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077 - God Remembers

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
The Truth Network Radio
January 15, 2022 1:00 pm

077 - God Remembers

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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January 15, 2022 1:00 pm

Episode 077 - God Remembers (15 Jan 2022) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City

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You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye?

Is there something here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink. Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages.

Welcome to More Than Ink. Hey, if you call somebody a man of His Word, what do you mean by that? Well, it means they'll do exactly what they say they'll do. They'll do it.

They'll do it. Well, God says He will do it, and then things don't turn out the way we expect. How do we respond? Well, we start to think that He will not do it.

And that's exactly what happened with Moses and Aaron today on More Than Ink. Well, good morning, and welcome to our dining room table. I'm Dorothy. And I'm Jim. And we are at the dining room table.

We always are. And we are here continuing our adventure in the book of Exodus. And today we start into chapter six in response to the way things not turning out the way Moses expected they would. This chapter didn't turn out too well.

If you remember, chapter five ended with Moses blaming God. Wow. Right? It's dangerous. You've done evil to this people.

Why did you ever send me? Since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he's done evil to this people, and you haven't delivered your people at all. At all. That's where chapter five ends.

At all. You haven't done it. Basically shaking your fist at God and saying, you're worthless.

You haven't done anything. Well, and we still see that Moses is still dealing with this issue of unbelief. Right? God says, I will, I will, I will. And Moses is like, but you didn't. But you didn't. Well, God doesn't perform like a trained animal.

Right? He's doing what he will do according to his own doing. God's ways are not our ways. Boy, is that true. And we left chapter five with Moses and Aaron kind of talking back to God and saying, you know, you haven't done anything at all.

In fact, you've made things worse. Well, because we have seen the beginning of Pharaoh's hard heart begin to be exposed. Yep.

Yep. And he's really hard. I mean, he's not given an inch.

In fact, he's piling it on, you know, after the request. So after Moses and Aaron in their impertinence, do not get struck down by lightning from God. Then we turn into chapter six and God in his patience speaks back to Moses and Aaron.

And that's where we pick it up today. Because at this point, we haven't left Egypt. We are still enslaved there. And the burden from the Egyptians about making bricks has gotten much, much worse. The people are frustrated and angry. Moses and Aaron are frustrated and angry.

Pharaoh thinks the Hebrews stink. I mean, it really, it's not going according to anyone's plans except God. Well, yeah. And we see, I think this idea that the beginning of deliverance may look like total disaster. Maybe a step backwards. Right.

It looks like a step backwards. But just because it doesn't go the way we expect doesn't mean God's not at work. Right. Or that he slipped or he, you know. Yeah, exactly. So let's pick up the conversation because Moses has just blamed God and says, you haven't done what you said you would do.

This is your fault, because that's what the people had said to him. Yeah. So we're coming into the continuing of a conversation.

Actually, this chapter boundaries is a little artificial. Right. So Moses has kind of had his saying, now God's going to have his say. Oh, and what a say. Yeah, you want me to start?

Yeah, go ahead and start. Chapter six, verse one. So God responds, but the Lord said to Moses, now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh, for with a strong hand, he will send them out and with a strong hand, he will drive them out of this land.

So I'll just stop right there in verse one, because isn't that amazing? Because it looks like Pharaoh is not going to do anything to get these people out of the land. And God says, no, he's going to change so totally, he's going to drive them out.

And isn't it interesting that God said, now I will bring them out, but Pharaoh will drive them out. Right. Well, clearly those two things are not mutually exclusive. Both are true.

Both are true. And yet here, this is a massive change of heart in Pharaoh's part, because as we left in the previous chapter, there's no stinking way he was ever going to let them go. We can't live without them because they are good workers and we need them.

Yeah, they're part of our economy here in Egypt. And so, no, no way, but God's saying, you watch, he's going to change so radically that he's going to fall in line with the program and he's going to be insistent that you... God has to bring that about. That's right. In fact, the territory of the heart, that's where God works and that's what's happening in Pharaoh right here, and in Moses, and in Aaron, and in people. It's just starting.

It's just starting. So here in the opening verse of chapter six, God's telling him, this is where it's going to go. Do you trust me with that? This is where it's going to go. Now you will see. And again, that hearkens back to John 11 when Jesus said, now if you believe, you'll see the glory of God. You will see it, yeah.

