Moses' Appearance Before Pharoah
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Exodus, chapter 5. This chapter begins the story of Moses' appearance before Pharaoh and the result of that initial appearance. If we were to use one word to describe the results of his appearance before Pharaoh, we would use the word “failure.” Keep that in mind, because the things which we find here can be explained only in view of the disappointment which Moses suffered when he realized that his mission was a failure and he was accused of being a curse instead of a blessing.

I would like for us to think about these verses from a personal as well as a historical standpoint. All too often this information is presented from a historical standpoint without personal application. As we think about Moses, will you think about yourself, perhaps in relation to something about which you have prayed very earnestly? You have sought the mind of the Lord about it. You feel that God wants you to do a specific thing, but you are realizing some of the disappointments that can occur even in the midst of the will of God. Notice now Exodus, chapter 5, verse 1:

Exodus 5

1And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
2And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
3And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.
4And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people [hinder the people] from their works? get you unto your burdens.
5And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.
6And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,
7Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.
8And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish aught thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.
9Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.
10And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.
11Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not aught of your work shall be diminished.
12So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.
13And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.
14And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?
15Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants?
16There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people.
17But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the LORD.
18Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.
19And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish aught from your bricks of your daily task.
20And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:
21And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye had made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
22And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? Why is it that thou hast sent me?
23For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

Let us stop our reading and get the setting of this chapter. The actual message will be found in chapter 6, but you will not be able to understand the message unless you get the sense of the passage which we have read.

Moses' Request Before Pharaoh

Moses and Aaron came into the land of Egypt and appeared to the elders of Israel, with the taskmasters and the foreman over the brickmakers. They appeared before Pharaoh and made their request somewhat in the form of a command, as spokesmen for God concerning the exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Perhaps you would not be alert to the difference between this first verse and a verse found in a previous chapter unless you had your attention called to it. Notice in the first verse that Moses limited his request of Pharaoh. Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus saith the God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.” They limited their request, in view of what you will find in verse 18 of chapter 3. This was God's message to Moses:

Exodus 3

18And they shall hearken to thy voice; and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, the LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

The original request which God gave to Moses to deliver to the king of Egypt was that they be granted permission to go three days' journey into the desert. But you will notice that when Moses made his initial request he said nothing about a three days' journey; he simply said, “Let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.” It was not the exact message that God gave Moses to deliver.

Not the Complete Message

Having suggested that to you, I wonder whether your minds are whetted enough on the subject to ask, “Why did Moses not deliver the full message?”. Was it fear? Was it a lack of faith? Was it diplomacy? Was it expediency? Why did he not deliver the original message as God gave it? Why did he deliver the message a few weeks later exactly as God gave it? What would have happened had he delivered the message the first time as God originally gave it?

In verse 3 of chapter 5, he said:

Exodus 5

3…the God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.

Here again, though the message was improved upon, it had man's thought added to it as well as God's thought. I suggest these questions not so much because I know the answer, but that they may be thought-provoking enough to cause you to search your own hearts in connection with your relationship to the Lord.

For example, suppose that Moses had decided when he went into the palace of Pharaoh that he would not mention the three days. Why do you suppose he decided not to mention the three days? Was it a lack of faith? How could it be a lack of faith? Well, three days' journey would have put the children of Israel all the way out of Egypt. Was his faith so hampered that he thought, “I'd better not ask for too much to begin with.”? Was it a matter of diplomacy? If it was a matter of diplomacy, I remind you that there is no room for diplomacy in matters of faith. If God gives you a message to deliver, there is no need to soft-pedal the message so that it will have a better effect on the people to whom you speak.

Why was it that Moses did not deliver the full message? We will leave the answer to you as you meditate, as I trust you will, on this passage of Scripture. Perhaps the Holy Spirit can speak to your own heart through this act of disobedience on the part of Moses in his initial approach to Pharaoh. Suffice it to say that it did not work. If it was diplomacy, diplomacy did not help. If it was a lack of faith, a question arises in our minds as to what might have happened if he had trusted God enough to take a full step of faith.

