Exodus 5:22 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou [so] evil entreated this people? why [is] it [that] thou hast sent me? 23 For 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. 6:1 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. 2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I [am] the LORD: 3 And 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. 4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Wherefore 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: 7 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.
At the end of Ch. 5, Moses is expressing extreme doubt in God saying “Why did you ever send me…You have not delivered your people at all!” Moses is at the point of complete frustration; he is throwing his hands up in the air. Moses is groaning before God as the Israelites are groaning to Moses.
Vs. 1 God tells Moses that “with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land”. It is repeated twice. We read that and think Pharaoh is going to send them out forcefully, he’s going to give them a big shove. But if we look back at 4:19 we see God telling Moses that He knows Pharaoh will not let the Israelites go “unless compelled by a mighty hand”. So right out of the chute in vs 1 we see God referring back to and reiterating what He has already said. So often the Lord does that with us; He reiterates the promises of His Word. Why? What’s the point? God knows we need it; we as humans need to be told over and over and over.
In the very next verses, 2 and 3, He reminds us again – that He appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But then He points out that He made Himself known to them as El Shaddai- God Almighty- but not by His Name The Lord (Yahweh – another name for God. God has many names He shows us throughout Scripture). That doesn’t necessarily mean they never knew the name Yahweh, though that may be the case. But Moses seemed to come to know God at a deeper or a different level than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He knew God by Yahweh which is His covenant identity. He is the God of the Covenant; He will deliver. In Exodus 3 alone we see “I will deliver you”, “I will redeem you”, “I will take you to be my people”, “I will be your God”, “I will bring you into the land”, “I will give it to you for a possession”.
Vs. 4 He reiterates that He is a God of kept covenants/promises -“I established my covenant with them” (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).
Vs. 5 On top of that, He says, “I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.” I’ve heard their groaning. He hears us. I personally have groaned to the Lord many, many times. I’ve seen and had pain and suffering in this world and thought “Come get me! Take me now! I’m tired and ready!” I have groaned with pain, anxiety, stress, anger, and depression to God. Here He is in His Word saying, “I hear you! I heard the Israelites, and I hear you!” The covenant at that time for them was the Promised Land. The point of the entire Bible is to direct us to Jesus and our eternity with Him or without Him. Their covenant was the Promised Land. For us, the covenant is eternal life with Christ if we believe and call on Him to save us. He hears our groaning.
Vs. 6 Tell the people the Lord says, “I will redeem you”. I’ll pull you out of there. With my strong arm, that I reminded you I have back in vs 1, “I will redeem you”. This is also our promise, to redeem us. What do we think of when we redeem something today? It’s a coupon at the grocery store, or a rebate check that we send away for. I’ve got this piece of paper, it’s a redemption coupon, I’ll trade this for that, and I’ll save. Christ is our Redeemer! He traded His perfect, sinless life and body for us – a bunch of broken, dented, well-worn merchandise.
Psalms 31:12 “I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.” A broken vessel. Have you ever shopped for flower pots and seen several broken ones on the shelf? No one wants them, they are worthless broken. You and I and all of us are a bunch of cracked pots! There is nothing we can do to fix us. Power of positive thinking won’t do it. Doing more good deeds than bad deeds won’t do it. We’re still broken. He DID bring them out from under the burden of the Egyptians, much like someday soon He will bring us out from the burdens of this world. But we have ask to redeem the coupon. The offer is there, we only need to receive it. Just ask Him.
2 Cor 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.
Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.