Moses comes up with a second objection. He is not convinced. Who actually sends him? He thinks he does not know enough about God to be able to speak of Him when asked. In His goodness and grace God also meets this objection of Moses. He acts with us the same way. He meets all our objections as long as they arise from our weakness and not from our unwillingness. In that way He speaks with an objecting Ananias whom He sends to Paul (Acts 9:10-1710Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”11And the Lord [said] to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,12and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.”13But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;14and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;16for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”17So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”) and with an objecting Peter whom He sends to Cornelius (Acts 10:9-169On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.10But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance;11and he *saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground,12and there were in it all [kinds of] four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air.13A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!”14But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.”15Again a voice [came] to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no [longer] consider unholy.”16This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky.).
First God points out the immutability of His Person: “I AM WHO I AM.” He is the eternal Being Himself, the totally independent One. He finds everything in Himself and everything and everyone depends on Him. The Lord Jesus calls Himself so too. He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (Jn 8:5858Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”), which means that before Abraham’s existence He has always been there as the I AM. He is the eternal One, always true to Himself.
Then God continues, ”furthermore”, (verse 1515God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.) with His answer, pointing out that He has Himself made contact with the patriarchs: He is “the LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”. This also means that He will fulfill the covenant He has made to them. The patriarchs have died, but the promises of God have not lapsed. To relieve Moses, God then tells him what will happen. He is the One “declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done” (Isa 46:10a10Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
Moses and the elders must tell the king of Egypt that “the LORD, the God of the Hebrews” has come to them (verse 1818They will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’). In this name, which Moses later mentions to Pharaoh (Exo 5:33Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”; 7:1616You shall say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness. But behold, you have not listened until now.”; 9:1,131Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and speak to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me.13Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me.; 10:33Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me.), the LORD shows that his people are a company of pilgrims. They were instructed by Him to “go a three days’ journey into the wilderness”, that they “may sacrifice to the LORD” their God. In verse 1212And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, 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.” we have read the purpose of salvation: serving God. Now we see a special aspect of serving God: to sacrifice to Him.
They cannot sacrifice to God in Egypt. This requires “a three days’ journey into the wilderness”. The number three is associated with the thought of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus: from the death of the cross to the resurrection are three days (Mt 16:2121From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.; 17:22-2322And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men;23and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.; 20:18-1918“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death,19and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify [Him], and on the third day He will be raised up.”. The three days’ journey speaks of this. By believing in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus a person is freed from the power of the world, sin and death and can serve and sacrifice to God.
Pharaoh, by his refusal, gives God the opportunity to show His power. It is ultimately a battle between God and Pharaoh with God’s people as a stake.
When they leave Egypt, the Israelites have to claim the outstanding wages of many years of slave labor. In this way God settles the debt Egypt has with His people. The payment will be made in kind, in the form of objects of valuable metals and clothing. These are things that are used in Egypt by the Egyptians to dishonor God. However, these objects can be used by God’s people for God’s glory. Thus, the metal objects are later used for the construction of the tabernacle.