We talked about that last week, so I won't recount that story. I'll just continue on. Verse two. So God continues his monologue with Moses. So God spoke to Moses and said to him, I am the Lord. He reiterates his name.

I am that I am. That's right, and remember a name anciently is your reputation and this name is the name that's tied to covenants and promises. He says, I'm that God. Okay, so let's review God says. Verse three. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, that's El Shaddai, but by my name, the 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 lived as sojourners.

You know that place? Moreover, I've heard the groaning of the people of Israel, whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Can we stop there?

Yeah, let's stop right there. So this is God interjecting saying, I made a promise and I'm going to follow through with that promise. The same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I made promises. They heard the promises. Hey, the promises are going to be fulfilled right here.

I'm going to fulfill these promises. I'm about to do this, but it's interesting to me that he says, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew me as God Almighty, or the Most High, but by my name Yahweh or Jehovah, I didn't make myself known to them. Well, you know, the term Yahweh or Jehovah does appear in Genesis.

It appears in chapters 12 and 14 specifically in relation to Abraham. So what does God mean when he says that I didn't make myself known to them by this I am name? Probably the best way to understand that is, I didn't make myself known to them the way I'm going to make myself known to you.

Exactly. You are going to know me in a way that they didn't. They knew me through my promises.

You'll know me through the fulfillment of those promises. And through God's very active mighty hand. That doesn't mean that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not see God work in mighty ways.

He certainly did, but not nationally. Yeah, yeah. This is the promise with a capital P to come into this land that God would be the center of. Yeah, and so he says in 5, so I've heard the groaning of the people, and it's time, and it's going to happen right here. I have remembered my covenant. I did not forget. Right, it's not like he had ever forgotten.

No. But he says the time is fulfilled. It's time to act now.

Right, and that timeline we could talk about later, but that's a kind of interesting thing. This is the right time. By God's, this is the optimal moment.

This is it. And so when Moses says you haven't done anything at all, God's saying, no, actually, we're moving, man. We're moving. So say therefore to the people of Israel, verse 6, I am the Lord. Here it comes again.

Now he's going to say this as a bracket around this incredible statement. In verse 6 he says it, and then again in verse 8. I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord, your God, who's brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give Abraham to Isaac and to Jacob.

I will give it to you for possession. I am the Lord. Did you count those I wills? Well, I have them all circled here. Yeah, there's seven of them.

There's a lot of them. I will, I will, I will, I will, and the only time he says you will is you'll know, because I will. Watch me.

I will do these things. I like how it's bracketed. It starts the I wills with I am the Lord, and he finishes the I wills with I am the Lord. I am the covenant keeping God. That makes me think of where it says in Hebrews he didn't have anybody greater than himself, so he swore by himself.

God says, I am who I am, and I'm telling you. Believe me. Yeah, yeah.

I was curious. I looked at the tense of this I will verb. It's a perfect tense, so in a way it's future, it's coming, but it's also past like it's done.

It's future done is what this is, and so that's what he's saying. This is the plan. Once I made the promise that I was going to do something, and I'm reiterating it here, then it's done. It's as good as done, so you just watch, and that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to do all these things.

Do you want to talk about the I wills one at a time or not? Well, I was just going to enumerate them. This is one of those places where it's really good to make a list.

This is a great list. God says, I will bring you out. I'll bring you out. I will deliver you.

I will redeem you. I will take you to be mine, and I will be your God. I will bring you into the land, so I'll take you out of there, and I'll bring you into here, and I will give it to you.

Right. If you just isolate those things that God says, I will do this for you. I'll get you out, and then I'll get you in.

And meditate on those. God is the sole active agent on the bringing out, on the redeeming, on the saving, on the delivering, and on this essentially marriage statement in verse 7, I'll take you to be mine, and I will be yours. Yeah, that's actually probably one of the most important couplets in a way in the entire Old Testament. It is, and it's right in the middle of this statement.

