Monday

03 November 2014

“[W]hen they heard that the LORD had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped.” (v. 31)


Background

At the core of this passage is the enslavement of God's people in Egypt, crying out for respite and freedom. This, however, is the locus for hope: for God has noted their plight and seen their misery.

The key players (ie God's appointed leaders) were:

  • Moses: to become the model prophet - but ironically, a pathologically shy person as a public speaker (Exodus 4:10-13)
  • Aaron: to become the model priest - a fluent speaker, delighted to be working in harmony with and under the direction of Moses, as his spokesperson (Exodus 4:14).

This is the beginning of the liberating process:

  • Moses has been addressed by God through the burning bush near 'the mountain of God' (Horeb, also known as Sinai - Exodus 3:1). He has been authorised to give a message to God's people and to perform signs - meaning remarkable actions (such as maybe miracles or magical acts?) which reinforce the words
  • Moses transmits to Aaron the authority to speak and act in his name (and God's name)
  • The leaders engage the elders of the people (who represent the people as a whole)
  • A familiar process of engagement with God's message takes place: Aaron speaks God's words; the people hear, believe and call on God for salvation; they worship God (See Romans 10:13-15 for a New Testament parallel.)
  • In the name of God and of Israel, Moses (through Aaron) engages Pharaoh, the tyrant who wields power over God's people.


To Ponder

  • What situation in today's world most painfully represents for you enslavement, oppression and misery? To what organisation can you contribute in order to help movement towards freedom for the oppressed? Does your congregation support you?
  • On what issues and in what ways can your local church or your Christian denomination engage with your government on issues of injustice in your own society?
  • The Christian gospel offers to each individual freedom from the power of sin and from the fear of death. How does your church's worship and nurture equip you to communicate this message attractively and persuasively to your contemporaries?


Bible notes author: The Revd David Deeks

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