I am the LORD!
They did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor. – Exodus 6:9
1 Then the LORD told Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!”
2 And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh – ‘the LORD.’”
3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai – ‘God Almighty’ – but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.
4 And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners.
5 You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them.
6 “Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the LORD. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment.’”
7 ‘I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt.’
8 ‘I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the LORD!’”
9 So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.
“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me’” (Billy Graham).
“Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement” (Joyce Meyer).
“The most essential factor is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come” (James Whitcomb Riley).
When the Father promises to do something, children of the King can enjoy the absolute certainty of the fact that it will be done. Frequently, before a promise from the Father can be realized it is preceded by a change in the status quo. The Father makes waves. He has a way of shaking things up. When he appeared at Sinai, the earth shook. In the future He will shake both the earth and the heavens. His goal is to shake things until all the things that can be removed, are removed (Hebrews 12:26-27).
The same eternal Father God, in a similar fashion, but to a much lesser degree, also shakes His children. Of course, most of us do not like to be shaken or rattled. His touch is often viewed as an unwelcome intrusion or disturbance. In the short term, things often get worse, before they get better.
Upon returning from Mount Sinai, Moses goes to Pharaoh and asks him to let the children of Israel go. Pharaoh rebuffs him. Moses fails and his failure brings sadness and add misery to his people.He blames himself and questions why the Lord who asked him to do it in the first place. It is easy for most of us to identify the failure of Moses. He starts with great enthusiasm and falls flat on his face. He complains and whines. He wonders if the Father made a mistake in choosing him. He seems so inadequate for the job at hand. But that is exactly the point, Moses is an adequate for the job. That is why he was chosen to do the job.
But the gloom and doom of pessimism is so often contagious. After 400 years of suffering and servitude making bricks for Pharaoh, what could be worse? Try making bricks without straw. The people were done listening to Moses and hoping in God. They did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage (Exodus 6:9).
The Hebrew word translated broken, despondency, discouragement is qotser. Qotser means shortness. When used in conjunction with the spirit it has the sense of impatience, dejectedness. They were beaten down, their spirits were broken, crushed. They were discouraged, exhausted. They had given up (UBS).
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is like a tree of life.
“When we feel oppressed and our spirit groans, it is difficult for us to believe the good promises of God regarding our welfare” (Stanley). Instead of being long-suffering, they figured they had suffered long enough. They had had enough. All hope was lost.
REFLECT & PRAY
Physical suffering pains our bodies, but emotional suffering and discouragement brings a leanness to our souls and ravages our hearts.
Father, remind me again and again, and bring to my mind that no matter what my circumstances are or how gloomy and dire my situation seems to be, your answer always begins, “I am the LORD!”
The irony is that initial failure lays the groundwork for ultimate success. Pessimism and doubt are the fertile soil in which promises are fulfilled.
Matthew 19:26 with God all things are possible.
The Scriptures are replete with examples of the Father doing the impossible after all hope is lost. But a few examples: the raising of Lazarus from the dead, the preserving of the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, the miracle of the Red Sea, the angelic hosts guarding Elisha and Gehazi, and the greatest of all, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The problem is never been with the Father. The problem has always been with our discouragement and lack of faith. The Father wants us to know and believe that He is the answer to all our problems and circumstances. Every aspect of our physical and emotional well-being and eternal salvation depends solely on His character and eternal attributes.
Why did the Father allow Moses to fail at the very beginning of his mission when he went to Pharaoh the first time? Perhaps, if Pharaoh had released the nation of Israel the first time Moses asked, Moses would have been given most of the credit. Instead, his attempt backfired totally. As a result, he had to shoulder all the blame.
The people were convinced that Moses was incapable of leading them to the Promised Land. Only the Father could bring them out of Egypt by His mighty hand (Exodus 32:11). The longer Moses and Pharaoh quarreled and wrangled over the release of Israel from bondage, the clearer it became.
The Father was teaching His people to put all their trust in Him. In due time, they discovered that when all else failed, the one thing they could count on was the One who said, “I am the LORD” (Ryken and Hughes).
His answer is always the same, “I am the LORD!”
“Exodus is a God-centered book with a God-centered message that teaches us to have a God-centered life. Whatever problems we have, whatever difficulties we face, the most important thing is to know who God is. We are called to place our trust in the One who says, ‘I am the LORD.’ . . . When nothing seems to go right, and it is not certain how things will ever work out – even then he says, ‘I am the LORD’” (Ryken and Hughes).
Comments, Suggestions, Requests are sought and welcome.