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Bible Time Period: Egypt and Exodus
You freed your people from slavery in Egypt so they could worship you: Free me from sin so I can serve and worship.
In Exodus 4:23, God said to Pharaoh, “Let my son go [halak] that he may serve [obed] me.” Now in 5:18, Pharaoh replies: “Go [halak] now, and work [obed].” The battle here is not between Pharaoh and the Hebrew people but between Pharaoh and God. Whose people are they? To whom do they owe service and worship? Watch the interaction between God and Pharaoh as the drama unfolds.
Underline all the “I ams” and “I wills” in chapter 6 and notice how they expand on the meaning of “I AM” (YHWH). What do you see?
Join the discussion below!
The “I am’s” and “I will’s” seem to emphasize two things: God is powerful, and God keeps His promises. I take comfort in this. Even when I am weak and don’t keep up my end of things, God doesn’t forget His side of things, and He has the power to change me.
I also see the “I will’s” as constant encouragement to keep Moses focused. With the pharaoh’s persistent denials, it would be easy to become discouraged, but God kept up their spirits and hope.
By communicating to Moses by saying “I will” and “I am”, God assures Moses that he is there & he will take care of his people. God proclaims what he will do so Moses knows what to expect & knows what the days ahead hold. Moses needs to feel confident in God to allow him to communicate God’s message to the people.
In an earlier chapter (3:14), God revealed his name for the first time to anyone, Moses gets that honor. I am curious if Moses did not ask for His name, how the story would have evolved. In chapter 6, we not only see his name mentioned several times but He reveals Himself to us. He is the LORD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The LORD wants everyone (the Israelites and Egyptians) to know who He is and how powerful He is. The Lord wants the Israelites to know that He will bring them out of Egypt and make them His people. He promises to take them to the Promised Land, however, the Israelites will be judged and therefore held accountable for their actions as His people. Yes, Moses will be the person to lead them to the outskirts of the Promised Land, but without the LORD, Moses would be unable to do it on his own because it is God’s work.
God is everything Andy and Julie have said, plus he is trustworthy…It seems to be a theme throughout what we have read thus far…trust in God seems to be something mankind lacks…part of what lack in our makeup…to trust in God…in all things, in every way, gives us the freedom to know God has promised to each of us no matter what happens. No matter what way we choose to go, we can trust that God is there and will do what he needs to do to bring forth his promises and his glory…though the Israelites suffer hardships, they are promised to freedom in the end…they needed to learn trust in God…and in these “I am” and “I will” statements God is promising all the people-Egyptians and Israelites that he is in charge-they are not…this is also a message we need to hear today…for how many times to we feel that we are in charge of our life and the events around us…of course this is not true…but again God will sometimes need to show us…either by the easy or the hard way…which ever is needed to move us truly to Him…to “I AM: being the one and only constant in our life.
I agree completely with you on the concept of “trusting in God”. There is something sinister that has prevented us from fully trusting in God. To cross a great ocean, one would use a boat; in fact a great ship (the bigger the safe). Not trusting in God is like trying to swim across the ocean instead of riding the great ship because something is barring us from appreciating the benefits and security of the ship. The only one that has prevented us from trusting God has been around since the Garden of Eden. He did so with the first woman and the first man. He poisons one to lead that person to poison another. The evil one leads us to believe that we could do things without God; which is the cancer that spreads through secularism and poisons every soul of God fearing people.
NOW THE HOPE: Every time we bow before the Blessed Sacrament and receive Christ Jesus through the Eucharist in a state of grace and with an open heart we are eradicating our bodies and souls of the poison and leads us to trust in God all over again. Keep this mind when you receive communion and let’s all follow God. The closer we follow Jesus, the harder it is for the evil one to lead us away.
Many times you hear the saying the “devil made me do it”…that is not really true…the devil can only present what appears to be a pleasant or “good” alternative to what God would have for us…but it is our free will, our “yes” that is what really counts…when we say to God each day…”Your Will this, O God, not mine, be done in my life, now and always..” We are surrendering ourselves to God completely in trust and desire…and no matter what the devil may throw at us…God will draw to Himself…through it all…whether that be in good times or bad…God alone is in charge…let us not even recognize the devil with having any power at all-which he really does not…unless we allow him to have such power over us. To me, he is a puff of smoke that blows away in the wind…the wind being God…only God has control and it is Him I chose to turn my focus.
