May 24, 2011
The Prayer Life of Moses
Exodus 6:6, page 95
I Will Also Redeem You
“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 for their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”
Many New Testament concepts have their roots in the Old Testament. Today we will have a look at the concept of redemption. Moses has been listening to God explain the future to him, and how it will be a process of deliverance, culminating in the ultimatum of death. God has reminded Moses of His promises, and comforted Moses with His presence and power. Now God describes the bringing and taking of His people out of bondage, and into the promised land.
I Will Redeem You. In the New Testament, we read about how the blood of Christ redeemed (“ἐλυτρώθητε“) believers from their futile way of life inherited from their forefathers (1 Peter 1:17-19, page 1894). Here in Exodus 6:6, page 95, we read that God said: I will redeem (“גָאַלְתִּי“) My people with an outstretched arm (“בִּזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה“) and with great judgments (“וּבִשְׁפָטִים גְּדֹלִים“). Please keep in mind that God speaks here of redemption in the sense of deliverance, and not the removal of sins. Only the blood of Jesus Christ has the power to remove sins and redeem us from the curse of sin. In Exodus, we see that God will use the power of His arm and the great judgments He will bring upon Pharaoh and Egypt to “redeem” the people of Israel. Notice too that God will bring His people out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, meaning that He holds the people of Egypt responsible for their oppression, and not just Pharaoh. All the Egyptians God held responsible for their oppression and all of them would fall within the ambit of His judgments.
I Will Take You for My People. Every day we can count upon God to keep His promises. In Exodus 6:7, page 95, God discloses to Moses His plan to take all the people of Israel as his particular people. God says He will their God. As a marriage of faithful believers, so God takes the people of Israel to have a spiritual relationship with Him and enjoy His blessings. As believers today, we live in this same type of spiritual relationship, that God desires a relationship with us, His physical and spiritual creation. Most people I have met do not have anyone in their lives that they feel spiritually connected to, or enjoy spiritual love from them. In fact, many people do not even believe God loves them every day, and desires their company every moment. As the people of God, we must be very clear on how much God wants to be with us, and He calls us to pray and enjoy His blessings every day.
Knowing God from His Acts of Power. God also explained in detail to Moses that God’s purpose for the people of Israel would be for them to know (“ידַעְתֶּם“) that He was the LORD their God (“אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם“) (Exodus 6:7, page 95). As part of God’s plan to introduce the people of Israel to Himself as the I AM God of bondage breaking and deliverance, God links this special relationship with Him to His activity for them. I see many people today who never see God at work in their lives. When I ask them how God has blessed them, or taught them, or led them lately, I hear only silence. When you do not think of yourself as part of the people of God, and see His acts of power in your life today, then you are not making the connection God showed to Moses. We learn that God works in our lives, breaking bondage and delivering us from oppression, so that we will know Him. We learn about Him by watching what He does for us, just as He did for our spiritual ancestors in faith. God intends for us to recognize His powerful activity in our lives every day. God also promised that He would take bring the people to the land God had sworn to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as their possession (Exodus 6:8, page 95). As we watch God fulfill His promises, we grow in our knowledge of Him. Seeing is believing, when we see God work and He increases our faith in Him.
The Cloud of Despondency and Cruelty. God had just taken the time to explain in detail the new relationship He was going to establish with His people. In fact, He even went further and told Moses that He would bring the people into the promised land on the physical level, although the spiritual blessing of being God’s people would be the greatest blessing anyone could ever obtain. But, when Moses told the people of Israel about God’s great promises, despondency (“מִקֹּצֶר רוּחַ“, literally impatient, grieved or short spirit) and cruel bondage (“עֲבֹדָה קָשָׁה“) clouded their perception of God (Exodus 6:9, page 96). So often in our lives, God reveals His plan for our lives, but we cannot see beyond the current despondency clouding our spiritual ability to recognize God’s promises to us and act upon them.
So we learn more about the prayer life of Moses.
● Prayer means that we rely upon God to be our God, and we will be His people. We pray because we have this spiritual relationship with God that transcends every aspect of our lives, but holds us close the lovingkindness of God.
● Prayer means that we recognize the activity of God in our lives. As we watch God work through His power in our lives, everyday, then we begin to know God better and walk by faith in the power of God. We get to know God as God when we see God work as our God. By His activity, we know Him and we know that we are His people.
● Prayer means that we expect the cloud of short and troubled spirits and cruel bondage to cloud the spiritual perception of people to recognize God’s activity in their lives. When we pray, we intercede for others caught up in despondency and bondage. We know God as we watch God deliver His people, so that they may know Him better. We do not give up on people caught up in despair, but we take them up in our prayers to God. We do not expect them to embrace God’s plans, but we must still be God’s servants who will help them walk through life as the people God has delivered from the bondage of cruelty and sin.
Application for Today
As we pray today, think about your friends who live with impatient spirits, hurting under the oppression of bondage and cruelty. Do not expect them to leap for joy at all the great plans God has revealed for His people in His word. Instead, we must be like Moses, and continue to act for God, according to what God has revealed to us through His word in the Bible. When we pray, we know that those who need prayer the most will not always receive it well, but we must still continue to act in love towards them, and pray all the more for them. If you made a list of the most despondent and oppressed people you know personally, who would you pray for today?