Read - Exodus 4:6-9
Message - Alan Burke
Another excuse from Moses, led to God graciously responding by giving this unwilling recruit signs that would act like references for a job application. They would prove what Moses says is the truth of God.
The first sign which we thought about on Wednesday was to transform his staff into a serpent (3-5), and if he could use a stick, God could also use the hand that held it (6-7). Telling Moses to put his hand inside his cloak and when he took it out it was leprous like snow. This was more than a simple skin irritation, otherwise what use would it have been for Moses to show the Elders and to prove that God had sent him. Whatever it was it would have been something that reflected the greatness and majesty of God’s power.
As Moses returned his hand to his cloak it was restored, God in this was showing his power to take away the health of the body and restore it again. Once more God was showing his dominion over creation for his purposes, using the ordinary to do the extraordinary. It would act as a warning to anyone who saw it especially to Pharaoh that this God who has sent Moses has the power to inflict or to save what he will with just a word or a gesture from his ambassador.
Now Moses is given a third sign to use if they do not believe the first two signs or listen to him. Moses was to take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water would blood on the ground, a preview of the first plague (9, 7:14-24). God was once more going to show his dominion over creation for his purposes, using the ordinary to do the extraordinary. The water from the river that was the source of life would become a symbol of death, for it was filled with the blood of innocent Hebrew victims and it would bear witness to the involuntary genocide that it has been part of.
Would any Hebrew or Egyptian would miss the point of this sign? For just as the blood of Abel cried out of the ground, so cried the blood of the infants whose lives have been demanded by Pharaoh (1:22). For there is a sanctity in life and a value to life, it is the Lord’s to give and His to take away. Today we see that sanctity and value in life as this nation is in lockdown, trying to save the lives of many, but It seems bizarre and tragic that the same health service that tries so hard to protect lives also facilitates the ending of innocent lives, the lives of the unborn as abortions are deemed a more essential service than cancer surgery.
Here though in this final sign that God gave Moses, he was making it clear that there would be judgment upon Egypt for what they had done, there would be judgment for the taking the lives of so many Hebrew infants. Today know that God has appointed a day for all to be judged, either judgment will be found in Christ for us, or in us from Christ, but either way, there must be judgment for all who have sinned, and all have, in fact, sinned.
On that day he will judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ, (Act 17:31) to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father (Jn 5:22,27). All persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Cor. 5:10, Eccl. 12:14, Rom. 2:16, Rom. 14:10,12, Matt. 12:36–37).
On that day all the righteous, those who are the children of God through Christ Jesus go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord: but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power (Matt. 25:31–46, Rom. 2:5–6, Rom. 9:22–23, Matt. 25:21, Acts 3:19, 2 Thess. 1:7–10).
Q 85 What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and cursedue to us for sin?
To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, (Acts 20:21) with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption. (Prov. 2:1–5, Prov. 8:33–36, Isa. 55:3)