God Uses Broken Vessels (Exodus 5-6)

Today’s Bible reading and devotional is Exodus 5-6.

Picking up the story of Moses’ return to Egypt, we read in chapter 4, “30And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31And the people believed…” (Exodus 4:30-31).

We are not told how Moses gained an audience with Pharaoh; however, Exodus 5 records the first clash of wills between them when Moses and Aaron delivered the demand of “the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness” (Exodus 5:1).

Proud and unbroken, Pharaoh declared, “I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go” (5:2).

Rejected, Moses and Aaron depart from Pharaoh’s court and soon realize their demand for freedom has increased the hardships of the people (5:6-20).  The leaders of Israel confronted Moses and Aaron, accusing them of multiplying the suffering and sorrows of the people (Exodus 5:21).

Distraught, Moses cried to the LORD, “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” (Exodus 5:22-23).

Hearing Moses’ plea, the LORD renewed His promise to deliver His people out of bondage, reminding Moses, “I am the LORD” (Exodus 6:2-8).

When Moses rehearsed with the people all the LORD had told him and reminded them of God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the people dismissed his words (6:9).

The LORD commanded Moses to go before Pharaoh a second time and demand freedom for the Hebrews (6:10-11); however, shaken by the failure of his first meeting, Moses rightly observed the rejection of his people and asked, “how then shall Pharaoh hear me” (6:12)?

Refusing to rescind His plan and covenant with Israel, the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron to give “a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt” (6:13).

I conclude today’s devotional noting the brief record of three genealogies found in the closing verses of our study (Exodus 6:14-25).  We read the genealogies of three sons of Jacob whose sins shadowed their lineages: Reuben, committed incest with his father’s concubine (6:14; Genesis 35:22; 49:3-4); and Simeon and Levi (6:15-25) murdered the Shechemites to avenge their sister’s shame (Genesis 34:25-29; 49:5-7).

Of course, the most important genealogy is that of Levi from whom Moses and Aaron descended.  Levi’s genealogical record not only establishes Moses and Aaron’s rightful birthright as children of Israel, it also serves as a testimony of God’s grace.

God chose Moses as Israel’s deliverer, not because of his lineage, but as a testimony of God’s grace. Yes, Moses was a talented, well-educated leader; however, it was his faith, the fact he believed the LORD, that God used him to deliver His people from bondage.

Don’t forget God took forty years to break Moses’ will in the wilderness; however, when the LORD called him to serve he was ready and willing to obey.

How about you?  Are you ready to humble yourself to God’s will and obey?  After all, God can turn broken pieces into masterpieces.

Copyright 2019 – Travis D. Smith