God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 31 - Exodus 4-6: Moses Suffers from Self-Doubt

Today’s Reading: Exodus 4-6

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Moses' self-doubt hinders God's ability to make things right with his people.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Moses felt no one would believe that God sent him. So God gave him three signs to show the people that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sent Moses. He was then self-conscious of his speaking ability. So God chose Aaron, Moses' brother, to speak for him.
On the way back to Egypt, Zipporah, Moses' wife, saved Moses from God by circumcising their sons.
The Israelites believed Moses and Aaron. However, Pharaoh was not impressed. He punished the Israelites by ceasing their straw subsidies. The people grumbled to Moses. Moses grumbled to God. Moses questioned his ability and credulity.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God presents himself as "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

God does not present himself as the creator of the universe so powerful that all should bow to his every need. He reminds the Israelites of the ones to whom He gave the Promise. This is what connected them to each other and what would distinguish God from any other imitators – the promise of Abraham.
Even for Christians today, our God is tied to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is because the Promise is still for us.

Moses' lack of self-confidence hinders God's ability to make things right for his people.

Moses' objections come from his lack of self-confidence. What Moses does not realize is that God has chosen him. If God, the God of the Promise, has decided Moses is the one to bring the people out of Egypt, then Moses has the tools needed for the task. If God calls you to do something, he has already given you the ability to do it. Use these tools for the purpose.
Fear is one of the hardest parts for Christians to overcome. As I write this it has been two weeks since writing the last post (I started Nov. 1 to have enough backlog to get through the year). One of the main reasons was my feeling of inadequacy and fear that I had nothing to write. I'm not sure I have actually mastered that fear, but what I do know is that once I have finished my task I feel better and more confident. Obeying God gives confidence. To the stutterers (like Moses) – trust in God and let that trust guide you.

Pharaoh's heart would be hardened.

This is a difficult problem for interpreting this text. If God makes Pharaoh's heart unable to accept His authority, could Pharaoh be blamed? Some have tried to get around this by making it indirect – God knows Pharaoh's heart and it would not accept his authority, so God is describing what would happen instead of actively hardening his heart. There are good arguments on either side. However, what Exodus wants to present is this: Pharaoh's heart would be hardened to show all of Egypt and Israel that the God of the Promise is superior to any other gods that men serve. Whether Pharaoh is punishable or not is ancillary.

God tried to kill Moses because he failed to keep the mandated tradition.

Circumcision was not required to be righteous before God. Abraham was righteous before he was circumcised. However, God required all males that were associated with the Promise to be circumcised. What this episode shows is that if you wish to be part of God's ambassadors to the world, you must follow the traditions set by God. One must be circumcised to be a Jew. If baptism in the New Testament is treated the same as circumcision in the Old Testament, then the same holds today: anyone who wishes to be a Christian must be baptized. To claim otherwise shows disrespect to God's authority.

What did you see reading this passage? Questions? Comments? Leave a comment in the section below or on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway Church of Christ Facebook page.

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