was exactly what had happened in Chapter 5! But notice that God was sure of this, and had already told Moses what would need to happen as a result. If Moses had simply remembered and trusted God’s word, Moses wouldn’t have had a complaint (and may have been able to answer the Hebrew officials).
    1. Don’t forget God’s word! He has already told us much of what to expect in life. We can expect trials & tribulation – we can expect persecution – we can expect spiritual attacks and difficulties. Don’t let those things surprise you; let them drive you to the Lord!
  2. Even so, Moses prayed. He may have forgotten what God had told him, but he hadn’t forgotten his relationship with the Lord. The people complained to Moses, but Moses took his complaint to God. The people could have prayed – they could have told Moses & Aaron what happened, and all gotten on their knees together. Instead, they worshipped God in Chapter 4, and all but ignored God in Chapter 5. Again, they wanted God to judge Moses in punishment, but they didn’t appeal to God for help. Moses did. (Don’t stop praying!)
  3. Notice how Moses prayed. He was saying “You did this…You said that…these are Your people.” Moses put it all back onto the Lord, which (although it was spokes from confusion) it was exactly where it should have been. It was God’s plan, so it was God’s problem. (Which meant it was no problem at all!) Moses could take these things to the Lord, because it was God who would work them out for His glory.
    1. It’s not your will that needs to be done; it’s God’s will. Pray for it to be done, and surrender everything else into His hands.

Exodus 6 – God never fails!

  • God’s promises and plan (1-8)

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.”

  1. God had given Pharaoh a chance, but God already knew Pharaoh’s heart. He knew what Pharaoh would do in stubborn refusal. God also knew what Pharaoh would later be forced to do when faced with the judgment of God! Pharaoh’s hard heart would be broken as he stumbled across the Rock of Ages!

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.

  1. Had God never revealed His name to the patriarchs? What about Genesis 18:19 when Abraham appealed to the Lord (YHWH) as he interceded for Sodom? Or Genesis 22:14 when Abraham called the place of sacrifice on Mount Moriah “The Lord Will Provide,” after Isaac was saved? Or Genesis 28:16 when Jacob saw the vision of the ladder in Bethel and declared that the Lord was in that place? Obviously, the patriarchs were familiar with the covenant name of God; it just wasn’t how God was primarily known to them. The name God used most often with the patriarchs was El Shaddai, God Almighty.
  2. What’s the difference? El Shaddai speaks of God’s strength; YHWH speaks of God’s existence and faithfulness. YHWH is the name God most often uses when speaking of His covenant, thus, that was how God was revealed to Moses and to the Hebrews of that generation. YHWH (I AM) had always existed, had always known them, and would always be faithful to His word.
  3. Even so, God knew the patriarchs, just as He knew Moses and the Hebrew people of the day. This was shown in the ways God worked with them in the past.

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.

  1. God made a promise to the patriarchs, and had every intent on keeping it. There was a homeland in which they dwelt, though never owned. But it was promised by God.
  2. God heard His people. The Israelites had cried out to God in their suffering, and He heard them. Their pleas had not fallen on deaf ears. God heard them and cared for them.
  3. God remembered His word. His covenant was not null & void. What He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob concerning their descendants would come to pass.
    1. We have promises in Christ! God hears us as His people when we pray! God remembers the covenant we have in Jesus!

What God will do in the future…

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.

  1. God will deliver – God will rescue – God will redeem. All synonyms basically speaking of the same act: freeing the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery. Don’t miss the main point: God Himself would work! They didn’t need to fear Pharaoh or his threats, because God was working – God was on the move! The Hebrews weren’t dependent on Pharaoh – they weren’t even dependent upon Moses; they were dependent upon God, and God was active!

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.’ ”

  1. God will have a relationship with them: He would have them, and they would know Him. When they saw God move on their behalf in mighty ways, their doubts would be dissolved and they would come to the true fear and knowledge of the Lord. That’s when God would shower them with grace and give them their inheritance in the land of promise. When they knew God in truth, they would experience the life and blessing for which they longed.
  2. How do we know the Lord in truth? By looking to Jesus in faith. Likewise, He has moved in mighty ways on our behalf. The Hebrews looked back to the Passover & the Red Sea; we look to the cross and resurrection. We find our rescue in Jesus’ act of redemption, and now we know the Lord God as our King & we are His people. Now we have relationship with the One whom before we could not know. Now we have God the Holy Spirit within us, and the promise of heaven as our heritage. What the children of Israel experienced in shadow, we experience in truth!
  3. What a wonderful word to pass on to the Hebrew people! It should have given them hope, but sadly they weren’t looking for hope.
  • God’s unwavering faithfulness (9-13)

9 So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.

  1. They didn’t believe! They were too focused on their troubles to look to the promises of God. They could have had hope, but they made the choice to live in hopelessness because of their lack of faith.
  2. Note: their lack of faith did not stop God from working. 

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?”

  1. Moses commanded to return to Pharaoh and basically repeat the same message. In His great mercy, God was giving Pharaoh another chance to respond before beginning the cycle of plagues that would lead to the destruction of Israel.
  2. Moses’ objection: Why would Pharaoh pay attention to him? Why should Pharaoh believe someone whom the Hebrews did not? Moses had “uncircumcised lips” – he was treated by his own people as someone who was unclean.
  3. Of course, what Moses forgot was that God knew Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to Moses, no matter how well-received Moses might have been among the Hebrew people. This wasn’t about Moses; this was about the plan of God. (It’s not about you, either!)