It's right in the middle. Yeah, if you'll be my people, I'll be your God. It's a very marital, it's a mutual kind of commitment sort of thing. And he's saying, that's where we're going back to. And not only that, when you use that marriage kind of simile in that sense too, he's taking you out of where you used to live, and he's taking you to a place of his design to live with him there. Which happens, you know, in the ancient marriage ceremonies too. Well, and this is at the very heart of the idea of a covenant. Right, we enter this relationship, this agreement, I will be for you, and you will be for me, and we will do life together from this moment forward. Now, we say those words when we marry, but there are other kinds of covenants, lots of covenants active in the scriptures, but this is the very heart of the one that God makes with mankind. I will be your God, you will be my people. That's what he wants to be with us. And I will pull you out of your current living situation, which is very substandard and has no life in it, and I'll take you to an incredibly good living situation with me. I'll give you a different life with me. Yeah, and you know, back in Jeremiah 31, he says, I was a husband to them. He says that literally, he says I was a husband to them, which is what he's doing right here. So these I wills, and you know, I would suggest to you, if you're in a really, I don't know, a dark down place right now, it seems like the enslavement of the Hebrews, you know, if you're in a place where you're powerless to get out of whatever you're in the middle of, this I will list is very good.

I mean, I would actually just write this down, maybe write it on your wall or something, or on a piece of paper on your mirror or something. This is a great I will list, because this is God saying, you know, I love you like a husband, I'm going to pull you out of what you're in the middle of right now, and I'm going to bring you to life. And this wasn't just God's promise to the Hebrews, right? Because Peter picks this up in his letter and says, God takes you as his own possession. Peter's writing to Gentiles, right? It was always God's intention to have a people who were his in order to make his glory known.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, this is about as bold as God can respond to Moses shaking his fist and blaming him. Wow, so God tells him to tell the Hebrews that. So in verse 9.

No matter how lousy and difficult your circumstances are. So in verse 9, Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses because their broken spirit and harsh slavery. They wouldn't listen.

So their circumstances. Spoke louder than the promise. Spoke louder than the promise of God. Yep, yep.

I get that, and we get that. You know, our circumstances can shout so darn loud that we forget that God even exists. But you know what, we're given this information earlier in the passage that they didn't know God. If they knew God, then they would have listened when he said, hey, I'm going to do this for you.

Yep, yep. Because God who speaks and reality happens. Yeah, the Almighty is capable and the one who promises is faithful. And he had said to Moses, I am with you, I'm with your mouth, I will do this, right?

I am, I am, I am, I am whatever you need. Yeah, so it's unfortunate at this point that the Hebrews didn't respond well to these very explicit promises from God. Well, as we said the other day, it's not only Pharaoh's heart that's being revealed here, it's the heart of the Hebrew people. Exactly, exactly. Even after God teases apart what he's going to do in these seven I wills, they're still saying, no, I don't think so. I don't think it's going to happen. So let's go to 10.

Okay. So the Lord said to Moses, well, go in, go in, tell Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to let the people of Israel grow out of his land. So this isn't just the three day journey, no, this is the big exit. Let him out.

But Moses said to the Lord, well, behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me, so how then shall Pharaoh listen to me? For I have uncircumcised lips. Oh, here we go again. That's the same excuses back in chapter four. I don't think I want to do that.

I don't want to do this anymore. And when he says uncircumcised lips, he could be referring to what he thinks is his shortcomings in terms of speaking, but it could more be like unrighteousness. Like, you know, I'm a sinful man, I haven't got, I'm not pure enough, I just don't got what it takes. I don't have what it takes, I'm not adequate. Yeah, so if the people aren't going to listen to me, why do you think Pharaoh's going to listen to me? Right. The 13, but the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge.

He gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt. Just do it. Just do it.

I give you a charge. You want to do it? Just do it. Just do what I tell you. I don't care how you feel and I don't care if you think your lips are uncircumcised.

Just do it. This is about as direct as God gets in all this thing with Moses and Aaron. I don't know why they haven't been turned into toast by lightning yet. Well, we're going to see that happen later in Exodus, not to add to Moses. Yeah, it's, wow, it's pretty astonishing right here. So God's just saying, let's do the plan, let's do the plan. I think it's interesting right here, too, when he says, you know, I'm giving you a charge. In a way, he's kind of bringing Moses' focus back because Moses says, look, the people aren't accepting what I'm saying. When I focus on the people, I'm not getting good vibes here. When I focus on the people, when I focus on Pharaoh, I'm not getting good vibes.

I don't think this is going to work out. And God's saying, hello, look at me, don't look at them. I give you a charge, look at me. So I see him kind of redirecting Moses, almost as though God, with his two hands, is taking Moses' face, he's spinning around and says, read my lips, read my lips, look at me, just do this, just do this. Well, then we get into this very interesting genealogy. Okay, but it's fascinating to me that Moses, because we are functioning under the assumption that it's Moses who wrote this book, inserts this genealogy here.

