Attention!
Take your personal ministry to the Next Level by helping StudyLight build churches and supporting pastors in Uganda.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Exodus 6

Verses 1-30

Chapter five of the book of Exodus, we left Moses in great despair. He did what he thought God was calling him to do. He went to the Pharaoh and demanded the release of the children of Israel. But the Pharaoh, rather than releasing them, only increased the burdens and the severity of their slavery.

Until the children of Israel started really getting on Moses' case saying, "Why didn't you leave us alone? We were much better off before you ever came. Now since you've come, things are really hard on us. We wish you would've left us alone." So Moses in turn went to God and said, "God what were You asking me to do? Why did You ask me to do it Lord? Because You haven't delivered them, and things are just worse."

It is interesting how that many times when we launch out into what we feel is the will of God for our lives, that things don't work out exactly like we thought they were gonna work out. Sometimes things turn into total chaos, and we're prone to challenge again our calling. "God did You really call me to do this? And if You called me to do it, how come it's turned into such a mess?"

Now Moses didn't want to go in the first place. He had said, "Oh Lord, please call somebody else." The Lord became angry with Moses. Moses did what the Lord said, and just things seemed to be going just the opposite of what he had anticipated and expected.

I do believe that any time we enter into any kind of ministry for the Lord that Satan is going to challenge our commitment of faith. That Satan is going to do his best to discourage us right at the beginning of any ministry. He's going to make you question the call of God upon your life. He's gonna challenge the work of God within your life, especially if that ministry has to do with some of the gifts of the Spirit. How Satan loves to challenge any exercise of the gifts of the Spirit. For instance, the gift of prophecy. "He that prophesieth", Paul said, "let him prophesy according to his portion of faith"( Romans 12:6 ).

Many times when you by faith step out, and speak what you feel to be the Word of God, people will challenge it, and it'll cause you to question, "Was that really God that was speaking to me?" Moses came to this place of challenge. The people challenged him, and challenged his ministry, and he in turn challenged God. "Why did You send me? Things aren't any better, they're only getting worse."

So beginning with chapter six, we have God's response to His distraught prophet.

Then 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 ( Exodus 6:1 ).

"Moses you haven't seen anything yet. Now you're going to see what I'm gonna do to Pharaoh because with a strong hand", he's not gonna just let them go, he's gonna drive them out. By the time they go, he's gonna be glad to see them gone.

And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD ( Exodus 6:2 ):

Now that is, it might look upon the service that just sort of, "Well, of course." But how many times we forget that. How many times we think we're in the driver's seat. How many times we think we ought to be controlling the situation. I'm sure that these people are falling after this "command God" bit, and are going around ordering God like He's some kind of a little puppet or robot.

That God is saying to them, "Hey, wait a minute. I am the Lord. Who's in control? Who's guiding these things? Who's governing over these things? Moses, I am the Lord." Many times we try to take that position away from Him, but He needs to remind us who He is. And we need to be reminded of who He is because there is a danger of forgetting who He is, as we are so prone to exalt ourselves or to exalt man, and forget that He is the Lord.

When we forget that He is the Lord, then we fall into that category that Paul was referring to in Romans chapter one. "Who when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God" ( Romans 1:21 ). They began to take things in their own hands. They began to live as though God was their servant, rather than they were God's servants. We need to be reminded that He is the Lord, and not only that He is the Lord, but of the greatness of His power and His wisdom and of His glory.

So many times we look at our problems and they seem so big, overwhelming. I look at that mountain in front of me and I think, "Oh, nothing can move that mountain." I get discouraged because that mountain looks so big, and I come to God with sort of timidity. You even hate to ask Him because you know it's such a huge mountain. You know it's impossible for you to move it, and you just wonder if God can really do it.

The disciples, when they came to the Lord with, they had a heavy problem, they said, "O Lord. Thou art God, Thou hast created the heavens and the earth, and every thing that is in them"( Acts 4:24 ). That's a good thing to remind yourself of before you pray. The heavens out there are the work of His fingers. He's created it all. So that mountain that is in front of you, though it may look like Everest to you, it is nothing in the eyes of God. "It is nothing for Thee to help Lord, many are with those that have no power."