You are so right, Beverly. However, the evil one is a very sly one and creeps up to guide you into changing your perspective on things – usually away from focusing on our Lord. You’re right; it doesn’t make us do anything – it is all up to us. But it feeds on our weaknesses. I spent a full day yesterday with all kinds of ugly thoughts over an issue I have with my brother. In hindsight, I lost a day of serving God by nurturing those ugly thoughts. It doesn’t take much to fall to its taunts and prods.
Don’t be too hard on yourself…it just yields more weight to what the devil’s desires are…instead just turn to God tell Him you are sorry for wasting the day as you did, say a prayer for your brother and move on…life is always about moving on in spite of our failures.
You’re so right…I feel so much better today; I did exactly what you suggested in my morning prayers. I prayed for my brother and realized that I need to trust more in God and not in my brother. Again, I tried to swim the ocean instead of enjoying the voyage in God’s ship. 🙂
As my friend always tells me…welcome to the human world…:)
Trust is getting up everyday and saying HELP!
God has a showdown with this Egyptian ruler and his false gods in Egypt. I wonder if God hardened the heart of the Pharaoh just to show the magnitude of what God our Father can accomplish. As this struggle began, the forces of evil, pride, greed, arrogance, and lack of any respect towards the people of Egypt blatantly confronted God, the true essence of good and righteousness. Through Moses and Aaron, his liaisons during this conflict, God rekindled a relationship with the Hebrews as the flame of belief was slowly being extinguished.
Our almighty Father demonstrated His power numerous times so the Egyptians and Hebrews would comprehend the significance of God’s dominion over the earth.
I believe you are right about God hardening Pharaoh’s heart! This entire story reminds me of a two year old throwing a temper tantrum to get his/her way. It doesn’t go away and often gets worse before it gets better. It’s amazing what might have happened had Pharaoh been able to remove his ego from the equation! Unfortunately, for Pharaoh, just like a two year old, “It’s all about me!” Thankfully for our story, the ending bodes well for the Hebrews; sadly, not so well for Pharaoh and his household.
Blessings to Michelle and Pkkyb4brain….May I please suggest that we step back from reading each verse on their own without keeping in mind the entire Bible. We read in many passages that God is love (i.e. that God does not merely love but is love). In various verses (which evade me as I write this), there are words that say that God wants everyone to come to Him. Knowing this, would God “harden” Pharaoh’s heart?
The writer was showing how God’s mercy to the Hebrew’s brought them out of bondage. There was a power struggle going on between Pharaoh and God (as represented by Moses). On occasion in the dialogue between Pharaoh and Moses, Pharaoh arrogantly tells Moses that the Hebrew’s were HIS people. We know better that they are God’s chosen children. The “hardening” of Pharaoh’s heart was more in line of not learning more about the God of the Hebrew’s and really understanding what was a stake from the point of view of the Hebrew’s. He showed no interest to get to know God and refrained from ever being charitable. To Pharaoh they were his possession and they fueled his economy. Pharaoh hardened his own heart to knowing God and having mercy on the Hebrew’s. Remember, all Moses asked for at the beginning was to take the Hebrew’s out for 3 days to worship God and then return. This also happened to a more cooperative Pharaoh 400 years previous during the time of Joseph when he asked Pharaoh to take his family out to bury their father in Canaan. The point is that God does not lead people away from Himself – He is the Great Gatherer. People choose to distance themselves from God through arrogance, pride, sin or whatever reason man chooses against following God.
As you continue reading the Bible salvation story, if you feel as though God would never actually do something evil, step back and find the hidden meaning. Chances are we’re following exactly what’s written rather than following the intent of the verse(s).
Your explanation is wonderful and I think I do try to read a bit more into some verses than I should. However, in Exodus 4: 21 God said to Moses “…but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” I was figuring that this showdown of good vs. evil is a lesson for all to learn from. I have learned from this very selfish Pharaoh that he and his false gods were not mightier than Our God, the Father. The Bible has so many lessons to learn from.