Pharaoh's Refusal

As you know, Pharaoh refused to let the people go. He considered the message from God as vain words, not to be heeded. He said, blasphemously and arrogantly, “I don't know God. You say Jehovah says to let the people go. I don't know Jehovah. I could name you all the gods I do know, but I don't know who Jehovah is. Why should I let these people go out of the land of Egypt?” Then he said, “I believe the reason you have come along with this suggestion is that you are trying to get out of work; you are lazy. You are trying to get out of doing a job you don't like. So I think I'll make it hard on you. Up to now,” he said, “we have furnished you straw to make bricks, but from here on out you can go out and find your own straw. But don't cut down on the number of bricks. Produce just as many bricks as you ever produced.”

So the children of Israel went up and down the length and breadth of Egypt trying to find stubble and straw to make the bricks. The Egyptian taskmasters required the same number of bricks as always because Pharaoh commanded it. And they lashed the foremen of the Israelites, who were Jews themselves, because the same number of bricks had to be produced. The Jewish foremen lashed out at the Israelites because the same number of bricks had to be produced.

Israelites Turn Against Moses

They got up a delegation to go wait on Pharaoh again, and they told Pharaoh how unfair and how unreasonable he was, how they could not be expected to produce as many bricks as they always had when they had to gather the straw. Pharaoh refused to hear anything from them and said, “What I have said, I have said, and it stands.” So the delegation left the palace of Pharaoh, and on the way out they met Moses and Aaron, and they turned all their disappointment and all their suffering and all their hate on them. In verse 21, they said to them:

Exodus 5

21…The LORD look upon you and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.

The word “savour” here means “opinion,” “reputation.” They said, “You have made us look awfully bad in the sight of Pharaoh, and you will get us killed. You say God sent you here to deliver us, and you say God sent you here to be a help to us. You haven't been a help to us; you've hurt us. We would have been a lot better off if we had never heard of you.”

Moses Reaction to Perceived Failure

Put yourself in the place of Moses and Aaron. As you do that, remember that you are an agent by the direct command of God. Remember that God persuaded you to go; you didn't want to go, but God persuaded you to go. Remember that you felt that if you were in the center of God's will, if you were doing what you were doing at the command of God, everything ought to go along all right. Instead of everything's going along all right, everything was going wrong. Not only was everything going wrong, but it was a hopeless situation. What would you do? I suspect that unless you just turned your back on God completely, you would have done exactly what Moses did. Notice in verse 22 what he did. He returned unto the Lord and said, “Lord, wherefore? Why, Lord, why?”

Have you ever asked the Lord why, especially when you were absolutely sure that you were doing what God wanted you to do? You don't need to ask God why when you know you are out of the will of God. You don't need to ask God why when you know you are out of fellowship. You don't need to ask God why when you know very well you are not doing the thing you ought to do. But when you know you are doing the very thing that you ought to do, and you know that you are in the center of God's will, and you know that the only motive you have in your heart is complete obedience to the will of God, and then things go from bad to worse, have you asked God why? I am sure you have. Moses said, “Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? Lord, we came to help them, and we've done them more damage than we have helped. Lord, why are you doing it?” Then he came down to the bedrock of his problem and said, “Lord, why did you ever send me? Why is it that thou hast sent me? Lord, why?”

I am quite sure that through the years, many missionaries, when they have settled in the land to which they were called and the new has worn off and the humdrum of daily existence has begun to take hold, have asked the Lord, “Why did you send me?”. Missionaries call it “questioning the call,” and it is one of the biggest problems missionaries face in the first year they are in the field. There are so many disappointments, so many setbacks, so many hardships, so many indications that God could not possibly be with them, that they say, “Lord, why did you ever send me? Why?” You are not missionaries, but you should be praying for them from that standpoint.