Next time you think that that mountain that you have in front of you is maybe too big for God to move, get up at about four o'clock, three-thirty, and look out into the western sky and look at the constellation Orion. Take a careful look at the left shoulder of Orion, that's Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse is four hundred and fifteen million miles in diameter. If you would hollow out the center of Betelgeuse, leaving out the crust a hundred million miles thick, you could put the sun in the middle of Betelgeuse and let the earth rotate around it, and have a hundred million miles to spare.

Betelgeuse is a pretty big mountain. It happens to be traveling at about nineteen miles a second. Have you ever wondered what kind of a force or thrust it took to get Betelgeuse into orbit; something that huge moving that fast? You ever wondered what thrust, what force? I can tell you, "When I consider the heavens", David said, "the work of Thy fingers"( Psalms 102:25 ). Hey, all of my problems seem really small. That mountain doesn't look nearly so big.

God said to Moses, you know he had his feathers ruffled and he was all uptight, and God said, "Hey, wait a minute. I'm the Lord." So many times we get all upset, our feathers ruffled. He said, "Hey, wait a minute. I'm the Lord; I'm in control. I've got it." You know, and we need to remember that. What a comfort to know that He is the Lord and He is in control.

And I appeared unto Abraham, and unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, [El Shadai] but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them ( Exodus 6:3 ).

Now that is in the sense that the word means "the becoming one", actually Abraham used the term Jehovah-Jireh when his son said, "Dad where is the sacrifice?" Abraham said, "Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide"( Genesis 22:8 ). But yet the Lord is saying, "By My name Jehovah was I not known." In other words, they knew Him in a less personal way than Moses was to know God. They knew Him as the Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Some of you may know Him as the Almighty God, the Creator of the heaven and the earth. Whenever I hear a person beginning his prayer, "O thou mighty God, creator of the universe," I think, "Well, they really don't have a very close relationship with Him. When I hear someone come in and say, "Hey, Dad, I'm really in trouble." I feel, "My, they've got a real neat working relationship with the Father".

I was with some Italians once in a prayer meeting, and they started saying, "Oh Papa." I was shocked for a moment, and I thought, "My that's sacrilegious." Then I found out that "papa" was "father" in Italian. I thought, "Oh, that's beautiful." I like that. "Papa, your child's in trouble. I need help." It's glorious to have a close, intimate relationship with God, to know Him by that name Jehovah where He becomes to me all that I need.

Now they had not really appropriated that fullness of God that He wants to be to His people. They were sort of-God was sort of a far off, great, powerful almighty force, creative; yet, He was known in a personal sense, but yet, always in that vast distance that exists between the infinite and the finite. Now God is coming closer to man. And He said, "They've not known me by my name Jehovah, you're gonna know me in a closer, more intimate way." Even as God wants to relate to you in a closer, more intimate way, and for that purpose He sent His only begotten Son. Why? That you might relate to God in the closest kind of intimate relationship as a Father with His child; that you might boldly come into His presence, that you might receive mercy in your time of need.

It's funny sometimes when people come into the office to see me. They're so nervous that they forget really what they want to say. I feel sort of funny, because I'm nobody, and I know I'm nobody. And yet because of what God has done through my life, people respect that work that God has done through me, though it doesn't make me anything. It just glorifies God that He's able to take something like me and make something through me, of His grace and love. It just shows how great God is. But yet people sometimes have that sort of, "Oh Chuck", like, something, though it really isn't. You don't need to be that way, don't need to feel that way at all. I'll tell you my grandkids aren't that way. Man, they come storming into the office. They don't care what kind of a counseling session I'm in or anything else, you know. They interrupt whatever's going on. "Grandpa, I need an ice-cream cone." I'll tell you, they get first priority because of relationship.

God wants you to have a neat, beautiful relationship with Him. He wants you to feel a perfect freedom of just coming in anytime even with the most trivial things. He wants to have that kind of relationship. And thus God is expressing, "Look they knew Me as God Almighty, I revealed Myself to them. They knew Me as God Almighty, but they didn't really know that relationship of intimacy that I want you and the people to experience as I take, and begin to watch over you, and I begin to care for you, and I begin to put the food on your table."

And I have also established my covenant with them, [That is with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.] to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. And I've also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant ( Exodus 6:4-5 ).

