God’s Redemptive Purpose

September 25, 2022 ()

Bible Text: Exodus 4:27-7:7 |


God’s Redemptive Purpose | Exodus 4:27-7:7
Brian Hedges | September 25, 2022

Let me invite you this morning to turn in your Bibles to the book of Exodus. We’re going to be reading in just a moment from Exodus 6, but you may want to put a finger in chapter 4. We’re going to cover a lot of territory this morning.

I think maybe something that will help us as we begin to dig into Scripture is to just think of the analogy of different types of camera lenses. Some of you, perhaps, are photographers, either amateur photographers or even professional photographers; and however much you may know about photography, you probably know that different lenses have different functions. Sometimes you want a wide-angle lens, which will help you capture the panorama of a landscape. It helps you get a wide angle on something. You may want that if you’re photographing architecture or something like that.

We often just use a standard lens, kind of the street-level lens, which is helpful for street photography and portraits. Then sometimes people will really invest a lot of money in buying a telephoto lens, and that’s the kind of lens that will really zoom in close to get a lot of detail, and that’s what’s for, say, sports photography or wildlife or nature, those kinds of things.

There are these different kinds of lenses, and it helps us, I think, when we come to the Bible to also read the Bible with different types of lenses. Sometimes we need that wide-angle lens, where we are looking at the macro structure of the Scriptures; whether that’s the whole Bible, or any given book, or a theme in the Bible, we’re trying to see how all the pieces fit together into the whole. Sometimes we need the telephoto lens, where we really zoom in on just a word or a phrase or a small portion of Scripture. We’re looking at it in detail to really dig into the riches of God’s word.

This morning we’re going to do a little bit of both. We’re going to start with the wide-angle view in the book of Exodus itself, and especially the section of Scripture we’re looking at this morning; then we’re going to zoom in to this one passage in Exodus 6, and then gradually zoom out again to the whole Bible by the end to see how some of the themes that pop up in this passage really capture the whole scope of God’s redemptive purpose in history.

We’re in part of a series right now, the book of Exodus, and we’re several weeks in. I’ve said I think every week that Exodus is the story of redemption in the Old Testament. It gives us the language, the images, the vocabulary for understanding salvation, for understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ. The language you find in the book of Exodus is used in the New Testament over and again, reconfigured around Jesus, to teach us about God’s redemptive purpose. That’s really the theme this morning: God’s redemptive purpose in this story of the exodus and in the world.

I want to begin by reading this passage from Exodus 6:1-8. I’ll give you the context of that here in a few moments, but let me begin by just reading this passage, and apart from one reference in the book of Genesis, this passage in Exodus is the first time in Scripture where you find the language of redemption; that is, the word “redeem.” It’s used here for the first time, apart from one brief reference in the book of Genesis. So, Exodus 6:1-8. Hear the word of the Lord.

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.”

God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. 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. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 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. 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. 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.’”

This is God’s word.

I want you to see three things about God’s redemptive purpose, and those are first, the unfolding of God's redemptive purpose; second, the confirmation of God's redemptive purpose; and then third, the means by which God accomplishes that purpose.

1. The Unfolding of God’s Redemptive Purpose

You should understand that this passage in Exodus is one of several confrontations or one of several encounters or conversations that take place across Exodus 4-7. We can really say that there are five movements in the unfolding narrative here of Exodus 4:27-7:7.

(1) First of all, there is reception. We’ve already seen how God had told Moses to go to Israel and to tell the children of Israel that God was going to free them, that he was going to deliver them. God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and to say, “Let my people go.”

Well, Moses and Aaron do this; they go, first of all, to the children of Israel. At the end of chapter 4, Exodus 4:20-21, they give them the message that God has given them, they do the signs and wonders that God as equipped and empowered Moses to do, and you know what the first response, the initial response of the people of Israel is to Moses? It’s faith and worship.

You see this in Exodus 4:31. It says, “And the people believed, and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their afflictions, they bowed their heads and worshiped.” So you have reception; they receive the word of the Lord.

Then, in chapter 5, Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh, and it’s the first confrontation with Pharaoh. You have it in chapter 5:1-6, and in the first two verses this is what we read: “Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.”’”

You remember what Pharaoh says. Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

(2) What you have there, then, is the beginning of more intense and severe oppression. This is the second movement. There are five movements; there should be a chart that should come up on the screen that shows this. You have reception; that’s first. Then you have oppression.