I agree with you, pnkyB4brain. I believe we each glean something different from individual verses but as Joe says it is the overall message of love that is important. It was indeed a showdown of good vs. evil, however, and as the “showdown” was a culminating event of over 400 years of oppression, God needed to prove His point beyond the shadow of doubt so that ALL would realize that He is the one true God. I think after those 10 plagues His point was made crystal clear and good truly triumphed over evil! Have a blessed day!
Although I agree with many of your points, and thank you for responding, I respectfully disagree with the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. Yes, God is love, I absolutely agree but I believe God’s plan was taking an already hardened Pharaoh’s heart and proving a point! For 400 years God was put on the sidelines as the Hebrews suffered enslavement to the Egyptians. As I believe you posted and to paraphrase, perhaps due to human nature, the Hebrews thought they could get themselves out of their situation of being enslaved. Meanwhile, God was sitting patiently in the wings watching Pharaoh’s power grow and the plight of the Hebrews worsen. A 400 year beat-down is not easily erased. In Chapter 8, God tells Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have made him obstinate in order that I may perform these signs of mine among them and that you may recount to your son and grandson how I made a fool of the Egyptians and what signs I did among them, so that you may know that I am the Lord!” With God’s almighty power, He could have easily taken His people out of Egypt after the first few plagues. I believe He wanted to show these people, both Hebrew and Egyptian alike, that I AM WHO AM! (I will show you My power, do not mess with me.) He is coming to the rescue of His chosen people after a 400 year absence; this is huge, and will take more convincing than a slap on the wrist. I absolutely agree with all you write about Pharaoh and his treatment of the Hebrews, and taking the Bible as an entirety which certainly has the overall arching message of love. I just believe that in order to get to this overall message of love God needed to take an already hardened heart and keep it so to prove His point that He is the one true Lord! Thanks for opining on this dialogue. I truly enjoy reading the different viewpoints even if they differ from mine or that I may be wrong. Have a blessed day, Joe!
And to you as well Michelle….blessings always. In my last go around with the Bible, I’ve read the stories with Jesus in mind – would Jesus harden the heart of Pharaoh? And the answer would be “no”. God gave us “free will”. He does not make anyone do anything – it is all up to us to choose for God. I know that the Scripture is written in such a way to strongly suggest that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart but perhaps look at the sentence in the context of what is the goal – to show us that God leads his people out of Egypt. He did lead the Egyptians but the Hebrew’s chose to go along.
There are other parts of the Bible that suggest that God wanted all the children of a Canaanite village destroyed. What we have here is using allegorical language to suggest that in order for the Hebrew’s to be successful in the Promised Land, ALL SIN MUST BE ERADICATED. Sin was so prevalent in Canaan that the poison of sin had traveled to the most “innocent” of beings. Did the Hebrew’s actually commit such atrocities. I’m not sure but the message is clear – completely eradicate sin from your path and you will have a strong relationship with God. The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, for me, is an expression only and God did not do this to Pharaoh. The reason – Jesus would not have done this and who is Jesus? God. One in the same. Guess who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush – Jesus (the Word of God). Cool?
I absolutely see where you are coming from. As I have never completely read the Bible I don’t have the vantage point you do. Perhaps one day. I do like your idea of always keeping Jesus in mind. Although I am very familiar with what we have read thus far I am a literal person so reading between the lines is not my forte, and when I try sometimes it gets me into trouble. We can unequivocally agree, however that because of God’s love for His chosen people they are lead safely out of Egypt just as we to can find our Promised Land if we but follow Him. That’s pretty “cool” as well. Thanks for your insight.
You got it – beautifully put. Like a lot of us, we’ve been trying to figure out why God of the Old Testament and God of the New Testament seemed so different. The answer lies in how man saw God in the Old Testament vs. the New. Our perceptions of God may differ but God is still the same. Thanks for a great discussion on this…. 🙂
You as well, thanks. It is interesting the difference in perception of God between the New and Old Testaments. I am going to try your method keeping “the softer, gentler” Jesus in mind.