It is interesting. And if you skip past the genealogy for a minute and jump forward to verse 28, it kind of, the text picks right up from verse 13 to 28. On the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, the Lord said to Moses, I'm the Lord, tell Pharaoh, king of Egypt, all that I say to you.

But Moses said to the Lord, behold, I'm a man of uncircumcised lips, how will Pharaoh listen to me? That just is reiterating. Reiterating.

We're stuck in the same spot. And then in there, Moses inserts this genealogy, which, you know, sometimes our eyes roll up in our head when we run into genealogy, but this is an interesting one because of Moses' commentary on it, right? So do we want to take the time to read it? I don't think so. Let's describe what we see and we can pick some pieces out of it.

Okay, so I'll start into that. He starts in verse 14 and says, these are the heads of their fathers' houses, the sons of Reuben, then verse 15, the sons of Simeon, and verse 16, the sons of Levi. So those are the first three sons. The oldest three sons of the 12. The oldest three sons of the 12 sons of Jacob, right? And then he kind of starts going into the other generations. Of Levi.

Of Levi right now. So we see that he's kind of narrowing down the genealogy here. So then he goes into the sons of Levi and zeroes in on Kohath, right? And then the sons of Kohath, Amram. Well, Amram is Aaron and Moses' father. So now we're two, three, four generations in. So we're trying to get to Moses and Aaron.

Right. But there are some important people named here then in verse 21. The sons of Izhar, Korah. Korah becomes very important in the story. If you want to sneak ahead, it's in number 16.

Number 16. Korah leads an incredible rebellion and there our people become toast. It's pretty terrifying.

If you want to do a little detour, it's kind of an interesting read. Well, but that's why he's named here. That's right. And then in verse 23, he talks about Aaron and names Aaron's sons. Well, of Aaron's four sons, two of them died before the Lord. It says in numbers three because they also tried to do things their own way and departed and God just killed them.

God just ended their lives. And the other two sons go forward. And then Eliezer in verse 25, Aaron's son, gets married and his wife bears Phineas. Phineas also is very important in the story in the wilderness in numbers 25. So this is a very important genealogy. And Moses is telling us, he says, these are the Moses and Aaron in verse 26, whom the Lord said, bring the people out of Israel from the land of Egypt by their hosts.

So the people he's writing to recognize these names and they know who these people are and what they've done. So he's placing himself and Aaron in this very dubious family line. So if the people are wondering Moses and Aaron, so where do they fit in that whole Levite tribe thing? This is where they fit in the whole Levite tribe thing. And it's full of not religious righteous superstars.

It's full of faulty people. But we know that later on when the law comes, the Levites are the ones who are entrusted with executing the sacrifices and the law. So making sure that the law is followed in worship in the tabernacle.

So, oh my goodness. Yeah, so for the readers of Exodus, this is a gigantic context setting for the readers. He says that right at the end, these are the heads of the father's houses and you probably recognize these names.

This is where we fit in the puzzle. I want you to see what the context is of Moses and Aaron before we go further on in this story. I want you to see where they are right here. And gosh, the core of rebellion is just, it's one of the craziest things in the entire Old Testament. And it's right in the tribe of Levi. Yeah, it's interesting the way Moses said this. He says it's these two guys who spoke to Pharaoh the king of Egypt about bringing the people of Israel out. This Moses and this Aaron. He wants to make sure they know. This is who we are. These are not guys of the same name.

It emphasizes not their adequacy, but their inadequacy. Exactly. In other translations in verse 26, it usually says something like these are the same Aaron and Moses are. These are the guys. The ones that we're talking about in this story in Exodus right here, these are the guys in this line right here. Yeah. And so we believe that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, the book of Exodus.

When did he do that? Well, probably during those 40 years in the wilderness. Probably.

And would have been reading them aloud to the people. So this is a very personal message. Hey, this is me talking to you. This is who I am. This is who I come from. I'm one of you. It's us. It's very personal. These are real people.

Real human people with real human failings. And it will become apparent, well, it's becoming apparent right now that it's not on the strength of anything that Moses is that this Exodus is going to happen. I mean, it's not. He's showing lots of immaturity, poor righteousness, excuses. Still, we thought he was past the excuse stage and he's still doing excuses. I mean, here he even finishes out this chapter six. And he writes, you know, if he's writing this, he wrote again what he said to God. Well, you know, this is an interesting argument for the humility of Moses.

