Wednesday, 2 February 2011

It's All About God's Timing

Exodus 4-6 To confirm his purpose, YHWH - the covenant keeping God gives Moses some miraculous signs. These aren't any old hocus-pocus-oooo-aahh signs, but symbolic of how God will vindicate his name as he 1) redeems his people from being wedded to the serpent and 2) makes them clean and fit for service and being close to his heart 3) avenges the blood of all those babies tossed into the Nile.

Even after all these assurances, Moses still shrinks back from the assignment. Whilst somewhat indignant, God in his grace turns this to good, by getting Aaron in on the game and indeed, using it to illustrate his way of revelation - that is through mediation. Just as the Father speaks to the world through his Son, and Christ speaks to the world through his church, so now Moses will address both Pharaoh and the people of Israel through Aaron.

I'm not entirely sure what I make of the "Zipporah-circumcision" episode. Jordan says (many translations are misleading and) that what is going on is a kind of circumcision-Passover where she cuts off the son's foreskin and then smears it on the son's legs (an equally valid translation - apparently - of "throws it at his feet." The extra reference to Moses here is not in the original, it has been put in - so I'm told) - legs here being symbolic of pillars or doorposts. So the Lord passes over this firstborn son and does no harm to him. A foretaste of things to come.

Moses, Aaron and the elders of Israel meet, and all seems to be going to plan!

But then the big face off begins. Who's the daddy? Who owns the Israelites? the LORD or Pharaoh? Pharaoh ridicules this request by Moses through Aaron, and responds by making their labour even harder, (so they have no time to plot revolution). Moses, just like you and me, gets all melodramatic at the sign of the smallest set back, assuming that God of the universe has been outwitted by such small men!

But God is not slow to keep his promise, his timing is perfect. He is true to his word. It didn't matter that the Israelites had to now get straw for their bricks because it was never about their ability to plot themselves free, but all about God graciously working on their behalf in ways they could never have anticipated to bring them into what he promised. And so it has always been.

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