Personal Application

No doubt you have all prayed about something that has been on your heart and you have sought the mind of the Lord about it, and you felt that God was leading you. But things began to be a disappointment to you, and you could not understand, and the Devil began to suggest to you that very probably you were wrong about what God wanted you to do, that very probably you had made a mistake about God's call. Is that true? It happens so often to so many. We would suggest to you that should that happen in the future, be frank with the Lord. Don't go around whistling in the dark; don't struggle to keep your head above water. Be frank with the Lord, and ask the Lord exactly why. Tell Him exactly how you feel; don't let the bitterness stay penned up in your heart.

Moses Questions God

Moses said, in verse 23:

Exodus 5

23For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

He was getting pretty bold with God. What he was actually saying was, “Lord, you haven't kept your word. You said that if I would come down here and deliver this message, you would deliver the people, and Lord, you haven't delivered them.” Learn a lesson about what Moses' real problem was. Moses' clock was running ahead of schedule. It was too fast. Because his clock was too fast, he thought God's clock was too slow. He began to criticize God; he began to level accusations at God.

One of the things we must learn if we are to walk by faith and not by sight is to keep our spiritual clocks synchronized with the clock in Heaven. If we don't, there will be trouble. From time to time, you may have to set your clock. The slightest deviation in your spiritual clock can create a problem for you; it must be synchronized with God's clock, and that was Moses' problem; his was not. He began to question the will of God. He began to question the goodness of God. He began to question the Word of God.

God Answers Moses' Question

I am glad that he questioned God about it; that is a redeeming feature. All too often, when these problems arise, we don't question God. We question everyone else, and they don't know any more about it than we do. We get no help. But Moses got help. Notice chapter 6, verse 1:

Exodus 6

1Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
2And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:
3And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
4And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.
5And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.
6Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
7And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
8And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.
9And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.
10And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
11Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.
12And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?

Now skip to verse 28:

Exodus 7

1And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
2Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.

Go back now to the first part of chapter 6. Notice that there was not a word of rebuke from God in response to Moses' questioning. God did not say, “Moses, don't talk to Me that way. Don't ever question My will; don't ever question My wisdom.” If you have a God who never permits you to ask Him any questions, if you have a God who never permits you to ask Him why, you have a different God from the one that I have learned to know in the Scriptures. My God is a reasonable God. He says, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). He does not mind discussing things with you.

Did you notice that in verse 1 He said, “Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh.”? He answered Moses' question with the words, “Moses, it just isn't the time. You will see what I will do to Pharaoh, because with a strong hand he shall let them go; with a strong hand [imagine this] he shall drive them out. Moses, all you are able to comprehend is your begging Pharaoh to let the people go. That is as much as you can see. But when the right time comes, when I have done what I am going to do, you won't need to beg him; he will beg you.” If we could learn the lesson of waiting on God to that extent, it would make a tremendous difference in all of our relationships to God.

God's Word Does Not Change

Turn, please, to the book of Isaiah, chapter 46. There comes to mind, in connection with what we are talking about here, a person's comprehension of God, a person's evaluation of God:

Isaiah 46

5To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
6They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.
7They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.
8Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors.
9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Isn't that a tremendous verse of Scripture? Our God declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done–things that have not yet happened. Humanly speaking, there is no way for them to happen, but God said they will happen. He said, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Why did I turn to this verse of Scripture? God needed to remind Moses that His Word does not change. Long before he ever came into the land of Egypt, God said to Moses, “Pharaoh will let the people go,” and God did not change His mind.

If we could remember that the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29), we would save ourselves much distress of mind when things don't go the way we think they ought to be going in view of the Word of God. If we could remember that though we may be unbelieving, though we may prove to be faithless, He abideth faithful because He cannot deny Himself (II Timothy 2:13), we would save ourselves so much distress of mind and heart.

”Jehovah” as the Name of God

In verse 2, God said to Moses, “I am the LORD.” In place of the word “LORD,” put the word “Jehovah.” Whenever you see in your English translation the word LORD spelled with each letter capitalized, you know that it is a translation of the Hebrew word “Jehovah.” When you see it with only the first letter capitalized, it is a translation of the Hebrew word “Adonai.” That is the translator's method of letting you know there is a difference in the words.

