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David Guzik :: Study Guide for Exodus 6

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God's Assurance to Moses

A. God comforts Moses.

1. (Exo 6:1) God's promise to Moses: Pharaoh will let you go.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land."

a. For with a strong hand he will let you go: Not only will Pharaoh let the children of Israel leave; he will drive them out with a strong hand.

b. Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: God wanted Moses to know that He was in charge. Moses was discouraged because he was too impressed by Pharaoh and not impressed enough by God.

2. (Exo 6:2-5) The God of the covenant confirms His promise.

And 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 LORD I was not known to them. I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant."

a. I am the LORD: In reminding Moses of the great name of God, He reminds Moses that He is the covenant-making and covenant-keeping God, who will absolutely fulfill His promise to Moses.

b. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD I was not known to them: Why does God say this? Isn't there an abundance of evidence to show that the patriarchs did know God as Yahweh?

i. The patriarchs knew the name Yahweh (it is used some 160 times in Genesis); but the great application of the name referred to God who kept and fulfilled the covenant: I have also established My covenant with them. The patriarchs were privileged to know the God who made the covenant, but for them the covenant was barely fulfilled. The patriarchs knew God as the Maker of the covenant. Moses and the generation of the Exodus would know God as the One who fulfilled the covenant.

ii. As God Almighty: In addition, though the patriarchs knew God Almighty, they did not know Him as extensively and intimately as He would reveal Himself to Moses and his generation; they knew the power of God, but didn't have the same personal relationship and revelation Moses would come to know.

iii. For us, God wants to be more than God Almighty - He wants us also to know Him as a personal, promise making and promise keeping God, whom we can trust in everything - by what name do you know Him?

c. I have remembered My covenant: God has remembered His covenant. Can Moses remember his God?

3. (Exo 6:6-8) God's promise of the seven "I wills" to Israel.

"Therefore say to the children of Israel: 'I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.'"

a. I am the LORD: God goes to the furthest length possible to confirm this covenant with the children of Israel. In seven separate I will promises, God says, "I'm going to do it. You can count on me."

i. The promises are glorious, and equally so in their spiritual application to believers:

- I will bring you out
- I will rescue you from their bondage
- I will redeem you
- I will take you as My people
- I will be your God
- I will bring you into the Land
- I will give it to you as a heritage

ii. Of course, there is the contrast with the five I will statements of Satan in Isaiah 14:13-15. The great difference is that Satan was powerless to make any of his "I wills" come to pass. God is more than able to fulfill each of His promises.

b. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: For the first plainly stated time, Moses is to tell Israel what God ultimately promised - to not only deliver them from the bondage of Egypt, but to give them the land promised to the patriarchs.

c. I am the LORD: With this God concluded the promise by reminding all of His covenant making and covenant-keeping name.

4. (Exo 6:9) The response of the children of Israel.

So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.

a. They did not heed Moses: After Moses spoke what God told him to say the children of Israel were still stuck in miserable unbelief. They probably would have said that they did not doubt God but they doubted the messenger, Moses.

b. Because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage: This is why Israel doubted Moses and God's Word through him. Their centuries of slavery made them think like slaves instead of people of the covenant. Pharaoh was bigger in their eyes than God was.

i. Many Christians find themselves in the same place. They find it hard to trust God and believe that He is for them. This is why Paul says we must not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The children of Israel needed their minds renewed, and we do also.

ii. Ezekiel 20:5-9 shows why God was so small and Pharaoh was so big in Israel's heart during this time. Ezekiel explains that they bought into the gods of their oppressors, worshipping the gods of the Egyptians. This is why they didn't trust God, and His messenger Moses! The reason why God did not judge Israel at the time was because He didn't want His name profaned among the Gentiles.

5. (Exo 6:10-13) God tells Moses to stick with His plan.

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go out of his land." And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying, "The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?" Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

a. How then shall Pharaoh heed me: Moses felt that God's way had failed, so why should Moses try again in something that has already failed? How will Moses ever persuade Pharaoh if he can't even persuade his own people?

b. Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron: God wanted Moses to keep plugging away; to not look at Pharaoh, to not look at the children of Israel, to not look at even himself - but to look at God and God alone.

i. Moses wanted to give up after the first setback. God had much to do in his heart before Moses is ready to deal with all the discouragement ahead as he leads the people to the Promised Land.

ii. God is building endurance in Moses, the ability to stick with God's plan and will even when it doesn't seem to work. This is faith; this is patient endurance in the LORD.

c. A command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh: Moses had to understand that this was God's will, not merely a few suggestions for Israel and Pharaoh. This was His divine command that would be accomplished, one way or another.

B. The genealogies of Jacob's first three children: Reuben, Simeon, and Levi.

1. (Exo 6:14-15) The immediate descendants of Reuben and Simeon.

These are the heads of their fathers' houses: The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben. And the sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These are the families of Simeon.

2. (Exo 6:16-19) The main families descended from Levi.

These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And the years of the life of Levi were one hundred and thirty-seven. The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimi according to their families. And the sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred and thirty-three. The sons of Merari were Mahali and Mushi. These are the families of Levi according to their generations.

a. The sons of Levi according to their generations: In the tribe of Levi, there were three main families - Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Each of these families will be given specific duties in the service of the LORD and His tabernacle.

3. (Exo 6:20-27) How Moses and Aaron descended from Amram, a son of Kohath.

Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father's sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven. The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. And the sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Zithri. Aaron took to himself Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Nahshon, as wife; and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And the sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These are the families of the Korahites. Eleazar, Aaron's son, took for himself one of the daughters of Putiel as wife; and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites according to their families. These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, "Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies." These are the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt. These are the same Moses and Aaron.

a. She bore him Aaron and Moses: This passage not only tells us the ancestors of Moses and Aaron, but also some of Aaron's descendants. His sons listed here are Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar; and his grandson through Eleazar, whose name was Phinehas.

i. This portion is important because the priesthood that will eventually come from the family of Aaron will be passed down to his descendants. Therefore it was important to know exactly who his descendants were.

b. The sons of Korah (cousins to Moses and Aaron; their father Korah was Moses' uncle) will also play part in a significant event before Israel reaches the Promised Land (Numbers 16).

4. (Exo 6:28-30) Moses objects again.

And it came to pass, on the day the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, that the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "I am the LORD. Speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you." But Moses said before the LORD, "Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh heed me?"

a. Speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you: God previously commanded Moses to speak to Pharaoh. After the first disappointing experience, Moses now halts in his obedience.

b. I am of uncircumcised lips: This may refer to Moses' idea that he has a speech problem, or it may be that he recognized that he is a sinful man, and therefore unworthy to be used.

i. Moses' feeling may be similar to that of Isaiah in Isaiah 6:1-8. Isaiah knew that he was a sinner in God's presence, and sensed that the "center" of his sin was in his lips - as in speaking and communicating in a way that didn't glorify God. God could deal with Isaiah's unclean lips, and He is more than able to deal with Moses' uncircumcised lips. God is also perfectly able to deal with the things in our life - real or imagined - that hinder us from being used by Him.

©2004 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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