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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Our Expense

is not so expensive.

Exodus 3:16–22

“Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.” ’ Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, ‘The LORED 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.’ But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. 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. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

This is an example of God’s amazing teaching methods. He just finished distinguishing Himself from all other gods as the “I AM.” You might expect Him to tell Moses to deliver the same message to Pharaoh.

But instead, God deliberately avoids this confrontation. He’s going to give Pharaoh every chance to be reasonable. Moses is told to simply ask Pharaoh for three days to sacrifice to YHVH, the God of the Hebrews. For now, Pharaoh’s polytheistic belief system won’t be challenged.

God is setting him up. This is so that he will be without excuse. When things go sour later, Pharaoh can’t claim that the bar was set too high.

God is making this totally easy for him.

He does that with us too. None of the Ten Commandments are hard to obey; a robot would follow all of them effortlessly.

But we can’t. We have this curious “rules are made to be broken” attitude. The fact that God’s commandments aren’t difficult highlights our fallen nature.

And that’s the point. We don’t need to be rescued from some impossible situation we’ve been tossed into; we need to be saved from ourselves.

Just as God’s plan will unfold to His glory by embarrassing Pharaoh, so His plan of salvation glorifies Him at our expense.

Of course, “our expense” here just means losing face.

We gain so much more.

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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NASB stands for the New American Standard Bible. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

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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