Exodus 6:1-30 – When the Going Gets Tough

Read Exodus 6:1-30

Moses is feeling defeated. He had such grand hopes of success when he first arrived in Egypt. God was orchestrating this differently than Moses had imagined. God’s power will look all that more impressive in light of the turn of events. Pharaoh wasn’t going to back down and give in. I just feel bad for the Israelites who are taking the brunt of the punishment by the slave drivers.

Moses tries again to bring God’s message, and now the Israelites have seemingly turned on him. But God had promised the land of Canaan to their ancestors, and he was going to make good on that promise. Would it happen overnight? No. Good things are worth waiting for.

What got me curious though was the insertion of the family tree and ancestral records. That, in and of itself, is pretty miraculous. Keeping tradition and stories alive of the ancestors who have gone before must have been part of the culture here. How else could you remember names and who married who, etc. We don’t do that anymore. But wouldn’t it be cool to have kept stories alive about your great grandparents or beyond. Their existence becomes only a name on a family tree, but they had feelings, dreams, accomplishments, gifts, etc.

What else strikes me is the focus on certain lineages, while leaving others incomplete. There may even be inconsistencies with other lineage lists. So rather than see it as an interruption in the story, a “commercial” of sorts, take a look at what it represents. We see the focus on Levi, the third son of Jacob. It is from Levi that Moses and Aaron descend, so that makes sense to me. Bible scholars have picked apart many other parts of this text, but for our purposes, let’s see it as a brief intermission as things are going to start getting good in our story. Take a breath!

Moses needs to do just that. He needs to take a breath and regroup. God has given him an assignment. Clumsy speaking or not, God will use him. Leaders aren’t always popular with the people they lead. That doesn’t make them bad leaders. But when you are called by God for a certain purpose, don’t talk back. Let God use you. It’s human nature to have doubts. It’s normal to be more “me-focused” or selfish. God can see past that. What does he see in you?

God’s promise is clear, he will rescue, redeem, and claim us as his own. He will bring us into a relationship with him. Are you ready to be rescued? I love how he began and ended that list of promises by saying “I am the LORD”.

Let’s pray. Lord, sometimes I feel like giving up when things get a little tough or tense. Help me to never give up but to trust you for your provision and guidance. My choices can get so messed up, so I look to you to help me make sure I am always in your will. Don’t let me take negative thoughts and feelings and give them more power. I am strong because YOU are my LORD. Thank you for your presence in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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