What does it say?
God’s mission overwhelms Moses (Exo 4). The years in the desert have destroyed his self-confidence. Follow his objections and how God deals with them in this fascinating dialogue. God provides support from Moses’ brother Aaron and the blessing of his father-in-law Jethro.
The emotions and fears in Moses must have been beyond our imagination, but he obediently and boldly approaches the Pharaoh demanding in Jehovah’s name to let Israel go (Exo 5). Not only does Pharaoh blasphemously refuse, he increases the pressure on the Hebrews.
God responds to Pharaoh’s rejection by revealing new understanding to Moses about the power of the divine name (Exo 6). Moses argues that the leaders of Israel are no more ready to obey him than is Pharaoh. God reaffirms to Moses and Aaron the authority he has given to them. The chapter concludes by listing Moses’ family tree.
What does it mean?
The running conflict with Pharaoh reminds us of the conflict between God and evil. This is not the dualism of the Greeks and earlier philosophers who saw both good and evil in eternal conflict. God is eternal; evil is the result of sin that was overcome by Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. Evil is not eternal. God delivers his people and he will not rest until his mission is accomplished.
God has determined that it is time to deliver his people and that Moses will be his instrument. Moses continues to wrestle with doubt, insecurity, fear and depression. There is a lesson here. We grow in the process of engaging in God’s mission; not in the processing of living in isolation on the desert. We often say that we (or others) are not ready for the mission. No one is ever ready, but God is. Growth occurs in the dynamic process of mission, not in endless preparation.
Oh no, not another list of names! Don’t miss the point. Moses may think he is not ready, but God has been preparing for this moment from centuries before his birth. Every person, every ancestor is part of God’s amazing mosaic of mission. We are part of something far greater than just us.
How will I respond?
What’s my excuse? Really, what is it? Why am I not more fruitful in my life? Why am I not more missional in my life? What is your number one excuse and how do you think God would answer it from what you see here?