By Joseph Ametepe
"Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD'" (Exodus 6:6-8).
Moses and Aaron stormed the presence of Pharaoh to tell him what God had specifically commanded them: "Let My people go." Pharaoh's response to God's command was one of defiance. Not only did Pharaoh defied Yahweh, but he also deliberately determined in his heart to make life bitter and harsh for the sons of Israel. He demanded that no straw be given to the sons of Israel for making bricks. The Israelites were ordered to gather straw for themselves and then produced the same amount of bricks as before. No doubt, this was an impossible task. You see, Pharaoh shrewdly set them up for failure in order to inflict greater punishment on them and treat them more cruelly. It worked. Moses didn't understand why God didn't come through on His promise of deliverance. So he went before God to present his case to Him. "God, You have not rescued Your people at all," was Moses' disheartened words to God (see Exodus 5:1-23). God immediately responded to Moses and promised action. In promising action, God gave Moses and the people of Israel, one of the greatest promises found in the Old Testament. In fact, the promise recorded in Exodus 6:6-8 could be regarded as the grandest promise in all of the Old Testament. It is a promise that teaches a powerful spiritual lesson to God's people. That is, God desires that His people personally experience the reality of His promises in their lives. In other words, God's promises to His people are to be possessed. They are given to be their personal possession. God doesn't give promises that are just nice words to soothe our hurting emotions. The sons of Israel were hurting. They needed real assurance from God that He meant every word He said and that the words would actually translate into concrete action in their lives. And that's exactly what God did here for the people of Israel. He assured them that His promises to His people are actually a guarantee to concrete and decisive action on their behalf.
Please, I want you to notice that he grandest of promise of the OT first of all begins with God pointing Moses to who He is: "I am the LORD." This is very important. You ask why is it important? Well, I'm glad you've asked. Please take note of this. By these words, God is directing Moses' eyes off of the disheartening and discouraging circumstances to Himself. Yahweh, the self-existing God, the sovereign of the universe, the self-sufficient God is above Israel's deplorable and difficult circumstances. Not only that, He is also able to overcome the seeming impossibility in their lives to advance His purposes for them. So before God ever gave the details of His promise of action to Moses, He deliberately says to Moses: "Moses, turn your eyes upon Me. Look full in My wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of My glory and grace." If Moses was going to grow in confidence in God and be a successful messenger of God,, he would need to focus on the person of the Lord Himself. Actually, the expression, "I am the LORD" is used three times by the Lord. First, at the beginning of the promise in verse 6. Second, in the middle of the promise in verse 7. Third, at the end of the promise in verse 8. It is as if God is saying, "I said it! I signed it! And I sealed this promise to you. It's settled! You can be sure of that!"
No matter what you are going through today, remember, God's goal is for you to focus on Him, not on your circumstances. Why? The more you focus on God, the more His Spirit will work in your heart to develop and boost your confidence and conviction in His power and ability to handle the situation you are facing in life. God will loom larger in your thoughts. You will be able to see your problems in the light of God's greatness and unlimited power, not in your own feeble and limited strength and resources. God did that for Moses. He grew in confidence and conviction in God to the point that before the last plague that broke Pharaoh's stubborn heart, he stood confidently before the king of Egypt and spoke these words to him: "You are right; I shall never see your face again!" (Exodus 10:29). That's confidence and conviction in God! Moses didn't have that conviction and boldness in the presence of Pharaoh in the beginning. But the more his eyes were focused on God, the more he grew in confidence. What God did for Moses thousands of years ago, He is willing and ready to do in your life and mine.
Having started by directing Moses' focus on His person, that is, on who He is, God now presents Moses with the particulars of His promise. Please notice carefully that the particulars of the promise are vividly stated in seven "I Will" statements. You can call them the "Seven I Wills of God." First, is "I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians" (v. 6b). Second, is "I will deliver you from their bondage" (v. 6c). Third, is "I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments" (v. 6d). Fourth, "I will take you for My people" (v. 7a). Fifth, "I will be your God" (v. 7b). Sixth, "I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (v. 8a). Seventh, "I will give it to you for a possession" (v. 8b).
The fact that God Himself said "I will" means that the matter is settled. In other words, this is an unconditional promise to the sons of Israel. God said it. God signed it. God sealed it. That means, it's sure and steadfast. Every detail of the promise will be accomplished. God promised Israel that He was going to take them from their place of bondage to a place of blessing. In order to let His people know that this is not just a pep-talk to get them merely excited emotionally for awhile, God made it clear to Israel that He was not only going to bring them out of Egypt, but was also going to bring them to the Promised Land and give it to them as a possession. The Hebrew word translated "possession" (Hebrew: Mowrashah) also means heritage, property, inheritance. It is as if God is saying to Moses and to all His believing people: "I want My promise to be your personal inheritance. I want My promise to become your property. I want you to inherit My promise. I want you to experience the reality of My promise in your personal life and circumstances. I want you to see the outworking of My promise in your life and situation." How lovely!
In the homes of rich and famous people, one may find high-end designed cabinets with expensive china cabinets delicately put on display in them. You see, they are there for decoration. As such, they are rarely touched let alone used. But I tell you friends, that's not the way God's promises are. They are far more precious than the most expensive china plates. But they are not decorations to be seen from afar. They are not just nice words put on display in the Bible. God intends for His people to actually experience His promises in their lives:- where the rubber meets the road. God desires for them to see the actual working of His promises in their lives and circumstances. In fact, God expects His people to claim His promises as their inheritance. He wants His people to receive His promises as their personal property. God doesn't want us to see His promises as untouchable decorations that are never used.
Are you personally experiencing the reality of God's promises in your life? What promise of God has become your personal inheritance? Which of His promises have you claimed as your property? Has any of God's promise become your possession? If not, why not? Remember, it's God's desire that the believer in Jesus personally experience the outworking of His promise in his or her life! Rely on the indwelling Spirit to focus on God and not on your circumstances! Remain committed to Him! Remind Him of His "I Wills" to you! Rest confidently in Him that He will do what He's promised you in His own time! To God be the glory for the great things He has done and will do in your life and mine!