The Gospel in Exodus Four and in the City

Only Jesus hears the cry of the soul for redemption. All other redeemers are deaf.

 

In Exodus four God encourages Moses in his call to lead Israel out of Egypt by giving him three signs that would confirm to the Israelites and Pharaoh that Moses was speaking for God.  As Moses returns to his people in Egypt, he nearly faced death at the hands of God for his failure to show covenant faithfulness in the circumcision of his son. His wife intervenes by performing Moses’ task of circumcising their son.  Upon returning, Moses performs the given signs and the nation of Israel affirms God’s call upon him to lead them out of Egypt.  They worship God for looking upon them in their affliction and giving them the hope of deliverance through the hand of Moses.

The ministry of Moses anticipates the greater Leader-Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Like Moses, Jesus is called to Redeem people who suffer, not physical captivity, but the captivity of sin. Also, Jesus is given signs which affirm him as God’s greater Redeemer — 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (Joh 20:30-31 ESV)

 Unlike Moses, Jesus is covenantally faithful. Moses nearly had to give his own life for breaking covenant. In contrast, Jesus gave his life for those like Moses who have broken covenant with God.

A redeemer like Moses is welcome but his own failures and his incomplete deliverance should have left them longing for the One who would perfectly and finally deliver them

The hearts of city dwellers cry out for redemption. On the surface it is often a cry for a Moses-like redeemer who can deliver them from their existential despair often magnified in urban living. Sometimes religion becomes the futile redeemer in its attempts to address this despair. Others seek to remedy their condition in the pursuit of licit and illicit pleasure. Yet, equally futile are the more satisfying, yet deceptively self-affirming, activities of philanthropy, pursuing justice, and working against poverty. Existential despair is too deep for superficial antidotes and too complex for self-diagnosis. Only Jesus hears the cry of the soul for redemption. All other redeemers are deaf. And if other redeemers could hear the cry of the soul, their response would be either a lie or a placebo. As Augustine said: “Thou hast made us for thyself; and our souls will never be at rest until they rest in Thee.”

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