Read - Exodus 4:19-23, Romans 1:18
Message - Alan Burke
Moses didn’t want to go to Egypt, he had made excuse after excuse finally asking God to send someone else (4:13). There was no doubt that fear of what awaited him played a part in his unwillingness, after all Pharaoh wanted him dead. We as readers already know that Moses doesn’t need to fear Pharaoh because he had died (2:23) making the path clear for Moses to return yet Moses wouldn’t have known this, that is until God reassured him that he had nothing to fear for everyone who wanted to kill him are dead.
Then Moses took his wife and sons and started his journey to Egypt. But he went with his staff, the same staff that had accompanied him through many years shepherding the sheep of his father in law had now became the staff of God. What was once ordinary had become extraordinary by the work of God, it was a symbol to Moses that although he had some way to go in his faith, God would equip him, for all that lay ahead, for the staff was a symbol of the authority of God, of his saving power.
On his return to Egypt, Moses would use this very staff to preform the the signs God had given him. But they would not make a believer our of pharaoh, instead God by them would harden his heart. These verses act as a summary of what will take place and look to how because pharaoh would not release the people of God that he would face judgement, his own first born son would die.
It may be difficult for us to grasp but God was going to harden the heart of Pharaoh, yet elsewhere we are also told that pharaoh hardened his own heart, meaning that his heart was doubly hardened. In the hardening of pharaohs heart, God was sovereignly at work but not in a way that removed Pharaoh’s own responsibility, because ultimately his heart was hardened to the word of the living God because of his sin. He had suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). And when he heard the word of God he rejected it.
Pharaoh would ultimately let the people of God go. But the point should not be lost on us that this was entirely God’s work. He was redeeming his people out of their bondage, for they were not a nation like those that surrounded them, instead they were as God’s firstborn son, he had chosen them not by their own doing by his grace alone.
In the Gospel of Matthew, quoting from Hosea 11:1, Mathew makes clear how the prophecy “Out of Egypt I have called my son (2:15), was fulfilled when Jesus and his family returned to Judea. Matthew understood that Jesus was God’s son, he is the true Israel who did what the nation of Israel failed to do as God’s perfect son. This was confirmed when Jesus was baptised, and the Father said, “This is my Son, whom I love” (Matt. 3:17). The promise of sonship was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
It is through faith in this son, Jesus Christ that we can become sons of God the children of the living God. It is the work of Christ, bring the slaves of sin into the liberty of sonship. Jesus is “the firstborn among many brothers” as we are reminded in the book of Romans (Rom. 8:29)—“many brothers” because every believer is a child of God. As the Bible also says, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). To know Jesus as Savior is to know God as Father. All of that which happened in the Exodus was all part of his plan to redeem his people and bring salvation to the ends of the earth, to bring salvation to you and I though the Son.
Q 95 To whom is baptism to be administered?
Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; (Acts 8:36–38, Acts 2:38) but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized. (Acts 2:38–39, Gen. 17:10, Col. 2:11–12, 1 Cor. 7:14)