May 23, 2011
The Prayer Life of Moses
I Have Remembered My Covenant
“Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.”
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God made a special covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, known as the Abrahamic Covenant. God promised Abraham that: (1) God would make Abraham a great nation in the land God would show Abraham; (2) God would bless Abraham; (3) God would make Abraham’s name great; (4) God would make Abraham a blessing; (5) God would bless those who bless Abraham; (6) God would curse those who curse Abraham; and (7) God would bless all the families of the earth in Abraham. Abraham was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10). Although God had promised Abraham that God would make him a great nation, he was only an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents (Hebrews 11:9). We should remember the covenants because they identify specific portions of God’s program for Israel and the world. Each covenant contained specific promises from God. God loves to record His promises for us to rely upon.
The Strong Hand of God. God has this wonderful ability to look into the future, and describe in detail what will happen. Indeed, God controls all future events, just like He controls events today. Moses, as he listened to God in prayer, heard God describe the future and how God would control the heart of Pharaoh (Exodus 6:1). God has the absolute ability to compel the meanest boss, the toughest villain, the president, Pharaoh or any other leader to follow His directions. God has the absolute ability to compel them. In this case, God said Pharaoh only under compulsion (“בְיָד חֲזָקָה”, literally “strong hand”) would let His people go (Exodus 6:1). God had made this same prophecy before in Exodus 3:19. God knew from the beginning that it would take the strong hand of God, directly working God’s will upon Pharaoh, to release the people. We should always count upon the strong hand of God helping us. No one can resist the power of God once God determines the outcome.
The Comfort of God’s Name. God identifies Himself as the LORD (Yahweh) (Exodus 6:2). He also calls Himself God Almighty (“אֵל שַׁדָּי”) and clearly states that God has not identified Himself as LORD (“יְהוָה”) previously (Exodus 6:2-4). God emphasizes this new name to Moses during prayer, and reveals more about the future to him. God identifies Himself as Yahweh for the purpose of linking this new name for God with His present deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. I find it especially interesting that God does not do away with His name “God Almighty” previously given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Instead, He adds a new name to identify the new relationship and the new work for His people Israel. God would use His power as “God Almighty,” but here He emphasizes this covenant name for God in connection with deliverance from oppression and bondage. When we think about God, He wants us to remember that He has been the God of the forefathers in Christ, and has been delivering people from troubles for generations, and in our case, millennia.
The Comfort of God’s Promises. God also links the cries of Israel and His memory of the covenant (Exodus 6:5). God always keeps His promises to His people, and also never neglects His promises and prophecies concerning the future. God sets the pattern that we may wholly rely upon His promises. What He says, He will do. Notice that in this case Egypt has held the people of God for roughly four hundred and thirty years after Joseph first went there, with his father Jacob and the larger family to follow (Exodus 12:40). God states that to the very day of four hundred thirty years, “all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:41). Notice the precision of God’s promises: “to the very day.” When we pray, God intends for us to dwell upon His promises and pray that He would fulfill them.
So we learn more about the prayer life of Moses.
● Prayer means that we recognize the strong hand of God to solve all problems, and break all bondage. No one can resist the strong hand of God. Prayer should always be a time of power.
● Prayer means that we take comfort in the names of God. God loves to use particular names to describe His activity and relationship with His people. In this study today, we have seen that God wants to emphasize His covenant relationship. Covenants are all about promises. We must rely upon those promises.
● Prayer means that we take comfort in the promises of God. Today we have seen God remind Moses that God remembers His covenant. Our faith will rest entirely in Christ, and we lay hold of Christ by faith as we trust in His promises. In essence, we believe what He has told us, resulting in the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen.
Application for Today
Moses had a wonderful relationship with God. Moses listened to God tell him about the future, and He reminded Moses about the powerful hand of God. God uses His power to keep His promises. God never fails. Will you rely upon the strong hand of God in your life to fulfill His promises in your life today?