Here’s Pharaoh’s response to the word of the Lord: “I don’t know the Lord. I will not let the people of Israel go.” Instead, he says, “You guys are idle, you have too much time on your hands, so here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make your workload even harder. It’s now bricks without straw. You’re going to have to go gather your own materials, but you still have to produce the same number of bricks every day.”

By the way, we know from archeological study and from ancient drawings that this actually is a very apt description of the kind of work that slaves did in ancient Egypt.

But it’s more oppression, okay? This is not what the children of Israel are expecting to take place. They’re expecting immediate deliverance, and that doesn’t happen. Instead they are oppressed, their toil increases, the harshness of their labor gets even worse.

(3) That leads, then, to the third movement, which is accusation. You see this in chapter 5:20-23, and there are really two accusations. The foremen of the people of Israel come to Moses and Aaron, and they say, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

Then Moses turns to the Lord and he says, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”

There’s accusation from the people of Israel to Moses and then there’s accusation from Moses to the Lord.

(4) It’s in that context that God says what we just read in Exodus 6. In response to Moses, who says, “You haven’t delivered your people at all! Why have you sent me? Why are you doing this, God?” God says, “Now watch what I will do.” It’s a moment of revelation, where God reveals himself once again and reveals his plan of redemption once again, and with greater detail, to Moses. It is the Lord’s response of assurance and promise.

(5) That will lead into the fifth movement in these chapters, and it is commission; a fresh commission of Moses, where the Lord gives him command and instruction.

Now, that’s kind of the wide-angle lens for the end of chapter 4 all the way through chapter 7:7. This is a unit of the story, of the narrative in Exodus. I think it’s helpful for us to see this passage we’ve read, Exodus 6:1-8, within that context, and to remember that the story of Israel’s exodus, their deliverance from Egypt, did not happen quickly. This was not something that just happened overnight. It was an unfolding redemption. It’s an unfolding story.

I think this teaches us some important things. I want to make two application points from this.

(1) I think it teaches us, number one, that the experience of redemption is a process. So often when we give stories (and preachers are really guilty of this, and I’ve done it too) of people’s conversions, we usually tell about the climactic turning-point event, and we can sometimes leave people with the impression that every conversion is an apostle Paul/Damascus road kind of experience. But if you read Christian biographies, what you’ll see is that almost invariably the process by which someone became a Christian and became a really firm, established believer in Christ who had experienced God’s deliverance and God’s grace in their lives, it’s almost always a process. It’s a series of things that happened over a lengthy period of time.

We tell the story of Spurgeon, who’s sitting in that Methodist chapel and he hears the man say, “Look to Christ, and you will be saved,” and he’s saved in that instant. But what you forget is that there were years, there were about five years of agonizing struggle that went before that.

The same would be true of C.S. Lewis or St. Augustine or John Wesley or John Newton. We know the stories of that major turning-point in their lives, but we forget that there’s a lot that went before and there’s a lot that came after, and that their experience of redemption was a process.

Brothers and sisters, this is true for us as well. Like the children of Israel, sometimes we can hear the gospel, we can hear the good news of God’s deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ, we can initially respond positively with faith, with belief, worshiping the Lord; but then, when the struggle with sin continues, when we are not sanctified and completely changed and delivered overnight, and when our problems don’t go away and when it doesn’t seem like God is answering our prayer, we turn back to God and we say, “God, what are you doing? You haven’t delivered me at all.” It's in those very moments where we are primed for a fresh encounter with God’s grace.

We need to understand this so that we are not disillusioned and discouraged and disappointed when we find ourselves still in the process of redemption. Our sanctification is ongoing. You are not fully redeemed yet. If you’re a Christian, even if you’ve been a Christian for 50 years, whatever God has done in your life, you’re not fully redeemed yet. The fullness of your redemption waits until Jesus returns, your body is redeemed, you are glorified, and you are made like Christ once and for all. So we’re in a process, brothers and sisters. The story of the exodus and of God’s redemption of Israel can help us see and understand that process.

(2) The second application is simply this, that God is able to work in the worst situations, and sometimes it’s exactly in the worst situations when God really shows his hand. The old Puritan Matthew Henry said, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.” We know the proverb, “The night is always darkest before the dawn.”

You remember that after the apostle Paul in the book of Acts established many churches in the gospel, he established them, he planted these churches, there were new converts; do you remember what he taught them on his return journey through the churches? You have it in Acts 14; he’s going back to these churches he’s planted, and here’s the message. He taught that we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.

