2 God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, 5 but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7 I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord'” 9 Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.
Isn’t this fascinating? Let’s list a few observations, in light of God’s one-way love:
- These are one-way promises. This isn’t really a covenant, it is a statement concerning what He is going to do. He did it.
- He had planned all of this FOUR HUNDRED YEARS beforehand with Abraham.
- It is a promise of deliverance from a bad situation and to a wonderful situation.
- Notice that it did not depend on their faith. They did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.
- God persisted and fulfilled His promise despite their lack of listening. He understood that they had broken spirits and found blessing hard to believe. He did not condemn them for it nor withdraw His promise.
This is strong evidence of the one-way gracious love of God. Before we have any hope, He has it planned out. We plan for small excursions (Exodus 5:3) but He plans a wide-scale total deliverance. Our lack of faith does not deter His plans. He knows we are broken down.
Here is something else. When people labor under terrible situations, loveless and horrible marriages or difficult unpleasant jobs, situations from which they desire to be delivered, we often preach in a way that says, “just bear up under it and have the joy of the Lord! It could be worse!” I think God respects our affliction a lot more than that. I think He plans deliverance. I think when we are so bowed down and buried in it that we can’t bring ourselves to listen to words of hope, He determines to do it anyway. Are we going to strip people of their hope by telling them not to pray for deliverance? Why?
Grace displays itself with miracles. Just because the pharoah’s of the world can see miracles right in their face and still remain unbelieving, does that mean the miracle didn’t happen? The miracles of deliverance God does are real miracles, and when God delivers, it is a work that we can’t stop or thwart, and our bruised-reed beaten-down unbelief moves Him to compassion, not to anger.