This meditation is a companion to a previous meditation:
Gather the Elders, and Say unto Them - Exodus 3:16-22 (Pt. 1)
Exodus 3:16-17 reads, “Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: and I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.”
In Exodus 3:9-10 the Lord God expressed his call upon Moses to send Moses as His instrument of deliverance for His people Israel. In verse 11 Moses responded with the question, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” In verse 12 the Lord God answered Moses’ question by promising to be with Moses and to enable Moses in fulfilling His call. Then in verse 13 Moses asked a second question – “Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?” To this question the Lord God gave answer in verse 14-15, declaring – “I AM THAT I AM.” “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”
Even so, on the ground of this declaration, the Lord God then instructed Moses to “go, and gather the elders of Israel together,” and to deliver the message of verses 16-22 unto them. Herein it is worthy of notice that although this message certainly pertained unto the entire nation of Israel, it was to be delivered specifically unto the elders of Israel, unto the leadership of Israel. Indeed, Exodus 3:16-22 provides encouragement and exhortation to those who serve in leadership for God’s people. In the first part of the meditation (see above), we considered three elements from Exodus 3:16-18 -- that the Lord our God knows personally of our need (the Lord's personal care), that the Lord our God promises to help us in our need (the Lord's promised help), and that the Lord our God calls us to serve Him in this world (our public service). In this second part of the meditation, we shall consider three further elements from Exodus 3:19-22.
I Know Before Hand of the Opposition (The World’s Prophesied Opposition)
Having instructed Moses and the elders (leaders) of Israel to take a step and a stand of service for Him in a public manner, before the ungodly world around them, and in a separated manner, apart from the ungodly world around them, the Lord God then informed Moses that this ungodly world would certainly oppose their service for the Lord. In Exodus 3:19 the Lord God declared, “And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.” Indeed, the Lord God in His omniscience knew for sure that the king of Egypt would oppose them. Therefore, Moses and the elders (leaders) of Israel also needed to develop the same certainty that this opposition would arise; and they needed to prepare themselves in advance for the inevitability of this opposition. Yea, the Lord God even indicated that this opposition would surely arise with fierceness, such that the king of Egypt not let the children of Israel go to serve the Lord, not even “by a mighty hand.”
In like manner, 2 Timothy 3:12 proclaims concerning those who will serve the Lord in this time of the New Testament, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Furthermore, in John 15:18-21 our Lord Jesus Christ informed His disciples, saying, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” For the godly and faithful servants of the Lord, fierce hatred and opposition from this present evil world is a sure thing. Therefore, we should not think it to be strange when we experience this fiery trial of opposition, “as though some strange thing happened” unto us. (1 Peter 4:12) Indeed, in John 16:1 our Lord Jesus Christ stated concerning this opposition, “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.” Rather, we should “rejoice, inasmuch as [we] are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, [we] may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:13) If we experience reproach “for the name of Christ,” we should be spiritually happy; for then “the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon [us]: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on [our] part he is glorified.” (1 Peter 4:14)
I Promise to Overcome the Opposition (The Lord’s Promised Deliverance)
Having informed Moses that the king of Egypt would surely and fiercely oppose their service for the Lord, the Lord God then promised that He Himself would smite the Egyptians, overcome the opposition, and deliver His people from that opposition. In Exodus 3:20 the Lord God proclaimed His promise, saying, “And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.” The Lord God promised that in His time and in His way, He would stretch out His own almighty hand against those that opposed His servants from serving Him. Furthermore, the Lord God promised that after He was done with His work of overcoming the opposition, His people would experience deliverance from that fierce opposition. Herein the Lord God was not promising that His people would never experience the world’s opposition again. Rather, the Lord God was establishing a principle that in every occasion of opposition, He Himself would be present with His faithful servants to overcome the opposition in His time and in His ways, so that He Himself might bring His faithful servants through the opposition unto deliverance. Even so, in John 16:33 our Lord Jesus Christ declared, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
I Promise to Bless You Along the Way (The Lord’s Promised Blessing)
Finally, in Exodus 3:21-22 the Lord God continued and concluded His promise, saying, “And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: but every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.” Indeed, the Lord God promised Moses that the children of Israel would not simply be delivered from the opposition, but would also come out of it with blessing. They would certainly be brought through the opposition by the almighty hand of the Lord God Himself. Yet they would not come out of the opposition empty handed. The Lord God Himself would cause His own people to be viewed with favor by the people of Egypt, such that the Egyptians would be willing to give gifts of jewelry and raiment unto them. In this manner, those who opposed God’s own would be spoiled by God’s own. Yea, the Lord God Himself would arrange for this reversal.
Even so, in 1 Peter 3:14-16 God’s Word gives the exhortation and encouragement, saying, “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” Yea, through our godly suffering for righteousness’ sake, lost souls may be brought to Christ for salvation; and our adversary the devil may be spoiled. Furthermore, through our godly suffering for righteousness’ sake, we ourselves may be spiritually perfected; and our adversary the devil may be foiled. Even so, In 1 Peter 5:8-11 God’s Word gives the exhortation and encouragement, saying, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
Posted in Meditations in Exodus, Knowledge of the Lord, Suffering for Righteousness, Spiritual Warfare,
Deliverance of Our Lord, Blessing of the Lord