Today's text from the ESV Study Bible: Exodus 4-6.
The mural shown here is from a 15th century BC Egyptian tomb which depicts Asiatics hard at work making bricks. Click the mural to learn more.
God's chosen people are enslaved to Pharaoh with the backbreaking work of making bricks. God's people have grown from a band of 70 people to a vast nation in captivity.
Furthermore, the are complaining to God of their labors, and Moses' first round with Pharaoh made life even worse and now they had to gather their own straw to make bricks, but must still maintain the same daily output. A tremendously worse burden that brought the whip down on them even more.
It is important for us to learn all the things that God has in view for us in this scene. And, there is a great many things. But my mind is drawn to the foreshadowing that exists here.
Are we not Israel lumbering under the taskmaster of our fallen natures? Do we not live under an evil Pharaoh (Satan) who bids us to do his bidding? Do we not long for our own Exodus to the promised land?
With our own Exodus in mind, and our own longing for the promised land, let us read these verses with new eyes:
"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 the Lord I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people 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 slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’” (Exodus 6:2-8)
This is a far different relationship we see before our eyes then we have witnessed thus far in the Patriarchs. From the beginning God desired us to be his "sons", and here he has begun to call the nation of Israel his "son". This is a far more personal God then we have seen.
It does us well to consider all of the times God has said "I" in these verses, and brand our hearts with each and every one of them. Furthermore, as we consider our life and times, let us take these words and pray them back to our God:
You are my God. You appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You will redeem us with your outstretched arm with great acts of judgment. You take me to your your son. You will be my God. You will bring me into the land that you promised, and give it to us as a possession. You are my God.
Come Messiah, Come!