Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
Consider the meaning of our duty to God; the great truth that we have such a duty; and how it comes about that we have it.
I. Duty is something which is due from one to another; something which ought to be given, or ought to be done; not a thing which is given or done under compulsion, under the influence of fear, extorted by force, not even a free gift or offering; quite different from this; if a thing is a duty, it must be done because it is right to do it and wrong to omit it.
II. The words of the text are, as it were, the sign manual whereby Almighty God, in His dealings with His ancient people the children of Israel, claimed from them the performance of that duty which they owed to Him. The words which gave validity to an Israelitish law merely rehearsed the fact that He who gave the law was Jehovah; and nothing more was added, because nothing more remained to be said.
III. Notice the principles upon which our duty to God depends. (1) There is a relationship, a close vital connection between God and man, which does not exist between God and any other of His creatures; man is in a very high sense "the Son of God," so that it is inconceivable that the true aims and purposes of God and man can be distinct. Man being made in God's image, ought to do God's will. (2) Our duty to God depends also on the ground of election. God deals with us now as with His Church in former days; it is still a Church of election. We, to whom God sends His commands, are still rightly described as redeemed out of the house of our bondage; and if the redemption of Israel out of Egypt be nothing better than the faintest type and shadow of the redemption of mankind out of the power of the devil, how much greater is the appeal which is made to us on the ground of that deliverance which Jesus Christ has wrought out.
Bishop Harvey Goodwin, Parish Sermons, 4th series, p. 1.
References: Exodus 6:8.—M. G. Pearse, Thoughts on Holiness, p. 231. Exodus 6:9.—W. Arnot, Roots and Fruits of the Christian Life, p. 327; Parker, vol. ii., p. 310; R. D. B. Rawnsley, Sermons for the Christian Year, p. 494. Exodus 6:27.—Parker, vol. ii., p. 311. Exodus 7:1-14.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., pp. 67, 69.
And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:
And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.
And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.
Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.
And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.
And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them 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.
These be the heads of their fathers' houses: The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben.
And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these are the families of Simeon.
And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years.
The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families.
And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years.
And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations.
And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.
And the sons of Izhar; Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri.
And the sons of Uzziel; Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Zithri.
And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
And the sons of Korah; Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph: these are the families of the Korhites.
And Eleazar Aaron's son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; and she bare him Phinehas: these are the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families.
These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.
These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron.
And it came to pass on the day when the LORD spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt,
That the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I am the LORD: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee.
And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?