Now first of all God establishing Himself to Moses, "I've made My covenant with them. I know, I heard, and I have remembered My covenant."

Sometimes because of time delays, we feel that God has forgotten His promises. In the last days the Bible says, "Scoffers will come saying, Where is the promise of the coming of Jesus Christ?"( 2 Peter 3:4 ). Because of the time delay men will scoff. "God is not slack concerning His promises as some men count slackness, but is faithful"( 2 Peter 3:9 ).

"Wherefore [God said] say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you [First of all "I am", and then, "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: And 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. And 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 to you for a heritage: for I am the Lord ( Exodus 6:6-8 ).

So He started out by saying, "I am", and then He threw in all these "I wills", and He comes back to, "I am".

Now a promise is usually just as good as the person making it. There are some people who have made many promises but I don't put much stock into it. When I was just a little guy there was a knock at the front door. My parents went, and this guy introduced himself as our cousin Pringle, some relative of my dad's. They came in. "Oh this is your family, Charles. Oh wonderful, wonderful." He kissed all of us kids. He looked at me very sternly and he said, "Now, son don't smoke. If you don't smoke until you're twenty-one, I'll give you a gold watch." I thought that was sort of a funny thing for him to say because he was smoking. I didn't smoke until I was twenty-one; in fact I've never smoked yet. But I've never seen him again. So I've got a gold watch promised to me that I've never seen, because I've never seen that cousin Pringle again. So there are some promises that you just can't put much stock in.

But I'll tell you when God begins to promise, and He begins it by saying, "Hey, look I am the Lord, and I will, and I will", and there are seven "I wills" there of God; what God will do for His people. And because the history of the children of Israel is typical history, and it typifies the child of God coming out of bondage through the Red Sea, baptism, into a new relationship of faith with God in the wilderness and on in through the death of the old life, and the old self into the land of promise, a life of richness and fullness; we can take these "I wills" of God to Israel and we can apply them to our own lives as God is promising.

I will deliver you from the heavy burdens, I will rid you from the bondage, [from the flesh, and of that old life] and I will redeem you. And take you for a people, and I will be to you a God: and I will bring you into the fullness of that which I have promised. So Moses spoke to the children of Israel: [these words of the Lord] but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for the cruel bondage ( Exodus 6:6-9 ).

They, at this point, were so discouraged because of these things the Egyptians were laying upon them. Even when Moses came with these glorious promises and declarations of God, the people just couldn't believe it.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Go in, and speak unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. And Moses spake before the Lord, saying, Behold, the children of Israel haven't listened to me; how then will Pharaoh hear, who am of uncircumcised lips ( Exodus 6:10-12 )?

Moses said, "Hey, God now look. You told me to tell the children of Israel, they didn't listen to me, now You're telling me to tell Pharaoh. If they didn't listen to me, what do you think the Pharaoh's gonna do? He's not gonna listen to me." So Moses is still dragging his heels at the call of God, at the commission of God upon his life.

And the Lord spake to Moses and unto Aaron, and he gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt ( Exodus 6:13 ).

Now at this point there is inserted a little genealogy of the first three sons of Jacob. With Reuben and Simeon his first two sons, it lists just the names of the sons of Reuben and Simeon as they are in Genesis. When it lists then the names of the sons of Levi, it goes on then to name the grandsons and the great grandsons in order that we might have a genealogy that will bring us down to Moses and Aaron.

So Amram [Verse twenty] took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and these are the years of the life of Amram he was a hundred and thirty seven years old ( Exodus 6:20 ).

Now verse twenty-seven. "These are they", well verse twenty-six,

Now these are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the Lord said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies. These are they which spake to Pharaoh the king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron ( Exodus 6:26-27 ).

So you have a little genealogy to bring you to Moses and Aaron just sort of inserted here into chapter six, so you'll know where they came from.

And it came to pass on the day when the Lord spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt, That the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I am the Lord: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee. And Moses said before the Lord, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, how shall the Pharaoh hearken unto me ( Exodus 6:28-30 )?

So that's just sort of a little throwback to verses twelve and thirteen. He threw in the genealogy, and then he sort of recaps the story to bring you up to chapter seven. "





Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Exodus 6". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/exodus-6.html. 2014.