Things are going to get hard. Sometimes things are going to get worse. Things intensify, and it’s exactly in those moments when we need to cry out to the Lord for fresh mercy, for fresh grace. We seek the Lord for another movement of his grace in our lives, we cry out in our distress, and we watch God work. As we see in chapter 6:1, the Lord says, “Now you will see what I will do.”

It's in the worst situations that God often works. I don’t know what situation you’re in right now, but in a room this size with as many people as there are, I can imagine that there are some deep burdens in your lives. It may be a marriage that’s on the rocks. It may be a wayward son or daughter. It may be a recent death in the family, some kind of grievance. It may be a major upheaval in your vocation, in your professional life, and you’re stepping back and you’re wondering, “What in the world is God doing?” What he’s doing is he’s bringing you to your knees so that you can seek him, so that you can know him, and so that you can see his work in your life. “Now you shall see what I will do.” Seek the Lord in the worst situations and persevere through the darkness, and watch and see what God will do.

God’s redemptive grace, and we could say also God’s providence, his provision, and his sanctification—all these things are a process in our lives. It’s an unfolding story, and we’re in the middle of the story; we’re not at the end of it yet. We’re in the middle of the story. So don’t lose heart if you’re in Act II and you don’t see how the crisis is going to be resolved! Instead, watch and see what the Lord will do.

We see, number one, the unfolding of God’s redemptive purpose.

2. The Confirmation of God’s Redemptive Purpose

Secondly, we see the confirmation of God’s redemptive purpose. This is really the focus of this section, verses 1-8: God’s fresh revelation of himself to Moses.

I want to read you a statement from the Old Testament scholar Christopher Wright. He says that "this passage," Exodus 6, and especially talking about verses 6-8, "is one of those programmatic texts that govern not only the immediate future but also the long-distant story of God and his ultimate purposes for this people. It has far-reaching missional relevance, too, since its grand themes stretch forward into the New Testament and God’s purpose for all nations in the earth itself."

Then he points out that there are four biblical themes that are here in this passage. There is (1) the act of redemption, as God promises to deliver and to redeem his people. There is (2) the covenant relationship with God that reaches back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and now God remembering that covenant with his people Israel. There is (3) the gift of the land that is promised to Abraham, and God now says, “I’m going to take you into this land that I promised.” And there is (4) the experience of knowing God, because God says, “I am doing this that Israel may know that I am the Lord.”

Those four themes are themes that just lace all the way through the Bible, all the way through the Scriptures, and culminate in the New Testament through the life and the work of Jesus Christ.

I want to focus on one of those themes for a couple of minutes, and here’s where we take the telephoto lens and we just zoom in a little bit into the passage. I want us to just focus on redemption, this act of redemption. I want you to see three things about it from this passage.

(1) The first is this: redemption is founded on God’s character. You see this in verses 2-3. It says, “God spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord [or Yahweh] I did not make myself known to them.”

Then in verse 8, at the end of the passage, he states it again. “I am the Lord.”

What you see here is God revealing his name, his name Yahweh. It could mean one of a couple of things. It could either mean that, even though the name Yahweh is used in the book of Genesis, it’s possible the patriarchs knew the name but they didn’t know the full meaning of the name, because a name is understood when it is explained in terms of the character of a person and what a person does. Now God is revealing, in a fuller, greater way than ever before, his redemptive plan. That’s possibly the meaning here.

It may also be that when the name Yahweh is used in the book of Genesis that is anachronistic, and Moses, being the author of Genesis, is putting the name in the mouths of the patriarchs to remind his readers that the God of the patriarchs is the same God as the God who redeemed them from Egypt.

The point I want you to see is that God here is revealing himself. He’s revealing his character. His redemptive purposes are grounded in this very thing: who he is. He says, “I am the Lord.” In fact, it’s repeated a number of times throughout this passage. If you read Exodus 6-7 and underline that phrase every time, you’ll see it: “I am the Lord.”

It shows us that God is a saving God because of his character, because of who he is. This is what God is like. He is the God who saves; he is a God who is full of mercy and of grace and of compassion, covenant love for his people.

(2) That leads to the second thing, which is this: redemption is guaranteed by God’s promise. You see it in verses 4-5. “I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant.”

Again, this is one of these key themes, it’s one of these key words that keeps popping up again and again. It reminds us of God’s covenant with Abraham to give him a son, to give him a family, to give him land, and to make his family the means of blessing the whole world. Read Genesis 12.

Now God is saying to Moses, “I’ve remembered my covenant, and I’m going to keep my promises.” In fact, what follows this passage are seven “I wills” from God; seven statements of God’s promise.

