We humans want to do things our way and be our own boss. This means we tend to resist God’s commands and sometimes we refuse to obey God. Exodus 3-4 teach us it is dangerous to disobey God because He got mad at Moses when Moses disobeyed, meaning God might get mad at us if we disobey Him.
Yahweh: Lead My people out of slavery!
Ex. 3:7 The LORD[Yahweh] said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.
Ex. 3:8 “So I[Yahweh] have come down to deliver them[Israelites] from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land[Egypt] to a good and spacious land[Canaan], to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
Ex. 3:9 “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me[Yahweh]; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Ex. 3:10 “Therefore, come now, and I[Yahweh] will send you[Moses] to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”
Moses: Who am I?
Ex. 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”
Moses was the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses understood the protocol of the Egyptian court and knew members of the Egyptian royal family. Moses was well qualified to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Yahweh: I will be with you.
Ex. 3:12 And He[Yahweh] said, “Certainly I will be with you[Moses], and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”
Moses: What is Your name?
Ex. 3:13 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
Yahweh: I am self-existing.
Ex. 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He[God] said, “Thus you[Moses] shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me[Moses] to you[Israelites].’”
Humans exist because they were brought into existence by another living being. Yahweh exists because He has always existed. This differentiates Yahweh from every other living thing that ever existed or ever will exist. When Yahweh said, “I AM WHO I AM”, He meant He exists because He exists.
Ex. 3:15 God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you[Moses] shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD[Yahweh], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me[Moses] to you.’ This[Yahweh] is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
Yahweh was, is, and always will be the most sacred name for God.
Ex. 3:16 “Go[Moses] and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD[Yahweh], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me[Moses], saying, “I[Yahweh] am indeed concerned about you[Israelites] and what has been done to you in Egypt.
Ex. 3:17 “So I[Yahweh] said, I will bring you[Israelites] up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’
Ex. 3:18 “They[Israelites] will pay heed to what you[Moses] say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, ‘The LORD[Yahweh], the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us[Israelites] go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’
Ex. 3:19 “But I[Yahweh] know that the king of Egypt will not permit you[Israelites] to go, except under compulsion.
Ex. 3:20 “So I[Yahweh] will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you[Israelites] go.
This refers to the plagues we read about in Exodus 7-12.
Ex. 3:21 “I[Yahweh] will grant this people[Israelites] favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you[Israelites] go, you will not go empty-handed.
Ex. 3:22 “But every woman[Israelites] shall ask of her neighbor[Egyptian] and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you[Israelites] will put them[articles] on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians.”
This happened and we read about it in Exodus 12:35-36.
Moses: They won’t believe me!
Ex. 4:1 Then Moses said, “What if they[Israelites] will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’”
Yahweh: I will perform miracles.
Ex. 4:2 The LORD said to him[Moses], “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.”
Ex. 4:3 Then He[Yahweh] said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he[Moses] threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
Ex. 4:4 But the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it[serpent] by its tail” — so he[Moses] stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand —
Ex. 4:5 “that they[Israelites] may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you[Moses].”
Throughout Bible times God used miracles to prove His existence and establish the credentials of His prophets.
Ex. 4:6 The LORD furthermore said to him[Moses], “Now put your hand into your bosom.” So he[Moses] put his hand into his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow.
Ex. 4:7 Then He[Yahweh] said, “Put your[Moses] hand into your bosom again.” So he[Moses] put his hand into his bosom again, and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh.
Ex. 4:8 “If they[Israelites] will not believe you[Moses] or heed the witness of the first sign, they may believe the witness of the last sign.
Miracles were often called signs.
Ex. 4:9 “But if they[Israelites] will not believe even these two signs or heed what you[Moses] say, then you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water which you take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”
Moses: I’m not eloquent.
Ex. 4:10 Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
Yahweh: I’ll make you eloquent
Ex. 4:11 The LORD said to him[Moses], “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Ex. 4:12 “Now then go[Moses], and I[Yahweh], even I, will be with your[Moses] mouth, and teach you what you are to say.”
Moses: Send someone else.
Ex. 4:13 But he[Moses] said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.”
Moses refused to obey.
Yahweh: Obey Me!
Ex. 4:14 Then the anger of the LORD burned against Moses, and He[Yahweh] said, “Is there not your[Moses] brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. And moreover, behold, he is coming out to meet you; when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
Yahweh was angry at Moses. This teaches us it is dangerous to disobey Yahweh because He might get angry at us.
Ex. 4:15 “You[Moses] are to speak to him[Aaron] and put the words in his mouth; and I[Yahweh], even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do.
Ex. 4:16 “Moreover, he[Aaron] shall speak for you[Moses] to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him.
Ex. 4:17 “You[Moses] shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.”
God disciplines us.
1Cor. 11:32 But when we[Christians] are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
Heb. 12:10 For they[earthly fathers] disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He[God] disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
Rev. 3:19 ‘Those whom I[Jesus] love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
God is love, but He is also a disciplinarian. It is dangerous to disobey God. Just as God got angry at Moses for disobedience, so too God might get angry at us when we disobey, and He will discipline us for our disobedience.
“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”