Son, Where Do You Come From?

Exodus 6:10-30

Accents are funny things. Our ears finely tuned to detect foreigners among us, those people from away identifiable by distinctive speech patterns. Some quickly adopt local accent when arrive in new surroundings, others never sound local even when try diligently. A few maintain their original speech patterns as badge of distinction, some only give away their roots when highly excited or stressed. Locals take great satisfaction when they can blow the cover of someone from away and correctly identify their place of origin.

Closely connected with accent is family tree. Both speech patterns and genealogy have bearing on identity. Sometimes they go well together, other times not so much. Someone has name like a founder of town but sounds like from away makes for questions, even confusion – they must be from some other Phinney family, not “ours”.

Then there’s the question when we can’t figure it out or want validation of some kind – “where are you from?” “Son, where do you come from?” Answer may confirm our worst fears… or may be pleasant surprise. Knowing some of person’s connections, little of family tree, some about experience can supply credibility otherwise lacking.

God cares about accents and family trees but for reasons different from ours. God cares about them for how he will use those details and circumstances for his glory. God already assured Moses he would give Moses right accent, right speech patterns that would be understood and achieve God’s purpose. Moses resisted God’s assurance, God then designated Aaron for public speaking role.

Here Moses responds to God’s instruction with question – “track record isn’t very good here, why should Pharaoh listen now?” Not hard to imagine Moses thinking – “God, are you sure you are talking to the right person?” Then God asking him “Son, where are you from? Does it really look like I chose the wrong person?”

Here in this portion of God’s inspired word: God gives another charge; identifies Moses’ credentials; confirms He has right person; supplies message of great comfort for us.

A. charge v.10-13

go instruct Pharaoh

once again, Moses charged to go and deliver God’s message to Pharaoh with expected result: Pharaoh will release Hebrew children, not just from slavery

God’s intent that Pharaoh will release them from his control entirely – permit them to leave Pharaoh’s land, in effect transferring control / responsibility for children of Israel from Pharaoh to Yahweh

what guarantee?

presently laboring under sense of failure and rejection – failed to persuade Pharaoh, rejected by own people, appear to have no credibility with anyone except Aaron

God, think about who I am and where I come from – nothing in my past or present that will impress Pharaoh, own people don’t accept as one of them

God provides the script

as before, God does not answer Moses’ question directly – sometimes God more concerned with obedience than comprehensive understanding of all details

if child of God knows too much, eliminates opportunity for trust in God – God knows how much we need to know, must trust him for the rest no matter how unsatisfying that is to our curiosity… quickly becomes attempt to control

B. credentials v.14-27

genealogy not accidental

list of names not random, are carefully selected… and limited… to make point about God’s chosen messenger

same is true about story told by family tree – fully known to God, his selection of Moses entirely intentional, wants Moses to know that as well as people he was supposed to lead

Moses really is family

Moses may have been adopted into Pharaoh’s family by Pharaoh’s daughter, that wasn’t his most important family connection

no one, including Moses, should expect Moses to prevail with Pharaoh because he started out as a son of privilege

would not be Moses’ intellect, breeding, education, names in his rolodex, or list of favors owed that would enable him to achieve results God intended

if all this took place as example for us… on this side of Calvary, had to be one of children of Israel, one of that people who would lead out of slavery

is picture of the Word become flesh, to be one of us, who would lead his people out of slavery in sin

btw, so is Aaron

same dad and mom as Moses – Amram and Jochebed parents to both Aaron and Moses… which brings up a point

this family tree of Moses and Aaron not a finely shaped symmetrical specimen on display somewhere – has its share of deformed branches crossed up with one another, growing off in wrong directions

same ones Yahweh spoke to, same ones who spoke to Pharaoh

yes, is same Moses and Aaron of this unspectacular genealogy God selected to be his instruments to deliver his people

repeated, with emphasis – “the same Moses and Aaron” – no mistaking who they were, they truly were men of God’s choosing

yeah, what’s the big deal

God does not work according to man’s logic – this vital work God intended to do in delivering Israel not entrusted to descendant of oldest son… in several generations

God had reasons for selecting particular individuals for specific tasks – one reason… so all would know God was one with the power, the one enabling and making his servant effective

in fact, God chose two brothers from ancestor who behaved very sinfully – read Gen. 49:5-7

took out their revenge on Shechemites forrape of sister Dinah; hotheaded taking justice into own hands characteristic of Moses’ previous life also

God knew from beginning Moses and Aaron would be prepared according to God’s sovereign purpose for ministry task God had for them

Moses and Aaron both able to identify with all they were expected to lead – and… what set them apart was God working through them, not anything great of their own

every servant of God prepared in some way by ancestry, circumstances and experience for tasks God assigns – is God purposely overseeing all details, btw

C. confirmation v.28-30

picking up the thread

ok, where did story leave off? yes, God instructing Moses what he was to do: I am YHWH, go declare to Pharaoh all I say

shows us genealogy is not an afterthought, included by later editor to add information readers might not know

God knows where Moses is from

God intended to show his love, grace, power beginning with Moses and Aaron – what God brought about in them he could do for all children of Israel

God knows what he is doing

“God makes foolish the wisdom of this world” (1 Cor 1:20) – more upside down and messed up world gets, easier it is for God to do that

God regularly takes people and situations world thinks are hopeless and marvelously uses for his glory and good of his people

D. comfort

our past need not define our future

do not think because of something in your past that you are automatically disqualified for service to Christ – and… do not think because something is lacking in your past that you are unqualified

1 Cor. 15:10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

hard-pressed to find anyone more hostile or harmful to Christians in mid-1st century than Saul… yet he met Christ, was gloriously converted, used by God as church planter, pastoral trainer, author of 1/2 the NT

Paul’s past prepared him for future but did not define it – his new Master determined that for him, same can be true of us

their past need not define their future

Moses and Aaron slaves just like fellow Israelites – in bondage to sin and Satan until God graciously delivered them and put to work

not just message of hope for ourselves, is one we can legitimately offer to others – God can deliver them to life of service too

good kindhearted person far from Christ just as hopelessly lost in sin as drug addict about to take final overdose – Lord Jesus gave his life a ransom for both, will convert them when he chooses

need to keep it in our own minds, not write anyone off as beyond God’s use because of their sordid sinful past

don’t need to manufacture bragging rights

don’t think when God has shined you up, set you on your feet, that he expects you to go make name for yourself – our task to make Jesus look good

as people look at us, identify us as Christ-followers, they should get clear and accurate picture of Jesus – their praise of us shouldn’t matter to us, their praise of Christ should

Gal. 6:14 “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

God gets the glory

truth is – Phil. 2:13 “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” – and he is one who must receive all the glory

Where do you come from? Can you say: “I come from a sorry sinful past that is now all under the blood of Christ. My future lies with Christ and him alone.” If so, thank God with all your being that the Father loved the world, demonstrated his love by sending his Son to be propitiation for our sins.

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