We are always meant to keep Jesus in mind; why not when we read His Word. 🙂
Definitely. What can I say except I am a work in progress. I pray each day that the words I speak are words Jesus would speak, the thoughts I think are thoughts Jesus would think and my actions are actions Jesus would do. My hope is that by trying to live as Jesus did I will one day be blessed with Eternal Salvation. Have a blessed evening.
Using the two year old and throwing a temper tantrum is a good analogy!
I noticed that Moses is younger than Aaron. That seems to be a common thread in the bible stories. The younger is chosen for a task by God, which reminds me that God can use whomever he wishes to do his will and it’s often NOT the the ones we would chose by our human standards. (Some say Moses even stuttered which is why he was “slow in speech”). That’s encouraging for us!
Regarding the “I am” and “I will” – I interpret this as God showing himself as the Father that he truly is. When God says “I AM WHO I AM” in the burning bush, he is saying that he is EVERYTHING IN ALL and ETERNAL, that he is omnipotent. When God tells Moses I will “bring you”, “redeem you”, “deliver you”, “give you”, “take you”, he is showing Moses how he will take care of them…in a BIG way. Moses can trust God because of who he is, Everything in all, eternal and omnipotent.
It seems that Moses doesn’t doubt God in the same way as Abraham when he took matters into his own hands regarding an heir, or resorting to trickery as Jacob had. Moses does doubt things, but It seems like his doubt was about himself and his own lack of ability to do God’s bidding. Moses questioned God in Ex 3:11, 4:1, and 4:10 (note three times, like St. Peter?) before God grew angry with him in 4:14. It seems like during those 3 times, Moses couldn’t stop thinking about himself (and his own inabilities) to trust that God will give him the abilities. Again, our faulty human nature is at work and God has to bridge the gap for us. I compare this to the Blessed Mother who also questioned God; “how can this be since I know not man?”, but once the angel of the Lord replied she didn’t doubt him or need any further proof from God. Her “inability” to conceive because she was a virgin didn’t impede her faith. She gave her fiat and did not question God any further. I think Mary’s question may have been more out of curiosity than doubt, ‘HOW will he accomplish this in me?’ And then she stood back and let the Holy Spirit do his work.
Lastly, can anybody explain Ex 4:24-26 to me? I have no idea what those 2 verses mean.
I liked the point you made about Moses doubting himself and his abilities, not God. That happens to me too, which has required me to trust that God will even give me the right words to say. I don’t need to write a speech out, just pray that the Holy Spirit will give me the right words to say! The Blessed Mother definitely is our model! Regarding Ex 4:24-26, the footnote says, “Apparently God was angry with Moses for having failed to keep the divine command given to Abraham in Gn 17:10…(.”every man among you shall be circumcised”). Moses’ life was spared when his wife circumcises their son.
I find that interesting that his wife was able to do that, she was a daughter of a priest but I did not think she was from the linage of Abraham so how did she know to do this?
This is what I am wondering, how did she know to do this? It appears that since the 400 years the Hebrews had been oppressed God had gone by the wayside in their lives. Am I correct in making this assumption? It just seems like so much time has passed since Joseph and now we jump into Moses. It was as if, in my opinion, when Zipporah saw her husband’s life about to be taken it “jump started” God in their lives, once again.
Hi Michelle, though the Hebrew’s were enslaved for centuries, it was only when they “cried out” to God that God listened. Perhaps they went on their merry way accepting all that was happening to them and thought that they themselves could get themselves out of it – human nature to solve our own problems. But as soon as God heard their cries – He answered in a huge way.
Could it be that Jethro (Zipporah’s father) was from the family of the man named Midian, Abraham’s son by his other wife, Keturah? Abraham took this other wife after Sarah had died (Gen 25:1,2). Many times, the name of the man mentioned in the bible goes on to become the name of the people such as Moab becomes the Moabites, or Benammi becomes the Ammonites. Therefore, Abraham’s son Midian may have become the “land of Midian” where Jethro and Zipporah were from. That might put them in that same family tree of Abraham.
To paraphrase the verses in question – on their way to Egypt, Moses set up camp for the evening. The Lord was about to end Moses’ life because his son was not yet circumcised – it was against God’s covenant with His people. Zippora performed the circumcision on her son and all was well – the only time in the Bible that a woman performs a circumcision.
