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A Heart For God: God in the Here and Now! (Exodus 6:1-13)

Monday, June 25, 2012

God in the Here and Now! (Exodus 6:1-13)

(This is supplement 2 to the #HeartChat Bible study taking place every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, 6:30 Pacific USA. Pastor Mike is teaching his Escape from Egypt series on Twitter. Click here for class schedule and links to the notes. Click here to follow Pastor Mike on Twitter.)


This teaching is based on a 9-part sermon series I preached in August 2004. The "Escape from Egypt" study is relevant to our day as God will be dealing with a new Pharoah (Antichrist) soon. (Revelation 13:1-18)


"'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'WHO IS and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'" (Revelation 1:8)

God is not only a God of the past and of the future. He is a God of the present, too!


Everyone faces times in their lives where circumstances go kaput. And even though we remember the testimonies of old how God moved and we know the Lord will act in the future (Jesus is coming soon!), still we wonder, "Will God act now (in "real time"!)? Will God take action for me?" That's the real question. "What about in the here and now ~ today?" That's what really matters to us, doesn't it?


We left Moses at the end of his rope in the last two verses of Exodus chapter 5. Moses wants out of his pastorate. "This must not be God's will that I be here," is how Moses feels as Pharoah doesn't go along with the script when Moses says, "Let my people go." Moses did well to go to the Lord with his feelings and problem. (Exodus 5:22-23)


And so here Moses is in v. 1 of Exodus 6. It's in the here and now for Moses and Israel that they're facing serious trouble and difficulty. A crisis! It doesn't matter about the past. It doesn't matter about the future. What matters is today. Where is God today? And God is here for Moses and Israel in Exodus 6:1!

The answer to the question: "Will God act in the here and now for me?" Yes, He will! Yes, God will!

"'Now you shall see what I will do to Pharoah (God says); for under compulsion he shall let them (Israel) go, and under compulsion he shall drive them out of his land.'" "I'm gonna do something," God says to Moses. "I'm gonna do something in the here and now. I'm gonna act."


I mentioned last time God isn't intimidated by our feelings. He's the One that gave us the ability to feel in the first place, after all! God wants us to express ourselves to Him. And tell Him like it is. "This is where I'm at, Lord. This is how I feel! I'm depressed. I'm discouraged. I'm spent." It's prayer! It's praying!

Even Jesus expressed His deepest and harshest feeling to the Lord, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?," He declared from the cross. It was a question about whether God was God in the here and now.

When we do express our feelings to God, it's then, I'm convinced, that we open ourselves up to His ability to help us sort through our feelings and the issues that are on our hearts and give us the strength to carry on when we thought there was no way we could.

And Moses can't quit his pastorate yet even though he feels like it. If Moses does, he'll miss out on everything God has in mind with the plagues and the Passover Lamb (the picture of Christ during this momentous time ~ it's Jesus who delivers the Jews from Egypt by the way!) and crossing the Red Sea and the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, etc. Let alone what Moses is going to learn about God and come to know about God (listen) that Moses would never have had the chance if he gave up!

And so God helps Moses sort through His feelings and gives Moses the assurance he needs to continue in Exodus 6:1-13.


The first thing God says to Moses is He's gonna break Pharoah. (Exodus 6:1) God is the only one that can do it.

And now in Exodus 6:2-3: "Lord" (v. 3; NAS) equals "Yahweh." (It's the same in Exodus 6:2 and Exodus 6:6.) Unger's Bible Dictionary says: "The Hebrew tetragrammaton (YHWH) traditionally pronounced Jehovah...." (Tetra / grammaton means: "4 letter.")

It isn't that God hasn't appeared to Abraham as Yahweh (God's "here and now" name; He was revealed as the "here and now" redeemer; the ram caught in a thicket so Isaac was spared was Abraham's experience with Yahweh), but now He's going to appear as Yahweh to Moses and Israel to the point where they're going to know the Lord at a greater depth and revelation than the forefathers. There's to be an expansion. Moses and Israel are gonna experience God ~ Yahweh ~ like they never have before. And they would never have had the opportunity to know God at this depth except for the situation they found themselves in and the breaking point they were allowed to get to.

APPLICATION: And many times we're put in situations and it's not that God somehow enjoys dangling us over the precipice to see how we'll react, but it's so that we can learn more about who He is and experience Him at a greater depth of level of knowledge. And come to a deeper understanding of His love and power and care for us. It's one thing to know about God; it's another thing to "know" God. (Selah ~ pause to reflect)


(1) God watches over His promises to bring them to pass. (Exodus 6:4) God in the here and now.

(2) God hears our groanings. (Exodus 6:5) God in the here and now.


(1) See big problems as an opportunity for God to act in a big way. (Exodus 6:6-8) Rather than withdraw and sulk, allow faith to rise up. Can you just imagine those around you when they see how you respond? And could it be that God is poised to answer YOUR big problems in a big way?

(2) The Lord makes good on His promises. He does indeed free the Jews from slavery. (Exodus 6:6) He does indeed become Israel's God and accepts them as His people. (Exodus 6:7) He does indeed lead them to the Promised Land. (Exodus 6:8) Israel's redemption is a snapshot of ours! God frees us from slavery to sin. He becomes our God and accepts us as His people. He then leads us to a new life in Christ as we follow after Him.


Lesson #1: Keep your eyes on the Lord until He performs and despite setbacks.

After receiving assurance from God, Moses returns to the people to tell them what God has spoken. (Exodus 6:9) They are too discouraged to listen. And why should they believe now anyway? Last time they did, it only led to further suffering and pain.

Sometimes God speaks and change doesn't come right away. And a lot of times, instead, it's setbacks that take center stage, first, which can affect people to the point where they won't want to be a part of the program anymore. A leader realizes this and looks past the lack of change and looks past the setbacks to the God who has spoken. A leader keeps his eyes on God and keeps believing until God acts ~ until God does what He said. (This is a lesson for followers, too!)

Lesson #2: Remain persistent even when all seems lost and it looks like everyone's abandoning you.

Moses gives excuses why he can't do the job. (Exodus 6:10-13) It isn't Moses' eloquence that's meant to do the trick anyway. (Exodus 6:12) It's God's power.

Anybody can serve God when the task is easy and everyone's behind it. The real test is when you remain persistent when all seems lost.

God orders Moses to go back to Pharoah and finish the job. (Exodus 6:13) Sometimes we just need to be commanded to do what's right. "But the Lord ordered Moses and Aaron to return to Pharoah, king of Egypt, and to demand that he let the people of Israel leave Egypt." (New Living Translation)


1. Sometimes a person finds him or herself thinking thoughts like somehow maybe God's forgotten them. What verses in the Bible might you offer these people as comfort?

2. Left to "Pharoah" (Satan, sin and the flesh) cannot be broken. What do you think that means?

3. Explain the difference between knowing God and knowing about God. (Exodus 6:2-8)

4. Think about it: "Lord" (Exodus 6:3; NAS) equals "Yahweh." (Same in Exodus 6:2 and Exodus 6:6.) This is the Hebrew tetragrammaton (YHWH). Abraham knew this name of God, but not at the level of depth the Hebrew nation that Moses has come to rescue will come to know it. God wants us to know Him by this name, too. We do who are saved. (John 3:16) \o/

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