He says in verse 6, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery . . . I will redeem you . . . .” Verse 7, “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God.” Verse 8, “I will bring you into the land . . . and I will give it to you for a possession.” “I will, I will, I will!”

You know, Spurgeon loved to preach on the “I wills” of God. He said one time, "Oh, I love God’s shalls and wills! There is nothing comparable to them. Let a man say shall; what good is that for? “I will,” says man, and he never performs. But it is never so with God’s shalls. If he says shall, it shall be; if he says will, it will be."

Because God is a covenant-keeping God. He makes promises, he keeps promises, and here he pledges himself to the good of his people. “I will bring you out. I will deliver you. I will redeem you. I will make you my own. I will take you to be my people. I will be your God. And I will bring you into the land that I promised. It will be your possession.”

Of course, we never see greater “I wills” than in the New Testament. Do you remember that great passage, Matthew 1:21, where the angel appears to Joseph and says concerning his betrothed Mary, “She shall bring forth a son, and his name shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” He will do it! It will be done, because he is a saving God whose redemptive plan is guaranteed by covenant promises.

(3) Then we see a third thing as well: we see that redemption is carried out by God’s mighty power. Verse 6: “I am the Lord [there it is again], 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 . . .” But then notice this phrase: “. . . with an outstretched arm.”

You know what God’s saying? He’s saying, “Watch, Moses; I’m about to flex my muscles. Watch, Moses; I’m about to lift up my mighty arm, and I’m going to do signs and wonders. I’m going to carry out this plan, and I’m going to do it in a way that is unmistakably all my work, and I’m going to do it so that you will know that I am the Lord.”

John McKay in his commentary says that “this is a metaphor of power in action.” He says, “It may have Egyptian overtones in that kings and gods are often portrayed with outstretched arms as a symbol of their might.” God here is showing that he is the true mighty one; he is the mighty warrior who comes to redeem his people.

Of course, we’re going to see how this unfolds, aren’t we, in chapters 7-12, with the signs and the wonders, the plagues that God brings on Egypt. What is he doing? We’ll see this in detail next week, but what he is doing is he is stretching out his mighty arm to redeem his people.

3. The Means by Which God Accomplishes That Purpose

We see the unfolding of God’s redemptive purpose, and we see the confirmation of it and this revelation of God to Moses as he pledges himself once again to redeem his people. But then get this, number three: we also see the means by which God accomplishes his redemptive purposes, because his revelation to Moses is followed by a fresh commission.

It's interesting, if you look at verses 9-11 (I hope you have your Bible open; read it, Exodus 6:9-11), this is right after God has spoken to him. It’s right after everything we’ve just looked at. The text says, “Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.” They’re still not getting it. “So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of this land.’”

Moses has already done it once, and it hasn’t worked. God’s saying, “Go in and tell him again.” This will require a great act of faith and courage on Moses’ part, and he initially doesn’t have it. You see it in his response, and as you read his response and then what unfolds through the rest of chapter 6 up through 7:7, we learn something about how God works. We learn something about the means, the instruments through which God works. In this passage, those instruments are Moses and Aaron. I think you can see four lessons from this.

(1) The first is that God uses weak instruments. You see it in verse 12. “But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?’” Your version might say, “I am of faltering speech.” It’s probably a reference again to the fact that he’s not eloquent. He said that; it was one of his objections in chapter 4. “Don’t send me; I’m not eloquent. Send somebody else.” Now he’s saying it again, but it is literally, “I am of uncircumcised lips.”

Maybe he’s remembering back to that episode we saw last week that involved circumcision, at the end of chapter 4. He was almost killed because one of his children had not been circumcised, and maybe now he’s using that and saying, “I need a different kind of circumcision. It’s not just physical circumcision, but my lips aren’t circumcised. I’m not worthy; I’m not prepared; I’m not equipped. I can’t do this job, Lord!” That’s what he’s saying. He’s bringing his weakness to God as an argument.

This gets repeated at the end of the chapter, in verse 30. “But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?”

In between, you have Moses and Aaron’s genealogy, which may seem out of place, but there are important reasons why that’s there, reasons we can’t go into this morning. Read Douglas Stuart if you really want to dig in. If you want to nerd out on Exodus, read Douglas Stuart’s commentary. He gives seven reasons for the genealogy. It’s there for a reason. This is not throwaway Scripture.

But I think what’s coming through in this passage is the humanity of Moses, the weakness of Moses, the inadequacy of Moses. It shows us that God uses weak instruments or, as my dad, who has been a pastor or preacher now for many, many years, has said to me many, many times, “God hits straight with a crooked stick.” He uses us in our weakness.