It is. Because he repeats over and over and over again, I'm the one that said, I'm not adequate. I'm not adequate. I'm not adequate. And if you remember back to chapter three when Moses first said to God, well, who shall I say sent them? Who am I?

Who are you? God says, doesn't matter who you are. Doesn't matter.

I'm looking back to the focus on who God is. Doesn't matter the condition of your lips. I'm not looking for someone who has certain skills. And on the basis of those skills, Pharaoh is going to bend over and say, oh, well, if it's you, I'm going to let you out. Right.

No, it's not going to be. So here's a little funny personal insight here. I took a fall this week and I have a fat lip and a bruise, a big purple bruise right on the front of my lip.

Yeah. And so when Moses says, hey, I'm not adequate, I'm uncircumcised lips, I'm thinking, you know, it actually ran through my head. Well, maybe I shouldn't get up in front of people at church this week and lead worship like I often do because I look so funny. Because I have uncircumcised lips. Well, this has nothing to do, it doesn't matter who you are or what kind of bruise you have on your face. God's called you to do this thing. Exactly. It just is a funny kind of personal application of this. That's a nice connection. As you can see this morning, I have uncircumcised lips because I face planted in the house.

Because I'm a dope and I fell on the floor, tripped over my own vacuum. But I do see the humor in him reiterating this at the end of the chapter by the uncircumcised lips. It's like, since we know he's the author, it's like he's saying, can you believe this, I told God I have uncircumcised lips. Right.

I'm going to say it again, can you believe this, I told God I have an, and God just says, go to Pharaoh. Right. Yeah, I give you a charge. Because I want to do this thing, just go do it.

Just do it, it has nothing to do with your qualifications. In other words, I make you adequate. That's right. Exactly right.

Yeah, that's exactly right. So, I mean, we're getting close to the end of this, but we are still, it doesn't seem like we're making a lot of progress in getting out of Egypt. Well, Moses is still struggling with the same issue.

I know. I'm not adequate for this. I thought we got past that a while ago. It's gone from bad to worse, I'm not adequate for this.

Well, yeah, and what's kind of highlighted is the fact that the life for the Hebrews seems to have gotten worse. So he's having some profound second thoughts saying, maybe we shouldn't be doing this, maybe I'm the one that's screwing up, maybe that's the problem. And so he's still trying to back out of being there, but God's saying, nope, I got a plan, and by the way, I will, I will, I will, I will, I will, not you will, you will, I will, I will.

Right, and you will know. So let's go, what do you say, buddy? Yeah.

Yeah, let's go. I mean, I think God's being woke out here. I mean, maybe he's being humiliated through all this stuff in a good way.

I mean, God's bringing him down to zero. Well, he's certainly being, yeah, he's becoming aware in a very personal way of his own inadequacy and becoming humbled. Yeah, and you know, the entire history of moving forward as they come out of Egypt and they go forward, they're going to face a whole bunch of uncertainty everywhere they go from here. And Moses is going to have to have pretty well squared away in his heart. Do I trust the promise of God even though he's not giving me any warning about what's going to happen or where we're going to, am I willing to trust his promise? And I think Moses will be able to say through this entire process, yeah, there was a time I was a whiner and I said, again, I'm not going to move until you do something that I expect. But I've suddenly realized, I'll just do what you say. Yeah, and God has called him to lead this people who at every turn will insist that they know better.

Yes, yeah. And they'll try to do it their own way. Yeah, so as time goes on, Moses' problem is not with the Egyptians, it's with the Hebrews.

His own people as God makes them a nation instead of just this ragged family of related people. Yeah, and everyone starts to understand their own heart and God wins in the end. Well, we're out of time and we want you to come back to this. We're going to start chapter seven next time. I hope we make some more progress getting out of Egypt. I think we do. Well, it's going to get real exciting real soon.

But it gets pretty hot. So I'm Jim. And I'm Dorothy. And I hope you're enjoying this as much as we are because we're having a great time.

We're clearly having a good time. So come back with us next time for More Than Ink. More Than Ink is a production of Main Street Church of Brigham City and is solely responsible for its content.

To contact us with your questions or comments, just go to our website, morethanink.org. That was bad. Sorry, I jumped in. I shouldn't have. I forgot where we were going.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-27 01:08:02 / 2023-06-27 01:21:10 / 13

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