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The promises of God

The book of Exodus opens by picking up where Genesis left off.  Joseph, his brothers, and all of that generation had died.  There is also a new Pharaoh in Egypt. Where the previous Pharaoh had been benevolent toward Joseph and the people of Israel, the new Pharaoh felt threatened by the Israelites and sought to make life difficult for them.

Today I want us to think about the first six chapters of Exodus in relation to God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3  Exodus 1 tells us that the people of Israel were multiplying rapidly. Pharaoh expressed his concern in verse 9, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.” Because the Israelites were growing in number so quickly, Pharaoh determined to make things more difficult for them.  He even sought to kill the Hebrew baby boys in an effort to control the population.  His efforts proved futile as we are told “the people multiplied and grew very strong” (vs. 20).

But how does this relate to the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12? You will remember that God told Abraham, “I will make of you a great nation” (Gen. 12:2).  He later told him, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them, so shall your offspring be” (Gen. 15:5).  Now in Exodus 1 we see God keeping His promise. We see Him multiplying Abraham’s offspring in Egypt, even under adverse conditions.

Then look at the end of Exodus 3. God is giving Moses instructions concerning the exodus from Egypt.  In doing so, God promises Moses that He is going to bless the people of Israel as they leave. They will not leave Egypt empty handed. The women will receive silver, gold, and clothing from the Egyptians.  Now take a peek at Exodus 12:35-36 where we see that God gave the Israelites favor with the Egyptians.  The Hebrew women received silver, gold, and clothing just as God had promised.

But what about Genesis 12? How does this relate?  You will also remember that God told Abraham, “And I will bless you” (Gen. 12:2). The promise was one of material blessing. We see God keeping this promise throughout Genesis, and here in Exodus 3 He continues to show Himself faithful concerning His promises.

Let’s look at one more. Consider Exodus 6. It is filled with language that is intended to remind us of the Abrahamic Covenant  First we see Gd identify Himself to the Lord saying, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty” (vs. 3). Then He refers to the covenant explicitly, “I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners” (vs. 4). 

Though Abraham’s descendants were in a foreign land, God had not forgotten them. The Lord heard the groaning of the people, and He had determined to do something about it in accord with His covenant with Abraham (Ex. 6:5-6). He would bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who dishonor them (Gen. 12:3). They were His people, and He was their God.

The chapters that follow in Exodus show God doing something spectacular. His power is about to be on full display. All of this is in keeping with His purposes. He will glorify Himself, and fulfill His promises to His people. I love studying the Old Testament and seeing the promises of God. I love being reminded that He is a promise keeping God. He has made a lot of promises to those who are in Christ. The New Testament is full of them  It should bring us great joy to know that He is the same God yesterday, tday, and forever. He has always kept His promises, and He always will.

Adam Blosser is the pastor of Drakes Branch Baptist Church. He can be reached at adam@drakesbranchbc.com.