Exodus 6

2And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am Jehovah:
3And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name God Almighty [El Shaddai], but by My name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
4And I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.

What is God saying? God is saying, “Moses, I have something new to tell you. You will learn of Me in a way that your forefathers never knew Me. They knew Me as Almighty God, but you will know Me as JEHOVAH. They never knew Me that way.” Notice the Scripture carefully. It does not say that they never knew the name. As a matter of fact, the name “Jehovah” is used for the first time in Genesis, chapter 2, verse 4. Abraham knew God as Jehovah; he referred to Him that way. But God is saying to Moses, “They never knew Me as Jehovah. They knew the name, but they never experienced the meaning of that name.”

That is not an unusual statement for God to make. We have reacted the same way. How many times have you said to someone, “You know, I thought I knew you, but I've never really known you until now.” You did know him; you've known him for a long time; you knew his name; you knew all his characteristics. But you have developed a new relationship, and because you have developed a new relationship, you have said, “You know, I never really knew you until now.” That is exactly what God was saying when He said, “My name is Jehovah and you will experience the meaning of that name, Moses, as your forefathers never experienced it.”

The Self-sufficient One

What did “Jehovah” mean? It is difficult to translate the real meaning of the name “Jehovah.” You could say that it means that God is the self-existent one–that it, He exists complete within Himself. You could say that it means that God is self-sufficient. You could say that it means that God has need of nothing, that everything that is needed for any circumstance, you will find in God. He is sufficient–the all-sufficient one. Moses was going to learn that God was just that.

Two Reasons for God's Working

Did you notice two reasons He said He was going to work? In verse 4, He was going to work because of His covenant–that is, because of a promise that He had made. He had made a promise to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob that their descendants should inherit the land of Canaan (Genesis 15). The second reason He was going to work is found in verse 5: “I have also heard the groanings of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.” Two reasons then are given: first, God had made a promise; second, God was touched with their suffering. Those were good reasons for bringing about their deliverance.

Does it not seem that something is lacking? What about Moses? Was the deliverance of the children of Israel dependent upon the faithfulness of Moses? Was the deliverance of the children of Israel dependent upon the opinion of Pharaoh? Was the deliverance of the children of Israel dependent upon diplomacy or wisdom or politics? None of those things is mentioned. Two reasons, and two reasons alone, are given–that God gave His Word, and that God is a compassionate God. If you can comprehend this, you will see that sometimes when you get worried about the will of God and God's accomplishing certain things, when you get worried about a certain job that He has given you to do because of the way you fit into the picture, you are forgetting that God acts because of Himself and because of His Word and not because of you.

Seven Promises God Made

In verse 6, He said, “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, 'I am Jehovah'!” Between those two declarations of His Name are seven “I wills” of God. These are promises which God made, and He introduced them with the statement, “I am the self-existent, the self-sufficient, the adequate One.” He closed them with that same statement. When God says He will do something, He is capable of doing it.

Notice what He said: first, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians”; second, “I will rid you out of their bondage”–that is, “I will not only bring you out and take your burdens away, but I will set you free, too”; third, “I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments”; fourth, “I will take you to Me for a people”; fifth, “I will be to you a God”; sixth, “Ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians”; seventh, “I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” As part of this, or another promise, if you like, “I will give it to you for a heritage.” All this God promised to do for the nation of Israel.

Deliverance From the Burden of Sin

I would like to suggest a very interesting parallel, spiritually speaking: What God did for Israel and Egypt literally, God does for us spiritually. The land of Egypt is a type of the world, of sin, and of the bondage of sin; Canaan is a type of victory and our inheritance in the Lord. So these seven things–steps, if we may call them that, through which the Israelites went as they were delivered from the land of Egypt–portray very beautifully, it seems to me, our deliverance from the bondage of sin. Remember that He said, “I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians.” Hear God speaking as He says, “I will bring you out from under the burden of sin.”

