God Reaffirms His Promise

KEY VERSE: “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, … and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God.” —Exodus 6:6,7

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Exodus 5:22; 6:9, 13

IN GENESIS the fifteenth chapter, God made a covenant with Abraham and sealed it with the sacrifice of three animals which were cut in half and two doves which were not cut. God is pictured as passing between the pieces as a smoking furnace and a burning lamp. In connection with the covenant there was a prophecy concerning the future of the nation which was to come from Abraham’s loins. “And he said unto Abraham, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with a great substance. And thou shall go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again. … In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”—Gen. 15:3-18

When the time came for the fulfillment of the prophecy and the covenant, God appeared to Moses at the burning bush and subsequently gave him instructions as to how to secure the release of the children of Israel from Pharaoh and the Egyptians. When Moses appeared before Pharaoh and asked that the Israelites be permitted to go into the desert to sacrifice and worship God, Pharaoh responded by giving the children of Israel more work to do and, in addition, making it more difficult to accomplish. (Exod. 5:1-19) This was a bad turn of events for the children of Israel and they reacted with bitterness to Moses and Aaron, and when they appeared before the Lord, they reported what had happened and accused him of not doing his part. The Lord must have felt that it was good for them to know that their release from slavery would require miracles and the mighty power of God. Then the Lord appeared to Moses and said, “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.” (Exod. 6:3) This was meant to encourage Moses and the people, because the name Jehovah means ‘Self-existing One, or The Immortal One’. By fulfilling the qualities of this name, he would be more powerful than Pharaoh or any evil forces that would oppose him. Then, having established his ability to perform, he reaffirmed his covenant and promise. “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 [Jehovah], 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 bring you unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”—Exod. 6:4-8

This reaffirmation of God’s promises included not only the promise to give the nation of Israel the land described in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, but also the promise made to Abraham recorded in Genesis 22:16-18, which later became the central hope of the nation of Israel and the world. This covenant promised that from Abraham’s seed would come the seed of blessing that would not only bless Israel but all the families of the earth.

The eighteenth verse reads, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” The Apostle Paul points out that this promise began to have its fulfillment many thousands of years later, starting at the first advent of Jesus. In Galatians 3:16 we read, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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