Day 4

Israel Prepares to Leave Egypt

from the The Life of Moses reading plan


Exodus 4:18-31, Exodus 5:1-23, Exodus 6:1-13

“I chose to be Mrs. Johnny Cash in my life. I decided I’d allow him to be Moses and I’d be Moses’ brother Aaron, picking his arms up and padding along behind him.” – June Carter Cash

A few days ago I finished a biography of Johnny Cash.

Most people are not aware of his dramatic story. He was at ground zero of the start of rock and roll with Elvis in the 50s and 60s. But then came the 70s and 80s. He had a few hits but mostly he was resigned to nostalgia. He was addicted to pills, struggled to be a good dad to his kids, and was aimless in his career.

And he couldn’t sell records.

What most people don’t know about Johnny Cash is there was one thing that never changed. His addictions waxed and waned. He failed repeatedly. He was weak physically and spiritually. But his belief that he was called by God to sing about His power to deliver people from their sin never changed, even when he was at his lowest.

By the time the 90s rolled around, Cash was growing old, and that calling had to seem like it was becoming increasingly impossible. He was irrelevant and powerless.

Moses has been given what must have seemed an impossible task. In Exodus 4, God told him to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. He was also told that God would harden Pharaoh’s heart, making Moses’ job all the more difficult. And then when he set about doing it, we read in Exodus 5 that Pharaoh punished those whom Moses came to rescue.

Moses had to feel powerless, which was why he accused God of evil.

God’s response? “Remember who I am. I’ll keep my covenant with my people and set them free. They will no longer be captives. Tell them this” (Exodus 6:6-8, my paraphrase).

In the face of so many reasons to doubt, God promises that He will deliver Israel. It was hard to believe.

Maybe you can relate. All around you is difficulty and failure. You look at yourself and see your weakness, your sin, and your circumstances, and you cannot imagine God is keeping His promises. You feel like a captive and it is hard to believe you have anything resembling freedom.

In the 90s, Cash found redemption as an artist through the popular American Recordings series, produced by Rick Rubin. On that first album, he sings a song he wrote called “Redemption:”

And the blood gave life
To the branches of the tree
And the blood was the price
That set the captives free

Cash didn’t just enjoy redemption as an artist but as a man who had a lot of reasons to doubt God’s promises. But he wrote that song because he knew the surety of those promises is the shed blood of Christ on his behalf. On our behalf.

It’s so easy to look at our failures and sins and then doubt. But when we look to Jesus and what He did for us on the cross, we are reminded of God’s promise. We have been freed and one day will enjoy that freedom to the full.

Written By Matthew B. Redmond

Post Comments (25)

25 thoughts on "Israel Prepares to Leave Egypt"

  1. Josh says:

    When we follow after God, it may not seem like everything is coming together as we had expected. Our tendency is to lose heart–to either turn on God in anger or to doubt His intentions and goodness.

  2. Josh says:

    I will trust God to accomplish His purposes in the world and in me. I will look to Him for guidance and direction and trust that, as He leads me, He will be sure that His plan is brought about.

  3. Josh says:

    God does not fail. He takes even the very worst situations and redeems them for His glory. And He will accomplish His purposes. We can trust Him–even when things seem to be turning out wrong.

  4. Josh says:

    He will accomplish what He sets out to do.

    “What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.” – Isaiah 46:11b

    “The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:24

  5. Josh says:

    Lord,
    Help me to hear You and to follow You in obedience–no matter how disappointing or dire the situation may look at times. I trust that You will accomplish Your purpose–both in the world and in me. May I be caught up in You–be always before my face.
    Amen.

  6. Graham says:

    Without God we are weak and powerless. Man’s schemes to outmaneuver God will ultimately be used for God’s good pleasure and purposes.

  7. Graham says:

    By trusting God when the path before me seems difficult and uncertain. I will remember Moses and how the Lord helped him to overcome his doubts and weaknesses.

  8. Graham says:

    The gospel of Jesus Christ ultimately sets us free from our slavery to sin and self. The gospel gives us a firm foundation to trust God and have faith in the coming hope of Jesus Christ when He will make all things new.

  9. Graham says:

    God is faithful to remember His covenant promise. Nothing will thwart his perfect plan.

  10. Graham says:

    Lord, thank you for using broken people to accomplish your good purposes. I pray for your Spirit to fill me with faith this day to work into you. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear you at work in my life and in the lives of those around me. I praise you for the finished work of your Son and the freedom from slavery and sin that has been freely given to me. In Christ I pray. Amen.

  11. Calvin says:

    We so easily see things circumstantially and not the way God sees them.

  12. Calvin says:

    God keeps his promise which came into complete fruition with Christ.

  13. Calvin says:

    He always is good and always will fulfill his promises even when we can’t see it.

  14. Daniel says:

    God is a redeemer – a deliverer. He sets His people free from bondage.

  15. Daniel says:

    We sometimes don’t even realize we’re in bondage. God brings people (like Moses) into our lives to lead us to freedom.

  16. Scott Schulman says:

    Lord, thank you for my freedom I have in Christ. Help me to choose to do right and not fall back into sin.

  17. Scott Schulman says:

    God is a redeemer of men.

  18. Scott Schulman says:

    We are in desperate need of redemption.

  19. Scott Schulman says:

    The Gospel saves us from our slavery and God’s family.

  20. Scott Schulman says:

    Thank God for saving me from the slavery of sin.

  21. Aaron says:

    That God has plans for us even though we don’t understand how we can achieve them.

  22. Aaron says:

    I will push forward knowing I’m doing Gods work and that he is with me. There is no challenge too great with Him by my side.

  23. Aaron says:

    That man will run from what he doesn’t understand. He will look for ways to get out out of doing the work needed to be successful if it’s a rocky road.

  24. Aaron says:

    The Gospel tells us that the Lord will be with us and we have to trust Him for he has a plan for us all.

  25. Aaron says:

    I will pray for peace of mind and strength to push through.

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