May 15, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord.’”—Exodus 6:6–8 (NASB)
If you’ve watched a firework display, then you know how it begins and ends. At first, just a few bursts, brilliant and stunning. Maybe the occasional “dud.” But then, the production builds up until it culminates into a grand finale with dozens of fireworks exploding all at once.
Moses’ encounter with God and then with Pharoah is like the beginning of a fireworks display. There was a lot of WOW to be seen. I’m talking serious WOW—a calling from God and His blessed assurance that He would provide all Moses would need. How brilliant and stunning that was! But then Moses was faced with what we might call a “dud” when he stood before Pharaoh holding high expectations of the victory God had promised as he asked him to let the people go.
Pharoah’s response? Well, it certainly wasn’t what Moses had anticipated. More like a proverbial dud in the fireworks he was hoping to ignite. Pharoah mocked at the idea of freedom for the Hebrews and heaped on the workload just to prove his point.
The people’s response? Obviously, not too happy. They jeered at Moses for what his words to Pharaoh brought upon them—heavier labor and intense abuse. Another dud, and I’m sure Moses felt shattered.
God’s response? A little shattering of His own.
In today’s Scripture passage, note God’s response to Moses’ shattered expectations. He gives seven “I will” statements. This is God’s grand finale—His way of revealing His character and glory in stunning brilliance.
Incidentally, when God states, “I will,” it doesn’t convey the idea that this is what will happen; it conveys the idea that it’s already happened. According to Walter Kaiser, esteemed author, educator, and expert in the Old Testament, God’s “I will” statements are significant in their tense. He explains that “each of these verbs are in the Hebrew past tense instead of the future tense, for so certain was God of their accomplishment that they were viewed as having been completed.”
As we continue reading, we learn the people didn’t believe Moses. They’d been in hopeless bondage for so long and, if we’re being honest, sometimes we feel that way, too. Jesus promised to return, yet we look around at the depravity of the world . . . waiting and waiting. We hear the scoffers jeer at us, “Where is your Jesus?”
Well, God’s finale isn’t complete. We’ve yet to see the end. In Revelation, we read 17 more of Jesus’ “I will” statements. Through the apostle John, Jesus gives us the blessed assurance of deliverance just as He gave to the people through Moses. So, with that, I pray our response now is, “Not our will, Lord, but Your will be done.”
Pause: Looking back on how God faithfully kept the covenantal promises He made in the Old Testament, does your hope increase and is your faith renewed?
Practice: Even in your own life, consider how God has been faithful to you. Take an account of how (even when you didn’t know Him) He watched over you and kept you from all harm and brought you into a pleasant place (Read Psalms 121 and 16).
Pray: Lord, help me to rest in Your promises and not feel hopeless while I wait for Your promised return. In the pleasant places You have provided, I want to set You before me and honor You with all my being. For Your glory always I pray. Amen.
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.