“The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins."
Moses arrives in Goshen and tells Israel of God’s promises. He speaks to them, lets them know that God remembered His promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that He now calls on them to be their God and His people. The Israelites understand the message. The expression is reminiscent of matrimony. Israel who presently belongs to Pharaoh God of the world, is being vied by another lover who says to her, ‘You are being abused, I will deliver you. You shall be mine and I will take care of you”. Was Israel ready for the fight between two ‘bucks’ vying for the same female? As far they were concerned, they could be jumping from the frying pan into the fire!
The text then tells us that the Children of Israel were not enthused at the message because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery (Exodus 6:6-9). I like how the Hebrew text puts it. It speaks of Israel’s spiritual condition using the term, ‘ketser ruach’. The expression is an idiom for ‘despondency’. The literal meaning is ‘shortness of breath, or of spirit’. They were spiritually exhausted. Their cruel bondage stole from them all strength for faith (Genesis 6:9). God was going to have to do all the hard work!
How much like today. As it happened with Moses also called in Judaism, the ‘First Redeemer’ (thus making allusion to Messiah, the Second Redeemer), we are watching the fulfillment of the promises God made to the patriarchs and the prophets concerning Israel. We have seen Him resurrect the country where Messiah is supposed to make His landing at the time they will all see Him (Zechariah 14). Just as in the times of the Exodus, God is spiritually and physically redeeming Israel His people. Someone once told me, “If I were Jewish, I’d take the first plane out of exile, I’d be exited; why are they not?”
Same problem as with Moses! After 2,000 years of persecution first by the Romans, then the Catholics and the Spanish inquisition, followed by Luther’s Protestants, the Germans, Tsarist and Communist Russia, and now the Muslims who are importing anti-Semitism from Europe, the Jewish people seem spiritually exhausted. They seem to complain with Reb Tevieh (Fiddler on the Roof) “Why, why? I know, I know, because we are the ‘Chosen People … but sometimes couldn’t You chose somebody else?” Nevertheless God again saves His people with a great and mighty hand.
It is funny though. There are some who teach that because of their sins God forsook His people of old and replaced them with another: the Church. These same people teach a ‘New Testament‘theology condoning unconditional forgiveness of sins. As far I know, the God of the Bible is One and the same and He changes not (Malachi 3:6). Is our History of disobedience worse than their? Why would He forgive their sins but not ours? He either forgives or He doesn’t. If He forgives yours, He also forgives mine. But if he doesn’t forgive my unbelief, neither will He forgive yours! If He replaced us because of our sins, then he is also apt to replace you because of yours!
The Hebrew word ‘chesed’ translated as grace means ‘covenant-keeping’. Our God is a Gracious God. Unlike mankind, He keeps His covenant and His promises in spite of us. He keeps them for me, and He keeps them for you!