God’s Saving Word: Mercy and Forgiveness
Exodus 6:28—7:13: God commands Moses to go once again to the king of Egypt and demand that the king release the Israelites. God tells Moses that he will make the king stubborn but will punish the Egyptians. Aaron throws down his walking stick in front of the king, and it turns into a snake. When the king’s magicians throw down their sticks and they turn into snakes, Aaron’s stick swallows theirs, thus showing the LORD’s power over the Egyptian gods.
The Lord’s Command to Moses and Aaron
28 When the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 he said, “I am the Lord. Tell the king of Egypt everything I tell you.”
30 But Moses answered, “You know that I am such a poor speaker; why should the king listen to me?”
7 The Lord said, “I am going to make you like God to the king, and your brother Aaron will speak to him as your prophet. 2 Tell Aaron everything I command you, and he will tell the king to let the Israelites leave his country. 3-4 But I will make the king stubborn, and he will not listen to you, no matter how many terrifying things I do in Egypt. Then I will bring severe punishment on Egypt and lead the tribes of my people out of the land. 5 The Egyptians will then know that I am the Lord, when I raise my hand against them and bring the Israelites out of their country.” 6 Moses and Aaron did what the Lord commanded. 7 At the time when they spoke to the king, Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three.
Aaron’s Walking Stick
8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “If the king demands that you prove yourselves by performing a miracle, tell Aaron to take his walking stick and throw it down in front of the king, and it will turn into a snake.” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to the king and did as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw his walking stick down in front of the king and his officers, and it turned into a snake. 11 Then the king called for his wise men and magicians, and by their magic they did the same thing. 12 They threw down their walking sticks, and the sticks turned into snakes. But Aaron’s stick swallowed theirs. 13 The king, however, remained stubborn and, just as the Lord had said, the king would not listen to Moses and Aaron.
Today’s Key Verse: Exodus 6:28-29
When the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, he said, “I am the LORD. Tell the king of Egypt everything I tell you.”
Throughout the story, the king acts in a stubborn way. Does God have a purpose in making the king stubborn (7:3-5)? Recall the reading from July 6 where God tells Moses that the king of Egypt will not let the people go unless forced to do so, so that God’s power will be made known (3:19, 20). Were you ever in a situation where you had to deal with someone who was stubborn? If so, what were the circumstances?
Lord God, create in me a repentant and humble heart and soften my heart whenever it becomes hardened to your will. Remove any stubbornness, bitterness, or anger I may be harboring. Draw me close to you and open my heart to receive your love. Amen.
Leviticus 16:1-19: Moses gives Aaron the LORD’s instructions concerning the sacrifices to be made on the Day of Atonement.