Perhaps, Moses growing up as an Egyptian did not think about circumcising his son; I’m sure that the traditions of the Hebrew’s were spoken about between man and wife (Moses and his wife) especially the covenant offering of circumcision.
Zippora, a Midianite was also outside the customs of those passed down by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the Hebrew’s. This act by Moses brought him completely within the scope of the covenant shedding another remnant of his Egyptian upbringing. This passage is a stern reminder of the importance of ensuring that we remain in a formal relationship with God; anything else denies us of true life; hence the threat of death – it is our behavior that denies us life. it is also a common theme here on out that the Hebrew’s were supposed to follow God completely with the utmost detail. This was just one of them?
What I have read is that the Israelites circumcised their boys at 8 days old and the Egyptians circumcised theirs at age 13. So Moses may have not thought it important to get the timing right. But God decided it was important to take Egypt out of Moses!
The blessing of Ishmael always intrigued me. Why would God bless him so abundantly when the son of the promise (Isaac) was to come from Sarah? Was it because Ishmael had been circumcised and was part of the covenant?
After looking at this more closely, I noticed a few different things. I see where God shows kindness towards Hagar. She had no choice but to have relations with Abraham since she was a slave. Yes, Hagar had “contempt” for Sarah, but Sarah also mistreated Hagar once she became pregnant. Both women seemed to have legitimate gripes with each other. Hagar fled on her own but went back at God’s command. (14 yrs later, Hagar was cast out with her son Ishmael, but God provided for them in the wilderness so that they wouldn’t die.) It seems that God blesses Ishmael for the sake of Abraham. Abraham himself even requested blessings for Ishmael in Gen 17:18-20 since he didn’t think was getting a son by Sarah. God does bless Ishmael because he is Abraham’s son (Gen 21:13), and Abraham also made sure he was part of the covenant by having him circumcised as a youth. In addition, maybe Ishmael was blessed for Hagar’s sake also. She proved to be obedient to God when she returned to Sarah even after being mistreated. And God made a promise to Hagar even before Ishmael was born in Gen 16:10-11 that she would have many descendants.
Abraham had much love for his son Ishmael and it troubled him deeply to send him away, but he did as Sarah wished since it was part of God’s plan. Abraham shows obedience here in this distress, and of course, again later by offering Isaac for sacrifice.
Funny how the “big three” world religions all call Abraham their father. Jews (via Isaac), Muslims (via Ishmael) and Christians; and yet, the fighting continues. Jesus prays that we all may be one, but this can only happen through him, with him and in him. He is the only Way, Truth and Life. May thy Kingdom come….soon!
Very nicely expressed, Helena!
I had forgotten that Abraham had taken another wife after Sarah and had not made the connection of the Midians, sometimes I feel like such a neophyte in these discussions! Thanks so much, I will remember to look for that in the future.
This is great – thank you. 🙂
Ex 4:24-26 was perplexing to me too, but researching it I found several explanation/write-ups that were helpful. Here is one:
There are also some very good posts here on same subject:
In the first verse of the 6th Chapter we see that Pharaoh is too is under God’s mighty arm and will submit to Him. The Lord is mindful of His people, He will free the Israelites and take them as His own people. He is the Lord God, and will give the land promised to them. “I am the Lord” He is all powerful and completely in charge of all people and things in the world and is faithful to His promises!
God didn’t “make himself known to his people” until Moses. (Ex 6: 2,3) God was just known as the Lord, but had no name until he gave it Moses in the burning bush. I don’t know why this is, but it’s interesting to note. (if I’m understanding those 2 verses correctly).
God warned Moses that Pharaoh wouldn’t listen at first. That might have been for Moses’ sake so he didn’t lose heart and become discouraged. God sometimes reveals to us a tiny bit of his plan along the way.
you read it right… before that, He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel – now, His Name would take the place of that long, tongue twisting, soon to be outdated Name – He identified Himself as I AM WHO I AM – in other words, HE IS
The I AM’s and I WILL”s clearly tell us that the LORD keeps his promise to be with his people and protects them no matter what may be the problem. Help me LORD to surrender my life in your care so that I never again feel insecure and regret about things I have failed to do.
