“Then Moses again had recourse to the LORD and said, ‘LORD, why have you treated this people badly? And why did you send me? From the time I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has treated this people badly, and you have done nothing to rescue your people.’
The LORD answered Moses: Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. For by a strong hand, he will let them go; by a strong hand, he will drive them from his land.
Then God spoke to Moses, and said to him: I am the LORD.
As God the Almighty I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but by my name, 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 were residing as aliens.
Now that I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians have reduced to slavery, I am mindful of my covenant.
Therefore, say to the Israelites: I am the LORD. I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery. I will redeem you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God; and you will know that I, the LORD, am your God who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians and I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your own possession—I, the LORD!” (Exodus 5:22 – 6:8)
Who is God? What is He up to? What is His plan, and how are we supposed to follow it blindly? Here in Exodus, we see an understandably desperate Moses imploring Our Lord to step in and do something. His people, the Israelites, are suffering and Moses feels like the Lord has not contributed to their freedom. But God does not break promises, nor does He make mistakes. He is mindful of the Israelites and their plight and will lead them out of slavery His way.
On a recent segment of The Faith Explained, Cale discussed the four elements of God’s plan for the world and where we can see those elements in scripture, specifically Exodus.
- Deliverance – “I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery. I will redeem you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God…” (Exodus 6:6-7) In three different ways, God affirms Moses’ request. This is the first vital part of God’s plan, not only for the Israelites but for us in our own lives. We are all slaves to the severe issues in our lives. By our own power, we are hopeless in succeeding against these vices. Only by God’s “outstretched arm” can we overcome and conquer our crosses. But He will not do so unless we ask Him to. We must be Moses and cry out to the Lord, asking for His saving grace.
- Community – As we just saw in the second part of verse 7, the reason God is undoing the bonds of slavery is so that He can bring us into the fold. It’s God’s adoption of us as His sons and daughters, and by relation, that makes us all brothers and sisters in Christ. He isn’t saving us just to remove us from suffering. He doesn’t just save us to make our lives easier or more comfortable. He saves us for something; for a purpose. And for all of us, that purpose, in one way or another, is to know, love, and serve Him through our neighbors during our short term on this planet.
- Knowledge – By knowledge, we aren’t referring to intellectual knowledge like the objective truths about God. We’re talking about experiential knowledge, like the knowledge shared between spouses or best friends. That’s experiential love indicated by the intimate knowledge two close people have of one another. Our goal isn’t to memorize feast days and facts about saints, although that is admirable. God wants us to experience His love through a growing, thriving relationship. How do we get to know somebody? We speak to them, not only in a group setting but in private, one-on-one conversations. We open up to them. We have to open ourselves to God and He will open up to us.
- Abundant Life – This is the final stage, so to speak, of God’s plan for us. It’s also known as “the good life” or, in the Israelites’ case, “The Promised Land”. Our end goal is that abundant life that began in depravity and solitude. By finding the God-given humility to ask for help, we began a transition into the Church and its community, we became close, knowledgeable servants of God, and now we enjoy His presence in and around us.
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