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.

  1. Even so, God’s command did not change. Neither the Hebrews’ lack of faith nor Pharaoh’s indifference changed what God had planned. God’s will does not depend on our faith. When we don’t believe, we’re the ones that miss out; not God.
  • Break: Moses’ genealogy (14-27)

14 These are the heads of their fathers’ houses: The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben. 15 And the sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These are the families of Simeon.

  1. Going through the sons of Jacob through Leah, but not comprehensively. The listing will cover Levi, but not Judah. The point isn’t a comprehensive numbering of the nation of Israel (that comes later, in the book of Numbers); it’s a general background for Moses and Aaron. Who are these people who were chosen by God to lead Israel at this time? The family history answers that question.

16 These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And the years of the life of Levi were one hundred and thirty-seven. 17 The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimi according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred and thirty-three. 19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of Levi according to their generations.

  1. The names of the sons of Levi (Gershon, Kohath, & Merari) will become important again when it comes to the Levitical duties surrounding the tabernacle. Different clans had different duties – one’s family lineage determined one’s service in ministry. (Obviously not the case for today, but it worked for the nation of Israel.)

20 Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father’s sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven.

  1. Moses’ immediate family, though his sister (Miriam) is not named. That isn’t too unusual, as the listing only includes men, per the culture at the time. 
  2. There are some questions of a potential time-gap here. Is this Amram the same Amram who was a grandson of Levi? There were 400 years of slavery, so this would seem rather improbable. Then again, when lifespans lasted 137, 133, 137 years (Levi, Kohath, Amram), with Moses being 80 years old when starting the Exodus, there seems to be enough overlap between them to make it possible.

21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 And the sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Zithri.

  1. Just wrapping up that family tree.

23 Aaron took to himself Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Nahshon, as wife; and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 And the sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These are the families of the Korahites. 25 Eleazar, Aaron’s son, took for himself one of the daughters of Putiel as wife; and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites according to their families.

  1. Priestly lineage, with the sons of Korah in-between. A bit ironic, considering the sons of Korah attempted to usurp the priesthood for themselves (Num 16).
  2. Nadab, Abihu are the two eldest sons of Aaron, who were initially chosen to serve with Aaron as priests. They died on the day of their consecration due to offering “strange fire” to God in the newly assembled tabernacle (Lev 10).
  3. Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron served as high priest, having received a special blessing from the Lord because of Phinehas’ zeal for the holiness of God in the face of wild rebellion and idolatry (Num 25).

26 These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, “Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.” 27 These are the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt. These are the same Moses and Aaron.

  1. A brief not to state why the genealogy was included. It identified Moses and Aaron to the later readers of the book. Moses had not been some random former Egyptian ruler who imposed his will on the Israelites; he was a Levite – a child of Abraham, just like the rest of them.
  2. There’s also a good reminder to the reader: by the time he/she reads this, the Exodus had already happened. Not one of God’s promises should be in doubt, because they had already historically come to pass. The people of Israel were free (though wandering in the Promised Land); God’s word is true!
  • Recap: God’s command (28-30)

28 And it came to pass, on the day the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 that the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “I am the LORD. Speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.” 30 But Moses said before the LORD, “Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh heed me?”

  1. Restatement of what came before, picking up the context leading on to Chapter 7.
  2. Question remains: Why should Pharaoh listen to Moses? God was about to tell him! It wasn’t what Moses could say or offer; it was all about God’s word and power. Moses wasn’t chosen for his negotiating skills; he was chosen simply due to God’s pleasure. God’s plan was working exactly as God knew it would – Moses simply needed to take things one step at a time in obedience.


Had Moses failed? No. Had God failed? Perish the thought! God knew what His plan was, even if the Hebrews did not. Keep in mind, it wasn’t as if God hadn’t warned Moses or the Hebrews of Pharaoh’s stubborn disobedience – it’s that Moses and the Hebrews hadn’t remembered (or perhaps listened). Their eyes were so consumed by their circumstances that they couldn’t see the hand of God. Thankfully, God’s will was not limited by their lack of faith – but they certainly missed out on the peace and relationship they could have had with God during this time because of their lack of faith.

The same thing happens with us. Although God has His long-term plans in motion, all we see is what’s right in front of us. We declare our trust for a time, and then as soon as things get rough, we panic & flounder & complain to God about His supposed-absence. But God hasn’t left us at all – His plans have not changed. The problem isn’t with God; it’s with us. We aren’t looking for His plans; we’re looking for ours. And that’s more than a lack of faith…that’s disobedience.

Put your eyes back upon God, and trust Him to work His plans! What He does, He does for His glory. What He begins, He will bring to completion. Trust Him to work it all the way through, because He will.

Want proof? Look at the Exodus – it’s already done. Look at the cross – it’s already finished! God has worked through His long-term plan of rescue and redemption for you, and if you’re a born-again Christian, you’ve already taken part. You’ve already experienced the work of God on your behalf, in which He has overcome impossible situations to save. The Hebrews were trapped by slavery and Pharaoh; you were trapped by sin and death. Yet Jesus saved you! God worked according to His plan, and His plan was good!

If God did that with our eternal salvation, what else is there in our lives that compares? Trust Him!


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