I believe that with the use of the I AM’s and I WILL’s, God is renewing his relationship, or covenant with his people. This sounds small in comparison but just like we renew our Baptismal promises, God is reaffirming to His people that I AM and I WILL! The Hebrews had been oppressed for so many years and perhaps in this time, had lost their faith and hope that their plight in life would ever change. Thus, Moses enters the picture and our story of salvation gets a jump-start. Moses, when called upon by God quickly responds, “Here I am!” Just like so many other servants, Moses is willing to do his part. Of course he questions God wondering if he is the right man for this monumental task but that is his human side kicking in. Although God gets frustrated that Moses does not fully trust Him he makes Aaron the prophet that will help Moses. God knew Moses needed that extra bit of confidence and provided the tool to aid him. I am constantly in awe of each of these people who quickly call out to God, “Here I Am!” I pray that I would just as quickly respond and that the decisions I make each day are in true response to my desire to know, love and serve Him!
Exodus 4:24 this from the Haydock commentary:Ver. 24. The Lord met him, and would have killed him. This was an angel representing the Lord, who treated Moses in this manner, for having neglected the circumcision of his younger son: which his wife understanding, circumcised her child upon the spot, upon which the angel let Moses go. (Challoner) — Both his children were born about this time. But Eliezer, the younger, had not been circumcised; and therefore remained under the power of the destroying angel. (Origen, contra Cels. v.) Others think the angel was going to kill Moses. (Calmet
Haydock is very valuable , but in this case, perhaps he was too quick to take the Jews viewpoint… God Himself sent the destroying angel to the retrieve His due – the first-born males of everyone in that region… God didn’t want the oldest sons, but as they were the first ones born “of the females” they belonged to God… it didn’t matter that they didn’t worship Him or even acknowledge Him…
in killing anyone who wasn’t the first-born of anyone, the angel himself would be in trouble with the Lord…
Moses was not the first-born – his brother Aaron superseded him by about 6 years… so, Moses, himself, was not subject to the Lord’s destroying angel…
of the remaining 3, then, who do you think ‘he’ was that the Lord’s destroying angel (on a mission with defined parameters – to redeem the first-born of all Egypt to God) was sent to kill?
I kind of get Moses. I think he has all the faith in the world in God. He just doesn’t believe that he can live up to God’s expectations. Sort of like me trying to understand how the computer works. When talking to a computer intellect, I feel unworthy to even participate in the conversation! But I will eventually stand up for the things I know are not working correctly…. Probably a bad analogy but it makes sense to me….
Makes perfect sense to me, Kim and I got a lovely chuckle, as well.
Hi Kim…I like your analogy but Moses’ uncertainly in his abilities were incredibly great. He was asked to talk to a king of a foreign power that looked down on him because of his ethnicity and convince the king to get rid of the manpower that feeds his economy just because a foreign god tells him to. If I was Moses I’d be worried about the same thing and keep uttering to myself “who, me?!? I could hardly string 10 words together in a sentence and you want me to convince this king way over there to let Your people go?” But something resonated in Moses that gave him the confidence to go:
First – he stood before this incredible Being who he had only heard about in oral tradition. Remember, Moses was exposed to all kinds of gods in Egypt and they didn’t seem to do anything they were expected to do.
Second – the fact that God addressed Moses with a name that basically says “I AM…EVERYTHING THAT EVER WAS AND WILL EVER BE..I AM LIFE ITSELF” struck him hard and knew that this God could do anything – He continued showing his ancestors His incredible abilities through the centuries – Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob…This was the Creator of all that was.
Third – God inspired Aaron, his brother, to help Moses. Moses was not alone. He had the omnipotent God looking down on all this and he had his flesh and blood brother to stand by his side in the physical realm of existence.
In the end, as all great saints that ever were, he said “yes” to God and the rest is history.
