Exodus 6: Of Burdens and Broken Spirits

In chapter 5, we had Moses asking, “Why?” Not once, but twice. And how does the Lord respond in chapter 6?

I am the Lord… vs 2

I am the Lord… vs 6

I am the Lord… vs 7

I am the Lord… vs 8

Sometimes, we just need a reminder. God patiently responds to Moses, “I see your two whys and I’m countering with four reminders of Who.”

He then outlines all of his promises for his people and Moses takes those promises to the children of Israel. But, again, the outcome is not what he expected. The people would not listen because of “their broken spirits and harsh slavery” (verse 9.)

Have you ever felt too broken to believe? Has the harshness of your circumstances hindered hope? Has your predicament made it impossible to entertain the promise of relief? This is where the people found themselves and, do you know, it’s exactly where Pharaoh wanted them?

Look at the reasoning behind the heavier work laid on them in chapter 5.

“Let heavier work be laid on them that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.” Exodus 5:9

[Isn’t that the way the enemy still works today? He wants people so burdened and weighed down that they will not even entertain the possibility of freedom.]

The Lord sends Moses back to Pharaoh with the same demand to let the people go and Moses responds with the same excuses he offered in chapter 4.

I can’t because of them… Ex 4:1, 6:12

I can’t because of me… Ex 4:10, 6:12

But God isn’t going to rehash the same debate. He gave Moses and Aaron a charge – an order, a command, a mission – to bring the people of Israel out of bondage (verse 13.) There is an urgency. An unwillingness to entertain any more excuses while people remained in bondage.

People in bondage (of various kinds) don’t stay in bondage because it’s fun. They do so because it’s familiar. They do so because the pain of burdens has blinded them to the possibility of blessings. They may not listen to freedom’s call the first time. Or the second. Or the third.

But we, as Christ followers, are still given the charge to go and tell. To proclaim freedom to the captive. To preach good news. To lead the way out of darkness.

There is no time for excuses on our part while people are living in bondage.

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