“The people of Israel were being oppressed by the Egyptians”, but God was about to do something about this. It would be something wonderful. He was about to bring them out of the land of slavery. Soon, they would be on their way to the land of blessing. The pathway to the promised land would not be easy. It would be a very long journey, a forty-year journey. Often, the people would lose their way in the wilderness, but God would not forget his promise of blessing. Often, our pathway to God’s future is a long and winding road. We may lose sight of the Lord, as we travel through the wilderness of this earthly life, but the Lord has not lost sight of our final destination: eternal life in his eternal kingdom. We nay forget what the Lord has done for us, but he will never forget what he has promised to to do for us. He is leading us on to the promised land of his salvation. It will be so much better than our life on earth, which is so deeply affected by our sin.
In Exodus, we are introduced to a man called Moses. We read about him as a baby boy. He is protected by the Lord. We read about as a man. What was so special about him? Very quickly, we learn that this isn’t really the story of Moses. It’s the story of God, working in and through Moses. This is what we must always remember when we read about Moses.
Does Moses seem to be the answer to Israel’s problems? No! He doesn’t. Where was Moses when the people of Israel were suffering in Egypt? Moses “killed an Egyptian”, who was “beating a Hebrew.” Now, he was running for his life: “Moses fled from Pharaoh to the land of Midian.”
Has God forgotten Moses? To answer this question, we must ask another question: Has God forgotten his suffering people, Israel? The answer to both questions is the same. God has not forgotten Israel, and God has not forgotten Moses. God’s people were praying: “the people of Israel still groaned under their bondage, and cried out for help.” “God heard” their prayer, and he revealed to Moses his plan for the redemption of Israel from their Egyptian slavemasters.
Did Moses have a plan for the future of the people of Israel? No! He didn’t, but God did: “I have come down to deliver them out of that land to a good and broad land, flowing with milk and honey.” God had a wonderful plan for his people, Israel. At the heart of God’s plan, there would be Moses: “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people, the people of Israel, out of Egypt,”
It is so important that we understand that the plan for Israel’s future did not begin with Moses. It began with God. It was God’s plan.
When God called Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, he reminded him of Israel’s past: “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” He, also revealed something else to Moses, something very wonderful. He revealed himself to Moses as the eternal God, “I am who I am.” This is more than a continuation of the past blessings, given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the plan of the eternal God. It includes Israel at the time of their slavery in Egypt, but it, also, goes far beyond this. God’s plan takes us on to Jesus Christ, our Saviour, and leads us on to “eternal life” (John 3:16).