Don’t we see this in the gospel? Because in the gospel we see God working through the weakness of the humanity of the incarnate Christ. We see God working through the weakness and the shame and the suffering of the cross. God uses weak instruments.

(2) We also see, secondly, that God gives clear marching orders. This is in chapter 6:28-7:7, where there is an emphasis on the command of God. Exodus 6:28, “Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.” Exodus 7:2, “You shall speak all that I have commanded you.” Exodus 7:6, “Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them.”

When we feel inadequate, when we feel like God cannot use us, God’s response is, “I can use you; just do exactly what I say. I’ll give you the orders; you follow to the letter and watch me work.”

(3) But though God uses us as instruments, it’s still God who does the work, and that’s the third lesson. He does the work.

Again, you have “I wills” in chapter 7. He says, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart,” in verse 3, “and I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment.” “I will do it. I’m going to use you, but I’m the one that’s going to be at work,” because God is the great Savior. He’s the deliverer, he’s the hero of this story. Not Moses, not Aaron; God’s the hero of the story.

(4) Why does he work this way? This is the fourth thing. God works in this way so that he may be known and glorified. Verse 5: “The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.”

It parallels the earlier statement in chapter 6:7, “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 burden of the Egyptians.”

In other words, God’s redemptive purpose here is a purpose that has an ultimate goal, and that ultimate goal is that God be known, and known not just in Israel but in Egypt. His ultimate purpose in our redemption is that he be known in our lives and ultimately that he be known in the world; that the nations will know that he is God.

But he works this purpose out through the means of human weakness, through the instrumentality of human beings; supremely in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son. But also (let this encourage you this morning) through us in our weakness.

You remember the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4? If you ever feel discouraged, read 2 Corinthians. It is one of the most encouraging books in all of Scripture because it’s the most autobiographical for the apostle Paul, as he just talks about his suffering and his persecution and his weakness again and again and again. Listen to what he says in 2 Corinthians 4:7. He says, “We have this treasure [the treasure of the gospel] in jars of clay . . .” in clay pots—disposable, fragile, easy to break, weak clay pots. Why? To show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

That’s what this passage in Exodus is about. Things get worse than ever and God uses weak instruments in the worst of circumstances. Why? To show the surpassing greatness, the excellency of his power. To help us see that he is God.

He does that in our lives as well. He uses us in our weakness, he uses us in our distress, our suffering, our affliction, our persecution. The very things in our lives—we all have them right now; if I were to ask, we all have them—there are things in our lives that right now, if you could wave a magic wand and say, “I wish that would go away.” Everybody has one. I think what these passages are saying is that’s where God wants to work. It’s in those circumstances, it’s in those issues, it’s in those problems; that’s where God wants to work. It’s in your weakness, not in your strength, that he reveals himself as a strong and as a mighty God.

God’s redemptive purpose we see in the unfolding of that purpose. It’s a process that we’re in. We see the confirmation of that purpose given in his covenant promises, the “I wills”; and we see the means through which God accomplishes that purpose through human weakness, and supremely through the weakness of the cross.

Now let me end by zooming out again. Wide-angle lens one more time. I can’t do better than just point you to these words from Christopher Wright—they are so helpful—from his commentary. He says,

"Redemption, covenant, knowledge of God, and land. These four declared intentions of God in Exodus 6:6-8 provide a template for the story that will immediately follow. Each of these four themes also points forward to the New Testament, the work of God in Christ. The cross was the simultaneous mighty act of God’s judgment on sin and of God’s redemption for people of all nations and the reconciliation of all creation (Colossians 1:20). We belong to the community of the new covenant in his blood. We have come to know him whom to know is life eternal, and in Christ we have an inheritance that, unlike the physical land, can never be destroyed."

Then he takes us to the book of Revelation. Get this—this is so helpful for seeing the macro picture, the wide angle.

"In the book of Revelation, we see a great multitude that cannot be numbered redeemed from every tribe and nation and language. We hear the covenant words from the throne of God: they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. We will need no temple or priest, for we shall know our God; and we shall dwell in the city of God, the new heaven and earth, the land in which the river of life and the tree of life will nourish and heal the nations. And that, though they could scarcely have glimpsed even a shadow of it, is the story that Moses and Aaron and the shattered people of Israel were participating in. It is the story of God, and it is our story."

Do you believe it? Do you trust this God, the God of redemption? Whatever you’re going through this morning, look to God. Trust his grace.