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The Greatest Blessing

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Exodus 6:1-13 (ESV)

But the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”

God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 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. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.’” Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.

So the LORD said to Moses, “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land.” But Moses said to the LORD, “Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?” But the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh king of Egypt: to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

To understand this passage, remember that “the LORD” is really God’s name, YHVH. This isn’t about getting the people of Israel out of Egypt; this is about His name.

The key is when God says, “I am YHVH. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name YHVH I did not make myself known to them.” His covenant with His people is about to take a wondrous turn; it’s going to get personal.

From now on, God will be on a first name basis with His people. This precursor of the new covenant is magnificent but it’s also dangerous. The people of Israel will quickly learn to take God for granted.

We take God for granted too. In a sense, we’re supposed to take Him for granted; He keeps His promises. But the more reliable God is, the more we tend to think it’s no big deal. We count on God the way we count on water coming out of a faucet when we turn the handle. We’re hard to impress.

Yes, we’re supposed to be secure in our salvation (1 John 5:13). But our response should be to treasure that precious gift, rather than become complacent.

Ask God to convict us. Ask the Holy Spirit to refresh our appreciation of the great things God does. Pray that the LORD will open our eyes to our complacency.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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