The burden of sin will be as heavy as your conception of sin. If you trace through the Word of God the experiences of men who have been in contact with God, you will find that the closer they were to God, the deeper appreciation they had of the horribleness of sin and the greater their sense of deliverance. Job said in the last chapter of his epistle, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear.” It was all secondhand, and he was not very conscious of sin; but he said, “Mine eye seeth Thee, and I abhor myself, and repent in dust and in ashes.”

Permit me to say something that I have said many times, but I re-emphasize it because I think it is something that bears repeating. When an individual begins to talk about how close he is to God, though I may not be rude enough to say anything about it, I say in my heart, “He is not very close to God.” People who are close to God never talk about their spirituality. People who are close to God never draw attention to their righteousness. They always draw attention to God's holiness and their own unworthiness.

Deliverance From the Power of Sin

God said, “I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians,” and then, “I will rid you out of their bondage”–that is, “I will not only deliver you from the condemnation of sin, but I will deliver you from the power of sin.” I am suggesting that if you are born again, sin need not have dominion over you. Read chapter 6 of the book of Romans. I am suggesting that if you are genuinely born again, you do not have to yield your members as servants of unrighteousness to sin. There is victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The third thing God said is, “I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments.” That is how every one of us will be redeemed–with judgment upon sin and upon Satan, and with the stretched out arm of Christ. If you make any claims to your own redemption, you are indicating that you do not understand the Word of God. You are indicating that you have no sense of what salvation actually is.

Identification With God

The fourth and fifth things God said were, “I will take you to me for a people,” and “I will be to you a God.” This is an intimation of the blessed doctrine of identification. The moment we are born again, we have a claim on God. Until we are born again, we have no claim on Him. If you are unsaved, if you are not born again, you have no right to call yourself a child of God, and you have no right to look to God for anything that a father would naturally do for his children. But you have a claim on God if you are born again. That is what He meant when He said, “I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God.”

The sixth thing He said was, “And ye shall know that I am the Lord your God. Ye shall know that I am Jehovah. Ye shall know that I am the self-existent One.” That is what He promised Moses. He said to Moses, “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not know Me that way. They knew Me, but not in the way that you will know Me.”

We don't all know the Lord the same way. Some of us know Him in a deeper way than others. But here is a problem that these folk will know Him as the self-sufficient, self-existent One.

Delivered Safely Home

Notice in verse 8 a statement that I have always loved by comparison:

Exodus 6

8And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage:…

God will finish what He starts. He won't stop until He does. You can be sure that the children of Israel, once they were brought out of Egypt, would be brought into the land. And you can be sure that if you have been delivered from the penalty and the power of sin, you will be delivered safely home. You have no need to be concerned about it. If He has brought you out, He will bring you in. He does not ever stop until His work is complete.

Have you ever wondered why, right in the midst of this chapter, a genealogy is presented? It seems as if it is thrown in as a little extra, does it not? Do you know why it is there? It is basically a list of all the children of Israel who were in the land of Egypt. God put it right here as a matter of record. Pharaoh had said, “These are my people, and I will not let them go.” God said, “They are not your people; they are My people, and I am going to take them out.” And He listed every individual, family-wise, who was going out of the land of Egypt.

The Lamb's Book of Life

Notice that He listed them before they ever got out. Turn, please, to the book of Revelation, chapter 13, for a verse that is a great source of comfort to me:

Revelation 13

8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [that is, shall worship the Antichrist], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

That verse reads in the original, “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” When did God write my name in the Lamb's Book of Life? Before I ever got out of Egypt. He wrote it there before the foundation of the world.

Turn, please, to the book of Ephesians, chapter 1, as I remind you that just as certainly as God wrote down the names of the people who were coming out of the land of Egypt before they ever got out of Egypt, God had a plan and a purpose for me and for you before we ever got around to hearing about Him.

Ephesians 1

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ:
4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Those are tremendous verses. Notice that He said that He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. That is why this genealogy appears in the middle of chapter 6 of the book of Exodus. It is God's list of the people He was going to bring out, before He brought them out. If God could make a list of people that He was going to bring out of Egypt before He brought them out, it should be easy for us to believe that God could have made a list of people that He was going to take to Heaven before He ever got them there.


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