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.
Not only would the Israelites know who God was, but the Egyptians would know who God was too! This reminds me of one of my all-time favorite lines from the movie The Ten Commandments. Pharaoh (played by Yul Brynner) was speaking about the God of Moses after being hammered by the ten plagues and watching the Israelites walk through the Red Sea on dry ground while his own army, chariots, and horses were swallowed up by the Red sea. “His God,” Pharaoh/Brynner gloomed, “IS God!”
God was making it clear for all the world to see that the deliverance of His people came as a result of His power to deliver them—not the power or will of any man. As we read in Romans 9:17, “The Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’”
Yet I believe there was another reason for the delay; the delayed deliverance of Israel was also designed to deliver Moses from himself. Self-reliance was in his sinful DNA—just as it is in yours and mine—and it had to be completely removed. As the Bible tells us, it took some time to accomplish this!
You will remember that Moses tried to take matters into his own hands when he struck down the Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave (Exodus 2:11). Apparently he believed that the plan for freeing the Israelites would come from his hand, by his strength, and not God’s. So God sent Him to the back side of the desert for 40 years of preparation. And yet, even after 40 years of physical and spiritual “boot camp” in the wilderness, self-reliance was still seducing Moses to trust in his own strength.
Moses cried out to God that he could not speak well, that neither the Israelites nor Pharaoh would listen to him. “If the Israelites will not listen to me,” Moses objected, “why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?” (Exodus 6:12). You see, Moses was still relying on Moses, and God had to deliver Moses from himself before He would use Moses to deliver His people from bondage.
So . . . where in your life right now is God using a divine delay to deliver you from yourself: career advancement . . . financial increase . . . new relationship . . . loan qualification . . . increased responsibilities in your church? Sometimes God delays so that His glory will be increased when deliverance finally comes. And sometimes God delays so that we can be delivered from ourselves. Either way, when God delays deliverance it is for two reasons: His glory and our good!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!