What is really amazing about Aaron helping Moses is that Moses was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter so he probably didn’t have much contact with his brother Aaron or his sister Miriam as he was growing up. He also had to flee Egypt for murdering an Egyptian and was gone for about 40 years, After all that, Aaron and Moses became best friends like they were never separated all those years.
well, God only inspired Aaron to assist him because Moses argued with God (again) that he couldn’t speak with Pharaoh – he wasn’t the leader yet… 🙂
Both Moses and the Israelites had been under the rule of the Pharaoh for a long time, so when the Pharaoh said jump, everyone jumped. But when God said “I am the Lord” the barrier was the Pharaoh who seemed to have control. I wonder whether God started to train Moses in the faith and used him to lead the Israelites back to faith, hence the repetitions. Moses follows God’s instructions but over and over again, the Pharaoh backs down and goes back on his word i.e. lies and is untrustworthy. At the same time, over and over again, God protects the Israelites who obey him. All the Israelites were having the opportunity to learn to trust in God and be protected. The Pharaoh was having the same lesson but as he was concerned about his personal power, he did not accept the presence and power of God. Maybe, accepting God, would have meant that the Pharaoh had to concede that he was not all powerful?
Perhaps we have a similar choice in that we can be the Pharaoh and say “I can do that” or “I have the power to …”. Alternatively we could be like Moses and say “I need to do …” or “need to have ..” but I can’t do it without God” and then ask for His help. Upon reflection, I think there have been times when I have fallen into the trap of thinking like the Pharaoh and have had to be guided to the reality that I need to be dependent upon God.
I looked at the “I will” as what God was telling those in the Old Testament of His plan for the future for all of us and I saw the “I am” as His presence in our lives NOW and the belief that we should look to HIM as “he was and always will be”!
When read together the I AM’s and I WILL’s tell me that that God is All powerful there is nothing He cannot do.
God is confirming his covenant with “I AM” and “I WILL” with Moses and Aaron as well as with me. There should be no doubt with these words that God will be with everyone, God is only asking for their faith, trust and belief. There is no greater promise from God to his people at this time of Exodus. This is so meaningful to me now, because I know God is also asking me for my faith, trust and belief.
God is always there for us, we are the weak who want everything served on a platter and are not willing to give any time in our selfish lives to thank him for all of the blessings that he has already bestowed upon us.
The. Lord begins chapter six telling Moses what he will do Moses by saying! I Will” do to Pharaoh. And then he goes over his cove mean with Moses through the words, “I Am” YHWH – The God of your fathers’ Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He continues this section with “I Ams” reviewing his covenant with the Israelites. In closing he reassures Moses how he will help him get the Israelites out of Egypt again restating with, “I Am”.
Powerful section that truly shows believers of God must stay strong in faith knowing such outcomes are from God, “Thy will be done.” I do believe in God, but have a long way to go in not only say ‘I believe”, but living every action, word, life in general through the acts of God.
Let’s use the Mother Mary as the perfect example. When she said, “Let it be done to me according to thy will,” she had no idea how the rest of her life would play out. She had no idea what it would mean to raise the Son of God, the awaited Messiah; her total and complete faith in God saw her through. If we would but ponder in our hearts, the way Mary did, then perhaps we can avoid hardness of heart and endure, too.
Moses is filled with uncertainty and God reassures Moses that He will take care of the situation with this arrogant Pharaoh. God explains to Moses that He is who is and will always be our one and true God. I felt a sense of renewal in my faith when I read this passage. God was reminding Moses of one significant detail we all need to take to heart. You (we) need to trust the Lord your God, for He is our salvation.
Problems with the Bible on the USCCB site today. You can use the following link for the readings.
God is and God will. Let me reflect on this today and always so that I always give God the faith and loyalty that is deserved.
Ponder everything in our hearts, as the Blessed Virgin Mary teaches by her example! Prayer/meditation in every situation of our lives!
Makes me think of this I saw yesterday at WAU Facebook page:
The ” I Wills” are a renewal of God’s Covenant with Abraham. I was particularly aware of verse 6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: I am the LORD. I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery. I will redeem you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment” When Moses does deliver this message of Redemption to the Israelites How do they react Exodus 6:9 “But when Moses told this to the Israelites, they would not listen to him because of their dejection and hard slavery” How often do we react the same way. And we have God, our deliverer in our presence in the Person of Jesus in the Eucharist. I have been twice cured of cancer. The Dr.s have both times said the cancers were incurable. I only prayed that my sins would be forgiven. But when I was cured did I hear “Your sins are forgiven” No because like the Israelites I was dejected because of hard slavery. How many of us leave Reconciliation
. and are unable to believe are sins are forgiven. Untill we truely believe that our sin is forgiven we are still slaves to that sin even if we do not commit that sin again.
