Exodus 6:1-8. But the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.” 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, 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.’”
In the middle of Moses’ great conflict of faith God offers him the greatest of all comforts – himself. This is who I am, and this is what I will do. Seven “I will” statements.
Seven promises that must have seemed impossible to Moses.
Seven promises that have found their ultimate fulfillment in our union with Christ.
Seven promises rooted in the very name of God.
At the burning bush God told Moses his name. Ehyeh. Which means I will be. Or I am. Notice in verse 2 and 6 above God says “I am the LORD.” This is God saying “I am who I am.” Or, “I will be who I will be.”
Then seven times God says “I will ___.” Each of these seven promises literally starts with the name of God. God IS what he DOES. And what he does is make and keep promises. Promises to rescue his firstborn son, Israel, and with them all of humanity.
I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians
I will deliver you from slavery to them
I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment
I will take you to be my people
I will be your God
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 will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far.
God is making new promises to Moses rooted in old promises made to Abraham. He is making promises that are deeply personal. Promises that will require great power.
The Apostle Paul once said that all of God’s promises “find their YES in Christ.” Christ and our union with him is the reason for the fulfillment of all of God’s promises, even the ones made thousands of years before Jesus came to earth. Promises made to Abraham and to Moses could only be made by God because one day Christ would come. No Christ… No ultimate salvation. No ultimate salvation, no rescue from the power of sin and death, and then no need for a physical salvation from Pharaoh. It would all just delay the inevitable. Death wins so why bother rescuing us?
But if God wins and death is defeated by Jesus, then this rescue mission in Exodus has a real purpose. It paves the way. It points to something greater. A greater set of promises. Greater “I wills.”
I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians – In Christ we are brought into a new kingdom. Out of the dark, into the light. We have a whole new identity. Now we are free to worship God as we were created to do.
I will deliver you from slavery to them- In Christ we are not only forgiven of every sin, we are out from under sin’s control. Yes we still sin, but we don’t have to. And one day we won’t want to.
I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment – In Christ we are not only rescued, but also redeemed. Purchased. Bought back. God will ultimately have to pay a price to get us back. The cost was the life of Jesus. Jesus endured great acts of judgment in order to purchase our souls for God.
I will take you to be my people – In Christ we are not freed to just live life on our own. We are freed to be God’s people. His possession. His priesthood. His family. His dwelling. His temple.
I will be your God – This is the most shocking and most comforting statement in all of the Bible. This is why Jesus died. Why he lives in us. Why there was an exodus and a cross. This is what eternal life is and will be. Yahweh (“He is”) is our God. He possesses us and we possess him. Made possible forever by our union with Christ.
I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob – In Christ we have a glorious inheritance awaiting us. The new earth will be ours and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I will give it to you for a possession – In Christ all things are ours. We possess the universe. So stop freaking out. Take a breath. It’s all good.
1 Cor. 3:21-23. 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
“To live is Christ” means that God has fulfilled every one of his promises to you in Christ. The promises fulfilled in Exodus are spectacular, but they are nothing compared to what we have in Jesus.