The third thing God said to Moses here in the sixth chapter is that he had a covenant with Abraham. Now that’s the covenant that we’ve already looked at. God expressed it in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis and elaborated it in the seventeenth chapter when circumcision, a sign of the covenant, was given. By it, God promised to bless Abraham, to multiply his descendants, and eventually to bring him into the promised land.

Here is Moses: defeated, rejected by his own people, alone, and isolated. I imagine they weren’t even talking to him. He did the only reasonable thing, and the only thing that was left. He prayed. He threw himself before God: “O, Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all” (5:22-23). It was a desperate prayer, growing out of a great deal of personal pain. But it was honest and it was accurate, wasn’t it? He had come and Pharaoh had not responded, and trouble had come upon the people. And it was quite reasonable to ask God why. God responded reasonably and accurately. He told Moses what He was about to do. In Exodus 6 God ministers to Moses by telling him seven things. 

Now in the context of Exodus, God demonstrated His power, wrath, and justice in judging Pharaoh. And He demonstrated His mercy in the way He saved Israel, the one as important as the other.

The idea of the separation of church and state is a perfectly valid doctrine, rightly understood. What that means is that the state is not to control the churches. In other words there is to be freedom of religion and churches can conduct their business as they please. And on the other hand, bishops or other officials in the church are not to dictate to the government. But it doesn’t mean that the state is not responsible to God, and never has to answer to the divine authority or live up to moral standards. It is the position of the church in a democracy where we have opportunity to speak out to remind the government that ultimately it is responsible to God, whether it acknowledges that or not.


Chapters 5 and 6 tell of the first meeting of Moses and Aaron with Pharaoh. When we become Christians, most of us have a pretty good idea in our minds of how the Christian life ought to go. We live in a technological age and we think of things working well, efficiently, on time, and in a predictable fashion. And we think that’s exactly the way the Christian life ought to go. It’s a little bit like driving a car: when you get into a car, turn the switch, step on the gas, you ought to move forward. Well, it doesn’t always work that way in the Christian life. We think we are doing the right things. But there seem to be setbacks and discouragements. And when that happens, and it happens quite often, we become discouraged. Many of us then wonder what’s gone wrong.