Yahweh first reveals His name to Moses in 3:14–16. The phrase “I am Yahweh” appears several times elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, which indicates that it does not signify new information for Moses; rather, it is precisely because Moses knows the name that he must heed what follows this pronouncement. This also appears to say that the patriarchs did not know the name “Yahweh,” a name revealed only to Moses at Sinai (3:14–16). And while the genealogy interrupts the narrative, It links the present people and time period with the ancient patriarchs, and although some of these verses seems redundant, they serve to reconnect the reader with the story prior to the genealogy and the promises made.
Chapter 5 starts out with Pharaoh asking Moses and Aaron “Who is the Lord…I do not know the Lord”. He then goes on to make the lives of the people difficult. He tries to stop the people from increasing in number. Several times in the chapter it says he “scattered” them. He doesn’t listen to them. However, when Moses cries out to the Lord in the next chapter, He hears him and reveals himself to Moses in his “I Am” statements. Then he reiterates his covenant with the people by giving his “I will” statements. He is our God, He will redeem his people, He will free us of our burdens, He will give them the land that He promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Quite opposite from the Pharaoh. God continues to keep His Word (covenant), however, Pharaoh is the opposite. He doesn’t keep his word, as evidenced by the number of times he tells Moses that he will let the people go then changes his mind. I think the line I started with tells all. Pharaoh says “I do not know the Lord”. Maybe that is why he deals with the people so harshly and is so cruel to them. He is not participating in salvation. He is working against it.
Yahweh, I Am, are all revelations that our Heavenly Father has given to us in Chapter 6. He is the beginning and the end, the alpha and Omega. He gives life to all and is the only reason we can even take a breath. All power, authority, and dominions are subject to him. His power is everlasting.
It is quite amazing that Pharaoh heard God yet rejected him. Pharaoh’s pride got in the way as he viewed himself in charge and not able to bow the the One True God. Similar to Lucifer.
God’s covenant is eternal and shall not be broken. The will of God shall be fulfilled.
Pharaoh’s hardened heart prevented him from bowing to the atrocities done to Egypt. God sends us many signs to attempt to wake us up when we stray. We can be like pharaoh and enables a state of being deaf, dumb, and blind.
Heavenly Father, help me to hear your voice and heed the warning you give me before you show your mighty strength. Help me to be your servant and let me know your Truths. I believe all things are possible when I follow you. Help me to trust you and increase my faith. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus.
P.S. Please pray for me as I have what I see to be a small issue tomorrow that could potentially turn into a bigger problem, so if anyone would be so kind to say a special prayer for me it would be appreciated.
I love all of the “I am” and “I will” statements because they show and give 100% power, strength and certainty. There is no mistaking the statements or misunderstanding them. The part I can’t seem to wrap my head around is the “When”, as God’s time is most certainly not like our perception of time… i.e. 400 years of oppression? Wow. Also in contrast to the LONG 400 year stretch of time…, I am also confused by the SHORT amount of time from when God was working with Moses to have Moses bring all the people out of bondage, to suddenly decide to put Moses to death!!
The ‘I AM’s’ and the ‘I WILLS’s’ service to confirm to Moses then and to us now, who God really is. He is the Almighty God, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of life, and he keeps his promises to his people. In referring to the Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he throws Moses’ mind back to the promises of Land, a Royal Kingdom and worldwide blessings, even though the current situation of the Hebrews looks bleak (they are in a foreign land, they are not a Royal Kingdom, and in their position as slaves they would have found it hard to believe how they could become a blessing to other nations.
God tells the Hebrews then and us now, that He will bring us out of our burdens, he will redeem us, he will make us his people and he will bring us into the promised land and we will possess it. I am reminded by these affirmations that these promises are for me too, no matter how challenging my life situation may be. God is always with us.
In all the readings to date and through to the end of this reading program, I believe that it will all be summarized by Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”
Each day I read the many words of all of you and I find them valuable. I can add little but the above.